Of Anna, Lokpal and People of India... The article for all who supports Anna blindly!

It was April 5th, 2011 when the nation saw an old man doing fast for a strong law against corruption. Well, the anti corruption topic was raised by BJP last year to bring back black money. A series of events started thereafter and in April I got to know Anna Hazare. Now I am telling you here my observations, views and some inferences and how things twisted since April till today. This is first time I wrote on something away from my favorite topic of environment.

The rise of Team Anna

I was out of the capital, but through facebook and newspaper I got some hints though not the clear picture. Anyway, Anna got good support at Jantar Mantar. Within 5 days government accepted his demand to bring a lokpal bill.
Hazare’s statement came on fourth day as "Government has accepted all our demands and I will end my fast tomorrow at 10:30AM. This is a victory for the entire nation!”

Congressmen Kapil Sibal and Pranab Mukherjee were the key players for the negotiation and said that ‘a strong lokpal bill would be brought in monsoon session and for bringing the draft a joint committee would be formed with 5 civil society members nominated by Anna Hazare which included Anna Hazare himself, Arvind Kejriwal (RTI activist and ex IRS officer), Shanti Bhushan (who proposed the lokpal bill in 1968, but it couldn’t clear Rajya Sabha) as the eminent representatives and 5 ministers. Pranab Mukherjee was the chairman and Shanti Bhushan co-chairman of the joint committee.
That time Congress must have been relieved but the base of the platform was being formed… Team Anna! And that was born of the new issue ‘LOKPAL BILL’.

Anna wanted a strong ‘Anti-Corruption Law’, Congress opened the road to ‘Lokpal Bill’.

Jan Lokpal or Jokepal




A ‘Joint Committee’ was formed of 5 representatives from Team Anna as Civil Society and 5 Union Ministers representing Govt. of India.

Team Anna coordinated by Arvind Kejriwal, Shanti Bhushan and Kiran
Bedi had drafted their own Lokpal and gave it a name ‘Jan Lokpal’ or “Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill”. Government team led by Kapil Sibal, union minister of communications and Pranab Mukherjee, the union minister of finance wanted the draft made by them to be the benchmark and the civil society’s bill to be kept as just view of public. Team Anna got stubborn over the fact that their own bill should be presented to parliament meeting while government gave their own legal reasons for putting forth their own made bill.

Here the fight got on both party’s pride. Team Anna wanted to take the credit of the bill while ruling party don’t see it good for their political reputation and the title that government has accepted bill under pressure. Anna already announced if Jan Lokpal is not considered for parliamentary round he will go again for indefinite strike from 16th August and named it ‘Fight for India’s Second Freedom’. The whole country bathed in name of patriotism. Hail to Anna… India’s second Gandhi etc etc. Anna is getting huge public support no doubt. People trusting Anna and that is unconditional love affair between Anna and Indian public mostly the youth. Now this what we call social engineering. Listen to my views and please try to understand why I am saying this.

I talked with several people who were showing support for Anna. I asked them why they are with Anna. Now the answers are:

1. Anna is fighting corruption and government supporting corruption.
2. Anna want a Lokpal bill, government don’t want.
3. Congress passed their own bill.
4. Congress govt. is against Anna.
5. Annaji is fighting for a cause and we should support to get corruption out.
6. Anna has got people’s support and if huge public is supporting then he must be right.

I also asked few of the commuters in metro and also some people I come across everyday who took part in the rally. Now listen what they say why they went there:

1. Country is united and I want to show I am also Indian.
2. Whatever the cause country is getting united.
3. Its bringing people together who are fighting for a good cause.
4. I wanted to see Anna, the second Gandhi.
5. I wanted to fight against corruption so went their to show support.
6. Corruption should be eradicated and we are here to show protest against corruption.,
7. It’s a great experience and I wanted to feel that by taking part.
8. I get to see celebrity here with better access.
9. I find it exciting to see huge crowd and showing how responsible and aware citizen I am.
10. It’s a hang out place for me with friends.. we get free food and also enjoy a lot here.
11. I am Indian. I am against corruption.
12. Congress is worst government and we are showing our protests.
13. Until we show masses bill won’t pass.

Now I don’t need to prove, most of the people don’t give it a second thought they are misleading towards something else. The huge crowd hailing Vande Mataram has nothing to do with Lokpal Bill and only few are there who are genuinely there who knows about the issue of Lokpal bill or the fight for janlokpal. And out of those few genuinely Anna-influenced public’s blind trust on Anna has been lately used for their own ambitions. No one could tell what government wants except that government is bringing its own bill which is not strong enough. Anna team’s jan Lokpal should be passed etc etc…. I don’t know how this made them think that the Anna Lokpal bill is the perfect solution to it. I want to make it clear that if you are suffering from diarrhea then you know it first and then go to a local doctor. IF he could treat you then its ok otherwise he will refer you to senior surgeons/hospitals. That’s how system works. Anna raised the issue of corruption very well.. He also steered it to the phase where government agreed to bring Lokpal in parliament. Now his role is over. Its in parliament and let the bill come out after clearance from standing committee. But in Anna raj, patient himself is the doctor who knows which medicine is best to solve his disease. Its not so. People are frustrated, suffered since decades due to corruption and in most of the cases they supported it more than protesting corruption. So somewhere we should agree that we have lost our moral values and its just a chance of your ability if you get your work done or your incapability to not getting your work done. Corruption is a basic instinct, it’s a mutual consent between two parties/people and I don’t think its illegal if the second party is interested in give for take. Now here is the point to point analysis of Anna’s Lokpal draft and govt’s lokpl draft. Remember I am not against Anna nor Govt. but I am not supporting any particular team but a strong and foolproof Lokpal.

