eMedinewS Editorial

Health Care 11 Comments

Will Anna Hazare’s hunger strike open the door for other groups to “blackmail” the government?

No. It was Anna who was successful. If a politician had called for this type of dharna, the same could not have been successful. I found the explanation for this in a story mentioned by Dhananjay Mahapatra in TOI. He wrote:

“Why did Anna’s crusade against corruption carry so much weight? Why did it attract so much support in such a short span? In the past, we have seen much weightier politicians wearing the Gandhi cap and attired in khadi exhorting larger audiences to declare war against corruption. Why did the politicians fail to stir even those present in the rally ground? A small story could prove why Anna succeeded while the politicians failed.

With peace and prosperity reigning in a small, beautiful kingdom, the king’s very able prime minister sought six month leave to spend time with his guru. “Why six months? What do you plan to do,” asked the king. The minister’s answer that he wanted to learn the Gayatri mantra left the king puzzled. The king knew it was a simple mantra. Asking the minister to meet him the next day to discuss leave, he sent for the head priest and learnt the mantra by heart. Next day, when the minister presented himself, the king recited the mantra twice over, looked triumphantly at the minister and said, “For this, you wanted to take leave for six months? Were you joking yesterday? I learnt it in just in two minutes.”

Without blinking, the minister said, “You recited it alright but there is no authority, moral force or legitimacy of command in the recitation.” The king was furious at being challenged. He thought old age was making the minister a little senile. A mantra is a mantra, he thought and asked the minister to prove that mantra recitation needed some kind of authority. The minister called a servant and ordered, “Tie the king up.” The servant was shell–shocked and did not even move. The king was now convinced that the minister had gone mad. In rage, he ordered the servant to tie up the minister. The servant immediately tied up the minister.

The arrested minister laughed. A surprised king demanded an explanation. He said, “Both of us gave the same order. But the servant only complied with your order because there was authority and legitimacy in your command.” Realisation dawned on the king who embraced the minister and sent him on leave to learn the mantra. Legitimacy is the reason why people, who ridicule the politicians’ call to fight against corruption, flocked to Anna in droves across the country.”

To conclude, who leads the campaign is always important. If we ourselves smoke and tell our patients not to smoke, will they listen to us? If we ourselves give and take cuts and commissions in our profession and then talk about anti corruption measures, will anybody join our movement?
Dr KK Aggarwal
Editor in Chief