FAQ: Why Anna Hazare is wrong and Lok Pal a bad idea

Don’t fall for the miracle cure that is being offered. Corruption must be fought differently and it’s not easy.

1. Is Lok Pal is necessary to fight corruption?
No, not only is it unnecessary, it will make the problem worse. Corruption in India arises because of too much government, too many rules, too much complexity and too much ambiguity. Adding one more, huge, powerful layer to an already complex system will make the system even more complicated. Complexity creates the incentives for corruption–both on the part of the bribe giver and the bribe taker.

See my article on why Jan Lok Pal is no solution and Amba Salelkar’s article in Pragati.

1A. Is the government’s version of the Lok Pal bill better?
No. We don’t need a Lok Pal at all. Making existing constitutional institutions—like CAG, CVC, CBI and the Election Commission—more independent will serve the purpose equally well. If we have been unable to prevent the politicisation and undermining of these instutitions why would we be able to prevent the Lok Pal from being politicised and undermined? If we can prevent Lok Pal from being politicised and undermined, why can’t we restore the independence and credibility of CAG, CVC, CBI and the Election Commission?

2. What’s the alternative to Lok Pal then?

The alternative is to proceed with second-generation reforms, or Reforms 2.0. Contrary to conventional wisdom reforms have reduced corruption, albeit by moving it to higher up the government. In 1989 an ordinary person would have to pay a bribe to get a telephone connection. By 2005, there was no need to pay a bribe at all and anyone could get a phone in minutes. Yes, 2010 saw the 2G scam in telecoms, but that was because the UPA government reversed the reform process.

In fact, data show that perceptions of corruption are lower in some sectors of the economy, usually those that have been liberalised.

If you are interested in exploring real alternatives, you can start by reading Atanu Dey’s slim, easily readable and inexpensive new book, “Transforming India”.

3. Doesn’t Hong Kong have an Ombudsman and doesn’t it enjoy low corruption?

This is a specious argument. There is little evidence to prove that Hong Kong has low corruption because it has an Ombudsman. On the contrary, there is empirical evidence from across the world suggesting that countries with high economic freedom are perceived to suffer from less corruption.

Hong Kong is one of the freest economies of the world, and therefore, incentives for government officials to be corrupt are relatively low. The Ombudsman is useful to address the residual corruption in economic sectors and in sectors like law enforcement that do not have discretionary powers over economic sectors.

4. How can we have economic reforms if the corrupt politicians don’t allow it?
We have not really demanded them at all, actually. If we did, they are bound to register in the national political agenda. We should persuade politicians that their political future is linked to implementing economic reforms.


5. Easy to say, but how can we do this?

By voting. The constituencies that stand to benefit from economic reforms—the middle class—needs to vote in larger numbers. In the absence of the middle class vote base, politicians appease the poor by giving handouts and entitlements, and cater to the super rich by allowing the crony sector to exploit the half-reformed economy. It’s not easy, and we have to be innovative. See for instance, Atanu Dey’s interesting idea to form middle-class vote banks to induce good governance.

Whatever may be the claims made by the people promoting Lok Pal, there is no miracle solution. They are peddling miracle weight-loss pills. Sadly, such pills usually don’t work and can cause severe damage to your health. If you are cautioned not to take those pills, you can’t ask “which other miracle weight-loss pill do you recommend”? The answer is in diet and exercise, which is hard work.

6. In the meantime, what’s wrong with Jan Lok Pal?
This question has already been answered above, but it’s usual to encounter it again at this stage. The problem with Jan Lok Pal is that it’ll make the problem worse. Does anyone seriously think we can hire tens of thousands of absolutely honest officials who will constitute the Lok Pal? Who will keep watch on them? Maybe we need a Super Lok Pal, and then a Hyper Lok Pal to watch over the Super Lok Pal and so on…This isn’t sarcasm, this is the logical extension of the Lok Pal argument.

7. Don’t we have the right to protest peacefully? Why do you say that a fast-until-death lacks legitimacy?
Of course we have the right to protest peacefully. But it’s not about whether we have the right or not. It’s about are we using that right wisely. (You have the freedom of speech but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to blast Eminem using a loudspeaker at 2am in a residential district.)

As Ambedkar said while introducing the Constitution in November 1949, once the Constitution came into force, we should avoid all non-constitutional methods like protests and satyagraha, for they are the grammar of anarchy. If two persons go on fasts until death for two opposing reasons, we cannot decide the issue by allowing one person to die first.

Fast until death is political blackmail. It is a form of theatre engaged in to coerce the government into doing something that the agitators want. Whatever may be the cause, a single person cannot be allowed to dictate laws to the whole nation.

8. Doesn’t Anna Hazare have the right to fast until death?
Anna Hazare has the right to protest peacefully. However to the extent that his actions amount to an attempt to commit suicide, they are illegal. The government can legitimately prevent him from killing himself whatsoever the reason he might have to attempt suicide.

9. You are an armchair intellectual. Shouldn’t we trust activists more?
Pilots don’t design aircraft. Practicing doctors don’t discover new drugs and treatments. These jobs are usually done by armchair intellectuals. So being an armchair intellectual is not a disqualification.

You shouldn’t trust intellectuals or activists because of what they are. You should examine their arguments and make your own judgement. Most of the people supporting Lok Pal have not examined what the proposal is, have not tried to consider opposing arguments and blindly accept it as a solution because some famous people said so.

11. Aren’t those who oppose Anna Hazare’s agitation supporting the corrupt politicians?
No. It takes an enormous amount of arrogance to claim that Anna Hazare and his supporters have the exclusive hold on the right way to fight corruption.

In the real world, it is foolish to expect 100% clean and non-corrupt politicians. The real world challenge is to achieve good governance with imperfect constitutions, imperfect institutions, imperfect leaders and imperfect citizens. This requires us to realise that individuals respond to incentives. If we remove incentives for taking or giving bribes, then corruption will be lowered. We can reduce incentives for corruption by following through with the reforms that started in 1991 but have stalled since 2004.

It is entirely possible to oppose the UPA government’s politics and policies, while recognising that it is the legitimately constituted government of the country. Individuals and parties might suffer from a legitimacy deficit because of flagrant corruption, but the Government of India as an institution remains the legitimate authority to make policy decisions for the whole nation.

12. Why is fasting illegitimate when Mahatma Gandhi used it in our struggle for independence from the British?
There is a huge difference in context between 26th January 1950 when the Constitution of India came into force and the time before it.

Mahatma Gandhi used civil disobedience against laws imposed on India by the British government. Indians had no say in how the laws were made and how they were implemented. Indians could not repeal laws we didn’t want. Civil disobedience was justified in this context.

Gandhi also used it to coerce Indian nationalist leaders too, including Ambedkar and the Indian National Congress, into accepting his views. Whatever might be the wisdom of Gandhi’s intentions, this was undemocratic and created a culture of ‘high command’ that lives on to this day. Fasting was not justified in this context. This part of Gandhi receives little attention in the dominant narrative of Indian history.

With the formation of the Republic of India on 26 January 1950, things changed profoundly. All Indians have a say in how laws are made and how they are implemented. We can amend or repeal laws that we do not like. There is, of course, a method to do this, which must be followed. These are the constitutional methods that Ambedkar referred to in his grammar of anarchy speech. When constitutional methods are available, there is no case for non-constitutional methods like satyagraha or hunger strikes.

There is thus no equivalence between Gandhi’s satyagraha against the British ruling us and Mr Hazare’s hunger strikes against we ruling ourselves.

