Monday, August 22, 2011

Bizarre Hazare


Gone are the days when you typed ‘anna’ and google welcomed you with a sexy picture of an aging tennis star. Instead you now find a smiling old man in his white attire. Call him Gandhi or his Frankenstein, love him or hate him, but Anna fever has struck the subcontinent. It’s been long since the world has seen a mass agitation without a drop of blood spilled, without a single stone thrown. Gandhigiri is still alive.



First time in my life I was welcomed in the metro with the slogan ‘Vande Mataram’. A group of around ten villagers from Gurgaon, all above 50yrs, were chanting the slogan and there was no doubt that they were going to the Ramleela Ground. There was a policeman standing beside me, he looked at them and slowly uttered, “Jao jao, desh ki bhala karo”. A protest that was once confined to the urban middle class youth, has gained ground.

Don’t be amazed by people around you claiming that he (and even she) is Anna. Anna has cloned majority of Indians like Smith of Matrix. Anna now comes in all shapes and sizes. You might ask at this point if I am cloned as well, well no I am lucky to be still SUB. But I do support India against corruption, whose poster child is the innocent face of Anna. I have been in Jantar Mantar last time (click here for my experience), and I have been to Ram Leela this time. That does not mean that I am in favor of the Jan Lokpal Bill as it is now. I don’t want a selected institution that is stronger than the elected government. But Team Anna is not telling the government to pass the bill as it is. Remember, during negotiation you never put your best bet forward; you have to add that extra space for negotiations. Moreover, for the first time the public can directly participate in making a law. If you think the present Jan Lokpal is flawed why don’t you give your suggestion here?

Some people might argue that the way of the protest, rather blackmailing the government, isn’t democratic. Non-violence isn’t blackmailing and other methods have been tried and failed. The Lokpal bill was first introduced by Shanti Bhushan in 1968 and passed in the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969. But it did not get through in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India. Subsequent versions were re-introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008, but none of them passed (source: wiki). Something had to be done. This time the method of protest stroke cord with the frustrated mass, the internet and media acted as a catalyst.

If I am not Anna, if I am not for the present Lokpal, then why am I supporting the movement? The answer is that I am against the government’s version of the bill. Following is the reason (ref) why I don’t like the government’s version.

1] As per government’s version of Lokpal, if a citizen complaints against a govt officer’s corruption to Lokpal…
·       -  Govt officer can file a Cross Complaint directly to the Special Court without Preliminary Enquiry that whether complain was frivolous
·         - Govt officer given free advocate while the Citizen has to defend himself
·         - If complain proved frivolous citizen gets minimum 2 years jail
·        -  If corruption of Govt officer proved –gets minimum 6 months jail
Do you think any ordinary citizen will raise his/her voice against corruption with this bill?

2] CORRUPTION by PM can be investigated, under Prevention of Corruption Act. Govt wants investigations to be done by CBI which comes directly under him, rather than independent Lokpal. Who is going to fire their boss? I will love to, but will I?

3] Government wants it to be included in Judicial Accountability Bill (JAB). In JAB permission to enquire against a judge will be given by a Three member committee, Two judges & a retd. Chief justice of the SAME court). History has shown that judges always favor their own clan. Are you in favor of such a bill?

Yes, we should also fight corruption at individual level, but no one is a born corrupt. The system forces a person to become corrupt. The same person, when (s)he goes abroad where there is a better system, follows the rules. People followed the traffic rule during the CWG when there was a strict system in place. Individual change won’t come overnight. We need a better system that will slowly change the society for a better future. Corruption cannot be totally erased as long as inequality exists. But it can be reduced, and with the present condition of our country, we can reduce it drastically. Anna or not, let’s do our bit as well.


You can find the same post as my guest post in The INK of the Mighty INDIAN PEN.

You React:

68 comments:

  1. As usual... Great post..!!! 

    but i couldnt stop my laughter for you using the word "gandhigiri"... LOL...

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  2. Your views are rightly put Subs. I always like reading your posts for one main reason is the logical flow of matter and facts and your view. 
    We chose the same day to work on this topic perhaps. Now where do we reach with our voices is the question.
    People in Canada and Melbourne raised flags and ran rallies. You see we have our hands tied here being in this part of the Middle East:-(

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  3. Hi I too wrote two similar posts on my blog one in the month of April to support Anna and the other on present movement.

