Tuesday, October 23, 2012



Many things have happened under the banner of INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION. 

Most of them are Good; but, some are not. That is the way life works for any Organization.
Name & Shame, as IAC called it initially was not GOOD at all. It was not backed up by any reasonable evidence – at that point of time. Name and Shame was just that – Name and Shame. Anyone can do that against anybody else in the world at any time. 

Subsequent exposes in the case of Sri Robert Vadra and Shri Salman Kurshid were reasonably supported by  EVIDENCES. That shook the Nation and enhanced the credibility of IAC in the eyes of the public. These EXPOSES are clearly, materially, ethically different from NAME & SHAME which had no responsibility for the shame  hurled at others without evidence.

Subsequent expose of BJP President, Nitin Gadkari seemed again to be empty words of Name and Shame. Even now, it seems to be so. Simply because, he is RICH, and because he happens to be the President of the No.1.Opposition Party in India, IAC should not presume that he is also, ipso facto,  as corrupt as the Politicians of the Party in Power. The  exposes in case of the BJP President not only did not establish any CORRUPTION as such, but, seemed to suggest that the BJP PRESIDENT was actually doing a GREAT PHILANTHROPIC JOB out there. And, the philanthropic, or at least social service job, is not denied by any one so far. The purpose of all that he is doing there, or a trust on his behalf is doing there, seems to be to bring up the farmers’ lot. Mr. Sharad Pawar also said so. No one in Congress denied this. Pawar’s saying this, by itself, should not be seen as establishing NEXUS between the two Politicians. If there really is such NEXUS, IAC should not merely cast such aspersions but back them up by SOLID EVIDENCES as in the case of Vadra and Kurshid.

On the other hand, the so called EXPOSER on behalf of IAC seemed to have some axe to grind or even a hidden Agenda.

Therefore, IAC’s record has unnecessarily become mixed. Even now, IAC members are trying to cast such EVIDENCE-LESS ASPERSIONS on this Opposition leader. They must clearly understand that it is pointless and meaningless. THEIR SAYING SO – does not make any X or Y corrupt. Nation needs evidence – not just rumour-mongering. 

If rumours are to be taken as true, many things said of IAC members by some Political spokesmen also should be taken as true. But, that is not correct. Mere creation of rumours or spreading them is not sound, ethical Politics.

My strong suggestion is - IAC members must not indulge in such rumour mongering, which reduces their credibility severely. The Nation has High Hopes of IAC. Many like us feel that they will be different;  that they will stick to truth. They must come with evidence, and nation will give them all due respect – but, if IAC talks rumours without evidence – especially when the BJP leader has openly said that he is willing to face ANY INVESTIGATION, the nation will have to look at IAC’s words  too with a pinch of salt. 

Also, any wrong doings by others – other than Gadkari personally – should be ascribed to those OTHERS – not to Gadkari.

These are ethics, the principles that must not be violated – if IAC wants to be a POLITICAL PARTY  with a difference. Unprincipled rumour-mongering puts IAC also into the same lot as other Political Parties.

The problem with IAC is – that instead of gathering more and more support, it is frittering away the support.

If one wears coloured Glasses, the whole world looks coloured – not because the world is – but because of wearing of coloured Glasses. The world, especially, India, is of course steeped in Huge corruption, but, IAC must be able to distinguish the CORRUPT  into distinct segments.

1.    There are those who are corrupt to the core, and would corrupt anyone else in the world, to serve their selfish interests. If someone does not toe their line, they do not hesitate to eliminate them also. Look at the number of RTI activists, who were eliminated – which has negatived all the Good that is done by the RTI Act, and all the Good that it is capable of. Any Good Government or even the IAC need only to track these dangerous, Corrupt Criminals and scan their movements closely – and, without an iota of doubt, they will lead to their Political masters and bureaucratic friends, with all evidences. This has happened in the mining scam in the South, to a certain extent. Justice Hegde’s report hit exactly here. These are the first category of people to be scanned. IAC’s scanner must be turned towards them on Priority.

2.    The second category are equally corrupt – but, they are only corrupt. They do not indulge in other crimes like murder, rape etc, to threaten their opponents. If they get exposed, or, fear exposure, they will reform. 

3.    The third category are corrupt, because, there is no other way, in their respective surroundings. When many around you are Corrupt, you will have to follow them – just to avoid, getting into unnecessary problems. I have seen people being punished for silly things – just for not being corrupt.

4.    Some people are NOT CORRUPT  themselves, but, have no patience or Guts, or means, to fight it. These are the people who can join Anna, or RamDev, or IAC. They must be given the Guts to face corruption squarely. There is no point in saying – if problem comes, you face it, else you join our efforts. If problem comes, members must be protected. If the FIGHTER is not PROTECTED, the FIGHT  will die out.

5.    Then, there are people who have all the Guts to oppose corruption – but, just lack support. The RTI activists who died, the Officers like Khemka -  are all of this category. There are many such people. But, organizations like Anna, IAC, Bharat Swabhiman must get them, make them act and protect them with all their might.

