Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Answering questions by cynics - India, The Great Anna Hazare, the Cheap politics, the Lokpal Bill, the Jan Lokpal Bill, Corruption and Democracy(part 2).

[This article was posted as a comment in one of those just-sit-and-talk author’s article criticizing Anna Hazare and the Jan Lokpal Bill. The name of the author of this Super-Comment is Smarth Sareen. I would post my own views but for the time being this article is an excellent one and needs to be read by people. Since, people usually do not read comments on articles I have posted this in my blog as an article.You can read the just-sit-and-talk author’s article here.]

Here goes the comment by Smarth Sareen…

As has been mentioned in the above post “You shouldn’t trust intellectuals or activists because of what they are. You should examine their arguments and make your own judgement”.

In the same spirit, this comment is not intended to fuel conflict, but rather to further enlightened discussion amongst responsible individuals.
1. Is Lok Pal is necessary to fight corruption?
Lokpal is necessary only because it acts as a suitable interface. Not everyone is blessed with immense intelligence. For the common man, he needs to know that if I press the ‘green button with the receiver’ on a mobile, it will dial the number. He need not know anything about EM waves. Similarly someone who has to give a bribe to get a driving license made NEEDS to have an anti-corruption helpline that he can dial and expect action against the corrupt official within a week.

2. Who will keep watch on them? Maybe we need a Super Lok Pal, and then a Hyper Lok Pal to watch over the Super Lok Pal and so on?
Lokpal doesn’t add another layer of complexity because it states that ALL investigations made by the Lokpal will be open for public review and ANY complaints against the Lokpal or Lokayukta officials will have to be addressed by law with a DEADLINE of 2 months.

3. Economic Reforms alone is a better alternative? 
By all means we must continue with reforms to free our economy. Having a Lokpal which is ANSWERABLE for ALL its actions DOES NOT add another layer to the onion and is BY NO MEANS a hindrance to free economy reforms.

4. “We should persuade politicians that their political future is linked to implementing economic reforms.”
I wish this would have been practical, but we must understand that many of our politicians are themselves under or uneducated. Therefore, convincing them to act for their OWN POLITICAL GOOD, is bound to be as easy trying to convince illiterate farmers with 3 wives and 10 children that condoms are for their OWN FAMILIAL GOOD and is therefore likely to remain a pipe dream.

5. Voting is a solution for Corruption.
Strongly AGREE. All of us should vote and we should start mass movements in the social media to encourage others in the GIMC ( Great Indian Middle Class) as well as other people we know to vote. Participating in the current mass movement against corruption might be a good training for that time.

6. “Does anyone seriously think we can hire tens of thousands of absolutely honest officials who will constitute the LokPal?”
I have absolutely NO doubt about the complete honesty of the writer of this blogpost. Nor do I doubt the honesty of the readers who make intelligent comments. Nor do I doubt that their number runs into thousands. Nor do I doubt that they are spread all over India. Maybe its time all of us started to do things in physical space like we do in cyberspace. Maybe its time that we all started devoting an hour a week maybe, to the country that we will have to live in for the next 40-60 years of our lives.

7,8. Fast-until-death is political blackmail
Maybe so, but so is having to bribe officials in order to get your businesses to work. Maybe its time to fight fire with fire.

9. You shouldn’t trust intellectuals or activists because of what they are.  
I am an engineer who has experience both with the hacksaw and with the pen-n-paper. My opinion is that if armchair intellectuals decided to care about their theories enough to not hand them over to dumb activists for application; they would be much happier. Incidentally, people like Hazare, Kiran Bedi and Kejriwal seem to be doing Just that.

11. “Aren’t those who oppose Anna Hazare’s agitation supporting the corrupt politicians?”
At least lets rephrase this to ” Those who are not involved in creating a public opinion against corruption itself right now are supporting the corrupt politicians”

12. “There is thus no equivalence between Gandhi’s Satyagraha against the British ruling us and Mr Hazare’s hunger strikes against we ruling ourselves.”
When one says ‘US’ one also includes people with lower IQs and greater sufferings than oneself. Therefore, one must account for the terrible injustice in terms of lack of communication that has been meted out to such people. People who can barely read can hardly be expected to understand the ‘ivory-tower-style’ language used to phrase laws. They need something like the Lokpal to act as an interface and help them understand better. Lets face it, as of now its not “We ruling ourselves” but ” Few of us who understand the law ruling EVERYONE else”.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Smarth here. It's nice to see that there are others who read comments on blogs :) I guess that out of everything that has been said in the above post, the point regarding voting is still valid. So please do go and vote.