Accept the world as it is, UNLESS YOU CAN CHANGE IT !

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Anna Hazare demanded for formation of a joint committee for appointment of Jan Lokpal (People Ombudsman). Government has agreed to the demand and made a notification forming a committee for deciding the Lokpal Bill. And people of this ‘unfortunate’ country have started celebration to the extent as if corruption is eradicated from the country. As if all dishonest politicians and bureaucrats are punished. Are we really so innocent or are we fools? People of this country have always, from ancient times, waited for some superman to come and remove all the evils. (Our ancient epics like Ramayan and Mahabharat have also same stories where the “ bechhari-janata(poor people)” was saved from all the evils by some “heros” like Ram and Krushn). Perhaps they have seen their ‘suparman’ in Anna.  Poor folk.

The history of independent India has witnessed that such independent entities have not performed well. CBI, EC(election commission) and VC (vigilance commission) are examples of such authorities. These institutions are given immense powers and independence (at least on paper) to perform without any fear or interference of governments. But the track record of these authorities is far from satisfactory.

CBI, the highest investigating agency has always remain a handy tool for the ruling party to use against the opposition or for own benefits. The working of CBI has always remained doubtful because in many cases the flow of investigation kept changing with the change of power in the center. Bofors is one of the best examples of such so called investigations.

Election commission is such another entity having vast powers. However, during sixty years of its existence, only during the tenure of Sh Sheshan, electoral reforms have taken place. People were made aware of rules and regulations need to be followed by the contestants. But after Sh Sheshan has gone, no further reform took place. Not a single politician has been given exemplary punishment for breach of election regulations.

Until the Tomas issue came out, very few have heard anything about the Vigilance Commission(VC). The reason is this institution has done nothing remarkable ever. Looking to the magnitude of corruption in the country, perhaps this authority has maximum opportunity to show its performance. But this authority has just past its tenure and enjoyed facilities available at the cost of the money of the exchequers.

The basic reason of total failure of such agencies is  that the posting of top-brass of these agencies is still in the hand of the government, directly or indirectly. Due care is always taken by the authority to put ‘right’ person at right place in such agencies. Mostly the persons retired from government jobs, and have track-record ‘suitable’ to the ruling party, are placed in such agencies. (Thomas was just befitting the post of CVC for this government.) For such persons the hefty pay-packet and other perks are extra benefits in addition to the pensions. They just pass their tenure peacefully without annoying their ‘aakaas(masters)’ in power to ensure extension or such another posting. No question of performance comes at all. This system need to be changed. (Our constitution does not allow to express anything against the President of India, otherwise lot can be said about election(!) of some of our presidents, also.)

In light of this situation, appointment of a Lokpal will not make much difference. On one hand some of the demands of Anna Hazare are not fair and tenable. His demand for giving full authorities to the Lokpal for receiving complaints, investigating and punishing the culprit is dangerous if fell in hand of some unscrupulous person. Remember, the Lokpal will be a human being after all and that too appointed by the ruling government. Process may whatever be, our experience is that the ruling party in this country can influence any posting, appointment and even election. On the other hand, again the person posted on this post will ensure that he/she get another term or another such assignment from the government for a peaceful and prosperous retired life. This will definitely affect the performance of the Lokpal.

It is not that nothing can be done to remove corruption from this country. But for that every one should have to start from the scratch. Gandhijee has said “Be The Change You Want To See”. How many of us have got a driving license without paying bribe or using influence? We pay donations to get admissions in any good school, teaching our children that this the way of getting work done. We are not ready to follow even simple traffic rules made for our own safety, leave alone thinking about the safety of others. Instead of asking for our rights, we always trying to find out short cuts to get our work done. We elect criminals and send them in parliaments and then blame the system. No Lokpal can do anything unless we are ready to fight against the corrupt and dishonest politicians/bureaucrats. Instead of searching ‘super/spiderman’ in Anna or some other person, it is better to be a ‘man’ ourselves. If most of us, if not everyone, will become a man/woman and fight for his/her lawful rights as a human being, we do not need any Lokpal.

Unfortunately the situation is totally different. Economic crime has become a status symbol. The definition of good character is reduced to sexual relations only. ( Refer to Loose Character....  in this Blog). Instead of social boycott of corrupt politicians, this lot gets more and more supporters. If we want to remove corruption, the simple way is to stop giving bribe. If most of us will refuse to give bribe, the person asking for bribe will have to change his/her mentality. Instead of voting for any party, we need to cast our vote in favour of the least culprit available in the list.  A coalition of honest persons is far better then an absolute majority of criminals in parliament. If we do so, the political parties will have to rethink about selecting their candidates.

So don’t wait for Lokpal or any other ‘superman’. Such heroes exist in stories and movies only. In real life you are the hero/heroine of your life. Prove it.


  1. Navin you have shown 3 concern in this article.
    1) our past experience about independent entities like CVC, EC and CBI is not good.
    2)Potential side effects of giving absolute power to Lokpal.
    3)you feel that Corruption can be done away with social awareness rather than relying on Lokpal or any other institutional reforms.

