It is going to create another set of government employees who need to be bribed.
To eliminate corruption, the person at the top should not tolerate corruption. Because the PM is surrounded by corrupt people and because he has been put there by corrupt people, he condones corruption. As the person at the top is corrupt, people under him are corrupt. Thus, corruption flows through the system.
To ensure that the top person is not corrupt, we as the citizens should elect honest politicians to power. We do not do this. So, it is our fault.
Maybe, it is not really our fault. Our voting machines are manufactured abroad. Even though electronic voting machines can reveal the results almost immediately after voting has finished, results are not declared for weeks. During this time, foreign powers that have placed secret codes in these devices can wirelessly bake news results onto the voting machines, i.e., even without physically accessing these devices. (Elections seem to be deliberately staggered and conducted in phases to facilitate this. The law-and-order excuse is just an excuse.) Even if this was true, we are not helpless.
We could have been out in the streets demanding that our elections machines be conducted using voting machines manufactured entirely in India. The voting machines should have been offered to anyone who wishes to check their ability survive tampering. We are not protesting for reliable voting machines. We have compromised our elections, our democracy and our sovereignity.
Instead, we are protesting for the creation of a huge new bureacracy of government employees known as Lok Pal. What is the guarantee that Lok Pal officials will be able to eliminate corruption?
First, we had the police. They were accused of corruption. So, new vigilance departments were to monitor police and government officials. Now, vigilance department officials are also taking money. At the Central level, CBI was created to check corruption. But the CBI also takes money. So, a Central Vigilance Commissioner post was created to oversee the CBI. The PJ Thomas episodes showed how the PM tried to plant a corrupt officer as the CVC.
More than the police, the CBI is the worst offender. They handle such as Bofors and Telgi fake stamp paper cases. Telgi has accused the CBI of giving him AIDS. Other accused from the political/bureacratic class are free. All the offenders in the Bofors case are either dead, abroad or in power. The CBI helped Quattroci escape from India and other countries where he was arrested. They filed poorly prepared chargesheets and also placed restrictions on those chargesheets so that the public will not come to know about their connivance. They also moved court to allow Quatrocci move his bribe money from his frozen bank account. Similarly, in other high-profile cases, CBI has protected the accused and targeted some fall guys. The usual tactic is to file charges late or file them with glaring holes. All that the CBI does well is research – research in the efficacy of truth serum. And, the serum is not used to extract the truth but to extract false memories planted by I guess hypnotists. This is then video taped and released to the media, which has a field day with it. They regularly leak information to the media, which the journalists unwitting lap up. This creates the impression that the CBI is actually doing some real work. In reality, this only makes the accused frightened and make them bribe the CBI officers. In almost all high-profile cases that the CBI has handled arrests and interrogations are done with great fanfare. This fools only the media. The courts usually throw out the cases citing lack of convincing evidence.
The CBI is utterly corrupt. The new Lok Pal will be new the CBI. When this happens, I guess Anna Hazare will be fasting for the establishment of a Lok Pal for the Lok Pal.
What we need is just a police force. The police force needs to divided into two – one should deal with general law enforcement (just patrolling would be enough) and the other should deal with investigation. Instead, most of our police personnel is engaged with bandobust duty for politicians and their cronies. There is no one left to deal with actual law enforcement or investigation. So, policemen resort to shortcuts such as kangaroo courts, threats, torture, encounter killings and falsification of evidence.
What the people need to do is pretty simple. If there are no honest politicians, then honest people should form honest political parties and win elections. If you elect corrupt politicians and then offload the responsibility to clean the system to a questionable group of government employees, it is unlikely to yield results.
Politicians and bureaucrats will become more careful and devise more crafty schemes. Western countries, such as the United States and Britain, are examples of such societies. There, corruption is very sophisticated. (After their retirement from politics, heads of state such as Tony Blair, George Bush, and John Major sit on big company boards and get paid millions for giving just pep-talk. How do you purchase such cases?)
In Western countries, corrupt people are also difficult to pursue. There are numerous occupational harzards in pursuing who are all-powerful. Like God, these people are omni-present and omni-potent. Whenever someone goes out of his way and does some real investigation, he immediately dies in a mysterious accident or commits suicide like the weapons expert David Kelly of the UK. Or, the police finds child porn in his computer, as happened with WMD inspector Scott Ritter. If the person is in politics, then someone finds that he has hired some high-priced hookers, as happened to the New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer who pursued corrupt Wall Street traders and companies.
The other danger that Lok Pal poses is much more calamitous. Its mandate will be expanded and ordinary people will be brought before its probing eye. It will be like living in a communist state where everyone lives under the threat of being hauled up before the politburo. If we need more freedom, then we need less laws and less government. We shouldn’t be asking for more government employees who will create more problems for us. Total freedom is against justice and total justice is against freedom. People should find a balance. Stupidity is not an excuse.
What was Anna Hazare doing all these years? He is supposed to have held kangaroo courts in his native village in Maharashtra and dished out corporal punishment for those he found to have committed various “offences.” The RSS chief is on the record that they both go back a long way.
Sharad Pawar may be a man who betrays our country’s farmers and consumers to big Agro companies from the United States. Still, he is an extremely old man and someone whose face has been partially saved from oral cancer. Why would anyone think that slapping such a person a cause for amusement?