If IAC cannot distinguish people into such categories and looks at everyone with the same coloured Glasses, it would be a Gross Mistake.  Among Politicians also, all these categories are there. 

Simply because, IAC has exposed some ruling party politicians so far – should not mean that they must now expose an Opposition Party Politician of similar stature, even if they have no great evidence against him.

What Opposition parties and IAC could not do – one CAG has done so well – just as part of its duty. He is able to get the scent where the problem really lies. Ditto with SC. But for the honest and courageous actions of Supreme Court, many scams would never have seen the light of the day. That should percolate to the lowest level Judiciary.

Coming Back to IAC - there are INTERESTING QUESTIONS about what will happen to each of the EXPOSES of IAC. No doubt, media also supported IAC very well. But then, what will happen now? Will there be an Investigation? Who will do it and why will they?

The same old answer comes into mind. No Investigation may take place. If it does, it may be into limited, insignificant aspects of the exposes.

So, India needs a STRONG LOK PAL, who can act suo motu. We need him today. We needed him 65 years ago. But, at least now, we should have him very quickly. And, at state level, every state needs  Lok Ayuktha. This cannot be at the discretion of the states. No state CM or Assembly can be permitted to say – during my tenure, there shall not be a lok pal, in my state. Can we similarly allow a state CM or assembly, to have or not to have a High Court, or the State Accountant General (Under CAG) for their audit – at their discretion? That sort of discretion cannot be part of  FEDERAL STRUCTURE and RIGHTS OF STATES. The entire Nation must have an OMBUDSMAN for corruption monitoring – and this structure should be uniform like the Judicial structure and no State can be exempt from this. Definitely not in circumstances in which India is placed.

India must have a Strong Lok Pal and a strong Lok Ayuktha in each state – in all states without Exception – including J&K, Nagaland etc.  BJP, Congress and all National Parties must first take this principled stand. They will take this stand – provided Anna, Baba Ram Dev and IAC allow them, appeal to them, persuade them, force them and make them do it in the Parliament. Where else will the Bill be Passed?

IAC, Baba RamDev  and Anna must, on their part remain a little flexible. No insistence on JAN LOK PAL, no insistence on too many conditionalities, but insistence on Basics – just that much – is required from these crusaders.

We know that some UPA ministers are proved corrupt. Some more will be there in all states. But can we say, the whole Congress or all UPA Parties are corrupt? This sweeping charge is illogical and Bad. So is the assumption  with any Political Party.

So, IAC and other crusaders must support Anna’s crusade for LOK PAL BILL. Anna also must not cling to the words, JAN LOK PAL BILL, which implies, either it is my way or the High way. Anna and other crusaders can call it a strong LOK PAL BILL. 

There is another INTERESTING ASPECT in this crusade against Corruption. IAC, ANNA and Swami Ram Dev cannot come together and fight – even for the simple purpose of ENFORCING A LOK PAL BILL !! On this one Agenda, they must sink their differences, come together, stop quarreling with Politicians and MPs – but make them all vote for a STRONG LOK PAL BILL. If they all can’t join together for even this admittedly noble cause – how do they expect Politicians to come together for this Purpose?

The Strong Lok Pal must have strong support of CBI (Corruption wing), which must be answerable only to the Lok Pal. Without this, there is no way, it can be strong. Lok Pal must have direct jurisdiction over Gr.A and Gr.G officers and all PSUs officers of similar rank.

Rest of the people can be under INDEPENDENT ANTI-CORRUPTION WINGS  of the respective organizations – and they all must come under CVC, who will report to Lok Pal. 

A similar structure can be evolved for states as well. The Bill with such logical, practical structure must be got passed in Parliament, with MAJORITY SUPPORT. This must be the TOP PRIORITY CONCERN  for Anna, Baba Ram Dev and IAC. 

All exposes thereafter will make sense. Not before.

Lok Pal must of course by selected by a collegium consisting of Supreme Court judges, a Ruling party nominee, a Principal opposition party nominee – and he must preferably a person with Judicial Background. He must be answerable to Supreme court and to a certain extent to the Parliament. He must also lay before Parliament, an annual or Half-yearly report – like CAG.

Parliament must have no say, in respect of investigations and actions initiated – as these will be governed by civil and criminal law. 

If some GIVE & TAKE exists – and if some Unity exists among Crusaders - things will move in Parliament too. Dr. Man Mohan Singh is still the right man to move the LOK PAL BILL and get it passed in Parliament – and Anna, Ram Devji and IAC must appeal to him and to the Opposition Parties to get this momentous task done under their leadership.BJP was and perhaps is still willing to back all major points of Team Anna.

But, if the present NAME & SHAME  continues like a Game of one-upmanship, India will be a loser in the long run. Six months down the lane, no one will remember the exposes against Robert Vadra or Salman Kurshid. 

That is how, India works.

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