Monday, August 22, 2011

Anna's Oasis- A Mirage!!

 A TV news channel flashes the news proudly about some school children, somewhere in the age-group of  10-14 protesting and participating in the ongoing protests against corruption led by Anna Hazare and his team. The hysterical news seemed more ridiculous when a set of teachers from the same school applauded the protests by those schoolchildren. Another one showed women from a rural area naming their sons after Anna Hazare. There were many other pieces of news that were reported showing various people trying to grab the media attention in the process of which the news media definitely succeeded in grabbing our attention. It seemed everyone was following Rakhi Sawant’s footsteps to seek attention. And news media and reporters were following the ideology of an ongoing TV reality show, ‘Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega’.

I then immediately switched the channel to HBO. But my mind kind of prolonged the effect of inertia. It was still grounded to the same news and didn’t seem to move ahead. After all I’m an Indian too and dream of ‘Shining India.

The current situation with boneless protests seems to share an analogy with the one where a person takes shelter under a plastic bag or a sheet when suddenly caught in an unprecedented thunderstorm.

 The point is that people’s enthusiasm and will to fight corruption is laudable. The unrest in the people is no longer swallowed by them to fill their stomachs. They seem to have realized that discontent within themselves is not going to fill their stomachs or fulfill their ambitions. It is time they are fed with something substantial and helpful. But then again they are fallen into trap  by getting misled that the Lokpal Bill and the road that they have taken will suffice their needs.
How many people participating in the protests actually know what Lokpal Bill constitutes.? How many of these people actually know about their constitution and various  provisions under it?
I was reading an article in The Indian Express, which centralized the ongoing protests around a famous idiom, i.e, prevention is better than cure. And that the Lokpal Bill will only help curing the disease of corruption to some extent and not really preventing it.

I was having a discussion over the ongoing protests with a wise (which is my perception) friend of mine during which I asked him that why the private sector in our country is more progressive than the public sector. Since liberalisation in 1991, our country has tasted a remarkable economic growth. And we ascribe this growth mainly to the private sector. May be the answer lies in the statement that mostly people working in private organisations work more sincerely than their counterparts in public sector. And so another question arose that why such difference is prevalent at all? And the answer was that may be the lack of timely appraisals and fixed appraisals(mostly with a minimum time range of 5 years) in public sectors lead to slipshod attitude towards work which gives rise to ‘chalta hai attitude’ which in turn gives rise to indifferent attitude towards their work which finally leads to unproductivity or inefficiency or corruption or all three of them.

We already have a fantastic constitution. Though one also requires proper functioning of it. And this is where the problem arises. We do not really need a separate statutory body to look into the grievances of all sorts prevalent in our society. We have an existent judiciary system and our constitution has the provisions of amendments. Most of the salient features constituting Lokpal Bill that is making it sell like hot cakes can actually be integrated in our current governing system. Our judiciary system can further me bolstered to check corruption in various sectors of our society. The criminal trials can be fastened. Let’s make better and more rampant the usage of RTI (Right to information act). We can try to better our education system by initiating ITS(Indian teaching services) as proclaimed in a movie named ‘Aarakshan’. There are so many other things that can be worked upon to attain fruitful(sweet and non-decaying) results.

The idealogies behind the bill are right but the methodology is wrong.
We are a democratic nation. But then what if one day we, the common people start marching in protest demanding right to decision-making in the Indian Army. I know the idea sounds ridiculous and is a perfect analogy to the current scenario.
How can we get a solution without identifying the problem. The solution to the problem definitely does not lie in shaving the problem everytime it rises. We have to pull it out with its roots. We know that population is the major hindrance in the development of our country. How many people participating in the protests believe in ‘Hum Do Humara Ek’  ('one child ') policy?
Issues like population control and adult literacy have to be looked upon more seriously. There are so many issues which have to be dealt with separately and effectively in a vast country of ours.
The mindset that youngsters today have towards government jobs has to be changed. Why is it that we relate government sector with dullness and private sector as a more happening thing?
The Anna Hazare campaign is trying to remind the unfairness which we have suffered for decades in the hands of corrupt officials. It is seemingly showing an oasis in a desert like situation. But the fact is that it is a mere mirage and we have fallen for it and have trodden our steps towards an unrewarding journey. At the end of it we’ll end up feeling more thirsty.
“Be practical..!!”, is a famous phrase that we youngsters use in our daily life. Many of us end up making it synonymous with the phrase“chalta hai” (“It’s OK”), which is certainly not being done by me right now. I really mean when I say, “Be practical”.
If one’s wish is to relish one’s eyes with ‘Shining India’ , then let us convert this protest into a more meaningful one with clear and deep rooted objectives which would automatically sweep the weeds off our fecund soil.
Let’s not use the childish toddler machinery in which children just throw a question mindlessly on their less dominating peers saying, “tu meri team mei hai ya uski?”(“are you in my team or in the other’s?”) which forces the innocuous tamer children into undesired polarised groups.
I’ve been getting many sad messages demanding(yet another demand by the people) to forward the same messages on the current protests to help Anna win his battle. Many of these messages are made mawkishly sentimental by concatenating the issue of Kasab’s pending death sentence!! They end with a notorious line saying, “I did my job…”
 Well my job is of a perennial nature which will go on to remain a responsible Indian citizen.
And I would rather end my post with “Jai Hind..!!”

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  1. just take a look at this video.....there are other parts to this would help u unravel wht actually Jan Lokpal Bill is.....and why there is a need for it....and why it is just before critizing anything.....and I respect your views......just take a look at the actual bill.....the media and people have twisted it a lot....and then post ur resentment.....

