Anna Hazare : Is political power to the Civil Society a threat to Democracy ?

There is debate raging, or perhaps more than debate -a revolution -seething in India that could redefine the relationship between a People and it’s democratically elected Parliament and Government.

Does Power once given to the elected Government and Parliament for it’s term ( in India 5 years) effectively take all Power away from the Citizens of India over governance for that period ?  The movement led by Anna Hazare who is on a hunger strike right now to institute his version of a long standing bill in Parliament that will put a Civil Society watchdog over the workings of the Parliament has caught the imagination, and huge support amongst the aspirational and educated class in India.  A class that has so far been content to be part of the great hope of better standards of living through economic growth. A class that is often accused of not even voting, is now coming out in droves on the streets to be heard. (and since I wrote this 15 hours ago, massive sections of India’s population from all classes have joined the movements on the streets)

To be heard against what they see as the greatest cancer that exists in India.  One that is not only unfair, unjust, illegal, but patently immoral. The cancer of corruption. While the Government and the economists tout growth rates in the economy as a show of success, the people feel that those in the Political Class and others with access to the political class have unfairly usurped a far far larger share of the potential growth in India.  Not only that, they have, under the watch and encouragement of the Political Classes, stolen huge wealth in terms of mineral resources and public money from India for themselves.  A large share of which goes back to the Political Classes and so the cycle continues.

The Government has been caught off guard.  Not used to being challenged like this by the people who it thought politically uncommitted.  Already facing an armed insurrection by the so called rural ‘maoists’ in rural and tribal areas. The so called ‘Middle Class’ is considered in any democracy the biggest supporters of stability. Ones who will not  shut shop to take to the streets. Simply because they have too much to loose through disruptions.

Well, they have.  And a Government is floundering.

While the Opposition has chosen to actively support the movement, it seems just a ploy to flog the current Government. It remains to be seen what teeth  the Civil Society bill called the Jan LokPal Bill the opposition will finally vote for too.  Are they willing to curtail themselves if they form the Government ?

Ask any Indian what the greatest problem they have faced all their lives, and will continue to fact all their lives, and they will say that one word ‘Corruption”. It touches us all on a day to day, sometimes hour to hour basis.  We have learnt to live with, and more dangerously, accept it as part of our culture.  We have learnt to condone it and many see it as their only way to economic success.

But very high profile cases within the Government in power, assuming mind boggling numbers in a Nation where half of the population lives below the poverty lines staggered the nation and caused huge outcry.  Not only because of the scale of corruption. But because the sheer arrogance with which the Political Classes in collusion with their associates have been looting the country.

Has the Political class in India become so arrogant in its assumption of Power that it sees itself as unquestionable and above the law ?  Have the assumed checks and balances within a Parliamentary broken down ?  Is the Political class as a whole corrupt ? Why is the greatest (and public)  defence of the Government in Power against charges of corruption from the Opposition ” YOU DID IT TOO !”

There is a serious loss of faith in the Political System amongst the people. That is very very dangerous.  Not just from the dispossessed, but from the educated, not just the jobless but from those that have taken leave from their jobs to join the mass protest.

Is this the begininngs of the break down of the Democratic System as many suggest ?

I would argue that it is not. I would argue that this is an evolution in Democracy.

The Indian Democratic System was adapted from it’s former colonial masters, into a brilliant but adaptive Constitution.  But the system installed to support the fundamentals of the Constitution were designed for India’s population at time of Independence. A mere 350 million.  For a demographic far far older than we are now. No one at that time could have dreamt of a nation of 1.2 Billion people with 60 % of the population below 25. Soon India will hold 15% of the world’s teenage population.  India’s Political, Social, Judicial systems could not have predicted a a young, aspirational, entrepreneurial, technologically adept population we have today. They could not have predicted that at the end of each 5 year political term, the world would be barely recognizable.

India’s endemic corruption is not a cultural imperative.  It is the result of a slow, unresponsive, antiquated system that is at odds with challenges of Modernity. A system protected by those that are personally benefiting from it at the cost of the aspirations of the People of India.  Forgetting that the first words of the Indian Constitution are not ‘WE THE GOVERNMENT’ or ‘WE THE PARLIAMENT’,  but :

‘WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA’

I support Anna Hazare and a strong version of the Jan Lokpal Bill provided that in its execution it does not become as squeaky as a massive old door that consistently need to be oiled and pushed to make it budge as many of the rest of Indian systems.

The Principles of Democracy are not changeable. But the systems supporting them must be willing to change and adapt.

194 Responses to “Anna Hazare : Is political power to the Civil Society a threat to Democracy ?”

  1. Pankaj Gupta says:

    How can govt even think of introducing their bill in parliament which is truly an bill to encourage corruption indeed ?

  2. Neha Sharma says:

    anna hazare is doing what the pepole of India should done from the time of independence i.e. say no to corruption. We the pepole are responsible for letting the currupt pepole grow. The act against corruption should be continuted till the world exist.

