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LokPal?? Oh, whats the fun!?

It’s amazing to me, are we in the epoch when more scams are HAPPENING or in the era when more .....



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  #1  
04-24-2011
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: Apr 2011
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Question LokPal?? Oh, whats the fun!?


It’s amazing to me, are we in the epoch when more scams are HAPPENING or in the era when more scams are REVEALED and REPORTED? I always used to wonder and be confused of to whether to feel bad at the scams reported every day, or to feel good that scams are revealed to public and brought into light finally! Big time!

Look at our nation’s panorama of 2010. Satyam, Adarsh, Fake Pilot licenses, CWG, 2G, 3G (Oh, wait for 3G scam as 3G is yet to be launched in India) yeh kya G? And the twists and turns this 2G scam is taking every day- Radia tapes revealed-Raja accused-his aide Batcha died (murdered/suicide?)-Doctor who performed autopsy resigned and joined DMK-contesting in elections-will win??, OMG, it seems to be no lesser than any fictional thriller, and only Sherlock Holmes or James Bond can get to the bottom of this!!

Jokes apart, every day, one wakes up with the thought of new forms of emerging corruption from almost all the possible areas and fields –Telecom, FSI, Sports, Land, Mines, Construction, CVC, Defense, The judiciary of India, The parliament of India, uuf you name it and you find a scam in it!! So deeply ingrained in to the every granule of INDIAN LAND… Every Indian ministry has a scam, every Indian Govt project has a scam, every business/ businessman associated with Indian Govt has a scam. It’s just taking it’s time and waiting for its turn to be exposed. We open up our dailies just to find out another “SCAM” reported in headlines. What’s news in it, perhaps, new names, new fields, and new amount (Of course), but finally the subject line is the same “CORRUPTION”! As Supreme Court of India itself beautifully, disgustedly quoted “What the hell is going on in this country”? Yes, WTH! Give us a break! Aren’t we craving to witness something different, some change?

Finally, as I always used to argue with my friends that one fine day, when it crosses the verge, people will definitely revolt! It happened and all the credit goes to The great Anna Hazare. Yeah we witnessed it and by stood! But you know what, I’m afraid, lest we someday, see in news “LokPal-Scam”!?

Well, Gandhiji also fought for us to free our nation from Britishers, but what’s the fun after that, look at what have we done to our nation with the freedom we got? Isn’t this the possible extent to which one can use the freedom in the nation to loot the very own country!!? Is this the sole intension in throwing Britishers out, that we din't want them to loot our nation but we want freedom to do it ourselves? How many of us are following Gandhi's principles and are implementing it? God forbid! How long do you expect Anna to back and fight for us, fasting against corruption? What after him? How do we choose our next herald to be a dutiful, loyal member of Lokpal from civil society? Don’t tell me elections!! Or do we expect another Mahathma Gandhi or Anna Hazare to take birth to be a trustful, drafting committee member of Lokpal?? No, I’ve lost faith; I don’t believe anyone, anymore.

I won’t say, a nation should be a crime free and corrupt free. No nation is. But what actions are taken against such misdeeds?? Any nation and its administrations and constitution will definitely have some measures and rules to curb such transgressions. Nation or government is just a body and the corruption in it is because of the people in it. As far as, we let corrupt people in such bodies to rule us and play strings, obviously the body is corrupted. We have Planning commission, Supreme Court and Election committee, but what value have these ever added? Any amendments on legislature or new IPCs to capture and define new advancements in crimes now-a-days? SC successful in punishing Kasab, or any terrorist or culprit? Election commission, ever was able to stop us from casting our votes to a wrong person? Look at Tamil nadu’s elections and the options they have gotta choose between Karunanidhi and Jaya?? Both are no lesser competitive than the other in looting people. What can Election commission do about it?? So is the case with Lokpal too, an independent body though, has no value and carries no sense, unless we care for it, implement it.

