Sunday, June 26, 2011

Corruption in India:Our Birth Right

The events of last few months involving the drafting of the Lok Pal Bill, the actions of the government on the 2 G Scam, Adarsh Housing Scam, CWG Scam and the views and actions of Indian Polity on the biggest menace eating into our struggle of developing India gives an impression that we are fighting for Our Birth Right --- i.e. CORRUPTION. In this endeavour all political parties and all politicians seem to be contributing with all their might, passively, actively or silently like they were contributing when Bal Gangadhar Tilak  gave the slogan ' Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it' way back in 1898 irrespective of their political and economic ideologies. The government claims that it has taken action against senior ministers and politicians but only when it became clear that shielding them will be their Waterloo. Who found out these scams? The government with all its powers and machinery never bothered to find out as to what is going on in this country. It was only press and media who exposed manipulations and corruption in these scams. Are these the only scams and corruption cases that have happened in this country during last five years? When black money issues are raised we talk only of Rs 70 lakh crores which is stashed away in foreign countries and the government expresses its helplessness in bringing it back because of international laws and procedures. Government, opposition and everyone in the country who matters does not talk of  Rs 10-15 lakh  crores being generated every year for it requires action solely on their part.
What should we expect from these people when the first small step towards having an effective Lok Pal has generated so much of commotion in political circles that erosion of parliamentary system and democracy are talked about when it comes to incorporating suggestions by a group of people invited by government itself to prepare a blue print of the bill, suggesting thereby that wisdom, morality and national concern are the sole propriety of handful of these politicians half of them are members of parliament through appointment ( indirect election) while the others carry at best a backing of 25% of electorate of their constituency.
It is surprising that every body in politics claims to be gravely concerned about corruption and having a powerful Lok Pal but nobody seems to have even a basic blueprint of the bill ready and are working in damage control mode after the issue has been thrust on them by team Anna. The total effort is not concentrated on having an effective Lok Pal institution but on scoring political points over rivals and ultimately whom to blame for not getting the bill through. In the worst of the circumstances if the bill has to be passed the aim is to have a lame Lok Pal standing on one leg waiting to fall with the slightest whiff of air.
By excluding CBI  from the ambit of  RTI, while the intentions of government about fighting corruption and bringing in transparency in governance are clear, the silence on the part of other parties on the matter only smells of a collusion amongst the polity for maintaining status quo in all matters of national interest. The lame excuse of CBI handling cases involving national security is just a ploy for keeping it outside the purview of RTI, for separate wings must be dealing with cases of corruption and national security and even if this is not the case, separate wings could be created for strengthening the claim of good governance and transparency.
Indian polity has a flair for coining high sounding vote catching slogans. These days we hear a lot about inclusive growth and empowerment of masses. In principle both the phrases are wonderful but in a country where 70% of the money is known to be going into individual pockets when accountability on ground cannot be established. Is it not an effort to establishing your political clout through indirect bribe. Or in simple words, you participate in the national loot in a small way and allow us to grab the major chunk peacefully. We have heard programmes and slogans like Community Development, Roti Kapda aur Makan, Jai Jawan Jai Kissan, Garibi Hatao and we are not any better on these fronts. Similarly after five years or so we will come across some new vote catching phrases and generation after generation the poor will have to live as poor and be at the mercy of free India's democratically elected masters.
In the end one could only say ' God bless this country and millions of deprived, starved and hapless citizens who are being condemned to this fate by the rulers of this country.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ashamed To Be An Indian

"I am ashamed to be a Hindustani" said Rahul Gandhi , Congress general secretary and the man considered to be the next prime minister of India. This was said when he saw the plight of farmers protesting against acquisition of their lands for Greater Noida Phase II in U.P. a state governed by one of the opposition parties. Surprisingly the same sort of problems are faced by the poor including poor farmers all over the country and even in states governed by congress and its allies but not an eyelid is battered by the so called and self acclaimed 'Masiha' of the Indian Poor.Let us not shed crocodile tears over the fate of poor of this country with a view to keeping only politics and vote banks in mind.
After sixty years of democratic rule in the country, as well meaning, sincere citizens with self respect we are ashamed to be an Indian because of anything and everything going on in this country, a few of them are recited below.

  • We are one of the most corrupt nations of the world and we are not prepared to take cognizance of this fact.
  • We are no.1 country in the generation of black money and we do not want to take any action.
  • Even after 64 years of independence, we have 450 million people below poverty line without even shelter, clean drinking water, basic health care, sanitation facilities and food for survival.
  • Even now we resort to food and fuel subsidies where only 20% reaches the target group and some part goes in administration costs and the biggest chunk goes into the pockets of mighty and powerful of this country.
  • We have grossly inadequate judicial system in the country. All kind of cases relating to criminal offences, economic offences, land and property disputes can and can be made to drag in courts for decades without any relief to the complainant and punishment to the guilty.
  • After 64 years of independence we are not utilising even 10 % of our river water potential culminating into frequent floods and droughts.
We do have the resources and wherewithal to achieve these in a short span of about five years provided we are sincere in our approach and don't resort to political play. Let the government begin in right earnest in introducing bills for bringing forth the desired laws and expose those who try to stall them and leave the rest to Indian electorate. Let us give these matters a sincere and earnest try without resorting to political slogan mongering and gimmickry.

    Corruption and Black Money:Our Main Priority

    It is not a coincidence that India is one of the most corrupt nations on our globe. With the kind of people ruling this country and the concern they show to the burning issues of corruption and black money we are bound to improve upon our ranking in the list of most corrupt nations in the coming years. These days there is a lot of hue and cry about corruption and black money and the issue is being constantly raised by media and non political civil society. While Anna Hazare led a Dharna and fast for impressing upon the government to have an effective Lok Pal in the country, Yoga Guru Ramdev fasted for government action on curbing the demon of corruption and retrieving black money.The reaction to these two small initiatives on the biggest menaces eating into the nation's wealth and resources has been simply pathetic. Everyday a multitude of ministers of Central Government and party spokespersons of Congress talk of law making being the purview of the elected members only.It is not understood how Anna Hazare and Ramdev are going to enact laws concerning Lok Pal and fight against corruption. May be our politicians are simply reminding themselves about their powers and duties towards the nation which they have not cared to exercise during the last sixty years. None of these leaders can absolve himself of the responsibility of failing the nation on these counts for most of them have been in the government for more than twenty years.
    Both Anna Hazare and Ramdev  have been termed to be the mouthpiece of BJP and RSS. Therefore their Satyagrah is a danger to the security, integrity, communal harmony and democracy. First of all it is not  certain whether BJP and RSS are any more serious about these issues, for over the years they also have kept these as sparring weapons to gain politically. Secondly does the issue becomes unimportant, loses relevance and is not in national interest if BJP and RSS are seen raising it or are associated with it. Thirdly if these two are so dangerous to the country, the government is failing in its duties by not banning them and is not working for the country but against it.
    Let us have an effective Lok Pal. Let us have effective laws to take care of corruption and black money or face the nation's fury for not doing what is in the best interest of the country. This can be done only if the political might of this country decides to serve the country instead of serving the interests of their political clout, for all dubious economic activity always has a political backing.