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 thoughts on “FAQ: Why Anna Hazare is wrong and Lok Pal a bad idea”

  1. Interesting, and worth reading. You surely offer an insight which the government will love to consider. I also Like the choice of your words.
    Do you think there is more to this whole movement than just the Lokpal Bill. Something greater, may be we could learn more.

    I just wrote a Post on how Anna Hazare has Seduced the Masses, in case you have time,
    do go through and share your view point.

  2. Its easy to comment about things when someone tries to do some stuff. The world have seen so many people being in this mode. Even I can sit around a corner and accumulate 10 points against or supporting lokpal bill. Might be I might even get into the history for providing those pointers…. but its all foolish. Try to do something here, otherwise keep quiet.

    Change your mentality and see to fact that people are trying to do something – not like sitting and commenting like me and you. Support them… or the least, keep quiet.

    1. “Support them or keep quiet” is another way of saying ‘My way or the Highway’. If people are allowed to support a cause, someone else has undertaken, that affects the entire nation, then others are also allowed to speak up regarding why they do not support the cause or how they think this cause can adversely affect the nation. Before taking any such decisions, seeing both sides of the argument is extremely necessary.

    2. Agree !! Completely…Point made!!…..Freeing the economy will only change the place where its bribed, 20 years back they bribed for Phone connection, Now they would bribe for spectrum

      then after sometime it will be easy to get spectrum but satellites will be scarse, then theyl bribe for the satellites…..Two things can only change…..

      1) Awareness, that bribing is not common, and necessary to get things done without bribe should be mooted and made aware of
      2) A System in place to check even those who think otherwise…..

      Liberated economy will only change the way the bribe is given… 20 years back it was for telphone connection, now for the spectrum……

      A system in place to check is always welcome, ofcourse ‘thirudanai parthu thirundha vittal thiruttai ozhikka mudiyathu’ so this is also awareness to say ‘bribing ‘ is not common, and is not a necessatity to gets things done……..

      So this is a way that a system is being put into place first and welfare systems to the countrymen should follow……OFCOURSE..

      “HOW DENMARK BECAME THE LEAST CORRUPT COUNTRY IN THE WORLD

    3. Well, we all strive for a better India! However, I still don’t understand how the ANNA et al. would help US do that! Rules would be there and loopholes be as well! For sure, we will still have to continue giving DONATIONS to schools, colleges, Universities for getting into the system…a corrupt INDIA…at the grass root level itself! N there would be another ANNA et al. to catch the attention of the mass…anyways…history repeats itself…and we are the MANGO PEOPLE….aam janta…

    4. @Obelix, Appreciate your views on this but its a shame to be ignorant of certain facts.

    5. Yes, Demand change. Do fight to death till you get it. But Lokpal bill is not “the” solution and cant agree with Hazare’s attitude my bill or no other bill!

    6. @ Obelix: Respected Indian,entitled as your are to have an opinion,I would say that it is not about “doing something”, as much as it is about knowing what to do, and which is the best way to do it.

    7. I agree with this completely. It is like creating another white elephant(Jan Lokpal Bill)

    8. Why keep quiet??
      It is hurting you ?
      If someone thinks differently….
      Can’t he speak up…!
      Its time for u to think .

  3. I don’t understand the argument in this post (and by the government) that one man cannot be allowed to threaten the government with a fast-unto-death and get whatever he wants. That’s quite silly really and assumes that people are dumb enough to support any whimsical protestor. Anna’s protest has seen tens of thousands take the streets across regional divides. Anna is just a face for what is a genuine demand among people.

    1. are u trying to tell me that the tens of thousands of people are adept in the lok pal bill.. its nothing but venting of frustration .. i dont like the government and their policies and they way they TRY to implement them .. we all dont like the corrupt government .. but this bill will create one more organization .. an organization more powerful than the government .. in latin there is a saying …Quis custodiet ipsos custodes .. who watches the watchmen .. what happens when corruption pervades the lok pal .. what happens if a ruling party at the center manages to infiltrate lok pal with its rogue officers and puts a decent state government of the opposition party to its knees .. people now a days have forgotten to argue .. just like the movies every aspect of social is blown out of proportion and the real theme is forgotten .. no is bothering to talk about A Raja or CWG.. a strong lok pal can never cure corruption .. want to know why .. there will be clever politicians like pramod mahajan who will buy reliance shares at 10 bucks a share and sell it back to reliance at market price .. there is nothing illegal about it .. govt could not do anything .. this is how our politicians work .. the only way forward is to expose them and not elect them the next time .. middle class has to vote .. i can guarantee u congress will come back to power at-least through a coalition even amidst all this hoopla that is because they have tapped the urban and rural poor through NREGA scheme and low food cost for bpl etc. the issues of the poor are far worse than ours like 3 square meals a day and work guarantee and crop loans etc. so even if a part of this issue is solved or given a good morale boost one year before the elections congress will scoot to power even without passing the lok pal bill ..

    2. We wall want a corruption free INDIA , but always remember that number of followers doset prove any point and every coin has two sides, may be the draft of lok pal bill needs to be modified such as it doesn’t allow any NGO to detect the people whom we elect as our representative.
      We need to elect good representative for having good leadership. Please also understand that our constitution have given us right to elect good people, but please tell me how many of educated people really vote.
      I believe that we will build a brighter INDIA if we all come together as we are known even at the time of election.
      We need an educated society for brighter future.
      All thanks to ANNA For raising this point once again , as Mr. Prashant Bhushans Father has presented this bill first in 1969.

    3. People ARE dumb enough to support any whimsical protestor. The case in point is the perfect example of this. Can you honestly invalidate any of the points made in this post, without resorting to sarcastic reforms about armchair intellectuals and the author being un-nationalist. We just need people like Anna Hazare to encourage overrated ***** like baba ramdev to also hold his life to ransom and blackmail the government into accepting his frivolous demands..this WILL lead to anarchy..there are no two ways about it..people who have already fallen for this “drama” have too much pride to accept that they are in the wrong, and what their actions can lead to…is it worth sacrificing the very idea of democracy, to elect a bill which will supercede the very authority of the democratic parliament??