Update: Read this FAQ in Kannada, at Vasant Shetty’s blog. Read it in Hindi, via Milind Bhate on INI BroadMind.

NOTE (August 18th, 2011, 3pm): Comments from first-timer & those who use abusive language are held up for moderation. A large number of responses are in the moderation queue. It might take a couple of days for me to go through the queue, so if your comment has not appeared, please bear with me. All comments made in a civil manner will be published.

534 Responses to FAQ: Why Anna Hazare is wrong and Lok Pal a bad idea

  1. Vineet Chaudhary 20th August 2011 at 10:24 #

    very well written & fully agree with the thoughts of the author. First of all do we think that the team which is doing this drive is actually honest? The presence of people like Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Agnivesh, Baba Ramdev dont allow us to believe them. I back author’s opinion that corruption is mainly because of too many rules & authorities involved in the system.

  2. Ajit 20th August 2011 at 10:53 #

    Good way to get visits and comments on ur site. Keep it up ! ;)

  3. murali 20th August 2011 at 11:01 #

    an excellent post

  4. Krishna 20th August 2011 at 11:05 #

    Sir I have tried to rebut you on most of your points. Please read my humble response sir.

  5. ranju 20th August 2011 at 11:16 #

    No Anna Hazare or Janlokpalcan eradicate corruption from our country. corruption starts & ends with each & everyone of us citizens. Its our attittudes that should be changed :)

  6. Prabha 20th August 2011 at 11:41 #

    This is a very good blog. I had not been very keen in the Anna’s issue until this independence day , when I read an article in CNN about it. I dont know the intricacies of the Jan Lokpal bill and am also not aware of the possible effect it will have in our country. Instead of focussing so much on Hazare, why dont people support Ramdev and his cause of bringing the black money back from swiss. This seems to be a much more realistic and practical thing to do to bring out the already looted money. There are few international arrangements that can be made to make this possible. But nobody seems to give it more weightage. As for the corruption to be eliminated from our country, it should start from each home. All the people who shake hands for this protest must think once if such things happens in their home. If such a reformed thought occur at home and if they try to evade corruption at the lower level, then it would work from bottom to the top and might help us out of the corruption. Common guys face it, its not just politicians who loot money. It starts right from a clerk, a peon , a low level office in any govt organisation. And that one person would be from one of our homes. So the junta first..try to clean your house before going down the streets to clean the parliament. In lieu of this hue and cry for the last six months , if you would have started to think in these lines, we could have atleast seen a small wave of change. Don’t get /Don’t give bribe…. if you are not ready to do this, no point in passing a LP bill.. nothing’s gonna ever change….

    • Sanket M 22nd August 2011 at 17:08 #

      I am sorry to say this or maybe i could be wrong, but i really don’t understand why do we always relate issues with politicians or individual personalities. Because I think this is going to divert the focus from issues to the people who raise them. I am not a keen follower of Anna ji or UPA Government. But what i understand is to think about solutions. Maybe the movement could bring the Jan Lokpal bill into effect & also maybe this bill may not be that much effective or up to the expectations of people but what i think more important is minimizing the corruption & hence I will always support for the cause. At least someone is raising their voice for a good cause. If anybody has any issues with the way its going, then they are also free to come forward & put their suggestions before the authorities rather than criticizing people like Anna ji. This could help us to root out corruption more effectively.

  7. Uday Junnarkar 20th August 2011 at 12:50 #

    Ok guys—the article is well written–a lot of technicality!!!
    Also read the allied articles–Pragati etc.

    Core-issue: Corruption!!!
    Corruption by the people (elected),entrusted by the people to carry out specific jobs.
    Who is going to bell the cat???
    You already have various bodies in place (your article!!),CAG,CVC,CBI,EC. In spite of all these bodies there is Corruption at a height that has gone beyond the tolerance of the common man.
    So don’t want another body?? Ok!!!!!!
    Instead of writting articles for or against a movement that has mass appeal (people are fed-up), and hiding behind technicalities and the Constitution, why don’t people like you do what is needed to be done—strenthen the existing bodies, or whatever else needs to be done—-bottom-line—–stop/check Corruption!!!

    At least give it to Anna—he has woken a Goverment in slumber–who thinks they can do anything.
    The millions of people on the streets (forget if they understand the Jan Lokpal Bill or not) have one cause–fight Corruption.
    If you guys thinks that there are better,legal and Constitutional ways of fighting Corruption–whatever ways—go ahead and do it. What or who is stopping you????
    People will back you—if your intentions are good!!!
    So—stop hiding behind technicalities–come out and DO what needs to be done.

    • vadi 25th August 2011 at 22:44 #

      first ofall read the constitution of india try to understand then go behind anna,mama chacha, nana etc.

  8. Hariharan K 20th August 2011 at 14:06 #

    Can’t do much than to agree with the author @acorn. After all Lokpal is going to be handled by the human beings. Not 10-15 good people would be enough. It would require 1000s of good people to make the Lokpal function in the way it is promised to function by the civil society members. Even the Supreme court, which is said to be the most independent and least corrupt body, came under scrutiny under former Chief Justice K.G Balakrishnan. So, better way would be to reform the existing bodies like the CBI, CVC, etc..

  9. Aditya Thakur 20th August 2011 at 16:07 #

    the article is great and says all the right things that i was aware of myself but what shocks me is to read the comments. the most shocking is the sentiment “either do something yourself instead of criticizing or shut up”. this means that anna is getting support just on the fact that he is the first to do something about corruption! the first is not always the best. the first is important to get the discussion going which finally results in the best way. what is sad to see is that millions of supporters of anna are not ready for a discussion. they haven’t thought about it and they don’t want to think about it and they don’t even want to hear about it. this kind of group psychology is exactly what resulted in genocides all around the world. this makes it even more important for people like us to spread the other point of views and not just quietly watch this drama from the sidelines. ignorance is just as big a vice as greed and one causes corruption and other lets it flourish. here’s my own point of view

    • Raghavendra 21st August 2011 at 13:41 #

      Anna is not the first and will not be the last. Its been more than 40 years that the discussions on anti-corruption drafts have been going on. Where are the results? Let this be a starting point. I do not fully agree with Jan Lokpal but I am dead right against government’s version of the bill. At least this protest leads the government to withdraw their version of the bill. How does a fight against corruption lead to genocide, isn’t it paranoia? “millions of supporters of anna are not ready for a discussion” .. this statement is funny.. what is happening now, at least in this discussion board? People for and against are presenting their view. This protest has sparked in-numerous debates across country, even in villages. Isn’t this spreading awareness about the issue?

      Instead of discussing the merits and de-merits of either the “Jan Lokpal” and “government’s Lokpal”, a few cynics are asking “who is Anna to represent us?”, and this protest will destroy and demean democratic institutions. If tomorrow, Raja or Kalmadi sits for an indefinite fast or for that matter a “less” corrupt person does the same thing, will we similar kind of protest across country? I would like to leave this to a discussion on democracy. Another question which is often raised is “why don’t they contest election?”. A valid one, but we see examples that it is also not working unless we have electoral reforms.. “Loksatta” party which appears to be lead by saner people haven’t been so effective as they should have been. This might be a shaky argument, but still I also want to bring out a point these issues are complicated and interlinked. Having Lokpal alone is not enough but we need other kinds of reforms. I agree with the author on his view on economic reforms though. Both lokpal and economic reforms can co-exist, can’t they?

