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Friday, September 16, 2011

Free Willy Criticism !!

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In my previous post, I tried to address some of the queries of those opposing Lokpal. I dont oppose the idea of opposing somebody, opposing some philosophy, discussing things out, criticizing someone to death, but we should be fair, we should be logical and should not commit the same mistakes for which we are accusing the other person. So here I am trying to address some more concerns primarily about romance and philosophy.

Highway or My Way- A popular misconception amongst the elite freewill thinkers who strongly believe that team IAC proposed Lokpal bill as per their dreams, whims and fancies and so they are killing the free will. I am not sure if they are aware of public consultations, debates, online referendums, meetings organized by team IAC across India between Nov 2010 and Apr 2011. I am not sure if they have analyzed it or not but the draft of Janlokpal bill as prepared by team IAC changed a lot between Nov 2010 to Apr 2011 and again between Apr 2011 to Aug 2011 as per suggestions made by several sections of the society, including government committee on Lokpal bill.

Before romanticizing with words such as free will and independent choices, we must understand that if there are problems with laws, provisions in constitution (none of which are sacrosanct by the way), they can be rectified, overcome by amending the laws, constitution.

Team IAC Against Political Class- I think we also need to distinguish between Cause and Effects.Team IAC was never against Politicians or government of the day. I am not sure whether you read about several letters and requests made by team IAC to government, including opposition parties before Ape 2011 to come meet, discuss about the Lokpal. After 16th of August the situation become Lokpal versus Politicians because of the actions and deeds of the ruling party, which nobody thought of/imagined before.

There was a clear lack of Political will, which made sure that Lokpal bill is never passed for 40 years and also made sure that the draft of Lokpal be made so weak that even after negotiations Lokpal will still be reasonably weak. And it is these acts which made the movement against Politicians (in addition to everybody's individual experiences with Politicians at personal, professional, theoretical levels)

Nothing/Everything will Happen- Those who are supporting Lokpal cause it will eradicate all corruption are simplifying the issues and so are those who are opposing stating that it will not achieve anything at all.

I think most of those opposing Lokpal bill are either opposing Anna as a person, or methods or team Anna or the recklessness of the crowd which was present in all the rallies, but which they are confusingly projecting as opposing Lokpal. In addition to imminent and obvious possible positive effects of Lokpal, we discussed about other indirect, long term and equally important benefits of Lokpal earlier in this post.

Yet Another Army of Bureaucrats- Yes, I agree that we need to simply the way we are governed and the way decisions are taken on our behalf. But we need to understand that India is a very unique country, a very unique democracy. I dont want to repeat the rhetoric about our cultural diversity here either, because all of us are well aware of it. So while, we need to simplify things, but we also need proper systems and agencies at all the levels (Panchayats, Block, Ward, City, Constituency, District, State, Nation). People are confusing this complicated political structure with structure of Lokpal. Infact the structure as proposed by team IAC is fairly simple and without much confusing hierarchies and conflict of roles and hay-wired responsibilities. As of now all these agencies working at various level are governed by different laws, most of them are left at sole discretion of politicians and hence are abused time and again. So they use this confusion to complicate the facts and make sure to sabotage investigations and hide truth.

So it is all the more important to have an agency which investigates and monitors all these agencies uniformly to avoid any confusion and give people many more chances to create confusion and get away easily after committing crimes.

Draconian Lokpal- Instead of worrying about draconian crimes and corruption, people are worried about the Lokpal before it started functioning fearing that the Lokpal will be a draconian agency which will rule this country with stick and nobody will be able to do anything about it. Perhaps the solution as provided by team IAC version of Lokpal will make the body a bit too large and with greater power and hierarchies comes bureaucracy and corruption slowly, silently from the back door.

However we have seen how swiftly our politicians resign taking responsibility for x,y,z go on holidays for a year and pop up again in some other state, some other bit obscure role. Sometimes or infact most of the times an issue has chains from the district, state to central government level,everybody from MP, MLA, SP, CM to Cabinet Ministers, everybody is involved. SO while on one hand decentralization of power is required, on another hand provisions must be made, so that the highes and the mighties cant easily dupe the laws, the Lokpals.

So, we must review the fine print, understand the bigger picture before unleashing our freewilly criticism before opening up a third, fourth or fifth front so as to appear different, grab attention and thus intentionally or unintentionally weaken this movement of the people, by the people and for the people so that the sanctity remains, the democracy remains and the fruits of progress and development can reach down the pyramid.

1 comment:

  1. Very surprising, looks like anti-corruption is no longer the "in/fashionable" topic these days.

    No comments on this!!!

    Anyway, all said and done, my only gripe with any form of anti-corruption measures in India is that in India - somehow everything degenerates over a period of time.

    Perhaps its because there are too many ppl engrossed in their own affairs - therefore the is no visibility and accountability of the office to the general public. Or perhaps India is facing tremendous economic growth, and everyone is first concerned about filling his coffers.

    "Yet another army of bureaucrats".
    Not really that. But a simple equilibrium condition which can be achieved by converting these Anti-corruption officials into corrupt officials.

    Everybody (=politicians, govt machinery, corruption-agents, anti-corruption machinery) will be happy in this arrangement.

    Who get the boot in the rear end? Public.
    But the public is so busy in their mundane life, collecting the cowries and watching other ppl in public collect far more cowries, and therefore renewing their efforts and zeal for collection of more cowries ...

    How will you disturb that equilibrium?


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