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  4. A write-up that doesn't rave and rant, rather it informs with clarity. A refreshing read. But the change has to start from us only then can we expect lofty ideals from our elected.

    Lets respect the laws and regulations instead of trying to bribe our way through it. Trivial things such as our proclivity for jumping queues, dumping garbage in our neighbor's balcony, trying to honk our way through traffic..jumping red lights....why don't we take a pledge for becoming better citizens? That should be a good starting point!

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  5. I understand...it's a bit different there...but you have your blog :)

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  6. i understand your frustration...did you see those young kids in red t-shirt teaching people how to drive? yes we need to do our bit...it is a good place to start for you and me, and few people who understand it...but then you cannot expect the whole nation to become saint overnight  esp when they are too busy to survive...it will take some time, and a proper system...

    also, we cannot let the govn pass their own ridiculous version of the bill...BTW if you have any suggestions for the bill you can put it in the link i mentioned above...

    Cheers!
    SUB

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  7. Well Written !! What I can see that govt. and some of our so called intelligentsia are still trying to confuse people. I agree that any Lokpal can not remove corruption fully, PM or anyone doesn't have any magic wand, People should remove corruption for their level first blah blah blah... but did anyone take any step forward in last 40-50 Yrs when Lokpal was raised and dropped in parliament so may times? I never read from Editors/ our so called intellectuals (which I really doubt if they are) to aware people about it? I still I cannot see articles praising Anna and his team how successful they held this agitation with so much crowd without any violence. Some people argue that they should have waited till bill would have come in parliament. Why to wait, for what to wait? Wait to support/ show that people of India want a strong Lokpal bill? Whatever anyone say but I completely believe that Anna's movement hasn't only aware people and given courage to them to fight against corruption but also forced to rethink our politicians how then have been treating India. I hope, it will give a positive change and aware everyone including general public, media and general public.         

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  8. yes, it is true...and there is a site to put your suggestions if one thinks Jan Lokpal has flaws, which it does...one cannot sit quietly and accept the stupid govn't version of Lokpal...that isn't being intelligent...

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  9. I hope this does lead to something fruitful :) 

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  10. i also don't know if it will do something good, but it might stop something bad from happening...like the Govn's version of Lokpal...but let's hope....

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  11. It was nice reading your percepective on this... I have been reading many about this these days.. I am not sure what difference it is going to bring, but like you said, the Govt. version is disaster... If Anna's version is too much/impractical etc (as some say), I just hope we get a better version than the one Govt. has opted... Also, it is used by the people more effectively in the right way.. 

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  12. @sub can you post this in our new blog as a guest post?

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  13. sure...that would be great :)

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  14. yeah you said that " let's fight it individually ". Good one as always :) 

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  15. Like I said before, lets hope we win both the battle and the war.. as usual, brilliant read, Sub :)

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  16. yes...and u know the the war win rules best ;)

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  17. I do wonder when people will take a good look at themselves and change some of their choices in work, life, everything.. Hope they do now.

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  18. no need for me to mention that em inspired a lot  already!!!:p you guys are blessed to have Anna Hazaare:-)

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  19. Very balanced write up by you here on the happenings around in connection with Anna episode....what i personally think that does this whole lot of people carrying the national flag and shouting all those patriotic slogans genuinely mean to act for eradicating corruption in their personal life too...???

    unfortunately, I am not Anna....

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  20. yes i know...hav read your post :)

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  21. Amazing post. Sums up my stand on the issue....except that I have a problem with Anna's bill where it says that the Lokpal shall be accountable to the Lokpal only. :D

    Please read my latest blog post, too...mine's a tech blog. Please promote it on Indivine, if you like it: http://bit.ly/pnls4G

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  22. like i said...i don't want an selected institution to be stronger than an elected one... so i guess it matches ;)...thanks..

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  23. Great post Sub. It's not that this bill has flaws, our country has outdated laws and minimum punishment for economic offenses as well. We are not aware of our constitutional rights. How many of us have thought why there is 'Can't say' or 'Don't know' options in polls? I think, we need to correct ourselves morally to have a better India... 

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  24. That you are supporting the movement because you're against the govt version, is a good argument. I think there is a sizeable population which supports the movement for this reason.