  2. I watched the video and the issues that were raised by him are absolutely attention-seeking and solutions to the same are needed.
    Whatever solutions he gave are the ones which can easily be incorporated into our existent constitution.
    There demand for reforms in RTI sector and provision of security to the RTI activists is right and hence should be fought for. But then the same question arises that why do we need a separate body to accomplish that?
    It talked of chief justice of India not granting permission to file an affidavit against his brother judges...then how will you ensure that the seven members of the lokpal committee would not act in a biased way; and if you they have a solution to this problem then why can't they imitate the same within the existing respectful constitutional structure?
    It also talked about CVC and the likes being bodies not under control of the govt. and that jan lokpal bill will be a similar body in the way that it too will be not under the control of govt and hence it can't be called a parallel govt; my question is how much CVC and the bodies have been liable. and also those so called non parallel bodies(CVC etc) do not have the mammoth like powers which the bill seeks he should not really compare the two bodies.
    As I've said earlier, their fight against corruption is absolutely justified and the concerns over various sectors that they have raised are also worth looking into. the solutions that they are giving are also right minus the demand for a separate statutory body.
    if the solution to fight corruption is to make elections and trials of executives public, then let that be and let's fight for that; but then again we don't need a separate body for that. and which is not made public is highly prone to collusion amongst the involved people and will invite corruption. so all the things that the bill promises to make public under the shelter of jan lokpal bill can be made public under the realms of the govt also. Yes there is a need for various amendments and let's force the government to both consider and act accordingly into the various concerns and solutions that we are ready to offer.
    I can go on and sum it up i'll say, let's not give up so early on the old wise constitution of ours..let's fight to make it functional...another committee will not help solve the problem...the committee itself is prone to corruption and if making everything public is the solution then lets be more flexible towards our approach. we can't make our complex system more complex by adding another body. Instead let's untie the knots of the byzantine and labyrinthine system we already have...

  3. @Swati:I'm glad to know that... :)

  4. First......u talked about how the Lokpal Committee will not act biased....the reason being....according to the Jan Lokpal Bill....the only authority they are seeking is that a common man can initiate an FIR against even the judges....It does not need the approval of the same judges....or the committee......the committee will look to it that the case is carried forward.....and about the the changes being brought about inside our constitution itself....well just look at this....this bill although it had been a lot watered down.....was first introduced in 1968.....since then the constitution has been looking and discussing it till just tell me from a layman's viewpoint.....even though he has been affected by corruption for the past so many decades.....what does he have to to get that bill passed....does it take 50 years of more corruption......legalities are good to discuss about...but when it comes to the grassroots somehow gets dangled in the same legalities which created it.....Lokpal is an initiative.....its just a doesnt say it will root out the corruption....and about the corruption inside the committee.....a common man can file an FIR against anyone in the committee....this basic right which was denied to a common man by the constitution itself....i m not against constitution.....but there are absurdities in it.....which you also know of....and our beloved parliamentarians do nothing about just because we have given them the power to rule for the next 5 years.....The Committee just has the powers to initiate complaints against any gpublic body...and each and everything is accountable......

  5. The CVC when it was formed took the parliament by storm.....but again.....its powers were curtailed by the same ministers against whom the cases were independent body is a must in order to have accountability and also transparency in the cases being registered against the ministers and various public body officials.....whom u and i know ....we can't initiate anything in the current scenario....We file a complaint .....but we cannot do it...since it has to be reviewed by the higher officials.....but Lokpal suggests that anyone can file a complaint....and the Supreme Court will then look into the case.....and hence it is completely constitutional.....its not that the Lokpal Committee will be initiating the actions.....all the legal proceedings will be done the Court if they find the cases to be true....So your talk of collusion between the high powers is the same thing that this Bill can't do it....the moment you do....the public can petition against it....and it will straight away go to the intermediate channels.....the complexity will now indeed be gone....where u have to run pillar to pillar for just getting ur case it will be a straight path.....this bill is there to untie the same knots of the byzantine and labyrinthine system we already have albeit with a lot of accountability and transparency and where the the power truly lies in the hand of People.....

  6. @Stanley: First of all, I'm extremely sorry to comment this late. And coming back to the topic again, i would say that it seems you are focussing too much on the filing of a complaint by a common man,,it is an important and positive aspect of Jan Lokpal Bill nevertheless there are aspects which acc to me seems to be dogmatic and narrow-minded in nature and I've already expounded my points against the Bill in the previous comments so I need not repeat them here. I think the case here is to some extent synonymous with a situation where one sees a half empty glass of water and the other sees the half full glass of water. In this situation I see much more empty portion of the glass...But then things are definitely not this straight nor is the Bill or the Constitution or The Path...anyway Let's be optimistic...and truly speaking, I'm not in support with the complete Bill and The Committee, but I'm definitely in support of some of the aspects Of the Bill and I wish they get introduced as amendments and get wholly implemented..

  7. Well said Sakshi! Didn't notice this earlier! You have hit it right on target, we cannot solve a problem without identifying first its roots! And I personally think that instead of us pointing fingers at some one asking whether they Are in the light, we need to ask whether we are walking in the light.
    Some one said you can't change anybody, the only person we can change is ourselves. If every Indian took a stand for the right, we would have a corrupt free government one day!

  8. Well said Sakshi! Didn't notice this earlier! You have hit it right on target, we cannot solve a problem without identifying first its roots! And I personally think that instead of us pointing fingers at some one asking whether they Are in the light, we need to ask whether we are walking in the light.
    Some one said you can't change anybody, the only person we can change is ourselves. If every Indian took a stand for the right, we would have a corrupt free government one day!

    1. very true..the change has to come from within first or else we simply end up making a mockery out of every thing!!