  3. Gopal R Gowane says:

    If civil society is threat to democracy, then that democracy doesnt exist. You can better call it HYPOCRISY!!!

  4. Jigar Shah says:

    @Vivek…Excellent stats….the best comment here. (Like they say..”We believe in almighty, Everyone else bring numbers”)…

    I think in whole stats…People who should be criminally charged are those who didn’t vote. In Democratic process vote is most important weapon one has.

    After wasting it, we complain ? Of course, if there is fair voting and say, 30 % voted against and 60% for him…Still those 30% has complete right to make him accountable for what he is doing.

    ITS NOT DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM WHICH HAS FLAW, IT US. WHO DON’T KNOW IT (OR IGNORE IT).

    Lokpal is just another way to plug those gaps, But its not “The solution”. It will help those who raise voice. It will reduce barrier for those who want to raise their voice. But the primary flaw and that is “WE”, only we can fix.

    In my opinion, We created a monster. And now we want a way to fix it (with lokpal). (Nothing wrong in that. But we should remember, Politicians are reflection of our own people.). If we don’t fix “our” flaw, it may happen few years down the line, that we will have a committee investigating lokpals’ 🙂

  5. rtetbddsw says:

    What can i say. The only country foolish enough to make an italian their boss leaves me speechless.

  6. aaam aaadmi says:

    Anna has done la ot good to the country by raising the issue of corruption & making every Indian talk about it. That was the first fast in April, which I supported. So far so good.

    But , as they say, the lion has tasted the blood…. it is true now.
    The current protest & fast is unwarranted & is threatening & shaking the columns of democracy.
    How can anyone hold a democracy to ransom…. My way or Highway.
    In fact, it is No Way, it needs to be accepted on the dotted lines.

    Govt. has made a few mistakes in handling the issue so far, but it does not mean Govt. is wrong in not accepting to what Anna says.

    Govt. should in no case succumb to the Anna’s demand that Govt. should put their bill too to the parliament. Absolutely no. Let the Govt. present the bill, it perceives as right , and let the Parliament debate, if there are any flaws in that.

    Still, if Team Anna’s ego is to be satisfied, there are already some people like Varun Gandhi & a Congress MP, who are presenting anna’s JanLokpal as private member bill.

    So, then what is the fuss about. Why they want Govt. to bow, even when they are getting janlokpal bill in parliament through Privatemember bill.

    It has become an ego issue now for Team Anna. Let them realise it now, before it is too late. I pray, let a good sense prevail upon them.

  7. vinay says:

    If ur positive : We have answer in ur question, Democracy means : ‘for the people, by the people, of the people’. So As civil society means people.. If they are said as threat then in core it is actually threat to the Democratic system.

    If ur Negative: I will argue.. Who elected this civil society people. How are they get the power to advise govt. In this case you say they are threat, to the Democracy. But even in this case this argument will NOT stand.
    Point 1: The people who use this phrase Civil society people. Just use to suppress the word PEOPLE.
    Point 2: As a People of India, You have every right to say if some thing is going Wrong and Protest against it. If Such similar minded people get together forms a society which we call civil society
    Point 3: They are not holding a Gun, they are just raising there voice. As part of democratic process. (By the people, of the people and for the people)
    Point 5: Govt 100% no need to agree what they say. Its up to the govt. At the same time its up to the people they raise there voice till they meet there demands. As there right.

    Hence, again i say: civil society means people.. If they are said as threat then in core it is actually threat to the Democratic system.

    Example: No body asked Mahatma Gandhi to protest against British. He felt Britishers are doing wrong he started a protest, and people joined him. Now those group of people are called a civil society people, they named it as Congress(here it is Anna team, we can also name our civil society group with the same name Congress). They were threat to Britishers not to the common man. Same rules apply here as well

