Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ENOUGH

B.RAMAN

The anti-corruption movement launched from New Delhi by a hotch-potch of elements and groups under the leadership of Anna Hazare, a social activist of unquestioned integrity and unimpeacheable credentials, has to be taken seriously by the Government of Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh.

2. Any attempt to have it discredited or to underestimate the genuine anger of growing sections of the public against widespread corruption at various levels of the political leadership and bureaucracy would be short-sighted and could lead to poltical instability and a disturbance of law and order. We might be faced with a Jasmine Revolution type situation with the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi from where the movement has been launched becoming India's Tahrir Square.

3. Not all those supporting the movement have noble objectives. The movement has been triggered by a mix of motives ---some noble and laudable marked by a desire to rid the country of corruption, some politically opportunistic and some politically partisan marked by a desire to take advantage of the immense popularity of Anna Hazare to have the Government further discredited and ride to power.

4. Despite the undoubted presence of opportunistic and partisan elements in the ranks and the leadership of the movement, one cannot deny that within two days of starting, the movement is threatening to spread far and wide across the country and has started attracting the support of growing sections of the youth, which had till now shown little interest in the campaign against corruption. This is due to a feeling of disgust over this cancer and the evident half-heartedness of the Government and the political class as a whole in dealing with this cancer.

5.Increasing numbers of non-governmental citizens, many of them the youth, have started feeling "Enough---Thus Far and No Further" and giving unmistakable signs of a growing conviction that unless they take matters in their own hands and come out in the streets, things are not going to change and that it would be futile to expect the political class to take effective action against corruption.

6. There are two aspects to the scenario confronting the country in the light of the demands being made by Anna Hazare and his supporters for the immediate creation of an institution called Lok Pal with wide powers and with the association of eminent persons of the society to take notice of corruption at all levels---including the Prime Minister---- and initiate action against it.

7. The first aspect is the feasibility of the creation of the institution in the form and in the manner demanded by them. This demand has been there since 1969 and no Government has so far taken it seriously. Misgivings that an institution of the type demanded by them could encourage frivolous complaints of corruption and frivolus actions paralysing the process of governance are not far-fetched. In the light of these misgivings, it was incumbent on the Government and the political class as a whole to come out with an alternative approach which could effectively reduce corruption without weakening the governmental machinery.

8. The failure of successive Governments to come out with such an alternative solution has given rise to widespread anger that the Government and the political class are not serious about addressing this cancerous problem. This anger is the second aspect of the scenario.

9. The Government and the political class do not seem to realise that any further procrastination in dealing with this cancer and attempts to ignore the demands and expectations of the people could damage the very roots of democracy in the country, thereby damaging one of the major assets this country has had since its independence.

10. It is important for the Government to address immediately the demand for a Lok Pal by coming out with alternative solutions which would be acceptable to the people behind the movement and to take note of the growing public anger over the issue of corruption in general and take action to address the causes of that anger. (6-4-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India,New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

14 comments:

Think Different said...

Hello Mr.Raman,
Did you close your Twitter account 'Ramanthink'?

Paresh said...

Excellent article Raman Sir!! Just excellent!

Many times some mischievous people have tried to use the garb of working with Annaji Hazare to extract money from innocent people. Such acts can be repeated again, especially by the representatives of political parties to blemish the name and integrity of Annaji Hazare. We the citizens of India have to guard against being influenced by false propaganda from political parties.

Voyage of Thoughts said...

All right thinking Indians should come out in open peaceful support of anna hazare

Esoteric said...

Sir, Your reading of the situation in Eygpt had predicted danger to Mubarak regime..Whats the chance of an armed or otherwise revolution in India wrt AH movt?

Just another guy said...

It seems you forgot point #11.

11. Barkha Dutt, who is the best journalist in the world, should be appointed as the final authority on the Janlokpal.

Chander said...

