Corruption & Lokpal Bill – India

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

    References:

1. FRONTLINE (www.frontline.in), May 6, 2011
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Lokpal_Bill

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2 Comments

  1. Deepesh Mathur
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 4:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    Good Post dear,

    I also think that education is also very important and in my view even more than the law and enforcement. The education of ethics and professional standards at all levels from primary schools to work places. The major issue is that people have taken corruption for granted in the society and I am surprised to find that people feel proud to disclose their corrupt money and young ones are getting educated from their own parents and family to be open about the corruption in order to survive !!!!

    Anyway ,,,

    Cheers

  2. Dhruv Thakar
    Posted May 7, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well portrayed the unknown fact about our governance….., .

    It is apparent that the corruption has become the new law in India and utterly melted in our blood… Every Indian foresees, India to be the most powerful country by 2050 considering the 40 % youth force are getting ready to challenge the world and synthesize outstanding growth for the future but unfortunately by looking all current lingering scams will probably halt the growth and diminish the foreign investment due to looting policies of government ………..Surprisingly, neither government nor media talks about getting tax payer money back from Swiss bank or other scams. We should be more concerned about all scams money ( $1.4 trillion) that stashed away and find way to bring back to our country for betterment of underprivileged children and society…..

    Agree with your blog that we should trust Anna hazare ‘s campaign and hopefully it works as anticipated…

    Many Thanks for sharing your notions and keep blogging..

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