  8. SUBMISSION:

    FIRST OF ALL I AM NOT AGREED TO WHAT IS SAID ABOVE ABOUT THE VOTE CALCULATIONS ABOUT SIBAL OR FOR THAT MATTER FOR ANY ONE. WE ALL KNOW WHAT IS THE STATE OF AFFAIRS OF OUR COUNTRY AND ALSO CAN NOT SHY TO SAY THAT THIS IS A NATION OF PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM ABJECT POVERTY AND IS DEEPLY MANIPULATED BY CAPITALISM THAT EVEN ANNA AND HIS PARTY CAN’T UTTER ANY WORD AGAINST RISING CAPITALISM AND ITS IMPACT ON THE POORS. THE MUCH LARGER ISSUE THAT THIS NATION IS FACING IS THAT OF CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH IN INDIA AND ABOVE ALL LITERACY. OUR INTELLECTUALS HAVE FAILED TO UNDERSTAND THAT TO UNDERSTAND THE PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY INDIA NEEDS POPULATION WHO 101% LITERATE AS IN OTHER SUCCESSFUL DEMOCRACIES LIKE JAPAN, USA AND UK ETC. WE ALWAYS TRY TO COMPARE OUR DEMOCRACY WITH THESE NATIONS BUT FORGOT EVERY TIME THAT WE CAN NEVER BE LIKE THEM UNLESS LITERATE IN THE SENSE OF THOSE SUCCESSFUL DEMOCRACIES. PEOPLE WHO ARE POOR AND ILLETRATE, HOW CAN THEY ANALYZE AND CALCULATE THE PROS AND CONS OF WHAT HAPPENS AROUND THEM.
    IT IS NOT BAD TO RATE INDIAN DEMOCRACY, A PSEUDO DEMOCRACY RESTS ON ILLETRACY AND FEW WEALTHY PEOPLE WHICH INCLUDES FILM STARS, CRICKETERS, POLITICIANS, CRIMINALS, BUSINESSMEN, WEALTHY INTELLECTUALS AND WEALTHY STOOGES. LONG AGO A PHILOSPHER SAID THAT ONLY THOSE DEMOCRACIES PROSPER WHOSE POPULATION IS 100% LITERATE AND OTHERS ARE LIKELY TO FAIL SOONER OR LATER.
    ONE MAY GET ANY VOTE PERCENTAGE IN INDIA LESS OR MORE BUT THE TOUCH STONE OF DEMOCRACY IS ITS ELECTIONS THAT IS RIGHT TO FRANCHISE, A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF EVERY CITIZEN TO CHOOSE THEIR REPRESENTATIVES. WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA ARE LUCKY THAT UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES ALSO THIS DEMOCRACY IS MOVING AHEAD WITH ALL ODDS.
    parveen kumar
    advocate, Jammu.

  9. gyroGL says:

    ‘civil society’ with powers is a double-edged sword. yes, there is scope for good things (which we may see initially), and scope for mischief (which we *will* see later).

    Those against lokpal
    ————————
    (A1) the Congress/allies (media, etc 🙂
    (B1) those who detest the Congress misrule as well a
    more bloated bureaucracy

    A1, B1 oppose lokpal for two *entirely* different reasons.

    Those for Lok-pal
    ——————–
    (A2) thousands of sincere, fasting volunteers all over India from middle-class and rural areas
    (B2) those who simply love extra-constitutional authority without accountability

    A2, B2 support lokpal for two *entirely* different reasons again!

    The day the A1 and B2 strike a deal, and get the (media + (A2) to sell it to the country, India’s problem of corruption will get bigger, not smaller, in the medium-to-long term.

  10. Suresh Pillai says:

    What has come to be known as “civil society” is the flowering of people’s aspiration to fight all pervasive corruption under a single non-political leadership in a focussed and co-ordinated manner.It reresents an evolution in the democratic rights as enshrined in the Constitution where people become the masters having the right to demand action from the elected representatives that serves the real interests of the citizens.The demands of civil society should be in accordance with the Constitution and any form of protests to achieve those demands must be through peaceful means where there wrath is expressed in unmistakable way to the govt if it chooses to ignore by sustained mass movements.The “Civi Society” can send a clear message to the elected representatives of the mood of the nation and it is for them to respond with appropriate legislation to address the issues raised.

  11. Anand Singh says:

    Each act of corruption in some way or other impinges on our constitutional right of liberty, equality. In a setup where the politicians are more concerned of parliamentary privileges than fundamental rights of the common man, I believe that it is the political class that is a threat to democracy. We cannot trust our current politicians to come out with a strong law that would bring them under greater scrutiny. Under the circumstances the civil society has no option but to prescribe the rules that would bring in greater accountability in the system

  12. Audrey says:

    Without looking at many other replies on this heated debate about government in India.
    I want to jump right in since I have been reading the tweets by Mt. Shekar and appreciate the unabashed news about His country. I am looking at the numbers from the population count in India and holding 15percent of the teenage population and over 1 billion people with a new bill coming is absolutely amazing. It seems this country was ready or the revolution although government is shocked! An old system of things can become antiquated although we must always review our history. Yes this will be interesting and the way any old or new structure adapts to this will be very interesting indeed keep fighting! The educational plans are a key ingredient and what better way then mass media my most interesting point of view. How you educate around the world about this history after this restructuring will be key too everyone. India seems to be changing although the culture is rich enough to remain the same. “Black Money?” One responder said but who is this black population one must seek? I hope to learn more as these changes occur and I concur on any feelings that the people of India have about their injustices since it must be horrible to live without Water and basic necessities to life I wonder what the noddles classes of the Americas would do if poor actually wanted more. My pride is with the people of India and I hope the new structure will support a better living situation for this expansive population of people who will not take no for answer and are sacrificing daily for their entire community not just their household. Give thanks.