When we talk of our countrymen & task 2 execute for them thru #LokPalBill,
50:50 'Joint Committee' is a 'slap'on
d face of 'Aam Aadmi' & 'irony' 2 !
Be serious, while drafting d bill, it
has 2 b 100% 'Pro People' & nothing less !!
Incorporate ur version, in 'consortium' with 'SC'Judge, Law Makers, Civil Society, Socialists &
no "Politicians'!!!
The Politicians will play their role, when #DraftBill shall be
presented to the #Parliament, 2 b
debated & passed in both the 'Houses'!!!!
The #DraftBill before handing over 2 d 'Speaker' can b made public,
with the help of Media in the form
of Memorandum !!!!!
A 'Fast' shd not send wrong signals,that it acts as 'Hinderance, Obstacle, Blockade' etc.. agst its own #JanLokPalBill..
Chandra Shekhar, @BrooklynTea

harihar said...

There is already an armed revolution in several parts of India of which malgovernance, corruption and exploitation of the poor and disadvantaged are the root causes. It is called the Naxalite or the Left Wing Extremist (LWE) movement!


Now, the unarmed or peaceful or civil disobedience movement, undere the leadership of the likes of Anna Hazare, also shows signs of spreading.

In a sense, it is a good sign. That millions of ordinary Indians have a conscience and and that it is this innnate sense of what is right and what is wrong that keeps Indian democracy ticking!

Harihar Sharma

Chander said...

#AnnaG a 50:50 'Joint Committee' in itself, means U hv conceded or lost
d battle by 50%, even without giving
them a fight?? U r d think tanker or
Janak of #JanLokPalBill, so give ur
think tank 2 those who can 'Draft d
Bill', in accordance 2 frame of LAW,
d best people around 'r' d Judges of
Supreme Court, Law Makers, People from Civil Society with high Integrity, Socialist's of ur Stature!
BY conceding 50% would also mean,
we r allowing d 'Corruption' 2 b reduced only by 50% or Let 50%
Countrymen suffer d burnt of 'Corruption'!!
I was given d impression that 99%
people r Supporting d 'movement',
then, it shd b 100% 'Public Committee' instead of Joint Committee & d #DraftBill shd b presented on behalf of PUBLIC by ur
goodself 2 d Parliamentarians or
Speaker of d House & a similar copy
of d draft 2 d President of India,
a copy 2 d CJI,Supreme Court & prior 2 that, 2 d Public thru. Media !!
Chandra Shekhar @BrooklynTea

Aryzul said...

I totaly disagree with your view point. Nobody is highjacking. It is your bureacratic fear and attempts to devide the movement.

I don't think bureaucarcy is needed anymore. Politician alone can not indulge in corruption, lubrication in the forms of loop holes is provided by bureacracy.

RTI has just coming to become the parking space for retired bureacrats. There were many attempts by corrupt Ex CJI and the present buracracy to dilute RTI.

Aryzul said...

I totaly disagree with your view point. Nobody is highjacking. It is your bureacratic fear and attempts to devide the movement.

I don't think bureaucarcy is needed anymore. Politician alone can not indulge in corruption, lubrication in the forms of loop holes is provided by bureacracy.

RTI has just coming to become the parking space for retired bureacrats. There were many attempts by corrupt Ex CJI and the present buracracy to dilute RTI.

Wind Bricks said...

I wish I could do something to support Anna Hazare

Aditya Kumar Nayak said...

Hi Raman Sir,

Really liked your post. I have compiled a list of top 15 posts on the issue and I included yours too. Here is the link:

http://www.adityakumarnayak.com/2011/top-12-resources-on-anna-hazares-fast-corruption-jan-lokpal-bill/

Returned to Unit (RTU) said...

What if the Lokpal becomes corrupt? What shall we do? Who will oversee the Lokpal?

NRP

Wally said...

Way to go Raman. After a day's duration, you have managed to delete my comment, nevermind that it didn't contain any offensive subject matter. It seems you are determined to keep any comments against certain media groups to a minimum. Go back to analysing intelligence and stop making a fool of yourself. By ridiculing this genuine outburst of emotion and initiative shown by the youth a week back, you are doing a great disservice to the nation. Shame on you for discrediting their efforts.