Talking about Anna Hazare

Posted by navin on April 8, 2011

So I was explaining the whole Anna Hazare situation to Abu & Rabad, and realized that there was a lot of explaining to do.

“You know, sometimes, our leaders take money from bad people and do bad things for them. That is called corruption. Is that a good thing?”


“What should happen to leaders who are corrupt?”

“They should get punishment.”

“Correct! They should be put in jail. Who can put them in jail?”

“The police.”

“Exactly… except that they pay the police to not put them in jail. What is that called?”


That wasn’t so difficult. With the basics done, I continued with the sordid tale.

“So, many of our leaders are corrupt. And the police who are supposed to punish them are also corrupt.”

“No,” wailed Rabad, the 6-year old, “Why are you telling me these things? I get scared!”

Ouch! I did not tell her that it scares me too.

                 * * *                 

“Well, there is a guy called Anna Hazare who is telling our leaders that we should create a new group of good people, called the Lokpal, which will punish corrupt leaders and police. Do you think our leaders will listen to him?”

“Nooooo” said Abu.

“You know, our leaders did a tricky thing. They said that they will create a Lokpal. And they said that the Lokpal will have leaders in it.”

“Whoa!” said Abu, clearly seeing the conflict of interest. (He’s learnt words like “Whoa” from reading American comics and seeing TV shows.)

“What’s the problem?” asked Rabad.

“Well, suppose I create a group of people who will keep a watch on whether Abu and Rabad are eating chocolates without permission, and will punish them. And this group of people will be Abu and Rabad. Will that be a good idea?”

“Ha ha ha ha ha,” laughed Rabad, “That is such a dumb idea.”

Maybe Sonia Gandhi should spend more time with 6-year-olds. (Or maybe our voters are dumber than 6-year-olds.)

                 * * *                 

“So,” I continued, “Anna Hazare is telling our leaders that at least half the people in the Lokpal should be non-leaders and non-police.” I simplified things considerably, but accuracy is not always worth the effort. This simplification captures the spirit, I think.

“So, Pappa, is this Lokpal thing Anna Hazare’s idea?” inquired Abu.

“No. Actually, various people have been trying to create a Lokpal for a long time. 8 times they have tried, and 8 times our leaders said no. This has been going on for the last 42 years,” I said.

“And, for 28 of those last 42 years, we’ve been waiting for the Cricket World Cup!” said Abu, the 8-year-old.

Sometimes, it is rather difficult to figure out whether a statement is a non sequitur or a profound truth…

10 Responses to “Talking about Anna Hazare”

  1. Rohan Dighe says:

    sahiye….i think now i clearly understand as well :)) i would love to be 6yr old again.. this demystified version rocks!

  2. Makarand says:

    They say that if you want to know whether

    1. your job makes a difference to anybody
    2. you KNOW something

    try and explain it to a 6 year old. If (s)he gets it, you have it made..

  3. navin says:

    @Makarand, absolutely! The best way to clearly understand anything is to try and explain it to 6-year-olds.

  4. Nitin says:

    My kids are asking me “what is corruption” since the live telecast of fast is on…and I am not able to explain it properly….now I will share this with them…but really I am worrying, what would be their response ……Congrats for a very nice article…..Humm I must participate in agitation…not for me but for the sake of kids….

  5. meetu says:

    yeah nitin, more than patriotism, parenting is egging me to do something about it.

  6. Quakeboy says:

    Hahaha! love the way your kids are soo sharp 🙂

  7. […] Conversations with the Kabras (especially the younger ones) are anything but boring. Here’s Navin and Meetu explaining Anna Hazare (and having the situation explained back to them with the kind of wisdom only human beings of a certain age can). (via Abu-Rabad) […]

  8. sama says:

    I guess your kids are smart because of the way you both discuss things with them. Hats off to both of you! You convert complicated matters into simple interactions 🙂

  9. navin says:

    @Sama, I think there is too much conditioning in our society about what are things that are OK to discuss with kids and what are things that are not OK to discuss with kids. We somehow convince ourselves that some things the kids will not understand, some things will scare them, some things why should not know. I think none of these are true. I think, if kid don’t understand an issue we’re explaining to them, chances are high that we haven’t really understood the issue ourselves.

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