I am amazed at the hysteria created last week over Anna Hazaare! I do not doubt his good intentions but I am not in favor of the Lok Pal bill suggested by him. Agreed that the government's Lok Pal is toothless but neither is Anna's version. A flawed bill cannot replace another flawed bill. Sorry! but what he is suggesting is totally ridiculous and suggests of naivete. I am no law expert but what ever I have read about the bill shows that bill is totally undemocratic. Do you actually think creating a Lok Pal will actually remove corruption from our society? We have had Lok Ayukts for a long time but clearly they have completely failed. Just look at Karnataka! How Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde was arm twisted by the government there forcing him to resign. Creating a Lok Pal will not anyway remove corruption from society!! And who will this Lok Pal be? In a country where the Supreme Court judges are accused of corruption how can we find this person to represent that? Moreover, concentrating power in hands of a single individual is totally against our Constitution. The same person who investigates will have the power to punish as well. Is this fair? Our constitution clearly separates power of the judiciary, legislature and the executive. How can this Lok Pal be given the role of judiciary? And they the Lok Pal could have members from Indian origin or Magsaysay award winners? Is our country that flawed that we can not find representatives from our selves? and who gives the power to these civil activists to force their law upon us? If they have so much problem with politicians, why can't the fight elections to become actual representatives? Why do we then criticize Sonia Gandhi's National Advisory Council. Giving legislative powers to NGOs who are not accountable to any body is preposterous!! Such a law requires debate an discussion and to blackmail the government to pass the law immediately is undermining the very idea of our democracy. What we need is an Accountability Commission and transparency and not a Lok Pal.
But the thing that was most disturbing was that people took politician bashing as a fashion statement. Liking on Facebook, putting a link of him, joining the bandwagon was as some one suggested sort of Peepli Live media circus. The same people who fake their HRA slips, medical bills??? How many of the people do actually know the provisions of the what Anna is arguing for? Just that everyone is doing it, so should I is a dangerous precedent. Just look at what happened at Anupam Kher's house. India may have a flawed democracy but it ain't that flawed that out of 1.2 billion people I cannot find one honest representative. And Chetan Bhagat started a campaign called as Mera Neta Chor Hai..sorry Mr. Bhagat, if your Neta is flawed then stop electing him and if you say there is no alternative then why do ask Maoists and Hurriyat to join our electoral process..Let them continue what they are asking..I am putting some paragraphs of what I have gathered on against the bill below.. And does any one remember that Irom Sharmila has been on hunger strike for the last 10 years!! Tragic..
This is what Tavleen Singh wrote
If they had bothered to read the draft that Hazare’s Leftist advisors have drawn up, they would have noticed that its worst flaw is that it is anti-democratic in the most frightening way. It is not an ombudsman that it seeks to create but a despot with the powers to investigate, judge and punish anyone he suspects of corrupt practices. So if some NGO type of Leftist persuasion were to decide that his local MP was spending his constituency allowance on a project that did not benefit ‘the masses’, he (or she) could complain to his local Lokayukta and organise a raid on the MP’s property and order his arrest if he decides that public funds are being misused. It is not just officials but private citizens who will be under the Lokpal’s purview.
This is the way of totalitarian countries like China. It is not India’s way but you would not know it if you had been watching our news channels last week. One famous TV anchor became a sort of Lokpal himself by haranguing a Congress Party spokesman on behalf of ‘the people of India.’
How can we have Reforms 2.0 if “those politicians” are unwilling to implement them? The answer is simple: by voting. Economic reforms are not on anyone’s political agenda because those who are most likely to benefit from them do not vote, and do not vote strategically. At this point, it is usual to hear loud protests about how voting doesn’t work, most often by those who do not vote. This flies in the face of empirical evidence—when hundreds of millions of people turn up to vote. If it were not working for them, why would they be voting? They might not be demanding Reform 2.0, but something else, and are getting what they want. Instead of ephemeral displays of outrage—what happened to those post 26/11 candle-light vigils?—it is engagement in the electoral process that is necessary. There are some innovative ideas—like that of voters associations—that can be attempted.
It is tragic that an assortment of non-accountable activists, publicity-seeking busybodies and an assortment of do-gooders have all managed to push the gentle Mr Hazare into going on a fast unto death. No government in a democracy can approve of such blackmail. Merely because Mahatma Gandhi used a fast unto death as a means of exerting pressure on an alien, colonial government does not mean that in a democracy such tactics can be tolerated, much less eulogised. The situation in which the government finds itself is partly of the ruling party’s own making. By elevating the status of non-government organisations (NGOs) that are not accountable to anyone, and by not activating its own cadres on development and other issues of public concern, the Congress party has given a larger-than-life role to NGO leaders. Nothing should be done, even in the name of fighting corruption, that can weaken the Indian state and the office of the head of government, who is the embodiment of national sovereignty and answerable only to Parliament. If necessary, Mr Hazare should be force-fed and hospitalised, but not allowed to browbeat an elected government of the people.