Monthly Archives: September 2011

Is Lokpal the panacea ?

I know am a bit late to air my perspective on the hottest topic in India, Corruption. To some of you, who think I might be sleeping all this while, yes you are partially correct 🙂 I was mulling(and lazy too) all this while to share my two cents. Read further only if you could please spare me for moral science class.

In the heat of the moment, generated by so called Team Anna, Media, Aam aadmi word-of-mouth, the definition of corruption was limited to taking bribe / looting public exchequer. All the anti-corruption gung-ho was even more confined at targeting political class and the sarkari-babus. Its more than that.

So what gave birth to Team Anna ? Off-late India has evidenced numerous scams, in the name of 2G spectrum allocation, Commonwealth Games, Aadarsh scam, etc etc. Thanks to CAG for their relentless work. Bunch of social activists Arvind Kejriwal(the RTI guy), Kiran Bedi(retired IPS), Prashant Bushan(advocate), and the most Googled guy in India for a while now, 74 old Anna Hazare(retired Indian Army soldier) came together, branded themselves Team Anna and waged a war on scam tainted UPA 2.0 led government. Though I appreciate their effort in airing their voice against worst spate of affairs in corruption aspect that India is facing, I beg to differ the way they ran the whole show. Read on..

Team Anna, drafted a law to curb the corruption menace called Jan-Lokpal. They had around 12 + drafts altogether to come up with the bill. After tabling several rounds of talks between government and them didn’t cut the ice, Anna Hazare went on an indefinite fast from August 16 which led to cinematic melodrama of events like arrest,release, word twisting from none other than PM within less than 2 days and even said he had high regards for Anna 😛 Never mind, Manmohan learned two cents from his political friends.

After Anna was released from Tihar jail and took a victory parade to Ramlila Maidan, people started hailing him as Gandhi 2011. Did I hear someone saying he is a noble soul ?? 😀 Momentum gathered like a wild fire, and across the country people went on fast in support for Anna. Factually, not many could figure it out that Anna’s hunger strike was to press on Govt to make it accept their version of Lokpal than that of Govt Committee’s version of Lokpal. It was not exactly about anti-corruption but about a forceful lawmaking. Unfortunately parliament conceded their demands and make him break his fast. I support any individual/group to air their opinion in this country in a peaceful protest. But, I term all of this unfortunate or even illogical ??

In India we already have enough laws, belly-full of organisations to police. Do we need this behemoth Lokpal ? Absolutely a no no. Though people like Arvind Kejriwal who has done more good to our country in the form of RTI, a powerful tool which gave citizens of India a decision power, overlooked the fact that bunch of arm-chair intellectuals framing laws like lokpal will do more harm than we can think of it!! The worst part was that the so called social activists didn’t have accordance among themselves and have more than three lokpal versions. This all-powerful lokpal blindly seems to acheive anti-corruption India by laws punishing individuals for wrongdoing!! 😦 Did we punish Mr.Kasab yet ?? We have age-old laws saying a murderer might get a life sentence / hanging. Did it ever stop? Can we achieve corruption free India by introducing another organisation Lokpal at the cost of public exchequer ?? There are aplenty questions on how to choose the judge panels, investigators accountability and their sacred profiles!!

In the heat of the moment, Team Anna hallucinated people saying Lokpal is the medicine and it works for you. I only wish they maintained that fast was about making Govt accept their demands in Lokpal. Aam Aaadmi who is vexed about politicians came to the rescue of media/ramlila airing their opinion and raising slogans “I am Anna”. Team Anna intelligently garnered support using social media / urban middle class / especially using TV media streaming 24 X 7 Anna mantras and debates. Yes, all of the supporters you have seen on TV were not even paid a dime to participate in the movement. Probably first of its kind since Independece 1947. Happy about that one.

Hypocrites. We have no scarcity. Our society is full of them(me too). In theory everything seems to be fine and gettable, but when it comes to practice(reality) it hurts!! Some of them who were supported directly or indirectly were definitely a part of corruption and I bet they will be in the future. We do buy movie tickets in black, for a movie that has a storyline of fighting against corruption:) Human tendency is like a dog’s wagging tail. As simple as it is, we cannot get to see an ideal society forever. Did all of them overlook this simple fact. ?? So what does it take to eradicate corruption / evils ?? Its difficult to answer, but definitely I will give it a try. Politicians are looting away public funds allocated into their pockets. Who are electing them? We the people. Why ? I will dissect it further. Its kind of an egg-chicken riddle.

