Why I don’t support Anna

I’m sure Anna Hazare or his thousands of supporters across the country wouldn’t give a damn about whether or not one man in some corner of the city supports their cause. But I am going to exercise my freedom of speech anyway.

I am not convinced. Fighting corruption? I am all for it, all of us are. But how? By bringing in yet another law?

One of my economics professors used to say no policy is a bad policy it’s the implementation or those who implement it are bad.

I think the same argument applies to the laws. When the existing laws are not being implemented properly what’s the point of bringing another one?

Take the case of the Right to Information Act. This law is meant to check corruption but I am not sure if it has had the desired effect. The common man still has to grovel at the feet of the faceless babus and clerks and wet his beak to get work done.

And ironically enough, there are cases where people have had to bribe even to exercise their right to information. Not to speak of a man who applied to the MCD for an information under the RTI Act and the answer he got was — Tu chutiya hai (it was even reported by the media) !

There goes the power of the anti-corruption tool which was hailed as the ultimate answer to graft when it was enacted.

So what does “Team Anna” plans to achieve with the Jan Lokpal Bill (as opposed to the Lokpal Bill drafted by the govt)?

Let’s say Anna has his way. The witless, rudderless government gives in and agrees to his major demands of bringing the PM and the judiciary under the Lokpal ambit. What then?

Parliament will pass the Bill into a law that will create the post of a “super bureaucrat” with the designation Lokpal. Only it will not be an individual but a panel of members with its own bureaucratic setup.

According to a report, the Lokpal’s office will need at least 15,000 investigators to begin with. I can’t even begin to imagine the mammoth task this office has to undertake and the bureaucratic maze it will spawn considering we are a country of more than a billion people.

And the biggest question that has been haunting me for a while now is who will guarantee the honesty and integrity of the members of the Lokpal and these thousands who will be employed by this high office?

Granted that Anna’s Bill envisages the sacking of any Lokpal member who is found to be corrupt. But who do you go to if your grievances against a Lokpal member or employee is not addressed?

After all even the courts are meant to give justice but does everyone get justice there? Or for that matter the RTI Act does it always help? So who do you go to if the Lokpal with its all encompassing powers of surveillance, investigation and prosecution fails to help you?

Frankly, I am reminded of a flop science fiction movie called Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stalone. Judge Dredd had all the powers that Anna’s Lokpal will have. But like I said it was a science fiction movie and a bad one at that!