Here is the differences between Govt Lokpal draft and Team Anna's Lokpal draft alongwith my views and analysis. Remember my views are just reflections of my observations, analysis and discussions with my friends.

A Comparison of Jan Lokpal Bill and Govt.Draft Lokpal Bill

1. Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public.
(Lokpal will have no power to initiate suo motu action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. It can only probe complaints forwarded by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.)

2. Lokpal will have the power to initiate prosecution of anyone found guilty.
( Lokpal will only be an Advisory Body with a role limited to forwarding reports to a "Competent Authority".)

3. Lokpal will have police powers as well as the ability to register FIRs.

(Lokpal will have no police powers and no ability to register an FIR or proceed with criminal investigations.)

4. Lokpal and the anti corruption wing of the CBI will be one independent body.
(The CBI and Lokpal will be unconnected.)

5. Punishments will be a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of up to life imprisonment.
(Punishment for corruption will be a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of up to 7 years.)

6. Prime Minister Can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.
(PM can be investigated by Lokpal after s/he vacates office.)

7. Judiciary Can be investigated, though high level members may be investigated only with permission of a seven member Lokpal bench.
(Judiciary is exempt and will be covered by a separate "judicial accountability bill".)

8. MPs Can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.
(Can be investigated, but their conduct within Parliament, such as voting, cannot be investigated.)

9. All public servants would be included including lower bureaucracy. 

(Only Group A officers will be covered.)

10. Lokakyukta and other local/state anti-corruption agency would remain in place.
(All state anti-corruption agencies would be closed and responsibilities taken over by centralized Lokpal.)

11. Lokpal can obtain wiretaps, issue rogatory letters, and recruit investigating officers. Cannot issue contempt orders.
(Lokpal can issue contempt orders, and has the ability to punish those in contempt. No authority to obtain wiretaps, issue rogatory letters, or recruit investigating officers.)

12. Lokpal can issue fines for frivolous complaints (including frivolous complaints against Lokpal itself), with a maximum penalty of 1 lakh.
(Court system will handle matters of frivolous complaints. Courts can issue fines of Rs25,000 to 2 lakh.)

13. NGOs not within the scope due to their role in exposing corruption. 

(NGOs are within the scope and can be investigated.)

14. All corruption can be investigated.
(Only high-level corruption can be investigated.)


My supports for Anna Team's Jan Lokpal Draft:

> Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public.


> Lokpal will have the power to initiate prosecution of anyone found guilty.


> Punishments will be a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of up to life imprisonment.


> PM and MPs can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.
All public servants would be included.


> All public servants would be included including lower bureaucracy.

Things I don't like in Anna's Jan Lokpal Draft:

>Lokpal will have police powers as well as the ability to register FIRs.

>Lokpal and the anti corruption wing of the CBI will be one independent body.

>Judiciary can be investigated, though high level members may be investigated only with permission of a seven member Lokpal bench.

>MPs Can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.. (compared to govt’s suggestions: Can be investigated, but their conduct within Parliament, such as voting, cannot be investigated.)

>Lokakyukta and other local/state anti-corruption agency would remain in place.

>NGOs not within the scope due to their role in exposing corruption.



Reasons:

Lokpal should be independent from political sources and for that it has to be powerful.
Punishment should be strict. Stricter the punishment the stronger the law becomes.