  4. the existing system like CBI/Income Tax/Supreme Court/High Court/RAW are all as corrupted as the political system of india, only thing is they are very united so its difficult for a normal citizen to know whats happening at that level
    this read was just a time pass, get life

  5. I see validity in the above argument. I feel that everyone is forgetting one very SIMPLE thing i.e., government bodies are made up of human beings. Human beings are very complex creatures. We are so complex that we ourselves cannot understand ourselves. We fall prey to greed and will try to act in our self interests. If the people are so interested in fighting corruption, why don’t they become a politician or a top ranking Govt. official? No that won’t happen because we are so insecure beings that coming out of our comfort zone happens only in our dreams. The people who come out fall prey in the hands of more powerful beings and crumpled down to the earth. In order to escape all these, we try to find a temporary simple solution. This solution is brought to you by Anna Hazare. The masses are appealed by its simple nature and are venting all their anger on the system in this manner. But they are forgetting the core again. That even this system is made up of Human beings and even they are susceptible to greed and act on self interest. This kind of dishonesty can only disappear only when we can tell our children that Govt. bodies are not money making machines.

    1. ||Lokpal will be made up of human beings||……..Exactly.Where there are human beings there is corruption.
      Secondly,Lokpal is highly impractical.So many officers,ministers,bureaucrats,etc….these will be in lakhs.The infrastructure to monitor these will be HIGHLY COMPLEX.The corruption in Lokapl will be much much much more difficult to detect and prevent.And this will cause more vested interests and hence more corruption.
      Infact Lokpal could turn out to be a serious BANE.
      The only solution is make existing systems more accountable,more efficient and introducing newer laws related to corruption.
      MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL WHAT ABOUT SWISS BANKS???? I DONT SEE ANY WAY IN WHICH LOKPAL COULD HELP.INFACT,QUITE POSSIBLY WE WOULD NOT BE VERY SHOCKED TO KNOW PEOPLE OF LOKPAL HAVING MONEY IN SWISS BANKS.
      I THINKS WIKILEAKS IS A BETTER OPTION.

      1. i totally agree with you .. i hope u are not a government agent like me (pun intended :P) imagine every state having its lok ayukt and then one lok pal at the center .. 28 states and 7 UT’s .. lets say a team of 50 required per state and on an average 1500 people working for the lok pal (forget drivers, peons and others like accountants, these are just the bureaucrats) .. if each person gets an average pay of 1lakh a month then the cost per month 15,00,00,000 and per year 180,00,00,000, this is just the pay .. lets not go into petrol allowance and stuff .. all this burden is on the tax payers money .. which means you and me .. why are people not fighting about the rotting grains .. the rising prize and the money in foreign accounts .. The US of america had to make reports and proper arguments in order to get the names of money people escaping tax .. i wonder how the lok pal is going to appease the swiss banks into giving us the names of our hoarders and oh and btw god bless julian assange

      2. @ piyush
        first of all you are also a human being. so according to you, you dont have faith in yourself. you mentioned about the negative side of lokpal,look at its positive side. yes it is difficult but not impossible……..

    2. we,the majority,DO NOT agree with you…We are not impressed by your bogus article!90% of the people of india are downright illiterates,and you are very intelligent!Down with your intent..

      1. @Abhi, you are mistaken of the fact that people supporting are not majority, its only some section of people who are supporting the Lok Pal and this out of rage on unfortunate things like 2G scam, CWG etc….

      2. then how anna got 85% to 90% vote by asking six question?don’t you think the team tries to make the general public as fools?

    3. Gud, “This kind of dishonesty can only disappear only when we can tell our children that Govt. bodies are not money making machines.” This is the Solution.

    4. Well said and an extremely well developed main article. If LP is not required and there are enough safeguards in the existing machinery, eg. CAG, CVC, etc why is Govt not bringing up this argument with its lawyers available in the ministry. And if CAG can indict Raja, Kalmadi, Maran, et al why should the PM be excluded. Somewhere we seem to be misled.

    5. Sir, please understand that the concept of corruption revolves around taking or giving bribes among middle class’ mind and hence, everybody endorses what Anna is doing. In broader sense, corruption in India is all about our character degeneration. Because bribe is a global phenomenon and everybody indulges or endorses it out of limitation to exposure to natural resources. Bribe is not 20th or 21st century idea, this used to be omnipresent during our ancient ancestors too. Therefore, being an armchair critic like you, I prefer to support Anna’s hysteria and wish it achieves the status of “movement” very shortly. I urge you also to support Anna’s cause because you too want your pound of flesh, I am sure.

  6. hi writer.

    Good points. but you are assuming that the current systems when administered better will do the job. the problem is the current systems do not have the power to get the big guys in the net, and to get the big guys in the net, you need bigger bullys. But who are these bigger bullies Heads of states ? Heads of countries ? What if they are corrupt ???What we need to see is beyond the lokpal bill – we need to support the man for the change he wants to / strives to bring in our systems. He is not just a lokpal bill, he is the ray of light India is looking for.

    Is anna motivated by some party ? i dont know and to be frank i dont care. What i care is that he has rubbed the population of India the right way and the Govt of India the wrong way.

    Are his means wrong ? may be. But dont forget even a mother has to sometimes scold /spank her child to start behaving. India Needs a LOT more than spanking.

    Be optimist, have faith.

    Cheers,
    Jay

    1. I second your thought… I myself had been skeptical about Anna.. but I never wanted to be open about that on public forums or to my friends.. bcoz there is something very important budding in people of India today; the belief that they too can and should care for nation, a responsibility. rest of the intellectual rules and laws and the methods are only implementation methods(they do and must vary according to time and situations… I see this new movement to be something brings hope in people of India… whther we get Lok Pal or not.. we need people to wake up.. this movement is showing a possibility. always motive should be considered. Now directly or indirectly Indians have got it through an image called Anna.. why to spoil it?

      1. +1000 all these people supporting Anna are forgetting how throughly they too are corrupt and behave everyday in corrupt manner. Only difference between Raja and these people is of size of opportunity. Raja or Kalmadi are not aliens. They are us. Coming from within us. Remember our own behavior everyday and then think of a Lokpal can change anything in this through and through corrupt society.