  13. yamini devi says:

    sir, well written. India’s picture as we see today is this, one out of three malnourished children live in India, as per unicef.
    the compensation ceiling fixed at rs.62000 for bhopal victim, the outdated law is still privileged afresh, the verdict came after 25yrs!!!
    maybe the farmers suicide has become an old news for news channel, but the plight of dying farmers n the future of their families remains a question!!!
    what purpose does an amazing 10 percent growth rate serve?!

    you have highlighted the issues from past thru present rightly to the point n i totally agree with you. if the judicial functionaries, the civil bodies have worked out their duties we needn’t be reading such tragic things today n standing on the streets shouting slogans against corruption.

    am paying my taxes for my fellow brothers n sisters, dont i have the right to question whether my money reaches the needy? if we have the right to vote then aren’t these political leaders answerable to us, the people?! if not then what does ‘democracy’ mean?! i dont see that civil society can be of any threat to anybody if they work out their duties promptly. as you hav said we need a change in the system, revisit the outdated laws to rebuild it to suit today’s economic parameters n social outlook, above all a separate institution to provide equitable justice to every citizen is absolutely welcome.

  14. Just another guy sitting at home says:

    Its interesting that earlier when people used to complain of something, the responses used to be ‘why are you just complaining, why don’t you get up and do something’ along with counter-response that what can I do, I am just a 1 in billion, what power do I have… nothing
    Its ironic that, now, someone got up, has ability to fight and change things himself, and now is trying to change status-quo, along with lots of people supporting the cause; there are all kinds of people saying this is not the right way (threat to Democracy etc). To them, whats the right way?
    Same old process of elections, parliament etc, if that was the right way then shouldn’t there have been NO corruption in the system, we shouldn’t have been in such a state if so called other ways are supposed to be right way. Saying its a threat of democracy is totally wrong. More so ever the path taken is very much similar to what Gandhi did, why would the path taken by Anna be wrong and threat to Democracy if its on same lines as Gandhi.

  15. Santos says:

    Never,i think the politicians has changed the true meaning of democracy.Our constitution is not in favor of absolute power to politicians or parliament but it should be the voice of it’s citizens.When politicians has changed the meaning and the democracy has failed it is nothing wrong that people are rising.AND FOR RISING THE PEOPLE ONE TRUE LEADER IS REQUIRED WHICH WE ARE SEEING IN THE FORM OF ANNA HAZARE AND HIS GREAT TEAMS. There is nothing wrong in it.

  16. chaitanya says:

    well put Shekhar.

  17. Abhai says:

    There is no time for debate. Stop debating and be part of the movement….. If whats been going on for last 64 years is democracy, its high time to correct it.

    STOP DEBATING…………………

  18. It is unfortunate that our elected representatives feel like rulers and they are licensed to do anything

  19. Vivek Tewari says:

    What can be more dangerous then people still in power for the last 64 good years and the corruption is still going ON. Civil Society cant be a threat because we have already seen the worst. Our NETAS are sitting in jail and other netas like Shashi Tharoor who already have so much knowledge and they have potential to change the system are sitting quite because they are scared to loose there jobs. They are the real threats, by keeping mum they are somewhere encouraging the corrupts. Welldone Shekhar Babu

  20. Shrikrishna Mulik says:

    Shekhar Kapur, you are the Man!

  21. abhishek deo says:

    LOKPAL IS A PART OF DEMOCRACY.HOW IT CAN BE ABOVE IT. ITS ONLY THE COWARDNESS OF GOVT
    TO ACCEEPT THE TRUTH.

  22. Amod says:

    Hi Shekhar,

    Can’t agree with you more on this, you have hit the nail on head. If we look at the checks and balances that our democratic set up has -the three wings legislature, judiciary and executive are intertwined and while each checks each other still it is legislature that is parliament has the final say in most of the things, and our constitution framer has wisely done so as ultimately parliament is answerable to people of the country, therefore, people of the country has the ultimate power, and that is expected in a democracy. However, over the years the power of people have been more with their representatives and less with the actual people, only time when people showed their power was election, and if the elected representatives don’t work as expected then one had to wait for another five years, this defeats the purpose. if we look at JLPB, it ensures checks even on the MPs , one more shot in people’s arm in addition to RTI , and that really empowers the actual people. We should all support this unprecedented movement, as it truly evolves our democracy and takes it a step up where people will have the real supreme authority despite the representative form of democracy.

  23. Piyush bhadada says:

    Absolutely a single civil society is nt a threat to democracy bt for a country comprising f 120 cr people having differences f opinion can not hv a single civil society comprising f 5 people…dere may b many diff. Civil societies f lyk minded people nd yes that is threat to democracy…nd dat y v hv election ,we elect,dey r d reprensetatives f dis many civil societies ,u cn say parliament is also a civil society of 545 people…..at dis point f time our country dnt need a revolution,we need a rational discussion..,nd to remember our responsibilities as a citizen if we wana our right…..

