Many people will not know who Anna is. Yet, without knowing him, everybody can sympathise with his cause: the crusade against corruption. Anna was on a fast to death with the only objective to get a less corrupt India, starting by officials, politicians and judges. And he wanted to see it written in a Parliamentary bill before he died. Finally it seems he will see it, and live as well.
Corruption means that a sizeable part of the resources of one country go to a few deep pockets taxing the future of the same country. Because the price to pay for corruption is much higher than the resources it drains. Losing the faith in the system means that less people will be entrepreneurs and more of them will fail. Means that many people will think of sending their wealth abroad just to protect it. The externalities of corruption are always very complicated to measure, but by all means they have a huge impact on a nation’s future.
Anna has made this country’s politicians to humble and start passing a bill against corruption. Bills are that, bills. Still they mean little if they are not properly implemented. When the viceroys of the Spanish empire got some law from the king that they didn’t like, they said “acatese pero no se cumpla” which means accept the order, and then do not implement. Another clever minister of the Spanish empire, Romanones, said “que otros hagan la ley, que yo haré el reglamento”: let others do the law, and I’ll write the rules for its implementation. Anna got an unanimous vote from those who first chose to ignore him, many of them too close to the corruption sin. Finally they decided to support him, but how will they implement, legislate, behave once this tide has gone away.
I wanted to use the Spanish reference to highlight that this is not only an Indian problem. But again, everyone must do its part. Anna did. But corruption on a massive scale cannot exist unless lots of people participate in it. Even more, it is necessary for a silent majority to tolerate it. Anna has, for once, resonated with this majority in order to make the complaint heard. The complain that is usually only whispered at work, or shared with friends in closed circles, now has been voiced aloud but, will it still be tolerated?
We all have to do something. Just as Anna did. But it’s not fasting. It’s about talking aloud. It’s about not profiting from corruption. It’s about whistleblowing. It’s about doing the right thing.