Saturday, August 27, 2011

Times View- Mr Chatterjee - Mr Pai: Where I disagree.

I tried my best not to write on this subject.But now that I have surrendered to my temptation, albeit a bit too late, I put across a few points of disagreement. Ironically for me, these points have been raised by people, whose views (on the subject) I have concurred with.

From the time, this campaign started,
The Times has been a supporter of Parliamentary Democracy. But I feel, they did go a little overboard when they said:
"The beauty of our nation is in Democracy, however imperfect it may be."
Dear Times, The beauty of Democracy also lies staying within tolerance levels. Street Power is a reflection that tolerance has been tested enough.
Its time to realize, shifting the needle a few degrees towards perfection, won’t spoil its beauty.

Somnath Chatterjee disapproves of the method adopted by Team Anna.
In his recent appeal to nation, he made a striking analogy. I am not quoting him word to word: but he echoed a sentiment that said
"if tomorrow he wants to get a law passed and has supporters for it, all they need to do is, stage a protest at Ramlila Maidan”

I fully agree with him, that a wrong precedent is being set by Anna and his team. However, if I am getting the numbers right, we are debating on a bill that got introduced 8 times in the past. Had it not been for this septuagenarian heading a protest, (to say the least) the wait could have been longer.

Nitin Pai in his article suggests an alternative to Lokpal.
During the Jantar Mantar protests, when you and I were still trying to distinguish between Lokpal and Jan Lokpal , Nitin had put across where Team Anna is getting wrong.
In his,recent article he suggests reforms and liberalization as an alternative to Lokpal.
Sorry, but I wonder, why the running away from Accountability. Through Lokpal,an attempt is being made to make the elected representatives and system as whole accountable. Reforms and Liberalization may do wonders, but that should not, ideally, take away the onus of accountability from the doer.

Anyway, the reason why these points came to my notice is because of the source it came from. As stated in the beginning of this post, I have been in concurrence with their views, except for the above points, that took me by surprise.


Yash said...

Totally agree with this!
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Anonymous said...

I agree to your point 2. If Annaji would not have taken this fast, Lokpal could never happen.

But i dont know why you disagree with his method. In India only such hard pressing measures work! We need such uprising from time to time.

There is nothing wrong in calling this a second freedom Movt.

ANULAL said...

Hi, You have a very nice blog. And nice post. Learn to disagree; relevant at this point in the political life in India.

Rachit said...

There's a law in USA known as the Right to Recall..

nothing sort of this will transform the India in real sense.

Weakest LINK

Chintan said...

and now about the post, well, a bill or no bill will not help till we fix our attitude towards corruption and dishonesty :D

magiceye said...

well said.
re the argument that anybody who can raise the number of people at ramlila maidan will coerce the parliament is a facile one. it presumes that you can fool all the people all the time.

Just another guy said...

Vyo, first things first. You've represented your thoughts superbly. Devoid of beaten about clichés and empty rhetoric - something that many JLP supporting blogs wilfully have generous doses of.

While I agree with your disagreement regarding Times' embellishing statement about Democracy, your next two points don't really convince me as much.

Merely because a bill has been introduced 8 times or even a whopping 80 times with sanctimonious intentions of 'rooting out corruption', it still doesn't merit being passed into a law. Take for example, a former classmate of mine - a very noble soul and a vegetarian, has taken the CAT test with a an ambitious idea of getting through to IIM-A a whopping 6 times. He's still not done yet. But, with all the honesty and perseverance poured in, does it automatically make him worthy of an IIM-A seat? So how does it matter how many times the JLP has been introduced in the parliament before? And if my memory serves me right, the exact draft of the bill differed in each of those 8 attempts. So technically it can't be called the same bill either although they all bear the same name.

Now reg Nitin Pai's article. You seem to suggest he is in some way against accountability. That couldn't be farther from the truth. All JLP supporters bank heavily on the premise that the JLP will be completely devoid of any vicious intent and is incorruptible. Well, how can you be so sure of that? The JLP is not just one man, but a humongous institution that will go on to employ and rely on tens of thousands of officials (or in India's parlance - babus). How does one ensure they all are going to super clean as one would expect them to be? Are we then going to call for a SJLP (Super Jan Lok Pal) to watch over them?

For better clarity on this, may i suggest you read this article, again by Nitin Pai where he has elaborated on how one can fail to ensure better accountability by having a super-police to police the police :)

But I love your style of writing and I sincerely hope you keep churning out posts regularly in future as well.

KP said...

That is a nice view..
If you do get time.. read this.. a friends view.. you may like it..

Viyoma said...

@ Anonymous: Thanks for your read and comment. But to be honest, calling this a 2nd Freedom Movt, to me sounds a bit overrated.

@ Chintan @Magic Eye : As always, thanks.

@ Just Another Guy:
Thanks , that for elaborate and convincing response.
Argument 2: Taken.
Point 3:
Who will keep a check on JLP, can be asked, if we are convinced on having a JLP in the first place. On 1 side, we have inhibitions over a bill that will oversee the existing systems. But we want debate on how we will deal with the corrupt in JLP.

Just another guy said...

I couldn't quite understand what you want to say in point 3. If what I understood from your reply is right, I come clean right from the beginning that I'm fundamentally opposed to the idea of Lok Pal - be it Anna's LP, Aruna Roy's ALP, JP's LP or even the GOI's LP. And why go ahead with any bill without giving much thought about its long term implications? Sounds like a half baked idea to me. This "jo hoga so dekha jayega" attitude may come back and bite us. Unfortunately, the current public sentiment has been rigged so badly that an honest-to-heart debate about the necessity of the Lok Pal will be seen/shown by the media as pro-corrupt.

Viyoma said...

Agree, we dont have to rush with the bill, And hence, also admit that 8 times or 80 times does not make it worthy of getting passed.

But resisting the Bill entirely, only because we fear and anticipate that LP/JLP body will be incompetent, sounds less convincing. In that case we should be doubting the presence of every institution, starting with the Parliament to the Indian Police Force.
Even these have failed to perform on many occasions, but we still have them in place, and time and again look up to them.

Sunil Padiyar said...

Good thoughts. Whatever the outcome would be, it is good to see people voicing their concern and united in a way to make it happen.

However, it also depends on the people. What is the point in giving extra money to auto to reach home early after protesting the corruption? What is the point in breaking the signal or riding the bike over the pavment or even on the divider just to get ahead of the traffic and then protest against corruption?

These may not be related or look small when compared to corruption in broader sense. But then, when every indian considers himself to be accountable to this movement and strives towards making it happen - only then we can see a better future for india over the time.

Anyway, I would say this is just the begining.

Nalini Hebbar said...

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely...that's a given!
this is the sole reason why we need an ombudsman/ a watchdog to keep an eye.
the lokpal is not the end of our search but is the means to reach an effective system to control graft and make democracy as effective as it can possibly get
change in mindset is what is most important...and a revolution of this stage is a has seeded the need for a change in mindset.