  24. gracious says:

    power to civil society In INDIA is long overdue , something they dont even know they should have naturally. When the villagers of our country get this then we r on a roll . Well we must know the taste of power to evolve from it. Our netas elected must not take the mai baap too seriously. time the reverse occurs. Anna is a man that has the integrity to do it , i believe in that team with him. tried tested. hand down must follow them

  25. arjumand says:

    when there doesn’t exists democracy then how can we say civil society is a threat to democracy, as far as i am concerned when the corrupt politicians who think themselves to be the masters of the civil society exist in this type of democracy we cant call it democracy.rather the corrupt politicians r committing illegal acts with the power in their hands.they don’t bother about the poor n needy ..they only know how to commit illegal acts legally..Ana ji has lit this candle against the rampant corruption in our country n every member of the civil society needs to back him in whatever way one can.coz this is the time to put an end to this corruption in our country

  26. vasudevan says:

    One Q -Is this a popular govt?
    The answer is NO
    If it is so,why they say, they are parliament?
    Funny logic!!!

  27. manish says:

    civil society ko power kha se mili from the support of people of india phir ye democracy ke lie threat kesey hai

  28. DR ATUL SACHAN says:

    SIR, WE ARE ONLY SEEKING A BILL, WE ALL ARE COMING UNDER THAT MEANS EVERYBODY…WHAT? WRONG ON IT,

  29. rahulkmehra says:

    Govt itself authenticates Anna Hazare n his movement by taking them into drafting committee . Now when they don’t agree with them Govt says that Team is against or threat to Democracy. Parties seems to be in perception that when they come into power they represent each and every citizen.Its wrong the Govt of India represents them not parties. I dint voted for UPA2 so they dont represent my thoughts. So Govt needs to stand above party politics and act like a Govt representing whole of India .

  30. soumya says:

    Is there a possibility of IAC fielding credible candidates in the next general elections and will that be a step in the right direction ? A group of 100 odd MPs in the parliament will take the wind out of the ruling khadi clad junta. Do you think this a viable option to give voice to the people than picking the least devil who anyway go by the party lines after election ?

  31. ni8 dweller says:

    The mobs alwasys do the hard work of bringing any revolution to reality but shd we heed to them for making an ideal for all??! ain’t that d job of the intellects? though my support is for anna thr shd definitely be a line drawn some whr.. as in d end rule of law shd be d champ not anyone else..

  32. YesCivilSocietyIsThreat says:

    A great threat indeed….The so called civil society ….The self-declared-not-so-corrupt people who start the days thinking with the thought that system is corrupt…Where on the map r u …Everyone is part of the system…Its not a police wala asking bribe…Its u giving of bribe…And these people asking bribes r not aliens…We are one of them… We need to understand our corruption first….
    Live example of the civil society threat::
    They have started protesting in front of Congress Man’s house…Is there sanity left… ???
    They are coming up with statements like Kapil Sibbal is insane…Aruna Roy is traitor….Are these Gandhi followers…
    And mind u these are the same people…who wont remove a stone obstructing their everyday road to office…who wont give a glass of water to poor if needed…They may need a govt to do that…Come on guys wake up….Dont turn this into hooliganism…

  33. Saurabh Joshi says:

    Anna Ji is setting off a very bad example for times to come… Please i would urge people to have a look at his Draft… it’s too has itz own weird problems.. any case we have a lots of laws we don’t like.. but we cannot impose what we want… we have to work within the system to overhaul it.. we cannot remove the system.. Our main strength is our democracy , which has given us the freedom to raise our voice.. lets not misuse it in such a manner that we dig a pit for ourselves .. what we need is for sure a bill that passes through this time around… but using the emotions of the people to fight the system ..and put an equally weird Jan Lokpal does not make sense.. I just came back from Ramlila Maidan and none of the people out there know of the negative points of Anna’s Bill… which is very worrisome .. they just know and believe it’s good to fight against the Govt. ,,, but should also know what they will get after the fight is over…

  34. Gaurang says:

    The very notion that a non-violent civil society movement can be undemocratic makes a mockery of the most basic tenets of democracy. In some ways, we’re in danger of falling for the government agenda, the age old political tactic of “divide and rule”. This entire debate is in the final analysis futile. The only thing that civil society should be concerned about is the merits of the arguments before us. That’s what we’re meant to use our “public space” for. As far as that, more substantive issue is concerned, Team Anna has come up with a very credible bill. We should be under no illusions as to what is at stake: $1.5 trillion is Swiss bank accounts (even if that number is exaggerated) speaks to the magnitude of the problem here. We should also be under no illusions that a well-meaning government would already have passed this legislation. The cancer that has gripped society has spread furthest among those in high places. I appeal to all people of reason not to get involved with the futile argument of legalese, when the issue itself is a moral issue. Moral issues are so powerful, that they supersede an unjust law that runs counter to it. The government’s argument that “one law can’t fight corruption” speaks to what’s really at stake. If a law can’t achieve much, why don’t they just pass the Jan Lokpal even after the outpouring of support. I say this again, there are very, very big sums involved and people with deep vested interests. Let’s not get bogged down in the debate the government wants us to have, and let’s unit in our opposition to an immoral act that we have accepted for too long. Let’s not lose our moral compass and be guided by it.