      2. I agree. Ours is a culture that allows us to bribe God with 108 coconuts to make us pass an exam for which we haven’t prepared well enough.

      3. Dude get your perspective right. It is not our culture that is ruining the country. It is our Nehruvian Secular thinking that is doing the job, and our culture has survived thousands of years not because we legalize corruption, but we have built a solid foundation of ethics, thinking, and debating.

    2. Well, Fine then you start spanking! What all you get is the maffias in the rackets tracked down! Well, when we move from door to door and bribe not less than 50,000 INR just to get our 3 year old kid admitted to some reputed school, we feel how much corrupted we are! To give and to take! When there is a backdoor demand to get an educational job, we understand where lies the fallacy! Not some 3G scamwala was involved in those! In daily life, we are highly corrupted! We can’t even trust our own existing machinery, how can we make another such complicated machinery work? Where is the gurantee that it would not fail devastatingly?

    3. Can you guarantee that the future head of lokpal will be honest? You claim the PM is not honest and he needs to be brought under the lokpal bill, what if it is the other way around? Then who will the lokpal head answer to? Is that person than exempt or will he/she be monitored and in turn by whom? If you have two people monitoring each other – is it not possible that they may collude with each other? And also – corruption came into India for a reason – people found it convenient to pay and get their work done – will the lokpal bill change that? If the person giving the bribe and accepting the bribe both gain in doing so, will the lokpal bill stop them from doing so – who will complain on such a transaction?
      I agree that Anna Hazare has brought about a movement – but it is about time that the movement comes up with more structural and integrated solution, rather than a localised one that addresses only the politicians.
      And yes – you may require a spanking – but guess what only your mother can give it – not the neighbour’s child or anyone else…and honestly tell me if someone else starts fasting for another version 3 of lokpal bill tomorrow – who do we oblige and who do we let die?

  7. Almost all of the solutions provided by the author rely on one single word “SHOULD”. Ideally, I also think that Janlokpal has its own demerits. Many people have thought of some good alternatives for Janlokpal which are indeed good.
    But its easy to think and entirely another thing to ACT. I would rather participate in a rally which for a less than perfect bill than think about ideal solutions and not act.

  8. Let there be the Churning in politics of India and nature will take the right course for good of the people.
    It was thought that after freedom,people in India will be more happy and more prosperous and yes we did it,but still we had lot of states still gripping with poverty.
    Nothing is right or wrong.
    I feel its good as i now see the whole India coming together for a cause..so let it be.
    No human brain can predict whats the right way for the future of the masses.
    Lets support the spirit of the nation.
    Jai Hind!
    Jai Bharat!

  9. All i can say is that the author has written the article based on complete opinion and not on logical reasoning.
    How does adding one more layer create complexity, we have amended and added to our Constitution a no. of times that has not made it more complex.
    Having a democratically elected govt. doesn’t mean it cannot act anarchic. So a peace full protest and let me go to the extent of saying a hunger strike is legitimate in today’s scenario too. Legitimacy of the issue is more important.
    Your idea on reforms 2.0 is again like a magic wand solution. Reforms have definitely helped in economic growth but has increased the divide and gap amongst a vast section of our population.
    I also have reservations on what basis the author calls himself intellectual analyst.
    Your understanding on economy is really limited to say the least the importance of of a lokpal. Yes, one cannot prevent the politicization of the institution but the same is true for any institution and this argument doesnt stay valid for not having the institution. In such case one has to abandon the CVC, CBI too.

    1. My dear friend,
      have you ever considered voting in your constituency based on merits and not party. Yes that is what the biggest problem is. My constituency had one candidate from congress 10th failed,BJP/Shiv Sena with 12th pass. There were other individuals with higher qualification but unfortunately the candidate with the lowest education is the Member of Parliament.and then you want the government to do everything right… its your fault because its you who elect the representatives and not themselves.

      1. It is not about education. Raja was a Lawyer. Kanimozhi, Kalmadi, Dayanidhi Maran were all educated. I personally think education makes people more cunning and hence they are more dangerous than the illiterates.

    2. With regards to all said I think you have not properly read/understood the JanLokpal Bill.It proposes unlimited power over all the Govt institiutions including the judiciary.This means in case of misconduct the complaint registered in a court against him can be easily influenced.For e.g. a senior P.I. has misused his powers as a police officer by raping a women ,will his S.I. ever dare to file a complaint against him(without political backing)?The same applies in case of a judge handling a case against an all powerful ombudsman.He nows the ombudsman can make his life hell by then challenging and withholding every other jugement he gives.Thus his judgement will be biased or he will try to gather some political support before giving the judgement.Thus instead of improving the quality of judgement this will lead to total politiciation of our judiciary.Till now barring the initial judgements in Godhra riots our upper judiciary has been able to give decisions free of political influences.This is one of the factors keeping our multicultural,multilingual and multireligious country together.Losing confidence in the judiciary will set us a step further towards anarchy.Maybe the author was wrong in some aspects(nobody is totally perfect).That doesn’t mean he is totally wrong .

    3. @Ravi Sastry: Sir, we do have a highly complex system in India.Upon allowing this second body, an autonomous one that is not answerable to anyone, we are demeaning the government that we have established to rule over us.Even if demeaning it isn’t a problem at all, we are taking power out of the hands the original system which was supposed to work well for our country. We have a flawed system, I agree,but we also have organisations that are authorized to correct the flaws. Even if that organisation is flawed, we can make the rules strict and bring the situation to order.Instead, to create another complex autonomous body that is answerable to no one, whose powers are supreme, and most importantly, IS SUSCEPTIBLE to fraudulence, corruption and misuse, I think is a very bad idea.

