How Corruption works
• Corruption is Top-Down Phenomenon
• Corporate corruption always operates through public officials.
• Monster corporations are growth hungry & political parties are power hungry.
• Elections campaigns get big black money from such monster corporations. In return, the monster corporations dictate govt. policies in their favor.
• With favorable conditions, monster corporations have more financial & other resources (oil, gas, energy, etc…) than 80% of people.
• Economy gets driven by their selfish means. Prices rise, rich become richer & poor become poorer.
• This is how corporations rule and political officials become their agents
• As a result common people suffer due to lack of adequate resources and overall growth of the country is retarded.
• Moreover, corruption thrives even at bottom level because officers who should stop corruption are also corrupt. No one to watch them.
What makes the people of the country handicap?
• CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) is independent but has no power to prosecute.
• CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has power but was not independent (had to wait for central govt.’s permission for prosecution) only until UPA govt. made it independent just pre-lok-sabhaa elecetions 2014.
Where is the missing link?
• Need an independent powerful body to remove corruption by investigating and prosecuting govt. officials impartially.
• Lokpal has only been advisory to govt. without any powers to investigate & prosecute govt. officials.
• 8 attempts (1968, 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998 & 2001) have been failed to in past 42 years for making Lokpal more powerful enough to be able to prosecute corrupt officials impartially.
The trigger point
• Global Financial Integrity (a NGO) pegged outflow of illegal money from India.
• $500 billion – $1400 billion trailed in Swiss banks. All Indian black money.
• Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s steps inadequate to combat this menace.
• Govt. has the necessary information & tools at its disposal to trace & prosecute the offenders. E.g. Swiss banks can provide details if Tax authority registers formal cases against offenders.
• But if names disclosed, entire UPA govt. would fall. There is lack of political will.
Enter Anna Hazare (Former Indian Army Havildar & activist of civil society).
• Anna: “Govt. (merely the trustee of people to safeguard public money) is failing its duty to people (masters in democracy).
• Anna writes letter to PM (Manmohan Singh) with intention of “fast unto death” if govt. didn’t accept his demand by April 5.
• Demand = “Include civil society members in the drafting of Lokpal Bill so as to allow to investigate & prosecute corrupt public servants impartially”.
• Anna’s declaration largely gets immediate acceptance in public (frustrated by corruption menace).
• Public turns angry as Govt. hesitates. People react on Media and the Internet.
• PM Manmohan Singh appealed to Hazare to call off his fast and engage in a discussion with subcommittee to frame the lokpal bill.
• Kapil Sibbal (Union Human Resource Development Minister) opposed and indicated that “outsiders” can’t draft legislation as it would be compromising parliaments’ sovereignty.
• Hazare: “If Govt. alone drafts the Bill, it will be Autocracy, not democracy”. And questioned govt.’s wisdom in calling civil society representatives like him as an “outsider”.
• SERVANTS CAN’T CALL MASTER AN OUTSIDER. IF SERVANTS DIDN’T WORK RIGHT, IT IS DUTY OF MASTER TO TEACH HIM THE RIGHT LESSON.
• 7th April, Govt. in Jittery, with concerns of Hazare’s deteriorating health.
• Number of Hazare’s Co-fasters rose to nearly 500.
• 8th April, Govt. agrees to accept all demands of Hazare. But Hazare waits till 9th April so that Govt. would have enough time to bring out gazette notification.
• Hazare breaks his fast but warns that he would do same again if Jan Lokpal Bill isn’t enacted by 15th August (symbolic deadline of 2nd freedom).
• But merely the Bill is not enough. Policies too should change accordingly.
• Therefore, next agenda is to push for decentralization. This will lead to participatory decision-making in Govt. policies to stop favoring monster corporations.
• Theoretically, Lokpal will have full potential to curb every corruption however it is believed it would wipe out 80% of corruption in the country.
• Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Lokpal_Bill to know more (key features) about Lokpal Bill
1. FRONTLINE (www.frontline.in), May 6, 2011