Lokpal and the rules in it can, to some extent, would be able to restrict and curb the supply of corruption, but what about the DEMAND for it? For example, take a scenario, when a person jumps traffic signal is caught by the police and fined 300Rs. What if the person opts for tipping (bribing -obviously) police officer a 100Rs instead of paying his fine amount, which directly goes to Officer’s pocket instead of that being drafted into a receipt which gets credited in to Govt account. This is a win-win situation for both, where culprit saves his 200Rs and police benefitted with 100! Now tell me, whose problem is it? And about police being corrupt, Arre, who on this earth doesn’t want to see a cherry on their cake man, that too when offered for free?? Isn’t this the demand for corruption? I totally agree that wrongdoer saved his 200Rs by bribing the officer, wouldn't have he saved 100Rs too, which he bribed, had he not violated the traffic rules? It's outrageous to see, people take pride out of breaking rules and say it passionately "Break the rules"!! What a farce! Whose sake the rules are made for? As responsible citizens, we hold the equal onus and are accountable, for the bribe we give, for the votes we cast in return to freebies, for the leader we chose, for the chance we give them to loot, for the punishment we give them when they betray… Every time we should equally participate… I see many people, just discoursing and blaming at corruption and corrupt people, but never be responsible on their part of role. Not always just fighting for rights, we should be dutiful as well. That’s why it’s wonderfully said “In democracy, people get the kind of government they deserve”. Perhaps this is what we deserve!
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  #2  
04-24-2011
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Angry Lokpal not going to be the panacea for all our ills

Hi Bhargavi,

I understand your viewpoint and agree with you on many of them. It is true that we in India were expected to internalize corruption as a bitter pill, the moment our late PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi stated in Parliament that corruption is a "global phenomenon" and pretty much left it at that.
Few people know that Singapore, a City State was plagued with rampant corruption in the 1970s-80s. However, unlike our celebrated politicians, the leaders of Singapore decided to fight against the systemic corruption which started affecting its economic growth and international perception. Since 1990s SG has been a model govt for many a democracy, with several CMs of India wanting to convert their cities on the lines of SG. But, as someone who has travelled to South Asian countries, I feel our politicians won't get even close to that ambition. Even Bangkok, the poorer cousin of Singapore, is way ahead in city planning, infrastructure, housing, etc. Even the biggest metros of India, such as Delhi and Mumbai are decades behind in devt compared with Bangkok, and I won't even bother to compare it with Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, which are one of the best planned and developed cities nearby.
Coming back to corruption, it has seeped into the political and administrative system from top to bottom. Citizens like you and I see the ugly face of corruption at the grass-root levels when we visit a police station or any other govt office. But, what's been frustrating people in recent times is the corruption at the very top, including the highest office of the land - the PMO. As the Supreme Court rightly admonished the PMO in the 2G scam case, inaction amounts to abetment of a crime.
More so because people have been faced with increasing inflation and other hardships in making ends meet, while the netas and babus have been flaunting their ill-gotten wealth plundered from the exchequer.
I have been a reluctant supporter of the recent agitation by Anna Hazare on the Lokpal Bill issue. I have mixed opinion about such agitations which seek answers outside the system rather than make the existing system work. Moreover, after reading the Jan Lokpal Bill drafted by the civil society members and aides of Anna Hazare, eminent persons such as the Bhushans, Arvind Kejriwal, Justice Hegde, and perhaps Kiran Bedi, I am appalled at various inherent impractical provisions in the Jan Lokpal Bill. It has as many loopholes as the official draft, if not more. The Jan Lokpal bill draft seeks to vest too much power in the hands of one institution (hopefully not in one person, if and when the Bill sees the light of the day !). It is always dangerous to vest the powers of investigator, prosecutor, and judge in the same person / institution, and is arguably even undemocratic in the basic sense. Absolute power can corrupt the best of human beings.
I believe we already have enough laws to fight against corruption in public life. Where we lack is in its enforcement and implementation in letter and spirit. The US Constitution is one of the shortest, and India's is one of the most voluminous one in the world. That doesn't make Indians better and more law-abiding citizens. In fact, most of our laws including the pillars of our legal system - the Indian Penal Code, and the Criminal Procedure Code - were enacted during the British rule, that too in the later half of the 19th century. It is remarkable that neither the founding fathers of our Constitution, nor their illustrious successors thereafter, ever thought of replacing such archaic laws and replaced them with more relevant and enforceable legislation in "free India". Being obedient followers of the same old British era laws, bureaucracy, judiciary, etc. I wonder why we celebrate Independence Day at all !! Though the British rule ended in 1947, it has remained in force in both letter and spirit thanks to the myopic vision of the leaders we have had since then, who never introspected its relevance or tried to overhaul the complete system of governance or administration.
Perhaps the problem of corruption has risen to be like the Frankenstein's Monster due to its all-pervading effect on our political, administrative, social, and moral systems. There is no sphere of our life which is untouched by corrupt practices. Unlike in the 1960s or so, people are no longer stigmatized for giving or taking bribes. In fact, the social system has undergone such radical changes that people flaunt their capability of amassing wealth through such ill-gotten means. Hence, for any crime to be outlawed it needs to command as much social sanction as a legal one. Unless people are ashamed of taking or giving bribes to jump the queue or seek/give undue favours, and are ostracised by society, the disease of corruption will grow into an epidemic.
I suggest a simple exercise. Just think of 10 neighbours or relatives and cross your heart and say how many of them are not corrupt. That would be a fair indication of how deep-rooted the problem has grown into.
In my humble opinion, what is needed is stricter enforcement of existing laws and making governance more transparent. The answer to a failed system or legislation is not more legislation. Hence, I wish Anna Hazare had petitioned the PM / Sonia Gandhi (his latest hobby, I gather from the media) to enforce the rule of law and strengthen existing mechanisms and institutions like the CAG, CVC, CBI, CAG, and make them autonomous and answerable only to the Parliament. Such radical changes alone can make a more wide-spread impact. Getting one more institution or layer of bureaucracy won't make up for the deficiencies of other similar institutions. Let's hope good sense prevails on all concerned in this regard.
Regards,
Ramesh

