Fasting is a weapon that can bring the most bureaucratic and notorious dictators and empires to their knees. It was used by India to drive away the British and now it is being used by the same country to bring the most corrupt and bureaucratic officials to their knees.
A lot of India's new generation who had trashed the Gandhian principles of nonviolence and fasting, claiming them to be weak gestures of protest, are today witnessing live demonstrations of these weapons.
In fact the new generation has been packaging the same old thought-provoking methods in liberal and lighter forms such as flash mobs or candlelight gatherings. Today, it takes just one message from a social networking site to rattle the Parliament in New Delhi or a dictatorship in Middle East.
However, the question remains whether these initiatives can ever uproot the evil.
In order to understand the root cause of corruption I looked deeper into my conscience and asked myself, “Why has corruption evolved in the first place?”
Could it be because of poverty? But why does poverty arise? In my understanding poverty is a function of illiteracy and high population. But then what stops people from becoming literate? Is it lack of resources, lack of will to read and write, or pure ignorance? The last two could be tackled by appointing the right mentors. But why do people lack resources? The most acceptable reason that comes to my mind is that the ruling government or dictator does not want them to become literate. Why? Because if they become literate they will understand the selfish and corrupt motives that these dictators or governments want to fulfil, and might topple them.
This leads me to my second idea: that it is greed, whether a person is literate or illiterate, poor or rich, good or bad, which makes one corrupt. But how does greed arise? Out of fear. And ironically greed leads to fear again. It's a vicious cycle and one needs to come out of it.
But it's not possible to eradicate this greed and fear completely from every living being on the planet. So that brings us back to the use of weapons like non-violence and fasting. But today one needs to analyze whether these agitations are self-supported or being backed by a political motive. This again brings us back to greed and fear.