Now Anna Hazare Episode – I is over. Knowing that he is going to start one more campaign, ”Right to recall MPs”, we can say for sure that it is going to be episode – II that would draw even more crowd at Ramlila Maidan, have the chief editors of news channel to arrange rounds and rounds of group discussion [richer in content and more poignant than CAT GD or personal interview]. People would thunder and give their comments. Some software professionals would come up with anti corruption software. Now the dust has settled; we can have an objective analysis of the entire episode.
Let us discuss the scope and scale of what we were trying to achieve. Are we striving for corruption free India or a bill that is panacea for all the issues happening every day in the full glare of media/public: something as big as 2G scam or CWG or illegal mining or something as small as an event that happens in the compartments of the long distance trains: so many people buy general ticket, board the train, meet the ticket collectors and give them some extra money to buy reservation. Do they pay the full amount? Is not it a form of corruption? We are also a party to it. We, the same group of people, who thronged to Ramlila Maidan to support Anna Hazare in his fight against corruption, have something in our cupboard. I remember reading an article describing a conversation between Mr. Manish Tiwari, spokesperson of the Congress Party, the host of the show and a group of people participating in it. Manish Tiwari was asked why Congress had fielded Azaharuddin in the election. His quick reply was that Congress only fielded but you voted for him and brought him into the parliament. The statement could be an example of the presence of mind of Mr. Manish Tiwari but in my opinion it summarizes the paradoxical situation India now is in. A system where corruption has crept into all layers with people from every strata of society no matter what their religion, caste, financial position are or any other yardstick that we can think of willingly or unwillingly being a party to corruption, fantasize themselves bringing about a revolution that would change the face of the nation. Coming back to scope and scale of what we are trying to achieve now through this movement, let us map it against what we know best, a software project. Let us size it up.
When we do requirement gathering, how many stakeholders we meet? How long does it take to finalize business blue print document? How many process areas do we try to impact with our visualization of what the proposed process would be? How many people get involved? What is their competency level and qualification? How many people are impacted by the change? Are you getting what I mean?
Now superimpose lofty objective on Anna movement to this template? Let us ask the same question and try to get the probable answers.
How many stakeholders are involved? Ans: Entire political class, other members of society with varying degree of understanding and vested interest.
How long it takes to finalize business blue print document [Sorry, Lokpal bill, Ah, I am a committed professional, don’t usually think beyond my arena?] Ans: Not very sure but definitely we are not going to get sign off by the end of the month once we start negotiating with the client about the scope.
How many process areas do we try to impact with our visualization of what the proposed process would be? Ans: We would bring in the entire chain of bureaucracy right from low rung officials to prime minister; I am not very sure about the definition of low rung officials, need to check the website, “India against Corruption”
How many people get involved? Ans: There are 5-6 persons in Team Anna
What is their competency level and qualification? I personally feel that honest intention is the most important qualification one should possess to participate. One does not need deep horizontal and vertical exposure to become eligible.
Here comes the most important question: How many people are impacted by the project? Ans: 1.2 billion.
All facts probably point to the fact that the Janalokpal Bill drafted by Team Anna might not be the best one and not a single bill can eliminate corruption. Corruption-free India needs a collective effort of administration, legislature, and judiciary and every one of us who will put their foot down and thunder “We will not pay bribe no matter what we lose”
Does that mean Anna movement has not achieved anything?
The movement has several spin-offs:
1. It has kept the focus on corruption for a pro-longed period which is unthinkable if judged in the light of short memory of public.
2. Lokpal bill which was passed in principle in the parliament was laid dormant for 40 years. It took one Anna to revive it no matter what its form is
3. It has brought all sections of people under one umbrella. This itself is a big achievement if we think the diverse nature of India
4. Power does not concede anything without a demand. Anna demanded and Government of India Conceded. Is it not a point that can offset or rip apart my previous arguments?
Well stay tuned for the next part. I welcome your opinion on this.