  35. Harshika says:

    No, I don’t think show,from 64 yr.s politician used to do several promises frm our nation which can not be fulfil… or our government fail to implement tht promises, we gave thm (politician) 64 yr.s which is more thn tht thy fail to prove thm. And at top of tht several scams tht is our break pt. and thy were not ready to accept tht politicians body language was terrible at the time of 2G, CWG . There body language just like “its not a big deal, i m going to do bigger thn this scam”. At tht all politician didn’t even think twice tht ppl will stop believe in so democracy…..
    The of our country is tht we don’t have laws and regulations, government run country with loop holes in laws and regulation wat’s biggest difference betwn Indian and other developed country is tht thy have gud laws with guds and trained police…. tht we don’t have
    After all this we have right to protest ki yeh sab ab nahi chale thy have to set there limits… watever happening it only coz of own karma…. All neta thanks to us tht we r not protest like london did few days back instated of listening our voice thy giving lecture of democracy…..I m requesting all neta to stop taking exams of our patience.

  36. Anna Hazare Ji’s ideas are in the right direction but approach is wrong. You cannot take the elected government head on , black mail it to get what you want. Except for Anna Hazare Ji, all other in the civil society committee have a hiden agenda and a suspicious image. Be it Kiran Bedi or the Bhushan’s all have had thier piece of cake and are enjoying a lavish lifestyle. Bhushan’s are known in the courts for fighting cases for blackmailing MNC’s .
    The tricolor falg are being sold for Rs 500/- becuase they are in demand- Without a receipt.
    A ” Main bhi anna” cap made out of a napkin paper- not even khadi is sold for RS 25- Rs 50 again without paying taxes. – is that not corruption.
    All the people who are following Anna and participating in rallies just need to answer one question-
    do they pay their taxes??? do shopkeepers and businessmen pay income and sales taxes????
    An autodriver doesnt go by meter- isnt that corruption, You dont get a bill at any shop in karol bagh, palika bazaar, and any other market – -isnt that corruption.
    When you make a house , people dont go by the building plans byelaws, pay to MCD officials for building an extra room- isnt that corruption by both.
    Instead of paying Rs 20/- for parking , we prefer paying half and not take a receipt from the parking lot operator- isnt that corruption.
    To get admission in a school of repute we pay bribe why??? what wrong with govt run schools..

    We need to set our house in order before pointing finger…

    Why dont people who are shouting slogans, attending rallies take an oath that they wont indulge in any wrong doing or any sort of cooruption and can be prosecuted if caught.

    Its esy to wear a cap – ” Main bhi Anna” but difficult to come clean…

    Its all a media gimmick, a platform for another 100 people to enter politics , to get a seat of power– if they could make it ….

    More traffic Jams, work hours and petrol lost in vain.. a realty show for channels to grill day in and day out..

    God save India..

  37. maurya sur says:

    India tops the list for black money in the entire world with almost US$1456 billion in Swiss banks (approximately USD 1.4 trillion) in the form of black money.According to the data provided by the Swiss Banking Association Report (2006), India has more black money than the rest of the world combined. To put things in perspective, Indian-owned Swiss bank account assets are worth 13 times the country’s national debt.

    Independent reports published through 1991 to 2011 calculated the financial net worth of India’s most powerful and traditionally ruling family (the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty) to be anywhere between $9.41 billion (Rs 42,345 crore) to $18.66 billion (Rs 83,900 crore), most of it in the form of illegal monies.Harvard scholar Yevgenia Albats cited KGB correspondence about payments to Rajiv Gandhi and his family, which had been arranged by Viktor Chebrikov, which shows that KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov sought in writing an “authorization to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi” from the CPSU in December 1985.Rahul will be our prime minister soon.

  38. Prabhakar says:

    @Jigar Shah and those who say WE are flawed and NOT the system.
    I tried always to be Honest then why I am suffering, can you tell me ?
    I think the biggest form of corruption which is affecting our nation is nexus between politicians, crony capitalist industrialists and mafia. People are not really aware of all the details of this since even the media in an capitalist business. That’s why people are doing wrong choices moreover even if someone know every misdeed of any candidate, there is no choice to reject a candidate(so called 49 O) or to call back the him (I think at the moment very few people from Pune would like to represent Kalmadi in parliament). Instead of making wrong choice and I deserve not to vote and still make my voice heard. I also deserve my voice to be heard in parliament in case my I case think my representative in parliament id cheating with me.
    I think this movement is one of the best possible option picked up by the PEOPLE.

  39. Nitish says:

    Not the civil society but yes the democratically elected people become a thteat to democracy when stop listening to people’s problems & demand. People have learnt that with current events, Gov have willfully tried not to act to curb corruption. Humiliating non-Gov member of jnt drafting committee for LP bill. Betraying people, not taking strict action on corrupt have led to threat to this Gov which inturn being projected as threat to democracy(of the people, by the people, for the people).

