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!

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15 thoughts on “Why I don’t support Anna

  1. now u know y i keep saying u got it bro! i mean it! i feel d same way. and wen we r talking abt bringing corruption under control thru sum bill we r in d same breath saying we will go on being corrupt but will continue to find joy in blaming others. who will bring d common man under sum such bill? all acts/legislations (including d haloed human rights acts) takes into account only govt officials. wat abt u and me, d private individuals and organisations?

    wat puts me off more is dat d crowd dats gathered around anna and co and is raising slogans all d way from foreign locales do it more out of novelty dan any real involvement. why else do they think it is not worth the while to stand in q wid d common man wen it’s time to elect sane, stable and worthy representatives? in reality we r wanting to question d very people we send to power without questioning our own judgment! as if d onus for good governance lies only with them and not us. wat use r laws if we r always finding ways to bend it to our advantage and others’ disadvantage? aren’t we living in a fool’s paradise?

    • A very valid point sis what about the common man’s contribution to corruption. I think even with the bill people would rather pay 500 bucks to get their work done than go file a complaint against some babu and do the rounds of Lokpal office.
      Good to hear from you:)

  2. I so totally agree with you. In fact, I feel with the kind of support Anna has got, he should demand the bringing out of corrupt ministers and post holders on the road and slapping them or even something worse (shooting them?!?!). What will a Jan Lokpal Bill do to rid this country off corruption. It’s an endemic in India. The proposed Bill is but a mild painkiller for a cancerous growth that is crippling our very existence.
    BTW, good to see you back Coalemus! 🙂

  3. The problem is that, whenever I tell that I am not a supporter of Anna Hazare in this case, each of my friends start accusing me of being a corrupt!!! And, how to convince them, that merely by supporting or not supporting him does not make any person corrupt.

    • Thanks for the comment pseudonym. I guess your friends are making a naive judgement about you. It can’t be like George Bush’s infamous comment “either you’re with us or with them” after 9/11. there can be people who see things differently…stick to your stand!

  4. Hi Nasreen. I agree with u. Just recall the murders related to RTI. There was no hunger strike and no such big demand. But…

    Thanks.

    POLO

  5. Well I recently posted an article – “I do NOT support Anna Hazare” and the I was flooded with comments accusing me of being an anti-indian and corrupt.
    I completely agree with your view and just because we don’t support Anna’s ways doesn’t mean we’re for corruption.I mean what Anna is doing is certainly a great thing but then I’m against somebody threatening a govt into action.

    • Hello Vijay thanks for sharing you views. Completely agree with you just because we don’t support Anna’s ways doesn’t mean we are not against corruption. Although we are in the minority but I hope people come out of the hurd mentality and start questioning things. I think its rather naive to judge us that way. Read you post with interest and fully agree with you observations.

  6. There are two faces to the RTI. One which you have portrayed the other which it was meant to. As far as my knowledge goes, many scams were out because of RTI. After the act was implemented many scams are out in the media.

    I am not for or against Anna. But, surely I do not support his means to achieve. What he is doing is just blackmailing. And bringing in Lokpal is like bringing in a parallel govt by itself. No one can ensure, that Lokpal will not become corrupt. It will. Certainly.

    Ideologies will not last. The support Anna is getting is because of two reasons.
    1) People are fed up of corruption. They want some way to get off it. They are not even thinking whether this lokpal will work or not.
    2) I would call it a populist movement. People who had not seen freedom movement are getting all ‘josh’ seeing a Gandhian.

    Good post. I agree on few of your points, I have told you where I don’t. 🙂

    • Hi Sahana, agree with all your points including on the RTI Act! It has definitely exposed corruption and continues to do so…my point was that if merely enacting a law could curb corruption than RTI, vigilance etc were as good as any! You are absolutely right in observing that people are assuming that Lokpal will not be corrupt.
      But yes the only thing I find heartening in the so-called movement is people’s participation even if it is media fuelled or whatever. At least it’s not a mobilisation of the masses aimed at razing a disputed structure and building a temple which we saw nearly 20 yrs ago as teens. There’s some positive ring to it how much ever misguided I may think it is, but it tells me that we are not dead yet!

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