      Coming back to government’s argument that “Jan Lokpal” is a monster and will interfere in functioning … with such power and machinery (lawyers to fight in court) available if government is skeptical about its normal functioning, how can a citizen (without any such privileges) go about his normal life if government brings it bill? A person raising voice against corruption has to struggle in his day-to-day activities, run around courts, protect himself (in case of RTI complaints). Is he a super-man? Isn’t it governments duty to ensure the normal functioning of people? If it is not happening, isn’t the government ineffective? If its not governments short coming, then isn’t it system’s fault? If so, should we not change the system which is not working?

      • Jaai 21st August 2011 at 13:57 #

        The Directive Principles of State Policy do state that citizens must be given free legal aid (I think). You always have the Right to Constitutional Remedy and the clout of the government is no excuse. In face the Jan Lokpal bill makes the job of the judiciary more difficult in such cases by bringing them under the Lokpal as well.

  10. Dhiren Salian 20th August 2011 at 16:38 #

    Well put Nitin.
    The reality which many don’t want to recognise is that reform is a slow, painful process. The fact that it starts with yourself makes it even more painful.

    While all those out on the streets have their heart in the right place, I fear most are looking for a quick fix solution and will follow any ‘messiah’ who seems to promise that. We need to be careful to which cart we hitch our wagons to.

    To my mind, the initial steps are quite simple.
    Step one, of course, coming out to vote regularly
    Step two, convincing others to vote
    Step three, understanding whom you are voting for
    Step four, convincing your representative to pay adequate attention to issues core to you.
    And so on.

    • Raahila 23rd August 2011 at 01:08 #

      well said

  11. arun kamath 20th August 2011 at 17:32 #

    This article is full of cooked up material written in a manner to impress. Jan Lokpal bill is no magic cure, but a step in that direction. The author says instead of creating a lokpal we need to make existing agency more independent. Lokpal is just that. He has contradicted himself on many occasions.

  12. Smarth Sareen 20th August 2011 at 18:13 #

    As has been mentioned in the above post “You shouldn’t trust intellectuals or activists because of what they are. You should examine their arguments and make your own judgement”.

    In the same spirit, this comment is not intended to fuel conflict, but rather to further enlightened discussion amongst responsible individuals.

    1. Lokpal is necessary only because it acts as a suitable interface. Not everyone is blessed with immense intelligence. For the common man, he needs to know that if I press the ‘green button with the receiver’ on a mobile, it will dial the number. He need not know anything about EM waves. Similarly someone who has to give a bribe to get a driving license made NEEDS to have an anti-corruption helpline that he can dial and expect action against the corrupt official within a week.

    2. Lokpal doesn’t add another layer of complexity because it states that ALL investigations made by the Lokpal will be open for public review and ANY complaints against the Lokpal or Lokayukta officials will have to be addressed by law with a DEADLINE of 2 months.

    3. Alternative to lokpal – by all means we must continue with reforms to free our economy. Having a Lokpal which is ANSWERABLE for ALL its actions DOES NOT add another layer to the onion and is BY NO MEANS a hindrance to free economy reforms.

    4. “We should persuade politicians that their political future is linked to implementing economic reforms” – I wish this would have been practical, but we must understand that many of our politicians are themselves under or uneducated. Therefore, convincing them to act for their OWN POLITICAL GOOD, is bound to be as easy trying to convince illiterate farmers with 3 wives and 10 children that condoms are for their OWN FAMILIAL GOOD and is therefore likely to remain a pipe dream.

    5. Voting – strongly AGREE. All of us should vote and we should start mass movements in the social media to encourage others in the GIMC ( Great Indian Middle Class) as well as other ppl we knw to vote. Participating in the current mass movt against corruption might be a good training for that time.

    6. “Does anyone seriously think we can hire tens of thousands of absolutely honest officials who will constitute the Lok Pal?” – I have absolutely NO doubt about the complete honesty of the writer of this blogpost. Nor do I doubt the honesty of the readers who make intelligent comments. Nor do I doubt that their number runs into thousands. Nor do I doubt that they are spread all over India. Maybe its time all of us started to do things in physical space like we do in cyberspace. Maybe its time that we all started devoting an hr a week maybe, to the country that we will have to live in for the next 40-60 years of our lives.

    7,8. Fast-until-death is political blackmail – maybe so, but so is having to bribe officials in order to get your businesses to work. Maybe its time to fight fire with fire.

    9. I am an engineer who has experience both with the hacksaw and with the pen-n-paper. My opinion is that if armchair intellectuals decided to care about their theories enough to not hand them over to dumb activists for application; they would be much happier. Incidentally, people like Hazare, Kiran Bedi and Kejriwal seem to be doing Just that.

    11. “Aren’t those who oppose Anna Hazare’s agitation supporting the corrupt politicians?” – at least lets rephrase this to ” Those who are not involved in creating a public opinion against corruption itself right now are supporting the corrupt politicians”

    12. “There is thus no equivalence between Gandhi’s satyagraha against the British ruling us and Mr Hazare’s hunger strikes against we ruling ourselves.” – when one says ‘US’ one also includes ppl with lower IQs and greater sufferings than oneself. Therefore, one must account for the terrible injustice in terms of lack of communication that has been meted out to such people. People who can barely read can hardly be expected to understand the ‘ivory-tower-style’ language used to phrase laws. They need something like the Lokpal to act as an interface and help them understand better. Lets face it, as of now its not “We ruling ourselves” but ” Few of us who understand the law ruling EVERYONE else”.

    • Jaai 21st August 2011 at 13:59 #

      An anti-corruption helpline already exists. Just saying. And if you think it’s no use, why do you think the Lokpal’s going to be of any use?

    • ram 21st August 2011 at 22:38 #

      I completely agree with each of ur points.

  13. prem 20th August 2011 at 18:19 #

    When Mahatma was fighting for freedom Someone would have said “It is a impossible task for INDIA to stand on its own with all the problems it is facing”….But here we are standing in world stage as world’s largest democracy….

    This is the same case with you guys stating Anna Hazare and Lok pal bill as wrong and it has problems…..

    Join the cause or watch people joining hands for a noble cause……

    Jai Hind….

    • Rex 22nd August 2011 at 00:29 #

      Exactly what is so wonderful about being the world’s largest democracy, other than demonstrating a huge ignorance of contraceptive methods?
      I’m sick of seeing this ‘world’s largest democracy’ being parroted like it’s some goddamn great achievement.
      Yes, we are a democracy. One that has repeatedly elected the Congress party for the first 40 odd years since independence despite their pathetic record and non performance in all that time. Thanks to a huge majority of voters being illiterate and dirt poor, who could be bought for liquor or cash, or who would vote only along caste/religious lines.
      A largely apathetic middleclass who have now suddenly decided to abandon all the usual democratic methods and go ahead with an unconstitutional alleged quick fix with the same fervor as Germans in the 30s decided to give Hitler full powers after listening to his charismatic speeches on restoring their country to its former glory.

      We all know what happened after that. Anna Hazare may have good interests of the country at heart, but what happens in a couple of decades when he is no more? Do you think the successors who join the Lok Pal will all be wonderful Satya Harishchandras descended from heaven?