  40. Election is merely selection of your representatives, since in democracy governance is done “by the people”, and “for the people” and they are supposed to be “of the people” even after winning the election. Any one who does not believe in that and still votes is simply a misguided voter and not a true democrat. So the people must have right to access some form of justice, if their choice has gone horribly wrong when their representatives become their oppressor.

    That’s why our constitution has the impeachment procedure of every powerful entity even Governors and The President. In fact, many countries have a process to recall corrupt & inept “MPs”. UK had the MPs misappropriation of the allowances and the media got them by the collar.

    But at the time of writing of constitution, the greed factor was very small and corruption was considered at a social vice; the society took care of the corrupt and long hand of justice would grab them. Since late 80s and early 90s, people become publicly materialistic and a generation (the comic-strip generation) forgot to read the constitution. They just watch TV and visual entertainment and yes that generation is epitomized by likes of Manish Tiwari and they cry foul at the idea of a strong anti-corruption framework. However they do have contemporaries who might not climbed the nepotistic ladder, who really want a strong anti-corruption framework like Janlokpal.

    In fact, Janlokpal extends to judiciary & bureaucracy as well. In fact, corruption framework is created in collusion of Legislature, judiciary, bureaucracy and some super corrupt businessman. They even employ criminals every now and then. Of late many of them have been caught, but Members of Government always evaded facing the wrath of law, as there were no such law to prosecute them effectively (Note Kalmadi, Raja, Kanimozi are only in police custody and not doing jail sentence, in fact all of them are drawing MPs salary from Tihar jail).

    Power to the people and the civil society was given by Ambedkar-ji, Janlokpal movement just reminded the people that the power still exists, more importantly it gave a non-partisan umbrella of Anna Hazare under which we can rally together and get the anti-corruption framework that we deserve in keeping with the spirit of our constitution and the concept of democracy.

  41. Energy says:

    Brilliantly put together. Agree with you that a democracy needs to evolve . The stagnation has been ignored for too long. And if people of india want the democracy to evolve and constitution to update, it is their right.
    The government is certainly threatened by the educated morally correct youth of the country, especially if they come out to exercise their rights including the right to vote.
    It is seen that power corrupts. Too much power for too long a period in the hands of few people is a threat to a democracy and a neutral surveillance unit unrelated to the parliament will fairely be able to keep a check on the powerful.
    Why is the govt so afraid of the bill. If people have trusted them with power why can’t they trust themselves to be honest and willingly give people power to keep a check.
    Also, Amendments r routinely made by govts.( esp to increase their vote bank). The parliament can pass the jan Lokpal and give it a try & then always can amend it if there comes up a better suggestion.
    The present ‘democracy’ has become OF the parliament, BY the parliament & FOR the parliament. That is the real threat to democracy.
    Which version of Lokpal is passed and whether it achieves it’s goal remains to be seen. I personally feel proud that such a nonviolent movt has started in my country; where the word ‘WE’ has substituted ‘I’ and ‘US’ is used rather than ‘ME’ in thoughts words & action. And that can never ever be a threat to any democracy.

  42. sanjay saxena says:

    no debate, no comment, his is just time to show the power of people, thoughts of people, actions of people to our politicians as well as bureaucracy. all want stop corruption. we all against corruption and we are with team anna.

  43. Aniruddha says:

    This is the problem in Democracy. We are having only right to vote only. We do not have any say beyond what parties are saying.  There should be some kind of voting system allowed for this type of change. Like SMS, tweets, some debates through news channels using social media for this type of issue. Some points,
    1) Why there is no transparent process for debating any Bill tabled. Not only one sided information from Govt.
    2) There is no threat to Democracy , without this much thrust system will not change.
    3) “We the people of India” , philosophy of our democratic constitution, but how much our politicians/Sr Govt officials cared for Peoples?  Everybody is not like Mamata Banerjee.
    4) For India Govt, Poticians r empowered .. If after 64 years Ppl can understand the negative points r there, who ll change the big hole for more peoplecentric democracy?

  44. vinod says:

    Well after reading few replies, I feel sad abt those kids who say, I dont buy wht Anna is offering to Indian society. Frankly speaking I wud ask these kids, have done anything 4 d society so far? If u dont bother to speak abt corruption, thn plz shut-up or let people of India alone.

    Has anyone realized d importance of Lokayukta powers. Has anyone witnessed wht happnd in Karnataka, when justice Hegde put his charges against Yeddy? Why dont u guys understand d power of such kind of bill? Has anyone gone through Govt Lokpal bill? All it says it….create another mechanism under Govt control, so no one will be caught, Govt will again act as nothing has happened!!! Who suffers in this whole corruption issue. People who r below poverty line. Imagine govt passes a bill for welfare of the society, thn it goes to concern department, thn comes d minister who approaches d bureaucrat to distribute d sum of money amongst some of them, thn it goes to state authority, they receive their share as if they cant, then they can hold ramsom to those who r involved…so everyone will get their share, then it goes to district level, then it goes to local authority…..in this big chain, wht happens those who r supposed to get benefited frm these schemes, they get harrased again n again……..at the end they give-up or people like Anna n people like him helps them to get their share. That’s why it is important to stop top person to misuse the allocated funds, thn we’ll focus on next culprits who r mainly state level and local authorities. So where comes d question of not agreeing to have Jan Lokpal bill? Believe me people of India has woken up first time n lot credit goes to two people, one if to Anna for becoming our leader n youth of India, who can make this change happen. In my opinion few things every India shld consider doing frm today….
    1. Pay your taxes regularly (I knw many Indians who avoid taxes through Havala)
    2. Stop paying bribes at every level
    3. Stop fighting over religon, caste or state and use your vote
    4. Follow and respect law and rules
    5. Then Hunger Strike against all who are corrupt

