To: Members in India Against Corruption
” A battle we must not lose “ – Pritish Nandy
Forget Anna Hazare. The Jan Lokpal movement can go to hell for all I care. Let us just look at the issues over which the battle between the Government and us citizens is being fought. And then let’s decide where we want to stand, each one of us, on the issue of corruption.
The first question is: Do corruption and bribery hurt you? If they do, do you want a solution? If your answer is yes to both, do you think such a solution lies with an independent authority? Or do you think a corrupt Government can fight corruption on its own, and within its own ranks? If your answer is no to that, then we need to create an independent institution to fight corruption. Right? Well, that’s precisely what Anna is asking for. He is asking for a Lokpal that the Government cannot influence nor manipulate. This is the first battle.
The second battle is over four things. One: Should the Prime Minister come under the purview of the Lokpal? Almost everyone I know thinks he should. A honest Prime Minister wouldn’t care. A dishonest one must be supervised. Or else, we will have cases like Bofors that will never ever be resolved. Two: Should Members of Parliament come under the Lokpal? I have not met a single person till date who thinks that our MPs are so honest that they need not be supervised. My guess is if a referendum is ever taken, Anna will get a 100% yes to this question, given what people think of our politicians and the standards of probity in public life. The third question is even more obvious: Do all public servants need to come under the Lokpal? My guess is India’s answer will be yes, yes, yes. Every day, in every area of our life and work, we are constantly harassed, intimidated and extorted by corrupt Government officers. The poorer you are, the worse is the torture. So yes, every public servant, every Government officer must come under the Lokpal. Question four: Who should give permission to file an FIR against a corrupt judge? If the Lokpal can look into corruption charges against the PM, the MPs and Government servants, isn’t it only logical to expect it to do the same against judges?
The third and final battle is over an even simpler thing: The Citizen’s Charter. Should every Government office have such a Charter which will clearly state which officer will do what work and in how much time? And should an officer who refuses to do his work in time or asks for a bribe to move a file be punished? The Government says a charter a fine but Government servants must not be penalised if they don’t do their work! Anna believes that officers not doing their work in time amounts to corruption and must face the same treatment. Isn’t it rather obvious what India thinks about this?
Do we really need a referendum on these simple, basic issues? I seriously doubt it. Every Indian will endorse the idea of a Lokpal as Anna and his team have envisioned it, with the help of thousands of Indians who have contributed online to the process of drafting the bill.
Yes, there are genuine fears that we should not create yet another monster out there, who will make life more difficult for us than it already is. But even that has been addressed rather adroitly by Anna’s team. It is a complex process, true but it also ensures that the choice is wisely made. And what if there are charges against the Lokpal? Well, there’s a provision there too. You can go straight to the Supreme Court and seek justice out there.
So why are we arguing so much over this Bill? Why is the Government digging its heels in and refusing to listen to us citizens? Why must Anna go on a hunger strike all over again to press home the point that corruption must be fought back? I guess it’s a question of both ego and fear. No one likes to give up the power they have, and certainly not the Government. In fact, it’s always trying to interfere more and more in our lives, grab more and more authority, more and more space. And fear? Well, I guess we all know the answer to that. This is possibly the most corrupt Government we have ever had. It has good reason to be scared.
1. Who is Anna Hazare?
An ex-army man. Fought 1965 Indo-Pak War
2. What’s so special about him?He built a village Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahamad Nagar district, Maharashtra
3. So what?
This village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar power, biofuel and wind mills.
In 1975, it used to be a poverty clad village. Now it is one of the richest village in India. It has become a model for self-sustained, eco-friendly & harmonic village.
This guy, Anna Hazare was awarded Padma Bhushan and is a known figure for his social activities.
5. Really, what is he fighting for?
He is supporting a cause, the amendment of a law to curb corruption in India.
6. How that can be possible?
He is advocating for a Bill, The Jan Lokpal Bill (The Citizen Ombudsman Bill), that will form an autonomous authority who will make politicians (ministers), beurocrats (IAS/IPS) accountable for their deeds.
It’s an entirely new thing right..?
In 1972, the bill was proposed by then Law minister Mr. Shanti Bhushan. Since then it has been neglected by the politicians and some are trying to change the bill to suit their theft (corruption).
7. Oh.. He is going on a hunger strike for that whole thing of passing a Bill ! How can that be possible in such a short span of time?
The first thing he is asking for is: the government should come forward and announce that the bill is going to be passed.
Next, they make a joint committee to DRAFT the JAN LOKPAL BILL. 50% government participation and 50% public participation. Because you can’t trust the government entirely for making such a bill which does not suit them.
8. Fine, What will happen when this bill is passed?
A LokPal will be appointed at the centre. He will have an autonomous charge, say like the Election Commission of India. In each and every state, Lokayukta will be appointed. The job is to bring all alleged party to trial in case of corruptions within 1 year. Within 2 years, the guilty will be punished. Not like, Bofors scam or Bhopal Gas Tragedy case, that has been going for last 25 years without any result.
9. Is he alone? Who else is there in the fight with Anna Hazare?
Baba Ramdev, Ex. IPS Kiran Bedi, Social Activist Swami Agnivesh, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal and many more.
Prominent personalities like Aamir Khan is supporting his cause.
10. Ok, got it. What can I do?
At least we can spread the message..
Posted By: Gitesh Devhane