Last edited by rameshiyer; 04-24-2011 at 11:34 PM
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  #3  
04-25-2011
nairvinod1's Avatar
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Thumbs down

mr.ramesh,

i wish to comment on your view of danger of giving too much power to a few. I dont have a legal background and my understanding to such issues are of a layman. May i ask you one thing arent that danger you referring exit today with current set up. Every government dept is misusing their power, they are bending rules as per their wish. Common man is suffering and iam afraid if these things continued people will loose faith in democracy. This can lead to bigger problems such as civil unrest. Politician will never change than how do you think of placing better and stricter law implementation?
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  #4  
04-25-2011
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Mr. Vinod Nair, I understand your concerns regarding common man's plight, and I am as affected by corruption in our system as everyone else is. However, as mentioned earlier, I feel bestowing too much power in the hands of one person / institution is not the solution to this wide-spread and deep-rooted malaise. We already have enough laws and institutions which could tackle the system of bribery and other forms of corruption in the political and administrative systems. What we lack is sufficient autonomy for these institutions to function impartially and devoid of government (read political) interference.
I sometimes feel the Presidential system of democracy was better suited to India than the present Parliamentary system. I feel that the founding fathers of our Constitution reposed too much faith among their brothren in the Constituent Assembly (later Parliament) and hence the political class enjoys too much power to impact the entire country in every aspect of public life. The "compulsions of coalition politics" cited by our learned PM time and again (right from the time the 2G scam came to light) would not be a contraint in a Presidential system, as a learned person like him can still elected on his merit and enjoy public faith. I am sure had Dr. Singh been a President like Mr. Obama in the US, he would have been more decisive and may have taken more bold steps against graft within his govt, than the coalition politics allows him to now. As in the US, we should have a political leadership separate from the Administration and Executive. Though the President of the USA is believed to be the most powerful person, he has to take the Congress's (US parliament, if you will) approval for financial and other major policy changes. Unlike in India, in the US any Congressman can initiate the process to frame a law he/she strongly feels about and has enough political backing for. Here in India, we depend on the ruling party / coalition to initiate and deliver the laws enacted in Parliament by majority vote (a simple majority in most cases suffices).
Unless we have an Administration delinked from the political system, and it is empowered by Constitution to act impartially even against the govt of the day, we will never have radical changes in our governance system. To start with, the Constitutional Authorities such as the CEC, CVC, CAG should be made autonomous and answerable only to the Parliament, not the Central Govt. The Heads of the key institutions (including that of CBI) should be appointed by Parliament, not the govt, to ensure an impartial functioning of these institutions. Hence, what we need is to strengthen and finetune our existing setup rather than add one more layer of bureaucracy, which has no guarantee of success, as ultimately it will also succumb to the same pressures as other Institutions over time.
Hence, I believe that Lokpal is not the answer to the systemic flaws we have.
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  #5  
04-25-2011
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: Apr 2011
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"real picture"