  14. KB 20th August 2011 at 19:08 #

    I’m sorry, but i need to take off on this author

    1). Whoever this guy is needs to stop writing and start showing the world his way. It would work if he would stand up, get into action and convince the world that his idea is better than what is being talked about through the Jan Lokpal bill

    2). I’m not going to buy Atanu Dey’s book on Transforming India – this ad seems to have been inserted

    3). The talk of sanitizing the government institutions is like repairing an oil slick – the damage is already done. These institutions are remote control devices by which the government in power (irrespective of the party) utilizes to drive its own agenda (which obviously is never in favour of the country as personal interest rules). N Vittal who was at the helm of the CVC himself acknowledged that although corruption and fraud were detected, no action was taken and the whole institutional framework lost its purpose.

    4). On reforms 2.0 – this seems to be borrowed from some technology magazine, some new lingo that the author hopes is going to catch on. Sorry mate, thats not working. On corruption being less in liberalized sectors, no one needs a reminder on ‘telecom’, one of the relatively liberalized sectors of the economy and its got the 2G stink all over it.

    5). HK is one of the freest economies, yes, but remember it is also the most closely monitored. And it is the cultural shift from being a “politician / bureaucrat on a pedestal, no accountability state” to a “politician / bureaucrat is just another normal human being who is entrusted with a responsibility, which he needs to deliver on state”, which has helped HK make the transition from being a country afflicted with power struggles/gang wars to a country which is pretty much the financial fulcrum of Asia

    6). On Voting, he asks for people to vote. But first, the candidates need to be filtered. You have constituencies where 10 out of 10 candidates have some or the other criminal record. Who should you vote for. Why doesn’t the parliament endorse a bill where any person with a criminal record is not allowed to stand for elections and also loses his right to be sitting in the parliament. Have my word, more than half of the parliament would be emptied. People are supposed to vote for “people” not “parties” – the elections in India are about parties and the agenda they drive, not about people and what value they bring to their constituency

    7). Its about insecurity !!! This has been going on for long enough for politicians to stand up and do something about it. They just don’t seem to see the writing on the wall, as they are in a perpetual state of denial .. and yes, why not, as there is pots and pots of money to be made. That’s where the efforts are being directed. So, this talk of not having another body, is all a reflection of their “guilt and insecurity” as all of them would be behind bars, if this becomes a reality. Politics is too lucrative a career to let go.

    8). Why Mr. Hazare is wrong .. well maybe because it’s the authors view and everyone has a right to have his/her view. And the author can keep the view to himself and be happy about it. We indians have this “pull ‘em down” crab mentality. They say that on a port if one wants to find out – which is the basket of crabs that have come from India, you just need to find a basket where one crab tries to go out of the basket and 100 others pull him down. There’s no way any crab can move out and no one benefits. They all make it to the table, waiting for some one to relish crab soup or crab flesh. So, suggest that the author stops being the “pull ‘em down” crab and move on.

    If there is conviction in the ideas, then its time for some action. He/she is free to walk across, speak to Kejriwal or Prashant Bhushan – talk about his ideas and convince them. If they buy his idea and get convinced, then it would be a transition from paper to action. Its easy to write and contradict, difficult to act and have the power to drive a movement.

    Wake up from slumber Mr. Author, you are free to opine, but don’t waste time trying to pull down people who are trying to bring about a change. We’ve had 64 years of freedom now and with politicians and bureaucrats around for the same time, the people know the “corruption fact sheet” and the “constitutional process story” too well.

    • Tony 22nd August 2011 at 10:29 #

      you are saying you don’t find anyone good to vote for, how many of you who are fighting for change are ready to join politics and make the changes. Is there anyone dare to lead the way? do you think if anna and his followers make a party and stand for next election can win and get the ruling? if you people think what you saying is right then do it the democratic way.

  15. shubh 20th August 2011 at 19:09 #

    writer,
    1)as u established that GANDHIAN way was through civil disobedience…..but that don’t have any significance in present scenario because if i boycott my work it would be loss for my own nation…so we still going to work and protesting in evenings…..(i m a semi goverment employee)

    2)everywhere in the world people have govts be it syria,libya,egypt…..but not protesting the wrong doings of govt..will lead to dictators like QADAFFI….WITH HORDS OF MONEY AND GOLD TO KILL EVERYBODY AGAINST HIM.

    3) DO U HAVE AN IDEA THAT MONEY HIDDEN IN SWISS BANKS IS SUFFICIENT TO START AFRICA LIKE CIVIL WAR IN INDIA….

  16. Arjun 20th August 2011 at 19:33 #

    Lokpal just proposes to add an extra layer of Non Elected Bureaucracy. The existing set-up if given more autonomy will improve the things. Most important thing is to have a strong concious. We ALL are greedy for money, power and fame. How many of us like driving a small car or eating out at a less famous place. We have not just complicated our lives but have created an atmosphere of competition where the rich snub the poor the powerful snub the weak. How many of us are polite to a rickshaw puller if he pulls over without an indication? He is a fellow citizen of our country and deserves respect. But who cares? I Feel THE Lokpal will end up becoming a Kind Of Union Leader who protests and threatens the company for all and everything, which will not only affects the functioning of the company but will also de stabilizes its growth. I support the author’s point of view. Its more of knowing your rights and exercising them. We elect these politicians and if we want corruption free politics we need good leaders and not Union Leaders. Also note the Lokpal Bill is not talking about changing a laws or something, its all about the powers the LOKPAL (OMBUDSMAN) will have.

  17. Upendra Tomar 20th August 2011 at 20:58 #

    I agree with some of your points , May be Janlokpal bill is not perfect but it will be definitely better than doing NOTHING and letting this shameful congress pass their version of Lokpal. Govt intent gets exposed when they nominate people like Lalu & Amar Singh in standing committee. So leave your cynicism aside and join in this revolution.

    • abhishek 23rd August 2011 at 21:11 #

      joining this “revolution” is the most stupid thing people can do right now……this is a public backlash against all the counts of felony that the politicians are getting away with(scams in this case)….making the various organizations that seem to be making thee most out of these profits more transparent rather than opaque will solve this problem just as easily….privatization IS what the nation needs right now…rather than more bureaucracy

  18. andyswas 20th August 2011 at 22:39 #

    HI everyone,

    I believe that an effecient Judiciary will help.In this country majority of the people feel that its better to keep quite than go to court oer settle you disputes outside court and people like kalmadi rely on the fact that by the time final judgement will come i will be long gone from this world.

    I would rather purpose a jury system similar to courts in USA where ordinary people like you and me will be called for the jury duty and we will make decisions coz anyway law by defination is something that is acceptable in socity and we are the people who make up society.

    Say hey oh if you agree or else keep quite.

  19. antilocalparty 20th August 2011 at 22:59 #

    Boss i think you are correct. i have written.. you are getting full comments please teach me also how to do this. i have posted here

  20. Gaurav 21st August 2011 at 00:42 #

    I dont agree with most of the arguments in this blog. Here is why:
    1. One of the first systems that human beings would have followed would have been a fairly simple system. Look at the strongest or the wisest in the group and ask him to lead the others. That would have concentrated immense power in one human being, and though it would have worked for a while – the demerits of this system would have become visible sooner or later. Especially as followers figured out the system, and looked to maximize their chances of being the chosen one. Then what the system would have needed is a shake up. The new system that came in would have an added layer of complexity to take care of issues in the previous one. I think today we are again in the same place – our political system needed a massive shake up, and then needs another set of checks and balances as the current ones are either the control of the corrupt, or are themselves composed of corrupt.