Power to a common man is good thing.. Power needs to be in responsible hands..  in wrong hands it would be just opposite. If making people/or nay agency powerful as police would have been in favour of our society we would not have this system of police and system to form a government. Swaraj should not be mistaken for distributing powers. It will just make our society’s all ill things unmanageable and it would aggravate the existing crimes. Misuse would be dominant and everyone would get a license to kick every other’s ass. Things like blackmailing in name of Lokpal would be more prevalent. Instead of reducing corruption you will just aggravate it. Lokpal bill which Anna wants will take corruption to UNMANAGABLE, UNCONTROLLABLE and OPEN to every one!! India would be demolished to such a state from where we could never see back. Till now we have been raising voices against government institutions for corruptions, but Annaji is going to give license to every people as ‘FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT’ to every citizen of India ‘RIGHT TO CORRUPTION’. There would be more misuse than good use if people are given power like police through lokpal… just tickles your grey matter…
If CBI would be merged with Lokpal then how would you control the corruption inside CBI. Lokpal has to be independent. Merging CBI means giving power to powerful to become aware. CBI’s honesty has been questioned few times in past and the cases of misusing CBI has been no new. In that scenario you are protecting corruption in CBI. Lokpal should be independent of all government agencies.
If you give Lokpal so much power, then it would be supreme judicial agency in India, much above than Supreme Court. If we doubt our judicial system then on whom would you trust? This particular clause to include judiciary in Lokpal will weaken our judicial procedures, increase loopholes, lifeline for criminals and certainly more corruption (you can’t assure Lokpal will be also corruption free).
MPs should be included but not their actions like voting in parliament. Scrutinizing any person’s vote is violation of democracy and it should be protected for many reasons. There should be other ways to control misconduct but not bringing their privacy under Lokpal.
Lokayuktas role would be solved once Lokpal comes. I don’t understand why Anna Team want the lokayukta to keep separate.
NGOs!! Let me tell you NGOs are the biggest scamholders. Foreign funds are brought to India in name of social causes. Black money converted to white and vice versa. Money in NGOs are for welfare of people, and why not bringing NGOs under Lokpal??? A million dollar question. It must be in Arvind Kejriwal’s interests and he should make it clear what is his intention. Do he mean NGOs are corruption free?? Or just he don’t want himself to come under the law? Or he want to kill democracy, weakening government and bringing a parallel governing body of NGOs.. Isn’t it supporting corruption at more dangerous level. If country’s property become accessible to public then you now what will happen!! Lokpal is not the answer to corruption but forming another institution to promote it. You can’t guarantee that same would not happen with Lokpal once passed as that with police, judicial or politicians. Few years later there will be another name in the list and that would be surely Lokpal. And then be prepared for witnessing another rampage like this!

MY CONCLUSIONS:


I am not against Anna nor against any political party. I supported Anna when he started anti corruption movement, but his priorities changed. The people who stand by himself are using him. Swami Aginevsh's abstaining from Team Anna speaks it loud that its not the right direction the movement is moving.


Swami Agivesh's statement: 
"I feel I am not in Team Anna any more by the way things are going. These are not democratic things. When we began talks, it was understood that we would lobby only for introduction of the Lokpal Bill but that has changed now. I have chosen to disassociate myself from the group because of this."

Swami Aginvesh's concern is very true in many sense. Kiran Bedi has old story why she is backing this. Shanti Bhushan has his own personal ambition in bringing janlokpal and Arvind Kejriwal is over ambitious now. Shanti Bushan attempted bringing Lokpal first time (in 1968) but he failed. Arvin Kejriwal, greedy after taking credit of RTI and he is seeing his political career on high. Anna Hazare’s personality has been just marketed by Team Anna for their own aspirations. Arvind Kejriwal has links with industries and several objectionable people including politicians from a particular party. India’s ‘crowd supports crowd’ mentality has been used with much brilliance which is catalysed by political party workers by creating the initial mob supporting Anna. I myself saw BJP workers of my colonies going in tempo to ramlila maidan on 16th August. Public figures who occassionally would make appearance there doesn't know much about janlokpal and very few have vowed for janlokpal issue but they have talked about corruption and supporting Anna to fight corruption. These filmstars, youth icons, politicians came only to get public sympathy along their side and to show people how responsible they are towards nation's cause. They are just publicity stunts and should not be seen connected to the actual issue of Jan Lokpal vs Sarkari Lokpal. We need 'Strong Lokpal' not 'Jan Lokpal' or 'Sarkari Lokpal'..

Its really sad to see country in such a crisis. Patriotism always makes blood boil and it becomes easy to influence people specially the youth. Take my word.. who were the majority of the crowds there at ramlila ground. School student, college students were the most who were there not for showing support of jan Lokpal but it was a fun and giving them feeling of patriotism, helping transform India and whatever way they could feel proud of!! That’s indeed shameful for youth of India that they are so easily motivated and influenced. Media?? Zee network was totally biased towards Anna and I bet there must be many reasons for that. Very few news channels were unbiased. Anna is the golden hen for media which wanted to keep this movement long and also aggravate both the sides to create excitement. The whole public agitation is media’s engineering and we must be able to think who were behind all these… There was people who were  actually  against corruption and frustrated to such extent Anna was just another hope. Just similar to when you see there is no treatment to your son’s ill health you don’t think twice to try for Baba, tantriks, ayurveda, homeopathy whatever way you see some hope. That’s the case here and Team Anna just used this sympathy of the people for selling their own product called ‘janlokpal’.

Anyway, its Indian public who comes to road when India beat Srilanka in WC final and also comes to road when India lose a cricket series next month by saying ‘Haye haye Indian team’. I criticize this bheed (crowd) mentality and see it as  a great concern for India’s democratic health and future of youth. We have to see forward from what we are made to see! Look forward from getting emotionally influenced!! Look forward for self intellectual development and having own conclusions rather getting influenced... don't get biased towards any idea so much that you forget to debate on its validity in real time..



WAKE UP!

To be continued……………..(to ‘the political ambiguity behind Anna movement and Lokpal’)







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