    Also it is important..It doesnt matter u pay bribe or not, but it will def matter to those who have no option. Well JanLokpal is not d only solution. Each individual has to stop paying bribe or taking bribe. It will be difficult 4 someone who takes bribe to forgo handsome money. My appeal to all to take picture or record a video when someone asking u to pay bribe. Post these videos on IAC website or Send it to news channel.

    Jai Hind!!! Thanks Shekharji for your support for this movement against corruption.

  45. vinod says:

    Go to this website n see wht people r doing to strengthen our democracy. It’s not MPs, but citizens of India are doing. Dpes anyone of u knw wht is happening in d background? Read it..
    http://t.co/Bt5EHSl.

  46. Neena Sinha says:

    In 1975 when JaiPrakash Narain (JP) talked of Sampoorn Kranti , same arguement was given (political power to the Civil Society a threat to Democracy) by the then Congress government . The term civil society was not used in those days but JP lead a peoples’ movement against general apathy of ruling class towards education, health and other amenities and rising force of coruption. We have come a full circle , with change in the name of characters namely JP being replaced by Anna and congress government of Mrs. Gandhi replaced by congress government of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. The movement is no longer about Jan Lokpal Bill, in fact majority of the people do not even know what it is about but one look at the potholed roads , long lines of patients in government hospitals , broken furniture and fixtures in the government schools functioning without teachers and we know why Anna appeals .People are forced to pay bribe to get driving licence, to register commercial vehicle, to get Passport made, to register their house….the list can go on and on. Similarly when harassed public approaches elected political leaders to fix broken roads, restore water supply, get electricity connection for the area etc. they are unapproachable and even if they manage to meet them, no action is taken. Is this the kind of representative democracy that we need or deserve ? Agreed politicians alone can not be blamed for all the ailments but they have certainly failed to bring effective legislation to curb corruption , improve system of public administration and ensure transparency of governance system.

  47. brahmastra says:

    In some debate on NDTV, this really earthy rural kind of guy got up and addressed this issue so aptly. He said there are rapists, murders, robbers and all kinds of criminals in parliament, so should we, just in the name of a failed democratic system, allow such a parliament to continue making laws for the masses?

    The rise of the civil society in such a manner is true democracy. The democratic system in India has become a smoke-screen for corruption. It needs to be corrected and made functional through such uprisings.

    It is ridiculous that some pseudo-intellectuals and arm-chair critics are skeptical of this Anna movement. We have to be thankful that such an effective channel has manifested itself.

    Another huge threat on the horizon is that of Chinese dominance. If China decides to get aggressive, can you imagine flakes like Manmohan Singh, Sonia Maino, Pranab Mukherjee and Chidamabarm defending India? They will offer India on a platter for some extra cash in their swiss accounts.

    It is in India’s best interests to get someone like Modi elected as the PM. How can you trust the UPA-led media image of Modi when they have tried to do the same to Anna? The BJP and RSS are the best choice for the country given the current options. They will at least make an effort to erase corruption though not perfectly.

  48. Prathamesh says:

    It is arrogant govt and representative which are not able to represent the mood of people are biggest threat to democracy as Anna Hazare is just asking for a strong bill to be passed which protects the public interest and not the interest of few politicians.

  49. kumar says:

    I guess democracy is on life support now we have such a big divide in people and government. We need leaders who can stand tall, put everything behind but the country first. We as a country are divided by so many perjudices. We have lost the moral compass as a critical mass and are morally bankrupt now. That is the reason we have a government we have. Choices have consequences. I hope this is a wake up call, a small beginning for a larger movement. God! save my country. http://www.ap7am.com/entry.php/1144-quot-%E0%B0%AE%E0%B0%B9%E0%B0%BE-%E0%B0%AE%E0%B1%87%E0%B0%A4-!-quot-The-story-of-my-country!

  50. Sunjeev says:

    I wonder what does our government means by words “Civil Society”, are our MPs or MLAs or Councillars are not part of this so Called Civil Society, or they consider themselves as supereme to this civil society. They really forgot that they are the part of Civil Society and powers they excercize are given to them by the Civil Society.

    So in one way all the political powers are hand of a Civil Society only, but poeple in power haw forgotton that they should be loyal to people who gabe them power, not to their personal interests.

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