India has taken several measures to curb instances of corruption in the country. These measures include development of institutions that will help curb corruption such as Office of the Comptroller, Auditor General, and the Central Bureau of Investigation. However, corruption has been escalating in the country, which is proven by a report from Transparency International that reflects over 55 percent of the country’s population has ever being involved in a corrupt activity. Thus, this explains the recent growth of Anti-Corruption protests to ensure a reduction of corrupt activities in the country. However, the Anti-Corruption protests have significant, detrimental effects as evidenced from India. The effects of the protests to the country include damage of public property, negative economic growth, and threat to national security. Despite all the outlined negative effects, Anti-Corruption Movements are relevant because most people in the country engage in corruption through bribery and use of black money. Thus, it can be indicated that although anti-corruption protests may help to promote changes, they can also cause damage and weaken the national security of a country as explicated below.
Firstly, anti-corruption protests are a threat to a country as they result to damage of public property. A clear example emanates from India’s 2011 Ramlila Maidan, which is a park in Central Delhi. According to Buttsworth (2003), this protest was orchestrated by an Indian elder aged 74 years at that time. The man named Anna Hazare attracted a lot of attention from the public who camped near the park, to cheer him. Groups of school boys also camped in the area, to cheer the elder. It is evident that the government was not pleased by the step adopted by the protesters as it hindered running of normal business in the area. For instance, the protesters forced erection of toilet and medical facility in the area. In addition, water was provided, which involved the use of public funds. The aftermath of the protest also indicates how public funds were used as police were forced to dismiss the protesters using force, which resulted to injuries. The people that were injured were rushed to public hospitals a clear indication that public money was used in their treatment. Complains of missing persons also emanated after the police brutal stop to the protest. This means that public money was also pumped in to search for people reported missing. This is a clear indication that despite the anti-corruption protests advocating for civilian rights, they also lead to misuse of public funds, to quell them.
Secondly, anti-corruption protests lead to negative economic growth. This results in myriad ways such as arrest of people, depiction of the nature of government, disruption of normal running of businesses, and the use of state funds to address the protesting issues. The arrest of many people especially during the Anna Hazare hunger strike probably denied the country some revenue. This is because some of the people that were arrested were from the working class, which meant they could not be at their work areas, to contribute to the growth of the economy as their freedom was limited. Drèze & Sen (2002) point out that the government’s arrest of Hazare was detrimental to growth of the country’s economy as it indicated to investors the nature of tyranny in the country. It is evident that a peaceful and democratic environment is necessary for an economy to flourish. The anti-corruption protests that resulted immediately after the arrest of Anna Hazare disrupted the normal running of business in the country. According to Ganguly, Diamond, & Plattner (2007), there were running battles between the police and protesters and such an environment is not optimum for running of businesses. Thus, myriad outlets and government offices had to remain closed, which explains the slow growth of the economy. Lastly, it should be noted that protesters devise ways of attracting the attention of the government even if it involves the destruction of property. This destruction of property makes police employ brutal means of countering protesters, and this involves the use of government funds that could be channeled elsewhere to ensure economic growth.
The threat to national security features as another effect of anti-corruption protests in a country. India’s case study from the 2011 anti-corruption campaigns abounds that there was a significant number of people that came out to protest after the arrest of Anna Hazera. Such a situation is not healthy for a country as it encourages thieves to join the protesters while committing their atrocities, which people fail to notice as they are busy advancing their grievances. Gould (2010) points out that such protests encourage terrorism activities especially in a country like Inida that has a notable number of extremist groups. Another way that anti-protest campaigns contribute to a threat to national security is through divisive politics. From india’s case study, Olson, Heckelman, & Coates (2003) abound that people in a country are more inclined to split along lines of those supporting the cause of the protest and those against. This is a clear indication of security threat in a country as the groups can decide to wage war against each other. For instance, during the Anna Hazare protests in India, research points out that social network played a significant role in educating those supporting the protests. However, social network was used at the same time by those opposing the step taken by Anna Hazare, an indication of how a nation’s security can be threatened through anti-corruption protests.
However, it should not be assumed that anti-corruption protests have detrimental effects to a country entirely, as they assist in the fight against corruption. India’s case study provides a clear indication of how anti-corruption protests can facilitate end to corruption. Firstly, it should be noted that the protests resulted to the formation of several institutions that have the mandate to fight anti-corruption. These institutions have strived to reduce and eliminate instances of corruption in various sectors such as medicine, black money, income tax department, and driver licensing. For instance, in India corruption happens in Medicine through the non-availability of medicines and lack of admissions into facilities. In the country’s government, black money was the most prominent form of corruption. Thus, actions taken by Anna Hazare in 2011 has bored India myriad benefits as the government relented to his demands. This is a clear indication of the essence of anti-corruption protests to a country.
In conclusion, the rise in the rate of corruption in India prompted a rise of anti-corruption groups to fight against the vice. However, different arguments abound regarding merits and demerits of these anti-corruption protests. Those opposing the protests indicate that they are a threat to national security as they contribute to criminal activities. Secondly, opponents propose that anti-corruption protests do not encourage economic growth as the peaceful, working environment is disrupted and lastly, the protests lead to misuse of public funds. This amounts to damage to public property as funds are channeled to dismiss and also sustain protesters. On the other hand, proponents of anti-corruption protests point out that they are beneficial in the fight against corruption. India’s case study abounds myriad ways that the protests can fight corruption at different levels including black money, medicine, driver licensing, and the income tax department.