    2. Argument that since we are all corrupt so no system will work until we dramatically emancipate ourselves is again not right. Ultimately everything in this world is a profit and loss game. If there were no police – since we are all lawless people anyways it wont help and we need to somehow become law-abiding on our own – as per the argument in this article – America would still be the land of cowboys and Italy would still be controlled by the mafia. If there were no SEBI – the stock market would see Harshad Mehta’s and Ketan Parekhs having more money in Swiss banks than aamcha netas – and every indian would dream of becoming a stock broker one day.
    All that these institutions did was to increase the risk/investment in going against the law. So now you would go against it in only two situations- either your transgression is so insignificant that no one would bother, or it is so gigantic that you would be greedy enough to overlook the risk.
    3. The reason rules work in some of the more developed countries and fail drastically in India is not because we dont have good laws in place – there we are not far behind. But what really lags in India is the implementation of those rules – imparting of justice. Aam Admi is afraid of police, frustrated with government office, and has an uneasy relationship with politicians- at times they prove to be powerful enough to solve their biggest problems, but in return they plunder away ungraciously what could have rightfully been theirs. The current system is totally controlled by corrupt politicans, judges and corporates, and now they dont even pretend that they dont hold all the aces. Thats why this system first needs a shake up. It needs the first of these netas/bureacrats/corporates to be tried convicted and sentenced to create an example.
    4. Finally, as personalities go I would have a lot of belief in what an Anna, or Arvind or Kiran Bedi has to say- rather than what a Pawar, Lalu or Amar Singh has to say. Sadly this list now includes Manmohan Singh as well – not because I doubt his integrity, but because i doubt his commitment to keep his government clean and focused on AAM AADMI.

  21. Kamal Surana 21st August 2011 at 01:23 #

    Marvelous !! Eye-oepning piece.

  22. Munmun Gupta 21st August 2011 at 02:26 #

    1. To keep a check on the members of the Jan Lokpal committee, there is a provision in the Jan lokpal bill itself, that says that any charge of corruption on any member of the Jan Lokpal committee will be investigated by the supreme court, and if found guilty, the member would be dismissed n would be imprisoned for 5-7yrs. the investigation will be conducted by CBI, which after the implementation of the Jan Lokpal bill will work as a free body without any interference from the cabinet ministry or the committee members of the Jan Lokpal. If, the supreme court has the power to scold the government in power becoz they arrested Anna Hazare without any criminal charges, then also, I think the supreme court will hold the same authority of taking severe actions n decisions on the members of Jan Lokpal…
    2. You accuse the bill so much, make a blog out of it, how it would make the scenario even more worse, etc, etc.. but have u urself gone through the points that were proposed in the Jan Lokpal Bill drafted by the civil society members. Coz u urself r unaware of the basic structure of the drafted bill. Then how can u be the judge what is ryt or wrong?
    3. The members that constitute the civil society r some of those people who have served the country with all thr efforts n during the entire service period the record has been the cleanest. Mr. Shanti Bhushan, was law minister, n we all know the reason for which Mrs. Gandhi was accused for n was found guilty bcoz of which emergency was declared. Kiran Bedi has served this country as an IPS officer with the cleanest record ever. She was once nicknamed Crane Be I, bcoz as a traffic controller inspector, she towed away the car of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who was the then PM, for the reason that her driver had parked the car in a no parking zone… N u question the integrity of those people…
    4. I have nothing more to say to you about ur article.. maybe u wrote such an article to gain huge number of hits to you blog n trying to make it a success… so may ur cause be success n the cause for which that old man, Dr. Anna Hazare has devoted his entire life be a success too.. God Bless Dr. Anna Hazare with a long life…

  23. Proshant 21st August 2011 at 07:30 #

    To the author:

    As a fellow arm-chair intellectual and cynic, I do agree with your argument. Of course, we can only make suggestions based on deduction and inference, but at least we’re critically analyzing the situation and offering alternate views, and are not a part of idiotic mobs.
    It goes without saying that I am skeptical of the Jan Lokpal Bill; and the government’s version as well. The former seems overzealous and self-righteous, the latter, clearly made under pressure. I may have my facts a bit off here, so do forgive me, but the fiasco has arisen from the Govt and the so-called Civil Society’s disagreement on 5 points, right?

    I can’t seem to understand how including the PM and the higher judiciary under the ambit of the Lokpal would effectively reduce corruption. okay, there’d be lower scams and all, I agree. But it’s not gonna make any difference to me when I get pulled up by a traffic cop and have to pay a bribe. This brings me to the most obvious flaw in the govt’s version: including officials above Joint-Secretary level (again, may have facts misplaced, sorry!). This is detrimental to the process of fighting corruption because the reason why you’re seeing hordes out on Azad Maidan and Ramlila Maidan is precisely because they’re tired of paying bribes (often synonymous, erroneously, with ‘corruption’). And this has to be dealt with.
    That brings us to the ever-perplexing question: How?

    Truth is, there’s no one answer. Corruption has to be tackled from its very roots. Why would a cop, with a family of five, a rented house and with a 4,000 rupees salary, take a bribe in the first place?
    Why would someone who’s broken a signal pay a bribe? Or more importantly, why would some one break a signal? (Do read the next section as well)

    To the rest (mainly pro-Anna people):

    Indians have a general disdain for rules of all kinds, and can not fit the fact that rules exist for a tangible and definite reason into their psyche. If you want proof, just look outside your window, look at the roads and streets. You’ll see what I mean.

    And Anna Hazare has a massive Messiah Complex, and people who’re following him are either optimists of the highest order, or are sycophantic idiots (the majority). I saw over a thousand people or so at Azad Maidan. Where were they during the last general election? When it was actually a time for them to make change. And, if you don’t have a worthy candidate to vote for, then exercise your right to cast a negative vote.

    A democracy is only as good as its people. And truth be told, we aren’t exactly a good people.
    If I were to choose between a messiah-led ochlocracy or being in league with an outlaw vigilante, I would choose the latter. Because a mob is made up of idiots; especially one which is led by a guy with a Messiah Complex, guided by a noble cause.
    And noble causes, we know, pave they pathway to hell.

    So long, and Freedom Forever!

  24. Indian 21st August 2011 at 09:51 #

    I feel instead of amending the system which has lots of in discrepancies,create a new system which will eliminate these shortcomings of the existing system and thats what exactly the Jan Lokpal does…Lets keep it simple,say No to corruption…

  25. Prasenjit 21st August 2011 at 09:53 #

    The problem with armchair intellectuals is that they have no idea about public sentiments, emotions and their aspirations. I have been walking the streets for the last two days, and have some idea about what people feel. The movement for a common man: a small time trader, a road-side vendor, and rickshaw puller is not about the nuances of the lokpal or janlokpal bill. They are fed up with the corrupt political system, and in a very long time they see a ray of hope for a positive change in their lives. In the whole discourse too much of legalese is being invoked. What most of the armchair analysts are missing is the moral aspect of the stir. Over the past three-four decades, the political establishment in the country has lost its moral authority. Here is a man who is perceived as self-less and incorruptible is fighting for a morally just cause. This has given the movement a dimension that most detractors are failing to realize and appreciate. The perils of this failure led to the politically disastrous decisions the government took. Let’s not repeat that mistake.

  26. MS Anandam 21st August 2011 at 10:21 #

    Good article and nice views.. But I have some doubts regarding some points. Are u sure CBI, CVC and CAG are 100% independent from very high authorites like supreme court, Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers.
    Also I like your point as stated by Dr.Ambedkar. As he said we must proceed for any constitutional reforms through courts or any other constitutional means. But the person who is in power cant think of people’s idea, people’s view and nations vision, will allow for constitutional reforms?.. A simple example is the govt’s lokpal bill. Whatever they make will have some legislations to make themselves free from them.. Plz understand in India, Law Makers are the Law Breakers.

