Anna Hazare launches a crusade against corruption, for a strong Lokpal; Government not willing

If you were to ask an Indian citizen about whether the Government, comprising of their elected representatives (politicians) and bureaucrats, were corrupt, you would most likely get an earful about the amount of corruption that is all pervasive in the country; at all levels and positions. Scare is the person who would not have to pay money to get something done, else, their work does not happen. But, when you go to some sort of intellectual discussion on this subject, you get to hear such absurd ideas such as that corruption is due to this society, that corruption is because all of us pay money to get something done, else it would come to an end. What an absurd concept – if our work would be getting done on time and as per process, why would anybody pay money to make it happen. The reality of corruption is that when people see that there are no real steps taken against corruption, and even when it is openly known that corruption prevails even at the highest political levels, then it sort of gets sanction. What is required is that some tough steps be taken that show people that corruption will not be tolerated, and obvious signs of corruptions such as the following – the CWG scam, the 2G telecom, the Adarsh housing scam, the Bofors scam, the scam around Karnataka CM giving land to his sons, politicians growing their wealth exponentially, etc – are investigated on a priority.
Instead, what do we have ? We have the highest authority in the country claiming that because they got voted in again, any corruption involved in the buying of parliamentary support was no longer relevant; a case of corruption implicating a former Prime Minister being finally closed in disgrace 25 odd years after it came to prominence, the CBI reversing its stand on the wealth cases of Mulayam Singh and Mayawati depending on how the Congress needs their support.

The time has come to push for rights to have a clean polity, where corruption is relentlessly pursued and prosecuted; where when some signs of investigation happen, the Government does not start claiming that work has stopped because everybody is afraid of being prosecuted and so on. But, given that all parties and a large section of the bureaucracy is implicated in the reports of corruption, it is unlikely that one will really see the Government bringing in any institution that has the power to investigate and take action. In many countries that were in similar conditions such as India, there were movements to bring in an independent institution that could investigate and take action, and these worked. In turn, the cleaning up of the corruption infected body resulted in a higher amount of economic growth. Consider the fact that a huge chunk of the large funds set aside for poverty alleviation are siphoned off, and there is no real effort to stop this leakage. Even the money siphoned off in the 2G or the CWG cases was huge, enough to fund rural growth and human development. And yet, the Government did not take any action (and did not let any action happen by the CBI) until the combined effect of reports by the CAG, media pressure and Supreme Court strictures forced its hand (it is speculated that the Government would like to change the progress of the 2G scam, but fear of ridicule is preventing any interference in the investigation).
It is at this point that the noted Gandhian, Anna Hazare has decided that any interaction with the Government to bring in a responsible and powerful anti-corruption institution is not of any use; the Government will like to bring in a LokPal that can provide consultation, but cannot take any action (consider the case in Delhi where the LokAyukta has recommended action against a minister for interfering in an excise raid, but nothing has happened so far). The constitution of a Group of Ministers to decide on anti-corruption is self-defeatist when so many people are involved who are widely believed to be corrupt. Independent activists have studied some of the good principles contained in various acts, and come out with a proposed Bill that will set up a useful institution that could actually do something about corruption, but one can be sure that unless forced through a public outcry, the Government will never agree to take this.
Now, this act of a fast unto death is one of the ways to galvanise the public, and put huge pressure on the Government to agree to such a Bill; even then it seems unlikely. But, one should never lose hope.

3 comments to Anna Hazare launches a crusade against corruption, for a strong Lokpal; Government not willing

  • Very nice article Ashish. I am so glad to see such a huge movement amongst people against corruption. Thanks to Mr. Hazare.

  • jeet

    72 year old man fighting for anti-corruption bill. He is demanding that the government co-opt the civil society in drafting the Lokpal Bill. This bill is pending for review and implementation for last 42 years and at last Anna Hazare has decided to go on fast unto death.

    Government – as usual – is still terming it not a good step by Ann Hazare and is requesting him to break the fast and come for open discussions. Government insists that this is an important bill and need deep discussions. So far we have spent 42 years in discussion it and we still think that it requires more discussions. Common man has realized that it requires amendment as it is of no use in its present form. I find it very sad that , we are still not ashamed of delaying it in spite of being plagued with so many scams in last few years .

    Democracy in its present form in India has gone in a bad state. It has given all means to bureaucrats, politicians and other corrupt people to freely involve in corruption and not feel afraid even if the scams are publicly exposed. It is just a matter of normal process for them: legal hassles, going to jail for some time, getting bail on flimsily ground (health reasons etc.) and then dragging the case for so long that normal public loose track of this and get busy other things.

    This is a vicious circle – a scam is exposed , we follow it for some time, it looses its importance after few weeks as some new scam happens.

    I think normal public is getting fooled day by day, and we are loosing our rights in democracy as democracy is not being properly used. Even a common man is not allowed to be part of the LokPal bill.

    I thank Anna Hazare for letting the youth of India feel if we keep on seeing the corruption happening and do not take steps to stop it then it will be too late. Lets mobilize out selves and accept we are living in a society, which has crossed all boundaries of corruption.
    We should now challenge those who are sponsor of corruption and show that Democracy is still in the hands of common people and they can any time take charge to demolish the bad things in it.

    Lets do it India – Say no to corruption.

  • suvarna

    India is a rich country but unfortunately we have a mass group of politicians and other leaders who are swallowing India through corruption and bribery. 99$ of the leaders and chota leaders are corrupt. They only want richness, power and fame. Just cheating the poor people.All are cheats. Withing years India will be having a tough time to survive.

    “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming . . .

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