Many people would consider the title of this post an oxymoron. Traffic police and Honest!! It doesn’t fit. I had written a post In defence of Mumbai Police, when the legendary singer Asha Bhosale, had publically criticised Mumbai Police for being uncultured. One of the readers had vehemently disagreed with me and argued that Mumbai police were beyond redemption.
Today’s Marathi newspaper, Lokasatta, reported an incidence on it’s front page that is completely contrary to the popular perception.
The item is titled अण्णांनी सांगितलं आहे,इमानदारीने वागा! (Anna Hazare says, be honest). It seems that a few youths, on their bikes entered in a one way lane from wrong side, and were promptly stopped by the traffic cops hiding there. The boys, accustomed to this, resigned themselves to haggle with the policemen, and get away with their licenses by bribing the cops. They were in for a surprise.
When the youth put their hands in their pockets, the polices sternly told them to get only their licenses from the pockets and not ay money to bribe. The police told the youth to submit their licenses, pay fines, collect receipts and then collect their licenses. And when the youth looked at the police quizzically, the police said “Anna Hazare says, be honest”.
A few days ago, in my post Too Good! And yet true!!, I had narrated two incidents of exemplary honesty that I experienced. One was in a Government office and another in a private enterprise. At that time, I had mused whether we, as people, were becoming really more honest and what was causing it. I had ended the post saying that such incidents give me great hope.
Today’s story increased my hope further. No one, who stays in India, or have been following Indian politics, would have missed the happenings of the last two days. The rising support of ordinary people for Anna Hazare, and their voices against corruption and the hopeless bungling of the situation by the government.
What everyone who watched, would have recognized is the growing intolerance of the corruption and deep anger about it in the people on the street. People from all walks of life have united, seemingly without any organizational backing, against corruption.
If this makes people more honest, Anna has succeeded, even if his Jan Lokpal Bill doesn’t become a law.