  27. Syzygy 21st August 2011 at 10:58 #

    Overall, I think you have articulated your points well, and you are pretty much on the ball on most things. One thing to remember is the RTI Act, which has been an overall positive. Activists have used RTI successfully, so much so that goonda politicians have killed some prominent activists in the recent past.

    The best strategy for UPA would have been to accept, and then take their own sweet time in implementing Lokpal which is both a difficult and a complex undertaking. Given the speed at which things are done in our government, it would take a couple of years to just appoint an ombudsman who would satisfy all parties.

    That said, Anna Hazare is more than just a proponent of Lokpal, he is now a figurehead that galvanizes the common man. He has kept his demands reasonable (meaning not so diverging from current “laws”) as compared to Baba Ramdev, who lost credibility when he demanded death penalty, banning MNCs etc. even though some of his points had good common ground with Anna.

    There are three extremes that can happen here, one is that the government just agrees to everything. We get a Lokpal, whether it works or not is a battle fought in another year. If it turns out to be like RTI, we could see slow but good changes. If it fails utterly, we will hopefully get other activists who will play their part in reviving the anti-corruption movement. This will happen eventually, as the current clime has been brought about by the sheer unchecked power and greed that politicians have shamelessly taken advantage of. Nobody counts a couple of crores here and there, but the fat cats took their greed too far, and will go even further if Lokpal fails.

    The second extreme is that the government really messes up by squishing this movement, or the next, and in the worst case we get roving bands of rioters who along with policemen tired of prostrating to Jaya and Maya will hack politicians to bits. Things will always normalize quickly in India, after all – Roti, Kapda aur Makaan… these things are first priority, and 1 Billion people cannot obtain these by being anarchists.

    The third extreme is that in order to prevent the second case above, the government goes on an all out populist spending binge, appeasing the core vote bank, which will prevent any change based on democratic process. Basically divide and conquer like the British. Just like Karunanidhi gave free colour TVs to each family, topped by Jaya giving mixies and grinders etc. ensure loan forgiveness, free electricity and water etc. This can severely damage any popular movements by pitting Indian vs Indian. This then becomes a fiscal problem that India will face in a decade or so, long after all the Swiss bank accounts are transferred to the Cayman Islands, or Isle of Mann or Bermuda or anywhere else, fattened by 10 years more of looting.

  28. Sudesh Singh 21st August 2011 at 11:10 #

    I’m not in support of the Lok Pal bill either. But your arguments that Anna should not be allowed to protest are ridiculous to say the least.

    Let me ask you a simple quesiton. If **you** organize a fast unto death to introduce greater liberalization in the Indian economy, how many people do you think will join you? 10? 20? 25? If you die while fasting, how many people do you think will give a damn? 50? 100? 150? You say that fast unto death is political blackmail, but you ignore the fact that Anna has thousands of supporters – most of them educated, young people.

    The support for Anna Hazare is not coming from people who badly want the Jan Lokpal bill – half of Anna’s supporters don’t even know what exactly the Jan Lokpal bill means. The support is coming from frustrated public, which has seen so many corruption cases in the recent times. If they’re not allowed to vent out their frustration peacefully, India will soon erupt like Arab world did recently. Riots in London are nothing compared to what will happen in India.

    Anna is not pelting stones. He is not preaching hate. He is not playing loud music residential areas in night. Political parties can organize bandhs, Dalit actvists can destroy public property and religious people can play loud music during festivals. But a retired soldier living an ascetic life cannot protest peacefully?

    You suggest the second-generation reforms as an alternative. Have you done anything concrete (apart from writing articles) to ensure that these reforms happen? You compare yourselfs to people who design aircraft or discover new drugs and treatments. Please! Those people are not armchair intelliectuals! Those people actually *do* something substantial. Don’t be such a megalomaniac.

    Your argument about the protests being undemocratic is marked by lack of logical and intellectual acuity. If a bunch elected leader rapes a woman, and the public feels that the government is not doing enough to punish them, shouldn’t the citizens have a right to protest? Just because the government was democratically elected doesn’t mean it is a true representative of the people for the next 5 years, and people don’t have right to criticize it or protest against it until the next elections.

    The support for Anna has not erupted because people want the Jan Lokpal bill. The support for Anna has erupted because your so-called constituational methods have failed miserably at curbing corruption. Democracy means people have a right to voice their opinions.

  29. Digvijay Sisodia 21st August 2011 at 11:11 #

    The author of the above article seems to be in a state of dilemma due to too much brain-bending or remains aloof of the ground reality of a simple phenomena that nobody can remain corruption free when there higher officials are corrupt and forceful. Neither voting nor hiring decent people solve the purpose simply because they are forced to resolve to the corruption manifested system. The method of the propagation of the idea of a corruption free India might be somewhat questionable but only a movement on such a scale with adamant nature can make the government to be set thinking on the solemnity of this issue which has always been taken for a toss at the strongest institution of the country, what we know as the parliament.
    Those who throw chairs and sleepers in a session ideally require such a method to make the common voices heard actually, it’s still the decency of the general masses that there are being so civilized unlike the “chosen people”. Unreasonable people require unreasonable and single-minded resolve to make them arrive at a significant decision. Moreover, I completely support the controversial bill because, at present, this is the best and most effective measure that can be taken to curb the menace of this tyrant government and the system in general. Nothing has been done on such a scale to address the problem so why stop whatever little is being done now. I completely disagree with the author because the steps described are too easy to be manipulated with by the government.

  30. averil 21st August 2011 at 13:41 #

    An extremely well written piece – Though I must say that team Hazare has managed to hit upon the popular notion that all things bad necessarily emanate from outside and that the government should be accountable for everything that is wrong with us today, and has used that to his advantage. Hats off to his team of wily workers… But at the same time we the people of this country do need to understand that while the present government has not exactly proven to be a beacon of morality, this is a malaise that runs deep, not just in the political structure and framework but throughout our country and in the world. Its not that it should not be remedied – it most definitely should. But through a process that’s in conformity with the law. Corruption isn’t only about money or about giving an underpaid and overworked traffic cop fifty rupees… its the unseen acts of what we don’t even view as corruption – the favours we take from people in higher political or other offices, the short-changing we indulge in when we do business.

    On the political front since this campaign is only about bashing the Central government – the fact remains that we abet in acts of corruption by our silence and our apathy and while we should hold not just the central government but even our state governments and municipal bodies accountable for misusing their office for personal gain – we have to understand that we vote them in to office or by our apathy in not voting, we permit unfavourable persons to come to power. If team Hazare feels that the government is breaking the law – is he by his blatant acts of defiance and blackmail, not doing the same? Is he above the law? What about Kiran Bedi blatantly asking the posse of policemen present how they could take orders from a corrupt government? Is it not tantamount to sedition?

    Zeal is fine… waking up to fight against corruption is great, but we need to clean up our own homes and then step outside, working within the framework of the law – let us not be so blind as to make demi-gods of mere people. They are also prone to mistake, ego and bias…. and bringing down the government or attempting to, will not bring down food inflation or reduce the price of already highly subsidised petrol and diesel.