  10. I agree to most of the points made in the article here…but to my understanding ……had there been no sgitation or no demand from team Anna would there be any step ahead from the government or the opposition to fight corruption?…. I agree it is impossible to break the corruption and it would be ideal to clean or improve the existing institutions….but another query here….what is easy clean the mess of corrupt and loyal members of the existing system who knows all the loop holes and are pets to the ruling party or politicians and know their way out of any and every kind of chargesheet on one hand ….or to bring in new people with the will of bringing in change who are not loyal to anyone and have the courage or willingness to act and take a step against the corrupt ….I would still believe in the latter……Every one knows the deep rooted corruption and the corrupt cannot be just changed over niht but there can be barracades constructed to prevent them from continuing their activities overnight……..hence I believe and feel the step taken by Anna is correct or atleast in the right direction…

  11. Fantastic POV. It’s a welcome note as against those harping and screaming about this so-called revolutionary movement. While am all for anti-corruption, i don’t support the way this is being handled and I def don’t subscribe to AZ’s way of holding the elected govt at ransom and misleading the people into believing this will clean up our corrupt nation. Am, no doubt happy that a large no. of people have sat up to take notice and getting out on streets to express their solidarity, but sadly they don’t realize that it’s not going to result in anything positive. The very idea that a 100 corrupt politicians are ruining a 1.2 billion strong nation is propostrous!

    1. “misleading the people into believing this will clean up our corrupt ”

      Perhaps when the bill is passed the corrupt are cleaned up, u would want to rephrase that 😉

  12. nice to read…… but …
    1. if constitutional bodies are made independent whom are they answerable to?
    2. Reforms 2.0 didnt work in indian context because there was no monitoring authority?
    3. Honkong got its independence in 1991 and its econmomy was strong wen it got independence…….
    4.this process of persuassion is being done by anna hazare…..
    5.middle class voters have different opinions about diffenrent parties so their votes get divided….that is low class votes are precious in india…
    6. if not satyagraha then any other way to protest?

  13. Corruption is the animal created by people of India. It is we only who can stop corruption.No lok pal ,Jan pal…….. can help. Tell me how many of us are ready to be in Q rather then giving bribe and getting our work done. Let us not talk Ideology be realistic.

  14. 1. Rules don’t make system complex lack of willingness to implement make its complex. Lokpal will be an institution which can do inquiry without government interference and it will be self-correcting institute which means inquiry can be logged against the Lokpal also which has to dealed within given timeframe.
    1A. Its good idea to restore independence of CVC, CAG, etc but since independence it doesn’t happened and its only getting worst. Lokpal is a way to make all processes and people accountable, which is not present and is most important aspect for good governance.
    2. You need not pay bribe for telephone connection because Congress already looted 1.7 lakh crore in advance. And how government can reverse the process? Because they are not accountable to anyone dadagiri hai goverment ki in short autocracy.
    3. Ombudsman by definition is a government appointed person to resolve the case whereas anyone can go to Lokpal and register a case against any government institute as it’s free from government.
    4. This a good point which I agrees and want people to push for economic reforms in national agenda, but this point doesn’t have anything to with Lokpal is just an eye washer.
    5. Middle class in India is only 55-65 million so with such a small portion you cannot create pressure on netas. And more importantly middle class is scattered unevenly throughout the region, so this point is only an unpractical point.
    6. Agreed that no one can hire 10k honest people but we need an anonymous system which is free from government and self-correcting for which Lokpal has provision as explained earlier.
    7. For your information this is not a matter of two people going on fast if that would be the case nobody would have been discussing this issue at all, mass is pushing for change not only one person. And if government does not listen to people’s voice then it’s only the way. What alternative you can suggest for such a dictator and shameless government?
    8. I would not like to loss such a hero in any case & would like to see making more changes in the system.
    9. FYI pilot & doctors do suggest and give there feed back to so called armchair intellectuals no system works precisely without feedback and if it work then no one knows the end result nor its controllable.
    11. Who told Anna Hazare has exclusive right to fight against corruption you can start your own campaign Baba Ramdev also did, just for sake of writing & diverting attention you put such points. I agree it’s impossible to expect 100% clean and non-corrupt netas only way to stop or reduce corruption is to make them accountable, there is provision for such things in Lokpal. It’s an irony if parties and individuals lack of legitimacy then how you can expect them to act against them. Government is madeup of individuals if they lack legitimacy then how legally constituted government of country have legitimacy?
    12. Well answer is in the statement itself “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.” Only difference in this is in spite of British government we have Sonia’s government.

    1. Avinash, You wrongly mentioned that “Congress already looted 1.7 cr…”. It is not Congress govt., but a UPA govt. I am not a political party supporter but i believe, facts should be correctly laid out…

    2. Agreed that no one can hire 10k honest people but we need an anonymous system which is free from government and self-correcting for which Lokpal has provision as explained earlier.

      You don’t need to. That’s like saying you cannot hire a honest police officer so why have police ? As long as the process is transparent and you can regulate it, it will work. Officers will come and go, you can’t expect not to have bad apples in the system.

    3. Well said…..u covered everything i wanted tooo..

      Now why do we suport Anna’s way of fighting the Govt, is SIMPLY BECAUSE THE GOVT DOES NOT UNDERSTAND ANY OTHER LANGUAGE….

      any other form of fighting back the Govt will be suppressed by the lawyers assigned by the ruling party…….EX..Jagan Mohan Reddy (Not that he is right, but they were never questioned untill Jagan challenged “Ms Sonia’s” Govt), Baba Ramdev :- all of a sudden their is probe against him.( though i do not support every aspect of the BABA)

      Poor Govt is helpless, coz Anna doesnot have property nor a family. Or by now, the Govt would have easily built enough cases against Anna and diverted the mass.

      Time and again the Govt has been giving statements that they agree with Anna on fighting corruption….but the question is, in the proposed Lokpal bill non of the politicians can be touched…..which means even in the future we will have CWG, telecom scams…..

      We want every elected representative, Govt bodies to be accountable and if found corrupt to be punished, simple as that….even after that if the corruption does not stop, we citizens atleast have the option to complain or raise an issue.

      RTI was a great achivement….it surely has helped us unearth a lot of scams and illegal activities happening in Govt activities…… and things have improved…..A lot will change with JAN LOKPAL BILL

  15. Nitin,

    I do agree with you on most counts. It is completely unconstitutional way of trying to achieve something which is wrongly coloured as ‘fighting against corruption”.

