Monday, April 18, 2011

The Shamelessness Of It All - Lokpal Slander

It was on expected lines of course. Clear ll those who are bringing out these evidences or pointing fingers at the civilian representatives on the Lokpal panel, charging them of corrupt practices, does not want the Bill. And I am sure there must be hundreds behind these slanderers who are egging them on, fighting hard to stall this process. The system gangs up very soon when the thieves are threatened. Haven't we seen it so many times before? From protecting, even rewarding the corrupt, the murderers, the rapists, the people in power have stopper at nothing. This is nothing. They will even come to physically stopping the Bill if need be.

Far as I am concerned there is no need for any of these civilian gentlemen on the Lakpal panel to prove their credentials. If these gentlemen are qualified, let them do the job. there is no need for them to carry the flag of virtuousness. They are not there in the panel to carry the flag of their virtue - they are there to give it the right kind of teeth that will tomorrow bring all wrong doers to book.

Why have these fingers risen now? It is mischievous and everyone can see through it. If there are charges raised, accusations hurled - in this particular case it makes more sense to investigate the one who has accused. Because he or she has more to hide than these guys surely.

March on Lokpal panel, w are with you! And once again this is not about the virtuous and the non-virtuous. It is about applying the law to all equally so that the bigger crimes are punished and not rewarded. If the smaller offender goes to jail, so must the bigger criminal. Does not matter where he is from - this side of the panel or the other.    


Anonymous said...

I have been reading about the Lokpal bill and the more I read and learn about the proposed bill, the more I'm against it.

All the bill does is create a new center of power. And this time the power is not even in the hands of elected officials but "appointed". How can you ensure this body will be corrupt. If history teaches us anything these new officials will be even more corrupt as they will have unprecedented power.

If this bill passes, it will be the beginning of the end of our democracy.

Ana Hazzre may be well intentioned but has it all wrong here. See corruption is not a disease, its a symptom of a bigger problem. The real disease is too many laws ergo too much power in the hands of people enforcing those laws.

We need to attack the disease and reduce the number laws

Harimohan said...

Dear Anonymous,
The elected officials have made themselves above the law by being above prosecution which is why the Lokpal Bill is now necessary. It makes everyone accountable which means that the people of the country will retain a right to question and get answers. They are entitled to it. This is what a democracy should be and that is what the Bill will lead to.

Look at the asset list of our politicians, see behind what they declare (it is common knowledge) and you know what they are all worth. No one is worth less than a few hundred or thousand crores. Walk around or drive around and see the houses of the beurocrats and you can easily see that most of them cannot be built on their salaries. Why are we so shy to question them?

To reduce power in the hands of people enforcing the law you have to make them accountable and if there is a wrong doing, they must be punished by the same law that is applicable to all other citizens. To say that to prosecute beurocrats and elected Ministers one needs sanction from higher authorities is making a mockery of the system - because most likely everyone is in it together as we have seen. So there is no point sending the clerk to jail for a bribe of Rs. 50 and wait for sanction to prosecute corrupt officials and elected representatives who have amassed, if figures are to be believed, thousands of crores of public money. Because the higher powers will not give the sanction so easily.

The time for thinking that the elected representatives are all doing things for the people's good is gone. They do not need these covers anymore. Let them be accountable. It is only fair. The only reason everyone agreed so quickly was that it had reached a flash point and riots would have broken out as in the Middle East if they had not acceded to the committee with civil society participation.

At least the same law will prevail. Even if a member of the Lokpal from the civil side is accused of corruption, he is also liable to the same laws. So where is the question of unprecedented power? It is in fact a way to bring everyone under the same law. It is just, democratic and much-needed.

The rich and powerful have insulated themselves so much that nothing can touch them even if they kill - most are roaming free, only the most brazen are behind bars. For corruption no rich and powerful have gone behind bars. This Bill will send them where they belong.

Anonymous said...

What you say is all well and good. The politicians ARE corrupt. No doubt about that. THey haved laws stacked in their favor.

But how will the Lokpal bill do to address that? All it does is create another layer of power.

We should be focusin on the cause of coruption. Pass laws that adress the root of the problem.
By keeping the system just as it is and creating an additional "policing" body is not the answer.

Need to bring this post to the top (if it can be done) so we can have a discussion about with input from other readers as well.

Harimohan said...

Hi Anon,
The Lokpal bill is actually a direct way of addressing the root of corruption as you wish. Because the Lokpal bill makes politicians and beurocrats accountable and punishable.

Today politics and beurocracy are the end refuge of all criminals because they know that there are enough laws that have already been created that protect them with a special immunity that does not allow the public to question/ investigative agencies to prosecute them. If there was not enough public pressure and media furore, Kalmadi, Raja and the others would never have been even touched by the agencies. The powers up there have consented only after they realised that they may have to sacrifice some to protect their own seats, their future.

The Lokpal will give the power to prosecute the highest powers without all this continued fighting with the government. Agreed it is not the only solution but it is a direct way of cleaning up the system. To get enough leverage to pass the kind of Bills you are talking about. If you have seen the kind of resistance to the Lokpal Bill from the powers that be (and which will continue in the future), you will understand that the kind of simplification, the kind of Bills you want can never be passed with the current system of making them almost above the law.

Everyone knows all the answers. Simplification is the key. Why have they kept it complex? Why are they above prosecution? Because that gives them enough loopholes in the law to never be caught. So they create laws that suit themselves and the common public can only watch helplessly.

This Bill gives some teeth. This will clear some muck for what you want to follow. This is but a small step, but an essential first step. You can not get the kind of simplification you want without weakening their hold on the laws that protect them.

Now, if you have a simpler way of simplifying the laws, share that. But do keep in mind the constraints that are there. Namely a self-preserving bunch of politicians and beurocrats, and to some extent industrialists who fund them.