  31. tanay 21st August 2011 at 13:59 #

    The question is not of Anna …
    Are we fighting agaisnt corruption ? Or anna’s bill ?
    I think this protest is becoming more about what anna has to say about lokpal bill than the fact that we need a un corrupt govt.
    I think adding another layer to this system is just going to give a part in increase of corruption . What guarantee’s us that the selected lokpal’s won’t be corrupt ?
    Cause at first we the people of india vote for our govt. And then wait for the right time to accuse them. Corruption doesn’t just lie in the higher govt. Officials but starts from the very brim of the system.
    Be it the police, or the court or the politicians or the institutions. Corruption exists in every form .
    Aren’t we corrupt in our own way ? Think about it !
    The news channels show little children holding agaisnt the govt. When they don’t even know what its all about. They hardly can speak.
    HoW many people in the ramlila maindan today actually know what the lokpal bill consists off?
    We need to fight against corruption not the govt. !

  32. Mithun Kumar 21st August 2011 at 14:10 #

    Nothing could’ve been stated more candidly and superbly than this FAQ! I absolutely commend you for this bold and on the spot writing…
    I agree that Anna’s and the country’s fight against corruption is certainly valid, looking at the situations getting on in the recent years. But the destination kept ahead for this ongoing fight is the worst it could ever be.
    In India we already have 1000′s of wasteful and even unconstitutional laws already; we don’t need any more laws to do anything new…
    Just amend a few of those damn laws, repeal some of the waste ones, and even make some long pending amendments to the largest and most defunct constitution of the world, the Indian constitution!

  33. shreejith 21st August 2011 at 16:07 #

    be with those who fights for the freedom of the nation from corruptions.. dont post anything against them because there should be some movement if the govt. understand that there are a lot behind hazare….. and also there should be different opinions for different peoples and thus as a whole india should have 100 crore ways to overcome this issue… but the moement has to take place.. so be with hazare,,, be wit our nations good future

  34. Munish Hingorani 21st August 2011 at 17:46 #

    Dear Nitin,

    Thanks for recommending the book by Atanu Dey. It is fabulous! Your articles, ofcourse, are always thought-provoking and your tweets are often out-of-the-box.

    Cheers!
    Munish

  35. Sheena khosla 22nd August 2011 at 02:02 #

    I totally agree with the wider picture of the bitter truth.

  36. Vijay 22nd August 2011 at 07:39 #

    Excellent article. May the clueless knuckleheads who look for quick fixes everywhere get some sense out of this article.

  37. Infanta 22nd August 2011 at 11:57 #

    My humble request to the author of this article is just to shut his mouth… You have so many things against this bill and against Anna… But did you rather make any effort of being an Indian and fight against corruption at any given point. You dont do anything yourself and have a problem when someone does also right. It is because of people like you some useless Politicians still exist and rule our country. Do you see the no of people supporting Anna for his cause throughout the world. So you say all of them have no brains except you and few people who have commented supporting you. Then why don’t you guys try doing something yourself. One person who read this Article commented what happens after Anna’s generation… My message to that person that is none of your business… If Bhagat Singh and many other freedom fighters thought so today you nor the Author would have such freedom to write such blogs or rather comment. India would have been still under custody of British… SO guys please keep your stupid views to yourself and shut your mouth and sit if you cant do anything…

    • Nitin Pai 5th September 2011 at 14:54 #

      I do find it “shut your mouth” rather ironic to support someone using freedom of speech to pursue an agenda. Besides, shutting your mouth and sitting down is what got us here in the first place.

  38. Shahid 22nd August 2011 at 13:58 #

    This artice does not looks in to many issues. Anna is fasting for our good and he should be supported. Politicians are the ones who do not want this bill to come into existence, i think the author is himself is a politician or enjoys the benefits of corruption. The views seem to be inclined towards supporting corruption, atleast be a part of this movement and support the Anna.

    Many possible outcomes pointed out in the discussion are imaginary. The lokpal bill is key to stop corruption and a common Indian citizen who is victim of it must support Anna

  39. Nigel 22nd August 2011 at 14:47 #

    We keep saying change the system, create a Jan Lokpal etc. But if we, the common people, who ourselves are the drivers of this corruption, don’t change, then no system in the world will eradicate corruption!
    As far as the wide spread protest go, whats happening, is the same thing that happens during political rallies. No one knows what they are protesting for, but will just come out in numbers because they saw someone else do it!

  40. Hemant 22nd August 2011 at 15:22 #

    Instead of giving your comments here we should go to Ramlila Maidan daily and support ANNA HAZARE.
    Am doing this…….

    • Richa 23rd August 2011 at 23:23 #

      u r right …i am doing this too

  41. randhawa pradeep 22nd August 2011 at 16:42 #

    i feel indians have now money in there pockets to shout for everything. the whole world is in recession and few countries like china, india and brazil are out of this recession and indian is not in recession that is due to honest hard work of our prime minster people are not appreciating him. we were not aware of this corruption when our country was in a very bad Economy.i have been to india gate for anna s relly 75% people are going there for time pass they even dont know what is lokpal some people were saying there anna will get us good jobs , there are only 11 people in lokpal Committee now and further they need 1000s of people to run lokpal how sure you are that lokpal people will not be corrupt

  42. Naresh 23rd August 2011 at 02:05 #

    Seriously Mr. Acorn, you put up some really brilliant points, many of which may actually ring true in the days to come. But I have much more respect for a man named Anna Hazare who has given up everything and his supporters out on the streets fighting for a cause than for someone who sits slumped in a room and typing away at his keyboard.
    Anyone can have an opinion, and unless you contribute constructively to the cause, you’re just going to increase its fragmentation and weaken the entire feeling that much more.
    If you’re really trying to show some balls then go out there in front of everybody out on the road and try convincing them. Sitting here with a pseudonym and riding on top of the fame that this movement has garnered is not just cowardice but is the lamest shortcut to fame that’s been tried a billion times over by anyone who can use a computer and has a shred of a mental thought process.

    Please. If you really are sincere about eliminating corruption then try to do something constructive. You are an arm chair intellectual (and I don’t mean that sarcastically), so get yourself to some place that matters and build your next awesome plane rather than sitting in your crib and demanding that your country turn into this awesomely pure heaven overnight.
    Criticizing people who do try to do something is as bad as saying they have cruel intentions if you don’t try to add to their cause and make the final outcome better.

    • Nitin Pai 5th September 2011 at 14:51 #

      Dear Naresh

      All I can say is that you need to find out more about who/what you are criticising before you do. Otherwise people may laugh at your comment.

  43. Hitesh 23rd August 2011 at 17:44 #

    The mistake most of us do is not using our vote during election. I ‘m agree its hard to find the perfect leader/politician but then there’re some sort of quality which can be handy in deciding our vote. For e.g. A last year movie “Once upon a time in Mumbai” those who have seen the movie would be agree that character of Ajay Devgan was better than that of “Imran Hasmi”.
    So the first and foremost thing need to over come all such problems of country is to rise in voting percentage. How a mere half of the (voter) turned up for voting during election. Why a lucrative campaign change the minds of ? Change needed in our attitude and priority.