    In fact creation of Lokpal will only centralize corruption as it is merely a new avenue for corruption and nothing else. Please cite the Constituent Assembly debates on appointment and impeachment of judges in this regard. it was discussed that if eminent people of the judiciary are appointed with high caliber and integrity the question of impeaching them would not arise. But the situation does not remain as such today.

    it also is what can be termed as the Robin Hood syndrome, where you adopt wrong means to try and achieve something which is misconceived as good object.

    What is happening will have drastic consequences as by-passing the parliamentary principles and avenues will only set a wrong precedent for certain sections of the society to exploit in future.

    I completely support your views.

    1. The comment was addressed to the author. I am sorry for wrongly mentioning the same.

    2. “Please cite the Constituent Assembly debates on appointment and impeachment of judges in this regard. it was discussed that if eminent people of the judiciary are appointed with high caliber and integrity the question of impeaching them would not arise.”

      High Court judge Soumitra Sen has been impeached on grounds of misconduct*

      *misconduct – Justice Sen was appointed court receiver in a lawsuit between Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Shipping Corporation of India in 1993 over supply of fire bricks. He was ordered to sell the firebricks and keep the money in safe custody. However,

      “”he appropriated the Rs 32 lakh raised by the sale for himself.””

      His act was challenged by SAIL in 2005, and in 2006, he was ordered to pay back the money with interest since 2003.

  16. Guys mebbe this lokpal bill is wrong, but lets see to the positive side of it. Indians are all together for a their rights. Mebbe this lokpall bill wont work but atleast not Government will think over it that what else could be done for the betterment of the people. At least this mass coming together will force goverment to take some steps for the people of India. Mebbe not completely but corruption will slow down to some levels.
    A corrupted person now might give a second thought before going for his usual activities…
    lets be a part of the movement to ask govt to think for the betterment of public once again…

  17. Here are the replies point by point………
    1. Rules don’t make system complex lack of willingness to implement make its complex. Lokpal will be an institution which can do inquiry without government interference and it will be self-correcting institute which means inquiry can be logged against the Lokpal also which has to dealed within given timeframe.
    1A. Its good idea to restore independence of CVC, CAG, etc but since independence it doesn’t happened and its only getting worst. Lokpal is a way to make all processes and people accountable, which is not present and is most important aspect for good governance.
    2. You need not pay bribe for telephone connection because Congress already looted 1.7 lakh crore in advance. And how government can reverse the process? Because they are not accountable to anyone dadagiri hai goverment ki in short autocracy.
    3. Ombudsman by definition is a government appointed person to resolve the case whereas anyone can go to Lokpal and register a case against any government institute as it’s free from government.
    4. This a good point which I agrees and want people to push for economic reforms in national agenda, but this point doesn’t have anything to with Lokpal is just an eye washer.
    5. Middle class in India is only 55-65 million so with such a small portion you cannot create pressure on netas. And more importantly middle class is scattered unevenly throughout the region, so this point is only an unpractical point.
    6. Agreed that no one can hire 10k honest people but we need an anonymous system which is free from government and self-correcting for which Lokpal has provision as explained earlier.
    7. For your information this is not a matter of two people going on fast if that would be the case nobody would have been discussing this issue at all, mass is pushing for change not only one person. And if government does not listen to people’s voice then it’s only the way. What alternative you can suggest for such a dictator and shameless government?
    8. I would not like to loss such a hero in any case & would like to see making more changes in the system.
    9. FYI pilot & doctors do suggest and give there feed back to so called armchair intellectuals no system works precisely without feedback and if it work then no one knows the end result nor its controllable.
    11. Who told Anna Hazare has exclusive right to fight against corruption you can start your own campaign Baba Ramdev also did, just for sake of writing & diverting attention you put such points. I agree it’s impossible to expect 100% clean and non-corrupt netas only way to stop or reduce corruption is to make them accountable, there is provision for such things in Lokpal. It’s an irony if parties and individuals lack of legitimacy then how you can expect them to act against them. Government is madeup of individuals if they lack legitimacy then how legally constituted government of country have legitimacy?
    12. Well answer is in the statement itself “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.” Only difference in this is in spite of British government we have Sonia’s government.

  18. You are absolutely right.Anna’s cure may prove far more worse than the disease.It may pay way for dictatorial rule in India may lead to the ultimate breakup of the Indian republic.I wont be surprised if tommorrow Anna recieves support from the Pakistan Govt,the ISI and Al Queda.

    1. Guess we will start all over again 😉 wouldn’t mind that considering what is have all fithy 😉

  19. Completely agree with you on all the points specially 1A , we have too many laws, too less of implementing them

  20. I do agree with your views. I agree that post freedom, Gandhi’s Fast was more to prove that he is the only dictator for whole Indians & everybody should quietly accept his views or face his threat to hunger strike(which leaded creation of Pakistan) & not only India but whole world is suffering from those mistakes.

  21. I respect your opinion, but at the end of it, it is still an opinion….There are no fixed solutions for corruption and there are no short cuts to it either. But most foolish would be to expect that the Government is doing and will do anything to stop it, when every single member of the Government is a part of the same corruption….the same applies for leaders from other parties, infact leaders is the not the right term to address any of them….today congress is in power, because there is no other party at national level which can be called no 2 since the days of Vajpayee ji….we all are fighting today among ourselves in the name of religion, caste and all sort of useless reasons, this is precisely what all these politicians are using to rule us….it needs an entire paradigm shift, a whole change in thinking in all of us….I also believe while elections happen there should be an option where a voter can choose “none of the above”….this will show that a politician may have won, but he does not have majority, as he claims today….so he better earn that majority by doing work for the consistuency where he is elected from….Politicians are corrupt everywhere in the world, but they also do work simultaneously, here our guys are way too busy minting money….in other countries if someone eats 25%, he ensures 75% goes into right thing so that he is not questioned, here since we dont have a fuctionality of questioning and there by holding politicians against law, they ensure they eat 80% and 20% goes into work…….none of you have to agree to what i have written, but that is my opinion and I feel least Anna has done is, like Gandhiji given one direction to the movement and brought various segregated groups who have divided opinions under one leadership….and that is his achievement.

