September 13, 2011

Jan Lokpal: confusing people in the name of debate

We have seen columns after columns telling us why Jan Lokpal Bill is no good, and that making  another legislation will do no good to the country. We, many journalists, know that many of these columns have been prompted by politicians and their spin machinery and also by journos eager to please the powers that be. 

Who, by the way, said that Jan Lokpal Bill / Act will overnight remove  corruption from the country? Who said that this Act will finish corruption 100%? Who said that the only problem this country is facing is corruption? 

Anna Hazare and his team have been saying this:
  • That the pubic representatives are chosen by the public, they are our trustees, and they have no right to loot the country.
  • That if a strong Lokpal Act is in place, it will act as a great disincentive to corruption and will reduce the tendency to indulge in corruption.  It will also embolden people to demand services without paying bribe.
  • That if a strong Lokpal Act is in place, it will reduce corruption, especially corruption by the mighty, by about 60-65%.
  • That there are many more issues that the country faces, including looting in the name of land acquisition, people’s right to recall elected representatives, judicial reforms, and so on. Anna has chosen one issue that has become very important not only because of its direct impact on the common man, but also because one after the other many politicians and bureaucrats have been found to have robbed the nation of billions of rupees. Not only that, the governmental machinery has been trying hard to shelter them. It is only because of pressure from the higher judiciary and civil society that the government is acting against some of them – even then half-heartedly.
Because of the reputation of some of our senior journalist and columnist colleagues, I feel that they too have an axe to grind in confusing people about Jan Lokpal. If a momentum has been generated to rid the society of one of its major malaise, questioning premises that are not the basis of Jan Lokpal is to obfuscate the matter, and NOT to have a balanced debate as these biased johnies claim.

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