Uneducated : Illiteracy is the worst problems we have been facing for decades altogether. Little interest has been shown on this by our netas than they had time to open restaurants/pubs/wine shops. As if the number of Gods we have in India aren’t sufficient we have demigods i.e. Swamijis and Babas. I feel being literate will make you think about them for a moment. I don’t claim being literate is the solution but definitely solves a part of the problem of Indian disharmony. Will give an individual good enough information about his country and wisdom to elect his representative.

Poor farmer / worker/ labour: We Indians have little concern about the worst spate of affairs a farmer is in. With the advent of IT sector in India, lower/upper middle class aspiring for the white collared jobs, agriculture seemed old fashioned and redundant. Be it land grabbing/SEZs / rapid industrialisation / nature’s outcry in the form of famines or floods,etc are all reasons for the heartbreaking stories of farmers leaving farming and working as a daily labour in major towns/cities. Rich gets richer and poor gets poorer due to unequal resource allocation.

Influenced by false promises / caste factor : Taking advantage of poor farmers / illiterate / unemployed youth, the political campaigns shout aloud making promises only have them stored in archives which never become reality!! What makes them dare enough to escape is people’s lack of power to move them out of chair until the next term of elections. Caste factor is playing a major role in the elected representatives in our country. I strongly wish there be only one factor on which reservations are given in any context i.e. only for the ones below poverty line(BPL) irrespective of their caste/creed/race. Even IIMs had to bow down. 😦

Or even worst of all is that there is no better alternative: Yes, I hear this many a times that so and so has voted because he had no better alternative. Eat/Spend ratio of Mr.X is 80/20 and Mr. Y is only 90/10. So I voted Mr.X. Its easy to say that the one who has good intentions join politics and clean the mess up. But see what happened to Jayprakash Narayan of Loksatta party. He was the only candidate to win in his party. Also for a society filled of lower/upper middle class the youth is burdened with responsibility of becoming an engineer / doctor and reap the benefits of his parents. The word politics is itself a profane word in these category of society. Forget about joining and cleansing the system. Our current system/politics is like one pet bottle of municipal water, a single drop alone cannot make a difference. It will just be a part of filth system in no time. Lucky enough we are not yet drained out of honest/willing to serve the society kind of people. Its just that we need more and more of them.

No wonder these days, choosing our public representatives is like digging our own grave!! Age old saying, “Its easier said than done.” Yes, to repair a broken India, a country that has been raped brutally by greedy individuals needs generations to come. Lokpal is no panacea for this tangled web of evils in India.

Now coming to what makes people habituated to bribe giving/taking ?? You need not be an illiterate to be deceived by brokers/officers for getting work done. The highly educated ones, who want to get things done without standing in queues so are a part of this corruption hungama. With globalisation everywhere around the globe, culture impact in India has been worst so far!! 😦 A generation that is becoming more materialistic is also to blame for the current situation. How many of us(reading this one ) download pirated music/movies and enjoy them at the cost of peoples lives. For eg. aren’t you taking away the earning capacity of a sole bread winner of Mr. Autowallah/ Golgappa guy(Panipuri wallah) whose business is at movie theatres?? Did we ever think of it ? Please do. We all know how employees submit fake bills/receipts to escape tax or avail benifits in their organisations.

 

Is there a single point solution for the rotten society we are living? I strongly believe in foundation that matters most through the next phases of our lives. Though, we still have a chance to change ourselves and move on the right path, at the end of the day this is real world and we are humans who can’t really change things overnight as I have already said. Lokpal is clearly no solution. I promise to be a honest/sincere/dedicated citizen of this country and pledge I promise I will instill strong values when I raise my children. I wish you do so. Lets live and let live. After all didn’t we all read ‘how much land does a man need’ in our school days ??

My friend Karthik’s piece of writing Corrupted fight against corruption makes an interesting read too.

I would much appreciate if you drop in your comments about whats on your mind ?? Are you ready to take the pledge ?