  22. excelent article.its such a releif to see some sensible arguments part from the frenzy worked up by meida about the lok bal. anna hazare and kiran bedi are totally authoritarian when they say that their bill has to be accepted..extre,mely dangerous trend for a democracy!

  23. this article is sponsored by CONGRESS PARTY in order to mislead us…when tht man is tryin do sth gud,thn y to criticize?? I am surprised to read the article’s headline….”anna hazare is wrong n lokpal is a bad idea.”..well than the writer shud suggest some alternate ways of fighting corruption…

  24. Assuming more people vote and bring in what they think is a better government, the appointed government would stay in power for 5 years. If they actually turn out to be corrupt, people have to wait for 5 more years before trying for their lottery of a good government again. This is no scientific experiment where you keep trying till you get your result right. While I agree that any given day, middle class should cast their vote in totality, some governance to prevent corruption is required(if it is Lokpal that can do it, why not?). Btw, whatever happened to vigilance!

  25. please take your idea forward, mobilize the youth, sit on fast write letters to sonia gandhi and PM or whatever you think is needed to remove corruption and I will wish that you are successful. We may not need a lokpal but please dont discourage the people who has found a way to fight against corruption. please dont get into argument about which way is better. we have many people in this country and they can follow different ways.

  26. The alternate is ONLY ONE… confiscate the entire property of the politicians and their family members in whose name they have made the property. Most of them were beggars now multi millionaires each one amazing crores of rupees.

    Not sparing any one all of them should be booked, the movement of the people which is now on, the voice of the people should be to drag them out and bring them to their actually lifestyle which they used to as an ordinary person.

    All these politicians with big business houses amaze so much of money and keep on harazzing the entire citizens with unwanted taxes and inflation which is not necessary at all.

    Drag them to the streets and strip them of everything. not only punishment, confiscate their entire property.

    India is the richest country and every citizen of India can lead a comfortable and happy life but for these people who in the name of Govt feel they can do whatever they want.

  27. Sorry but I disagree. If we go your way of hard work and patience, it may take another 50 yrs, maybe 100.
    If left to their own, politicians will never do anything to reduce corruption. Its the biggest conflict on interest for the government to pass a strong bill by itself. Nobody can approve of a law to arrest oneself. It will never happen.
    Mass movement and public pressure are the only ways to achieve this.
    Dsnt matter whether you achieve the goal via lokpal or some other reform. The end result is important. And in the current situation, people will chose to go with what they see rather than an armchair intellect who is suggesting a long term solution.

  28. I didn’t agree with this article at all. I find this author’s suggestions naive at best.

    1) Author says make existing institutions like CAG, CVC, CBI and election commission – more independent…more independent ? how is there a more independent swith you just flick ? Who makes them more independent..the government who doesn’t want them to have more independence..Great suggestion !

    2) Author says reforms have reduced corruption. Yes they might have in certain sectors..but overall he must be joking to say corruption has reduced. And this isn’t about these reforms which should continue…nobody is stopping you from reforming India.

    3) About Hongkong example – again nobody is stopping you from carrying out those reforms. Lokpal bill doesnt mean you should stop reforming India. It’s not a one stop solution.

    4) This is the funniest of all. We should “persuade” the politicians that their political future is linked to implementing reforms. I couldn’t stop laughing. Is this guy really daft. People wouldn’t be fasting on the street if you could just take mithai to the politicians house and persuade him to give up corruption.

    5) Author prescribes correct solution, but he is being very optimistic. Does he need a lesson on the demographics of India. He probably needs to go to rural India to have a reality check about voting and poverty.

    6) Author is contradicting himself. If Lokpal cant hire thousands of honest ppl to oversee how does he expect his previous solution of making the existing organisations independent to do the same ? The author doesn’t want 2nd layer of bureaucracy…ok right so remove the 1st layer and make Lokpal the only layer…or have it your way..remove the name Lokpal and just make the existing anti corrruption institutions as independent. But not by “persuading”…won’t work.

    7) Already answered this. Author resorts to naivety again…extends from his vision of “persuading” politicians.

    8) Agreed it’s blackmail…again better than your method of “persuading” politicians. I have begun to doubt your ways of persuading the politicians…what exactly do u have in mind 🙂

    9) Most people are supporting a anti-corruption crusade…agreed they don’t understand the intricacies of Lokpal. But it’s highly objectionable that you say the people behind the Lokpal bill are “famous” and not intellectuals.

    10) You are free to have your own opinion on the ways to tackle corruption. I wouldn’t look down on you as a traitor just because of you have a different way than mine, no matter how naive it is. Jai Hind !

    1. Best! Thanks for the comment.
      @author, do u have anything to say on Mr. Ninad’s comment ?

    2. No reason to be belligerent and resort to name calling. Having an opinion isn’t a crime. In your opinion he might be naive, but he does raise points that do imply how Lokpal isn’t perfect. Do understand that being against Lokpal doesn’t imply being for corruption or being a traitor, and might I add that’s very naive of you to label someone indirectly with something like that. Grow up and be constructive in your arguments.

      1. I think you read what you wanted to read. In my last point i said that i will never call the author a “traitor” even if he has a different opinion. You read it the other way round. I think you should read my comment again.

  29. we have waited for more than 64 years.
    do we have to fight the correption only by election , (by voting, a constitutional method ).. means we need to wait with the hopes that the next government will do the necessary chages we want.? How many elections do we have to wait for all these changes. I feel there are structural problems in our system. First we need a quick way to arrest the “Known” probelms.

  30. Well Mr. Writer,

    My first kind suggestion would be to improve on your English before you start writing another article.

    And coming back to the point – Your point No. 5 is absolutely ridiculous. You want middle class people to come forward and vote.

    Great! But vote for whom?

    We have only two main parties. Congress or BJP. It is a silly game like how it happens in my state – TamilNadu.

    Vote for DMK or AIADMK. Do we have a choice?

    And bringing a revolution as how you say – waking a mass of people from their pretentious sleep is not an easy joke.

