3 Issues with the Anna movement in India

Since the Independence day of 2011, whole of India has been crippled with ANNA fever. I have been listening to the comments of many luminaries from media, bollywood, politics, etc on TV, FB, twitter, etc. I can connect with the cause of ANNA very well. Its important to have an anti-corruption bill to put an end to the thousands of crores’ of scams this nation has witnessed.

The bill will bring accountability to politicians and other civil servants especially when many government officials have forgotten that they are also referred to as civil SERVANTS. The money from India will not be stashed in AC-lockers of Switzerland and find their rightful way to the development of millions of downtrodden Indians.

All said and done. Does someone bother to understand the government’s point of view? The whole basis of Indian constitution has been the Indian parliament with our MPs being its major custodians. The constitution has empowered the MPs (so called elected representatives) to formulate the laws on behalf of millions of indians.

Issue 1: By setting deadlines & framing laws outside the parliament, aren’t we shaking the foundation of our constitution?

Issue 2: Who is Anna Hazaare? Why should government (elected by us) even bother to listen to Anna? he does not represent millions of indians.

Issue 3: Suppose if the government bows down to his demand for a strong Jan Lokpal bill, will this be setting a strong example ? tomorrow some other person can come up with a blackmailing idea & start making demands to government. Is this good for our nation?

I will be happy to listen to your views on this, do use the comment section generously.

5 steps to control corruption on roads

Some weeks ago, Anna Hazare sat on a ‘dharna’ to get the Jan Lokpal Bill introduced in the Parliament. After 2-3 days of national drama, the government had to accede to his demand.

The Lokpal Bill is supposed to be the first step towards ending corruption in India. Corruption runs like blood through the veins of administrative & political class of India. It may be as big as passing a large-scale government contract or as small as bribing the traffic cop.

The bribe giver & bribe taker – both are equally responsible for this malice. So any solution to tackle corruption has to be two-fold – fix the problem from bribe givers’ side AND from bribe takers’ side.

I can think of some possible steps which can be taken to solve the problem of bribery in case of traffic cops.

Step 1: Allocate hoardings at prominent junctions which will show the traffic rules violations & their fines. Most often, traffic cops take ANY amount in the name of signal cutting. Official fine for signal cutting is only Rs 100/- But these cops charge anything like Rs 200 or so.

Step 2: Raise an RTI query with the RTO & demand the list of traffic rules violations & their respective fine charges. This RTI application can be done for Rs 10/- & you SHOULD get a reply within 3 weeks. Very often I have seen cops asking for vehicle’s papers. Now who on this planet carries vehicle papers with him everyday? Recently I learnt that asking for PUC by traffic cop is not a rule. And even if thats a rule and a person does not have one, the cop is supposed to give him a warning & allow him to leave (i.e. without any fine).

Step 3: Install CCTV cameras at all major junctions which can constantly monitor the surroundings. This can be used to find traffic cops accepting bribes. Agreed this can be tampered but mere presence is enough to keep the cops at bay.

Step 4: Stop congregation of traffic cops in one particular junction. More often I have seen half a dozen traffic cops in small-small junctions. Add to that some 3-4 constables & a mazda van. Why do they need so much machinery to just regulate traffic flow? that too when traffic signals are doing their job. This mob outsizes normal citizens & gives them an opportunity to harass the people.

Step 5: Traffic cops should undergo yoga session 3 days in a week. This will keep them grounded & make them selfless (hopefully) 🙂

I guess this 5-step program can check day-to-day corruption levels to some extent.

What do you think ? write a line or two in the comments section & let me know…

Jan Lokpal Bill .. Salient Features

1. An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up

2. Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.

Crusader against Corruption 3. Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.

4. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.

5. How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.

6. So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.

7. But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.

8. What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.

9. What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.

10. It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for raising their voice against corruption.