The Lokpal Bill – one of the issues regarding which all positions in the Government should the institution cover

One of the major issues about the Lokpal Bill is the coverage of the Bill. The difference between the 2 sides on the bill relate to the number of Government officers that the Lokpal Bill should cover, with one end being a dispute over whether the Prime Minister should be covered by the Lokpal, and the other end relate to the Lokpal covering those government officials who typically are the face of the Government, in the local municipal office, or in the police station or where some sort of approval needs to come. These are some of the faces of corruption that people face on a daily basis, and which makes them feel that corruption is all pervasive, covering all parts of the Government. Further, the lack of action on this corruption makes them feel that nothing can ever happen to reduce this amount of corruption, and when combined with the various scams that have affected even the highest level of Government (ministers), there is a huge amount of anger in the country over corruption.
One of the postulates is that if the Lokpal is supposed to cover all the various levels of Government, then the sheer amount of cases and complaints would over-whelm the institution of the Lokpal. Consider an excerpt from the following article that describes the same problem (link to article):

Will the proposed Lokpal be able to handle more than 100,000 complaints of corruption cases lodged mostly against lower level staff every year?
Members of the civil society in the Lokpal Bill drafting committee have made demands that could lead to the proposed anti-corruption watchdog dealing with a humongous amount of complaints but officials feel it can’t handle such volumes. “Every year, more than 100,000 complaints of corruption are registered across the country against government officials, mostly lower-level staff like clerks and peons. If the suggestion of ‘mantri to santri’ is included in the Bill, it will be practically impossible for the Lokpal to handle each and every case,” a highly-placed official, who did not want to be quoted, said.

No one seems worried that these words are a severe indictment of the current anti-corruption measures by the Government, and prove that the Government is really not serious about fighting corruption, whether at the lower level or at the highest level. The current Government is in place for 7 years now, and if was serious, it could have brought in anti-corruption measures. But it was only the advent of these high level corruption scams and the fasts undertaken by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev that have put the Government under high pressure. However, all the fighting words by the Government and the various explanations against the need for a powerful Lokpal are all aimed at diluting the need for a strong anti-corruption measure that would bring down the amount of corruption in the country.

1 comment to The Lokpal Bill – one of the issues regarding which all positions in the Government should the institution cover

  • However, these are merely the facts of reality, not what Manish Tiwari and
    Pranab Mukherjee would like to believe. They, like their other colleagues
    in the government, are obviously passing through hallucinations and
    illusions. In Anna Hazare, they are seeing a heavily armed warrior – ‘a
    tyrant’ – at the head of an angry army of India’s masses charging
    ferociously straight into them. The scenario reminds us of Wordsworth’s
    adolescent thief who was fleeing with his stolen boat but felt the hilltop
    behind was chasing him so menacingly that the farther he roved the bigger
    the shadow loomed over him. The more the government tries to shoo away the
    Lokpal and anti-corruption uproar, the more vigorous becomes the public
    outcry against corruption. Indian politicians could not have had more
    decent and loving enemies than Anna Hazare and his candle wielding masses or
    Baba Ramdev with his devotees practising abstinence and yoga. Arrogant
    governments in West Asia and North Africa are facing more violent and
    destructive uprisings. We have a choice to change peacefully.

    While anxiety of those in power is understandable, they cannot avoid the
    problem by facing in the other direction. The tide is unstoppable. The
    people deserve and demand an effective Lokpal to rein in rampant corruption
    and they shall have it either with your cooperation or the tumult will crush
    authoritarian arrogance and install people’s choice

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