    Regarding your first 2 concerns I have already answered on my blog, but still for the benefit of your readers i am putting that comment here

    Navin on this issue my opinion differs from your opinion. My experience of administration says that independent entities like election commission, C&AG and even judiciary has worked in a satisfactory manner if not very excellently. While criticizing the work of independent regulatory authorities we should also consider the problems faced by them during the discharge of their duty. Only after weighing both the sides i.e. hurdle in the jobs of these authorities and duties performed by these entities in spite of so many barriers, you will be able to understand the importance of these agencies.
    Regarding your criticism about the bodies like CBI, CVC and EC not performing their duties even at satisfactory level let me tell you that CBI is not an independent entity; it is a directorate department of GOI. Appointment, transfer and deputation of the officers in CBI is done by GOI, hence CBI has always been and will always be misused by ruling party for their own personal gains. EC’s contribution in the maintenance of democracy in India must be applauded. Not only during the time of sheshan even after that it was EC because of which free and fair elections are conducted in India. Take an example of 2004 Bihar state legislative assembly election. Lalu Yadav ruled Bihar for 15 years not because of development or good work but because of use of money power and muscle power. However in 2004 EC decided to conduct free and fair elections “come what may”. The whole Bihar police which was in the pocket of Lalu was compelled to sit at home and paramilitary forces were deployed to avoid any fear or favor and all the notorious elements were either thrown out of Bihar or were put behind the bars. After elections Lalu credited EC for his defeat in these words” I was not defeated by people of Bihar; it was EC who made sure that I should not come to power again. CVC having only recommendatory powers in the hand it can’t take action against erring politicians and bureaucrats, because it’s very genes are weak and even lokpal would have meet the same fate if Anna and civil society wouldn’t have jumped in the battle. No independent entity can work in satisfactory manner unless it is given sufficient powers. Of course power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and hence I am not in the support of giving absolute power to Lokpal too. As I have mentioned in the article Lokpal shouldn’t be provided with judicial powers, because it is against the basic principles of our constitution and even government won’t accept this provision because it can’t go against guidelines given in directive principle of state policy and if it does than Lokpal bill itself will be declared Ultra Virus (unconstitutional) by SC.

  2. @Bhavin
    Thanks for expressing your views.

    I am not blaming such agencies for their failure. As I mentioned in the article, it is political parties in power which interferes in the posting and working of top-brass of these agencies which ultimately results in poor performance.

    I fear that the fate of Lokpal will not be better.

  3. i had written 2 comments on your blog where is the 3rd comment related to your last concern? I don't how it got deleted.

  4. @Bhavin

    You might have deleted that portion inadvertently. You may repost the same.

  5. @ Navin sorry could not write that deleted comment earlier because I was busy, but here it is. Regarding your last concern I am partially agree with you that if we want to really eradicate corruption than social awareness is necessary because without social awareness not only corruption but any social evil can’t be eradicated. But point on which I differ from you is, you think that corruption can be destroyed just by making people aware about its ill effects and there is no need of strong anti corruption law to curtail it. As you have mentioned “if we want to remove corruption, the simple way is to stop giving bribe”. Vow what a great Idea you have come up with! But don’t you think so that if it was as easy as you think than corruption might have got eradicated a long ago. Theoretically you are correct that if people stop giving bribe than corruption can be stopped but practically it is not as easy as it seems. Since we humans are born Hippocrates, we don’t like corruption but it is only when it is done by others but when corruption becomes necessary for our own benefit most of those who criticize corruption will justify it by some or the other way. Look at BJP they criticize the corruption of congress but when their own C.M is found to be dipped in corruption they say it is immoral but not illegal, similar is the situation of congress they criticize BJP for Godhra riots but forget about Sikh massacre of 84. What I want to say here is, not only corruption but any social evil whether dowry or terrorism or sati system or untouchability can’t be eradicated only by use one of the either i.e. strong law or social awareness. Actually it requires attack from both the side i.e. social as well as legal side. Look at the history social reformers like Raja Ram mohan roy on the one hand fought for social awareness against social evils like sati and child marriage at the same time he persuaded British government to bring prohibitive laws against this evils. Similarly Ambedkar on one hand brought awareness in Dalits about their social exploitation, he also put pressure on gov. to enact strong laws like abolition of untouchability act and prevention of atrocities act because this people were knowing that social awareness in necessary but is not enough to end this social corruption, legal backup too is necessary. Now suppose if you become aware about ill effects of corruption and you refuse to pay bribe to government officer for rendering and because this gov. officer doesn’t do your work than what will you do? Certainly you will take some legal action such as complaining to higher authorities or filling a PIL in courts etc. but suppose if there are too many loopholes in the law and because of that the erring officer gets relieved than how you will fight against him. For each and every matter you can’t come on roads and do strikes, since this is not very feasible option, because very soon people will get tired of it and will succumb to the corrupt system. Hence I strongly recommend a cocktail use of social awareness as well as punitive laws to fight corruption.

  6. @ Bhavin.
    I agree with your views.