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The Status Quo Country

20/02/2015 10:16 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Hindustan Times via Getty Images
GHAZIABAD, INDIA - FEBRUARY 19: AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal arrives for a meeting with public at his party office at Kaushambi area on February 19, 2015 in Ghaziabad, India. AAP said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would be holding public meetings or Janta Darbars between 10 AM to 11 AM on each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. (Photo by Sakib Ali/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

I am no activist. I have many shortcomings. I hide in grey areas. In fact, it is impossible to be completely clean when you operate in a cesspool called India. Complete integrity is an oxymoron. I deal with bureaucrats, regulators, law enforcement and educational institutions - and each one of them come with their own rules of engagement. In such circumstances, it was important for me to draw my own Laxman Rekhas. I know what I will attempt to do and I will NOT DO, whatever the inducements or penalties. But if anyone were to put me to a sword on the exacting principles of ethics or morality, I will fail. Quite simply, I am not always, all the time, 100% correct.

At Careers360, we attempt to be correct and fair but make many a mistake, though the bar is set high. Our clients know that they cannot buy into our system. In fact, we can never be perfect in a country where transparency of data and information is a myth. We even reject a few advertisers who in our opinion are mis-selling their courses. But if I am questioned on the fairness of all advertisements or even our own content, we will be found wanting. It is not just about our intent, but also the environment that we live in. Our systems are pimped, corrupted and non-transparent to the core and everything we do will have traces of the same.

However, Arvind Kejriwal and AAP are born out of a movement driven by activists. They got into a cesspool of politics, which seizes every opportunity to tarnish names and destroy characters. The exacting standards set by AAP for others will corner them on a regular basis. The more AAP grows, the greater would be dilution in its philosophy. At every possible opportunity, AAP will be tested for its virginity and proclaimed a prostitute. And the questions would be based on preachings of AAP than on practise by the questioners. Because, exacting standards would mean black or white with no space for grey in-between.

A simple case in point is the issue of 2 crores received by AAP in April 2014. No party, company or organisation can vouch for the source and cleanliness of funds of the payee. People who haven't accounted for thousands of crores of political funding acted like blood hounds. And the attack started right from top - from the prime minister to the finance minister. They wanted AAP to succeed where the RoC, the banking systems, MoF and the Income tax department failed. The national parties are like babas and maulvis, who rape women by the night and espouse moral code by the day. It is Raas Leela at night and Rajniti by the day.

However, much of the blame is with us, the people. We are a nation of hypocrites. While most of us - the educated and informed - root for change, we actually prefer a status quo. We want the country to run on a treadmill and still cover a fair distance. Having entered the grand hall of power, we want the gates closed behind us. As a nation, we have gotten used to power brokers, influence pedlars and corruption. We know the way out of any problem, because we know how the system can be bent. AAP trying to challenge this system is disruptive and taking away a solution that we got used to and are comfortable with.

The influential, the rich, the powerful, the upper middle class don't want disruptive polity to upset the wheels of a sleazy train that they perfected over decades. Any change that questions or weakens this power is termed anarchy. Their outrage is largely sound bytes. Even the most influential and neo-rich investor community that invests in disruptive business ideas will oppose a disruptive polity. What is good for the goose is not good for the gander. They would continue to influence laws while crying over corruption, lobby in corridors of power while criticising crony capitalism. The middle class will criticise subsidies only till the petrol LPG gas prices go up. The tentacles of our hypocrisy are spread deep and wide. To understand our hypocrisy, you just need to walk into a party/event where the most corrupt politician or celebrity is also a guest. The accolades he gets will make you squirm. Even the silliest of his comments will have a hearty laugh and a thunderous applause. He will always have a steady stream of people queuing up to shake hands and take a selfie.

Let us stop this facade. Let us not be hypocrites. Quite simply, we don't deserve a change, because we are the Status Quo country of the world.

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