Machiavellianism = employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft.
Today, crores are convinced about the Jan Lokpal Bill and have put their all at stake. The government has been forced by the public mood to agree for the joint committee.
If the Jan Lokpal Bill with all their provisions comes to force, the entire government machinery lubricated by corrupt money will be at stake. Do not underestimate the impact it will have on the present political system. The Jan Lokpal bill will not come about without a much bigger fight.
How will the establishment fight? Within and without?
Machiavellianism Within : In line with niggling and petty quibbling that has marked the government’s capitulation, the senior government ministers will keep on nibbling at some of the provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill. But Annaji’s stand on live televisation of every meeting might checkmate some of the moves of the government. The readiness of Annaji and the civil society members to leave the committee and restart the public protest may put the dampers on the designs of the political establishment. The fight within has concrete people and definite ways of countering them.
Machiavellianism Without: This is the unknown element in a game played by the powerful interests. Attacks coming from shadows, lies and half-truths masquerading as public service, negative words thrown in the public sphere, no one that can be seen and countered, just allegations, mudslinging, smear campaign, whispering dark rumours emanating from nowhere and leaving questions in everyone’s minds. Soon, people will start wondering if Jan Lokpal is really a good thing or not. Civil society will be divided and people will be left confused. When the next round of rising up for the Jan Lokpal campaign will arrive, the unanimity of the people will be gone. Doubts, negative campaign will have sapped the enthusiasm of the people. That would be the plan of the establishment.
A few columnists, some journalists, bloggers, FB pages, government NGOs, some well meaning NGOs who have not been part of the core movement and feeling left out and party workers would be the tools of spreading this negativity.
How does one tackle this?
Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Counter lies with truth, expose half truths, train activists in handling debates, distribute lakhs of copies of the salient points, open up the Jan Lokpal bill for more and more suggestions and objections, involve people at all stages, get the best experts to vet the bill and maintain openness, fairness, objectivity and honesty in all our responses.
Anna Hazareji today praised the village level administration system in Gujarat and Bihar and asked other governments to emulate the same. Now this will be twisted to mean support for anti-congressism to pro-BJP to pro- Narendra Modi, to support for the riots in Gujarat to pro-Hindu and pro-RSS stance to anti-minority and anti-Muslim attitude and then finally creation of insecurity and animosity for Anna and the movement in the minds of the minority. This has already started.
We need to use truth as our weapon. Counter the lies and the twisting using all tools possible. In my next blogs, I shall write about the other attacks and the reality, so that all right minded people can counter the Machiavellian tactics.