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  25. omg.....google throwing up Anna (tennis) v/s our Anna -LOL. she hadnt come to my mind until i read those lines on this post

    most ppl arent aware of the fact that d bill was intro in 1968 n kept coming up for several years after that. gud that u highlighted it

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  26. Thanks for your comments...I too think so... :)

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  27. so much of information/views pouring in on Anna from everywhere...and reading the debates and counter debates can sometimes muddle the head completely-so right now, i don't know which side i am on:(
    though this was a very unbiased and informative post:-)

    i just hope something good comes out of it all eventually!

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  28. Thanks Suruchi...yes, that's true...lots of info to confuse you....i just hate the govnt's version...

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  29. Unless..we do our bit...this movement is not going to be successful. Even if the bill is passed..even if the honest people are elected for the Lokpal...it will amount to nothing if we fail to eradicate corruption from our lives and maintain high standards of ourselves. Change will come. Slowly. But surely.

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  30. thanks for your views Kunal.....Lokpal has all probability of getting corrupt, that's why it should not be more powerful than the govn....
    yes we have to do our bit...but majority of people haven't done it so far, cannot expect them to do it now :)

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  31.  I think this is the first Urban India Grass Root movement, also lets not forget that it was Wiki Leaks that started the whole thing.

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  32. yes indeed....thanks for your comments :)

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  33. You have made a very valid point here!! I totally agree with "anna or no,we should do our bit" 

    Great post!

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  34. Maybe I missed an" also" there? Or did I interpret it the wrong way? I'm sorry if that's the case

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  35. Boss, unfortunately I am just missing my comment on this post which i had given earlier...:(

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  36. strange...I cannot find it too...that's why i wondered why bloggers is showing an extra comment...that must be yours that DISCUSS have somehow missed...would be great if you can repeat it...meanwhile i will search for it :(

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  37. i said at individual level, a bit different from individually...:D

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  38. found it :)...discuss some how marked your comment as 'spam'...technology :)
    the ans is no...but the current laws against corruption actually promotes corruption, there are loopholes which acts as catalysts...we have to remove the catalysts and the reaction will slow down :)

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  39. these technologies sometimes really over reacts...:))

    Anyways, Lets hope n pray that this law may fulfill the expectations of all...as you can see all ready there is too much hope out of it.....

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  40. yea, let's hope...
    Team Anna also should not drag it too much... :)

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  41. Informative and to the point..yes no is born corrupt..change the system and we are free from corruption

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  42. thanks Iwrite4u...cannot say about 'free'...but i hope it will reduce :)

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  43. i appreciate hazare for his courage. the best part is that he isnt from a political party or has no political affiliation...just a citizen n yet he chose to raise his voice...i am a fan !!!

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  44. yes, and this is not the first time he did this, though at a much smaller scale...:)
     thanks for your comments :)

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  45. I am not sure Anna is the solution.. but he is definitely the means to the right end...

    Haven't seen such a surge of nationalism, if i might call it that, ever before....

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  46. you are right...the solution is us...but then what were we doing for so long, nothing...thanks to him now we are at least thinking...
    yes, probably the first since the independence...

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  47. you are tagged here :) http://chintangupta.blogspot.com/2011/08/hot-blogger.html

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  48. I loved your starting line. something that may interest you.
    http://durlov.blogspot.com/2011/08/lokpal-bill-allopathic-approach-to.html

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  49. Really very beautiful, good to see you spreading the word of supporting Anna through your posts. Good job, Sub. Keep it up !!

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  50. I agree with you! We can't say Team Anna's solution is perfect, but at least he has made a beginning.. 
    Great post.. 

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  51. read ur post....undoubtedly anna has made an initiative towards reform.. but wat i feel is that anna team is just fulfilling there own desires... political desires u knw...!!! if u get time kindly read my following blog


    http://tamanna.jagranjunction.com/2012/01/31/anna-hazare-movement-consipiracy-reality-of-anna-anshan/

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    Replies
    1. well may be...we all are i guess...

      thanks a lot...

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  52. Very well thought about arguments. Couldn't help nodding my head in agreement though I do feel that Team Anna is being unrealistic with certain elements in the proposed Bill. But true, the Government's version is completely unacceptable.

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    1. i too believe it...also the support they got at the start...they could not channel it properly.....

      thanks for dropping by....

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