  44. Richa 23rd August 2011 at 23:08 #

    i totally disagree with this article…none of us in the whole country had that guts to even speak up against corruption and when a 74 years old man who is hungry for our nation since past 8 days, instead of supporting him this article is opposing the janlokpal bill presented by his team. Don’t forget the contribution of Arvind Kejriwal, an important part of his team…if this bill cant work out then what about Rs. 71,00,000 crores of black money ‘earned’ by our beloved politicians kept in swiss bank…why govt. didnt took any action till now, what about CWG scam, what about stock market scam or forget it, does anybody remember 2G spectrum scam…our politicians in this country don’t leave any chance to fill their pockets with hard earned money of taxpayers…people sitting at every nook and corner of our system are sunk in mud of corruption from top to bottom…and making them independent according to this article will make our system worst. This whole scene created so much awareness among people that many of them have taken resolution to not to involve themselves in any kind of corruption at any point …isn’t it a good sign for our nation’s future…all what i can say is pray for anna’s good health.

  45. Richa 23rd August 2011 at 23:21 #

    I totally disagree with this article…if our govt is so much able then why are we experiencing huge amount of scams in our country and why govt.is not able to detect and punish the wrong doers…our system needs such a revolution for its transition…we have got another “Gandhi” in face of Anna Hazare…if we cant fast against our dirty system then its our moral duty to support him. We need to bring back our hard earned Rs. 71,00,000 crores kept in Swiss bank by our “beloved” politicians…all what i can say is please pray for Anna’s good health.

  46. Adarsh 24th August 2011 at 09:00 #

    A few sane voices among madness. Great article!

  47. Lavkesh 24th August 2011 at 11:02 #

    I am sorry but your argument regarding reforms involving the middle class just don’t cut simply because India isnt middle class. That would be true only in cities but even then there is a huge portion of the educated middle class that don’t have the mind for reforms. To simply put, in an economy where most of the people are middle class this may work but not in India.

  48. PRABIR KUMAR SEN 24th August 2011 at 12:51 #

    any fast whether by Gandhi or Anna Hazare is of coercive nature. in the present day context, it is not at all good for democracy. the present govt should demit office rather than succumb to such arm twisting activities.

  49. Arun 24th August 2011 at 13:31 #

    Though your blogs is very narrative and suggests that all is well and government has the right to do what it wants, it is not so. If a person wants to protest for a cause, it is totaly undemocratic to impose rules for the protest.

    Swami Nigamanand in Uttarakhand state died after a hunger strike for 115 days to protest environmental abuses in the country. What did the Government do? Nothing as it did not bother it. They are just busy filling up their pockets and imposing self rules and taxes for own benefits. They do not care for what citizens want. Rob rob rob and rule that is the what the UPA government has become.

    What happened when Baba Ramdev was attacked. Though, I am no supporter of him it is highly undemocratic to attack such a public gathering doing a peaceful protest. Why the government could not take people into confiedence.

    The sole reason is that UPA governement does not have political will to find to fight corruption. Like many you are trying to shurgg off saying there is no short cut for a courrption free India. But is there a will to make India corrupt free. If government desire, they have all the authority and resources to achieve this. Strict adherence to rule, hefty penatly and explusion from the jobs wold make the corrupt officials undersand corruption can prove them costly.

    People are not happy to pay the bribe but are foced to pay the bribe. If somebody have to get a passport to secure a job and Police will not give clearance without bribe, a nomal person does not have the strength like Anna hazare to sacrifice his life and sit on protest over there. The police is supposed to protect the people is robbing them ? They do not have fear as starting from the PM to hawaladar get their comission. if PM says no .. will it not createa fear downwards perculating to hawaldar.

    I am not saying that Jan Lokpal will solve the entire problem, but it shows that people are irked by the corruption from the top to bottom level. The winning of Hazare group will not solve the corruption for ever but will show the strength of the citizens to challenge the Anarchy of government. Government just can not will election and do whatever it wants for next 5 years. It has to answer the citizens who has put faither in them.

  50. Ashutosh 24th August 2011 at 14:53 #

    Its one sided view which i find as slightly one sided. Just because of all this shortcomings we cannot sit scratching our head not knowing what to do when it (corruption) actually hits us. we all know something has to be done which we just see in movies that the hero does it all and sets things right which again is counted in our entertainment which not many take as there problem but watching that movie more number of times and making the makers of that piece of movie richer. That all we can do just criticize and criticize and keep blaming the world that everything is wrong except myself. We talk about eradication of corruption i am sure if comes to us we will not shirk from becoming richer in short time which is possible in a country like India only by what we call as corruption.

    Atleast such movements are making people to think how bring in a check. Please understand this is a democracy and there is no room for monarchy either by ANNA and team or anyone else. If ANNA and team goes wrong people of India and across borders who are worshiping them will shoe them. Now it is no more there personal agenda any more. Like how Gandhiji was the representative during Independence struggle ANNA could be in this struggle. Its because you and me could not be in that position that ANNA and team have taken up the cause. and such discussion will surely make the agenda more chiseled leading perhaps in fulfilling the purpose to some extent atleast if not completely. It has to taken further from there and hope the process goes on unless the human race decides to die sucking each others blood like some leach or a termite eating away the set up.
    This movement is atleast making each one of to think in particular way and direction and that is eradication of corruption which is a actually a psychological problem reflecting into a social problem. Greed, shortcuts, mental and physical weakness, careless about your surroundings, your relations with people within home and outside one by one lead us to commit corruption. For instance you eat a chocolate and throw the wraper on the road, spiting on the road, urinating on the road side, not following traffic rules these are all nothing but corruption of mind. But when this this careless attitude takes a different shape by not bothering the consequences of gulping away the public money it hurts the common man. Actually both the acts hurts the common man the magnitude of one is negligible and the other in a bigger.
    We are atleast thing in a direction that there is something wrong it has to corrected in a particular way. No doubt agitations might have have been done even in past but the effect was never so precise which does not mean is the best. It is an evolving process which will continue whether some body is part of it or not. People like ANNA are registered in history because of the cause and the effect.
    If not much it is atleast creating a consciousness in the minds of people not just in India but all oversees. I am sure people across the word are watching this. Corruption is a psychological problem unless our minds are not tuned and a fresh thought of existence is brought in not much is possible. What do i mean by fresh thought of existence is that “it is not my problem attitude should be avoided” corruption starts from the mind. In our day to day like we are so negligent and careless about our relations, surroundings, habits, behavior etc. Its a process that the whole human race should adopt. we dont care to keep our surroundings clean, we dont try to keep our relations good both at home and outside, we pay money thinking that the work be done for the time being otherwise who nows how much time it would take or even it would be done or not, we are afraid and that is because of the system of which we are also a part. when it comes to us we would also try to make our bite out of the system so that we can make our own lives more cushy and comfortable.
    Our constitution is the biggest constitution in the world and the laws in India are so many that let apart the common citizens even the learned lawyers would not remember most of them. It is not just making laws and more laws just for the heck of it but what is most important is implementation and enforcement. If you make it little strong it will be termed as draconian and if little mild it will be termed a toothless. If there is no will to make it work nothing can be done by bringing in any number of laws. Suppose a person does not pay bribe and the other person does not take the matter is solved. we need not even know what law is in operation. For instance a murderer would still murder even if he is knowing the law. Similarly the greed to make fortune by short cuts is so high that it will not check the corruption no matter what law is in operation. But surely they will try to find out other means to make quick money if another law is brought in force. You see as i said earlier it is psychological problem. Unless the society in whole rejuvenates its mindset not much will be achieved.
    But yes this movement will go a long long way in the minds of not just people in India but also abroad that there is some thing wrong. The checking that has to be done is within and if you decide to try keep your records right, you need not worry about breaking the laws your worry would only be that others should not break laws which would effect you. This problem would also be put to check if the other person also decides to try to keep his records right.
    Hope this happens. It might be good for the entire human race.

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