    Atleast with such stuff that Mr. Anna Hazare is doing, people are getting together. Don’t you realize that?

  31. Instead of (so called) fighting corruption we should debate on how honesty can be introduced into public, corporate and civic life. Mahatma Gandhi was probably the last public figure who spoke of integrity and honesty (but as a nation we have not acted upon it).

    In fact, I know from personal experience (and many others would also concur with this) that many loud voices against corruption, in the public arena, have a numerous skeletons to hide. Corruption has become a political whipping horse, as if every government is corrupt and everyone in the opposition is a saint. (We all know that that is not true.)

    Hazare to me appears t be a deluded individual, who has somehow come to believe that ever Indian is represented by him, far from it. He however does provide a strong media (not known for purity) masala and is backed by opposition parties (not known for purity), and nefarious social organizations (not known for purity and which have divisive agendas and strong lobbing access in the US), and of course a section of the janta (not known for purity and whose perceptions are now colored by those mentioned above).

    In my opinion, under no circumstances should the Manmohan Singh government succumb to Hazare’s extra-constitutional dictatorial demands… posterity will not forgive him.

    On the other hand, our existing systems and institutions should be strengthened. These structures are very good, but they presuppose that they are manned by honest people.

    Let us strengthen these institutions to ensure that those who man them are compelled to discharge their duties honestly: this should by and large pre-empt corruption. To begin with a Right to Service Act (or an interim ordnance), will alleviate the common man’s woes experienced in government departments.

  32. Bogus..!! Utter Rubbish..!Today the people of this country is wise enough not to fall in your traps..Good people should win..and Anna will win!Who cares for your childish article!

    1. That fact that you read it, and commented on it (rather defensively, I must say) shows that you lack conviction in what you just said.
      Just thought I’d share this thought. Cheers, mate!

  33. No need to support Anna or Govt.. When will corruption stop? How will corruption stop? The answer is that We need support ourselves, We have to change. If you are right, the whole world is right.

  34. Increased economic reforms as an antidote to corruption is an undeniable argument. But its advocacy uncer the present political conditions is deeply counter factual because we are living under a criminal regime that has taken full advantage of the constitutional flaws inbuilt into the system since 1950 itself.

    It has been a No Independent Oversight – No Accountability system right from the very beginning that has allowed the massive looting of public wealth by criminal politicians. Setting up an independent institutions can stop this continuous defrauding.

    Anna Hazare – although not much educated and politically sophisticated like Mohandas Gandhi – has succeeded in tapping the prevailing sentiment in the country today and it is at the core of this present mobilization. Its a case of the moment meeting the man.

    And what Anna Hazare is doing cannot be termed as political blackmail as has been suggested all around. It is more about positive coercion. If tomorrow folks from the INI group go on a fast unto death for the repeal of the Anti Defection law to restore bipartisanship in parliament – it would be a case of positive coercion and not political blackmail.

    The term politics of blackmail is only applicable to state level parties who start dictating national and foriegn policies of a country with just ten national seats under a fragmented coalition system.

    Thanks.

  35. A known devil is better than an unkown one.
    1> Government and its various branches are a representation of the people themselves, hence it will always be as corrupt as the people of the country.
    2> If you can have a fool proof process to select honest people, why restrict it to just lokpal? civil service isn’t called civil service without a reason.
    3> If people supporting the bill are really smart then why are they getting swayed by the corrupt. Sensationalisation by the media to increase its rating at the cost of the country is also a form of corruption.
    4> The very concept of a second independence fight rejects the concept of India being nation(which is anyway becoming true with the growing ignorance of the people).
    The way Anna was arrested was wrong and people have the right to rise against it, but that doesn’t make Anna completely right!

  36. I believe fully in the Constitution of India it should not be replaced or spoiled by an all powerful LOKPAL (who could be easily corrupted too) who is above any elected representative even the PRIME Minister.Who will he/they be answerable to???Himself/Themselves now if that mechanism doesnt work with the legislators etc., whom they are overseeing how will it work with them are they such saints or GODS perhaps. India cud well end up a dictatorship making it easiier for vested interests to manipulate. Our constitution is THE most amazing one in the entire world Is there any other country in the world that can boast of so much diversity and yet so much progress no doubt its another ploy by elitists, upper class, business, corporate run MEDIA to break up the current system to their advantage ot loot the country all they need to do would be to take care of the Lokpal -SINGLE WINDOW CLEARANCE FOR the corrupt -you see it is all powerful will take care of any problems by ARM TWISTING Judiciary to Ececutive to Legislature

  37. Some of the points are logical like another layer of goverance may prove resource consuming. But there are other things that you may have missed out.

    1. Reforms 2.0
    Reforms are continual process. I do not know why you mentioned a version over here. Please cite when did Reforms 1.0 happened. I noticed that you mentioned about how to achieve it “Voting” and including economic reforms in national agendas. Middle class is already voting but a number of 55 million middle class is very small when compared to 1.2 billion. Nonetheless, middle class can impact. But how we are going to convince India to vote and make this impact. You did not answer this question. Or may be by being innovative you meant to find the solution to problem of voting too.

    2. Ombudsmen in Hong-Kong
    I guess you just wanted to fill the space on your blog, completely not required. Everyone knows India’s problems cannot be compared to any nation who is developed.

    3. LokPal Bill, And what is right abt it?
    Another layer of goverance will not solve problems. I agree. Infact it will be more resource consuming. But what Anna Hazare is doing is not just introducing another layer of goverance. He is convincing Indians that corruption is not what we want to see in the system. He is telling not to tolerate the inefficient systems and building public pressure to do with that. He is acting like a binding force for most indians to come together and think about where nation is going. Whatever he is doing is to change the attitude of the people to demand responsibility from government.

