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Jakarta Post

Analysis: Corruption more entrenched as social malaise No. 1

Jakarta   /   Tue, June 7 2011   /  08:00 am

Looking out of the hotel window over Mumbai and the Arabian Sea, I can’t but help think of the many similarities between two large and vibrant democracies, Indonesia and India. It’s been a weekend of high drama across the subcontinent. Ranking ministers failed to negotiate an end to a fast-unto-death threatened by a yoga guru turned TV star turned anticorruption campaigner. Then, in a sudden twist to the tale, thousands of police executed a Bollywood-style midnight swoop, flying the demigod out of the nation’s capital and dispersing some 100,000 supporters gathered from all over the country. Many are crying foul.

The 24-hour news channels are rubbing their hands in glee. People from all walks of life, politicians of every hue, activists and commentators are all adding to the commotion. This is better than reality TV, it is indeed reality TV. At the eye of the storm is India...