Gentle men you have shown the mirror of loktantra. But as you say that every one must be dutiful. For that we should collect open opinion for any particular topic like "How to controll Government employe from taking Bribe". In my city an honest officer come over this problem as he announced no police chalan will be made at the time of disobeying traffic rule, if any one who found guilty of disobeying traffic rules will be chalaned for the court directly. I mean to say that we should try to uproot the problem instead of finding periodical solution. Futher if we should also keep one thing in our mind that if we found anything wrong being done in our surrounding just keep on spreading that worng to as many person as we can this will cause that worng thing will be wide spread. By this method we can make that wrong pratice ended after some days.
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  #6  
04-25-2011
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Yeah. Agreed on the point of strict enforcement of existing rules and laws. Now the situation in India is like, any new law/department made is nothing but, creating new windows for more bureaucrats and govt officials in those to loot us in a different way!! CBI, CVC what not is there? And who not is corrupt?? Our democracy and judiciary is made colossal joke of itself and the whole wide world is laughing at us, for the incapability in bringing up any changes in spite of being HUGE DEMOCRACY in the world. Obviously, it's HUGE, not GOOD and has NO VALUE!!
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  #7  
04-25-2011
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: Apr 2011
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now is the time to fight against corruption

...we r now on streets to fight against corruption...it sounds well..,but we should nobody but assure ourselves that this sound does'nt limit itself to a sound!...

Last edited by jaleshwar das; 04-25-2011 at 04:23 PM : left a word by mistake
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  #8  
05-05-2011
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: Apr 2011
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Mr. Iyer, Nair, Mishra and Das,

Thanks everybody for the comments and valuable points made. There are discussions going on, on the same post found in the link http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.co...ad.php?t=11851.. Might interest you to take part in that. Pls join.
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  #9  
08-31-2011
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: Aug 2011
: Ajmer
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"In democracy, people get the kind of government they deserve”. A new topic has been raised by Bhargavi which needs more discussions and comments from the members. It is true that demand and supply both play an important role in dissemination of corruption. Until and unless we change our attitude, the menace can't be diminished. If we dislike corruption, we should be ready to play our part in mitigating it through whatever means we have in our hands.
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  #10  
08-31-2011
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: Aug 2011
: Ajmer
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"In democracy, people get the kind of government they deserve”. A new topic has been raised by Bhargavi which needs more discussions and comments from the members. It is true that demand and supply both play an important role in dissemination of corruption. Until and unless we change our attitude, the menace can't be diminished. If we dislike corruption, we should be ready to play our part in mitigating it through whatever means we have in our hands.
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