Can change in the system be brought while being out of it?
It’s obvious answer is both – yes and no.
It all depends on the prevailing circumstances in the system – whether the system still has the elements who care for the conscious voices – or it has got deaf enough to block them on the periphery – if throwing them out is not an option.
The classic case where the centre or the core or the ‘haves’ sections of a society rule it with sheer domination – keeping the critical or hostile voices or the ‘have nots’ at the periphery – and the vicious circles of hegemony continues.
Unfortunately, it the second category that defines our prevailing socio-political system where even the world’s lengthiest written constitution has not been able to ensure the proper implementation of all its tenets – and its spirit.
Like it is always said that even if we got our independence from the British, we are yet to see a flawless democracy ruling the systems in the country. Though we are the world’s largest democracy – and a robustly functional one – the Global Democracy Index, annual ranking the Economist, finds us a flawed democracy – placing us at 35.
And it is not without reasons.
We have a transparent electoral system but the political corruption vitiates the whole atmosphere – so much so – that now the political class is considered and seen as a class apart – the elite who themselves feel and behave like supremacists. The deeply percolated VVIP culture (VIPism) has now become a part of even the smallest governance units of our country. And when you political class stars acting like it owns the country, it is the beginning of the process that starts killing the democratic spirit of the society – that starts contaminating every aspect of the society – so much so – that corruption has become a way of life for us.
The second biggest political reform movement of India, after the JP movement of 1970’s, the anti-corruption agitation led by the veteran activist Anna Hazare in 2011 was fuelled by anti-corruption sentiments only.
But like the JP movement, it, too, was co-opted by the people ruling the mainstream of the society.
If we have to set it correct, we need to overhaul the system – and to do that – we need to change the way we do politics.