Monday, April 11, 2011

Jan Lok Pal Bill - Glaring Idiocies

Really sad to see the hype of Jan Lokpal Bill that has enthralled our nation in a Pied Piper effect.

Having read the broad ambits of the Jan Lokpabl bill that is being promulgated by Anna Hazare, Shanti Bhushan and others, there are some very massive questions which are left unanswered and even unquestioned.

1. The claim that every investigation would be conducted within one year.

Crime investigation, especially anti corruption investigation does not happen with magic. There is a great deal of investigative effort required. If EVERY case registered in an year is to be fully investigated in an year itself, there would be the need for a massive bureaucracy that would trump ANY existing bureaucracy. Such a vast bureaucracy would have its own corruption and slow downs.

2. The claim that every case would be brought to trial and trial completed within one year. 

How is Jan Lokpal going to accomplish this without massively increasing the numerical strength of our judiciary and its support staff? Is this claim anything more than absolute hogwash?

3. The proposal that Lok Pal would consist of a committee of equal numbers of elected politicians and equal number of civil society luminaries and a Lok Pal / National Ombudsman who would be the Chairman of Committee and would be a civil society representative.

Who selects the Civil Soiety luminaries? The elite choosing the next of the elite? And what is the criterion for being these civil society luminaries? Nobel laureate? Bharat Ratna? These are not awards of statesmanship. Can an Einstein govern a nation? No. People who are good at one thing should not ever be considered to be experts at everything else. If it happens, they crash and burn, for eg: Manmohan Singh and his reputation.

Now some of my own questions:

1. What is there to ensure that there wont be corruption in Lok Pal and Lok Ayukta?

There are allegations aplenty that the Lok Ayukta of Karnataka, the much exalted Ombudsman, Santhosh Hegde is quite unparalleled in his levels of corruption. Let us not forget that Supreme Court, that last bastion of hope for our people has been recently been exposed for its corruption in the form of the scandals involving Retd SC Judge KG Balakrishnan. This corruption has more or less resulted from the ZERO accountability. This Lok Pal would be even less accountable to the people of India. 

2. What after Anna Hazare and the pious brigade?

The present leaders of Lok Pal movement are without doubt pillars of integrity. Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar etc. However what would happen to the institution of Lok Pal once these people with proven stature are no more? Our nation is not one of a single generation. Its institutions have to last for generations. Depending on the piety and integrity of its members have brought failure to many institutions like US Constitution and of course our own Constitution.

The supremely intelligent Constitution drafted by BR Ambedkar was soon corrupted and eroded by Nehru and sycophants, a fact which we should never forget in the context of Lok Pal . Any human institution is vulnerable for corruption, even one as unaccountable as this one.

3. So what to do to stop corruption?

Nothing. Corruption would never be eliminated in entirety, we can just reduce it and increase its deterrence. We have a good theoretical model that is very poorly implemented. What we need a systemic overhaul. What we are suffering is not a tumor in one area but a disease that has spread throughout the body. We dont need an instrument of cauterization, what we need is an effective medicine that would burn out the disease from the entire body. We need a profound change in our political system, a change which I do not know how to bring about.

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