    Corruption at low-level is an attitudnal problem. He is changing that attitude. However that does not mean economic reforms are not necessary. But it is cyclic problem if you see. India is corrupt that’s why economic reforms are not working, that’s why people are not investing. How do we get rid of corruption? “Economic Reforms”.
    No, this is a faulty solution. For you being an armchair intellectual, think about it. You bypassed all the tough questions.
    What needs to be done now, is revolution. (or may be i do not have an appropriate word for this, but this is nearest in my dictionary)
    It is needed is to unite Indians as one on this single issue which we all are battling since 1947.
    I can see you believing in change of economic policies at macro/micro level as only solution to this. This is necessary but not sufficient.

  38. I agree with you that there should be more liberalisation ..like privatization of Air India. No more institutes should be created as well. But Janlokpal is about making Anti-Corruption Bureau of CBI independent of govt. Is that wrong to ask for. Do you think RTI was a good idea or a bad one ? Hasn’t RTI helped ?

  39. Not agree with author. Why should not there be a law to hang the corrupt officials and leaders? These corrupt leaders will never be agree to make any law against their vested interests. You need some kind of revolution to force them.

  40. I would not get into repitetive explanations since by now we have read all there is to read on the subject.

    There are only two points I would like to add here.

    First, The Lokpal / Janlokpal is necessary for the Govt to try and meet the objectives of United Nations Convention Against Corruption, so the Govt is not doing ii because of the scams being unearthed or because overnight it has a conscience its doing it because it has to.

    Secondly, is a vast topic about voting. A major chunk of India lives in far off villages where they dont even have a concept of what is a judge or judiciary. My maid and her family have always done what they were told (voted for someone) in return for some petty goods since they have no concept of what they are doing.

    Even if the middle class rises and votes, the only difference you will possibly see is in urban areas. But central govt will always be a numbers game drawn from the interiors as per current scenario.

  41. i totally agree with “Avinash”.
    why don’t we look at the positive sides which are much more stronger than
    than negative sides. which are necessary in present.

  42. Glad to hear a similar opinion! At least a post of this kind proves that there are a few in this country who don’t think by their remote control and don’t need a candle to find their way. I had posted similar views about Jan lokpal bill when Anna started this around 4 months back and got a few hate mails.. And you know what.. I still stand by what I said.. Lokpal if formed will be anti-democratic and will have a bunch of pickpockets playing with our democratic country as compared to the current thieves.

  43. Its completely ridiculous to say lokpal bill will make the problem worse… we need lokpal bill to erradicate corruption from India and show everyone that in our democratic system the POWER of PEOPLE is more that PEOPLE IN POWER..

  44. I dont agree, not sure if the author is completely informed about the reasoning behind lokpal… CBI and other agencies are as independent in nature as can get with the current system, yet they are deeply ingrained with political influences, jan lokpal aims at fighting this bureaucracy, not create another layer.. court cases dont move for years, how can we rely on the existing systems to solve anything for us? Take the author’s example itself, telecom is quite a liberalized sector.. and we could not have seen a scam worse than 2G. If voting could end this, the issue would not have been there itself.. UPA is a re-elected govt with voting numbers being one of the highest last election… there can be many arguments but these are valid only if the Jan Lokpal bill will be tabled in the first case!

    funnily, the author is comparing the peaceful marches to blasting Eminem?? Is that even an argument?

  45. 1.) Firstly what I notice is this article “Advertising” other articles and books.

    2.) Voting definitely is not a solution. As per the whatever constitution or rule, an option of putting a blank vote i.e A vote for none of the corrupt parties yet it being counted as a vote is not there.

    3.) This govt. is not interested in listening to what people want. For eg. None of the people want that the drinking age should be 25, still the law has been passed. People do not want moral policing, yet it exists. The part wear you speak about people making an amend to or repealing the laws they do not like, sadly like does not exist
    The truth is that we do not have a say in this.
    You say “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. ”

    But tell me do we have any say in deciding what laws we want or do not want.
    Yes this is not what the Lokpal bill is about I know.

    4.) you say ” The alternative is to proceed with second-generation reforms, or Reforms 2.0.” when you yourself have said that “Yes, 2010 saw the 2G scam in telecoms, but that was because the UPA government reversed the reform process. ”
    Despite knowing this fact yourself you still believe in this government.

    You say yourself that “the Government of India as an institution remains the legitimate authority to make policy decisions for the whole nation. ”

    Why should we then believe in this Govt. and have faith that it will pass “Reforms 2.0” if we ask for it and not reverse the reform process for corruption to prevail.

    Then why shouldn’t this protest be held and supported?
    Isn’t this the peoples voice? Aren’t people fed up of corruption and the govt not having any way to deal with it or actually dealing with it.

  46. I hate corruption. But is the Lok Pal bill the panacea for doing away, once and for all, this hydra-headed monster? And how many of those supporting Anna Hazare know what ic contained within the Lok Pal?

    at a granular level, transparaency to the public in all government transactions – especially those that affect the common man (who does what in what time-frame and how alongwith associated costs) will go a long way in overcoming this ill. Education of people on public processes is essential. Can Anna Hazare and his followers also include this in their agenda?

  47. Hi Nitin (author),

    I agree with your views on many points. I got to ask the people around that those who just want someone to “lead” them. Are you in favour of Anna or a LokPal Bill? See to be honest almost everyone of us is still not much clear about Anna’s personal life, even though he has been non-corrupt, but all I can say is, rather support the Lokpal bill than idolizing a human who stands in support of this bill. Let me ask you people one question – ” God bless Anna with a big life, but if at all something happens to him, Do we people stand with the same courage to continue what Anna stood for? Are we mentally prepared to lead ourselves without any leader’s support? ”

    Secondly, with due respect Anna has done a great job, but I have a question for him – if he thinks Lokpal is the solution to drive away corruption even to an extent of 60-65%, does he really believe these figures or its just a pleasant dream? If Anna has been gifted with an opportunity to stand up at such a big stage, then why doesn’t he use that opportunity to address the people, to become more politically involved? Why doesnt he appeal everyone to vote compulsorily? Its a shame that in the 2009 elections, small towns/villages had a better voting percentage as compared to the metros, which i presume have more “educated” people!! Without voting for the right Government, you think corruption can ever “vanish” or even “seem to vanish”? Lokpal is just a medium to make ourselves feel better, if it isn’t complimented with a Government of “people”.

Comments are closed.