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 :


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

  1. just want to say “Why Government is not saying their bill is good ?” , the corruption starts with not tabling a good bill isn’t it a constitutional duty of MP to table a good bill, “Anyone thinks government bill is better than anna’s or even aruna roy’s ?” i rest my case

  2. Mahatma Gandhi didn’t say “hunger strike is the solution to problems”. He said “be the change”. If corruption is the greatest problem, if people have had enough of chasing empty values while stepping on everything that really matters in life, then every person in India needs to understand and heal corruption in him/herself.

    No laws will change those who haven’t made the shift within.

  3. I believe that the longer you isolate yourself from where you came from the more you don’t represent the people that put/ you in power. I can’t speak for India but I know in the US many of the people that say the represent us don’t….& this is true regardless of your party affiliation. The public is united that our representatives should work together to solve our problems & yet, they choose to create greater problems through their posturing & noise.


  4. There are so many supporter of anna- Delhi 1 lacks on road 1 lacks at Ramlila. Mumbai 50000 and so on… If we calculate the total number (with optimize mind) then even they are less then 2 cr. Do you all the blogger think 2 cr. People can represent 121 cr. People.
    IT may be. But the number is much less then the number of voter of ruling party.
    So, Anna is not having support – which ruling party (even opposition) is having. Of course if we talk about democracy we have to see the number of supporter and majority.
    Now if we see “Dream Anna” success. What will happen? ??
    A selected (non elected) person will have more power then elected person and all judicials. Let’s hope 99 time there will be some “anna” as lokpal. But if once we got kalmadi, indira or raja- then what! !!???
    Either another emergency or frequent elections……
    I am against immoral attitude in business – we call it bribe. There should be a system, passion and idea.
    So, I call Anna is harmful for democracy.
    I know many of you will not like my answer and probably Shekhar will also not publish it. But in democracy I have right to follow as well unfollow Anna.
    I again request all you, put your self at PM’s chair and think…
    We are so weak to run our business ethically; we all pays less tax. Giving bribe to many government bastereds, and blaming PM or preach how he should run a world 7th number biggest county having 2nd largest population.
    I know you will not like my answer but thinking from both side is our duty especially when we are making statements. Thankyou for your criticism: -)

  5. People who say Anna is a threat to democracy are actually saying he is a threat to their oligarchy. Lot more people than just the politicians or the beaurrocrats are leaching on this system. Defenders of this oligarchy are the self righteous intellectualls and journalists. they are smart and they are experienced in fooling people’ they will use all logical fallcies, half truths and lies to protect the system

  6. No it is not!
    It is a threat to the so called democratic system which is neither democratic nor succeeded for 6 decades now!

    Not Democratic: Political parties come to power by making alliance (Has been the trend for 20 year now) after elections. Here also both winning elections and making alliance are imperfect systems.
    One can win a seat by getting largest number of votes in a constituency. Voting % in India has always been well below 100%. Let us take a very very highly optimistic figure of 70%. So, a candidate needs just more than 35 % (if 2 candidates), 24% ( if three candidates) and even lesser if more candidates contest for the same seat which is generally the case in India. It is highly likely that the winner of a constituency does not have support of majority of people (not voters) of the constituency.
    Over that, these parties form post election alliance with parties against whom they were fighting for individual constituency. So even the people who have voted for this party in their constituency are cheated. They voted candidate X from Party 1 against a candidate Y of Party 2 and after elections Party 1 form an alliance with Party2. This is not democratic.
    So untill and unless voting is 100% (approx), the current system is not really democratic (pseudo democatic).

    System Failed: How has it failed miserable over time, I dont think we need much arguments for that.

  7. Just a thought
    All of us in our 30’s and 40’s have experienced firsthand, the world of corruption. Knowing or unknowingly we have been exposed or have embraced corruption. Be it in the form of getting civil services form from the local vendor, getting our age adjusted before our 10th grade or letting our parents sell us in the marriage market. The choice of words and phrase that I’m making will be disheartening to you or it may also in light your feeling in fighting this corruption. Everyone of us is supporting Anna, but no one is talking about eradicating corruption. We’re talking about putting a stop on corruption, making the civil society empowered and enjoying the benefits about living in a country without corruption.
    I and all of us inherited corruption when we got our driving license, got our house registered as home with the housing board, got our passport et al and when we were sold to our in-laws (I’m not one of them just for clarification). The question is how many of us stood up and told our in-laws that our parents have made a mistake and this is the first installment of the bribe that was given on our marriage day! How about getting benefited/inherited your wealth from your corrupt parents?
    Just a thought but it will give you an introspective.
    GOD Bless

  8. Yes, when there is lack of education and governments make people more dependant of the the system. Normally people like everything the easy way and dont like to work for it. People get blinded by power and act selfish by enriching themselfs and family. Money and power blinds. Usuallly the leaders in poor countries that win are the ones who lied the most to their people,making promises they cant keep. Governments want uneducated society, because their are easy to keep happy and to lie. Now days Civil society is tired of all of this and want justice and democracy but end up in the same turmoil they tried to avoid. A perfect example is egypt and the country I live in (Honduras). “Give them fish and they will eat 1 night, show them how to fish and they will wish forever”.

  9. Civil Society has public support, no doubt, alot of people are supporting them blindly because Anna was the one who raised voice against corruption. Now it is a good thing that because of Anna our Government is ready to make a law against corruption. But what makes you think that Anna’s lokpal is better?
    one of my friend had written these some points in hindi-
    1- अन्ना के जन लोकपाल ही सर्वोत्तम क्यो है ?

    2- सरकार का लोकपाल ही जोकपाल क्यो है ?

    3- क्या सिविल सोसाईटी के नुमाईन्दा केवल अन्ना की ही टीम है ?

    4- लोग बात करने अन्ना के टीम के पास क्यो जाये , क्यो न ये लोग बात करे सभी से

    5- हम सरकार या अन्ना या किसी तीसरे के बिल को ही क्यो देखे , हम क्यो न जितने सुझाव आये उनको भी देखे ?

    6- हम क्यो माने की अन्ना की जो टीम कह रही है वही सही है बाकी गलत ?

    7- आखिर किस आधार पे देश की जनता का फैसला ये 6 लोग करेंगे ?

    8- आख्रि किसने हक दिया है की सिविल सोसाईटी का बनाया कानुन ही सही कानुन होगा ?

    9- आखिर क्यो ये लोग अपनी ही जिद्द पे अडे है ?

    10- आखिर क्यो ये 6 लोग प्रपोजल करते है यही 5 लोग द्राफ्टिंग कमेटी के लिये अपने मे से ही मेम्बर चुनते है , यही 5-6 लोग डिमांड भी करते है , क्या इनके अलावा भारत मे सिविल सोसाईटी नही है क्या ? और अगर है तो उनकी क्यो नही सुना जाय ?

    11- आखिर अन्ना यह क्यो चाहते है की सब लोग उनके दरबार मे हाजिरी लगाये और अपनी बात कहे ?

    12- आखिर क्यो अन्ना और उनकी टीम खुद मे साफ नही है की जनलोकपाल बिल सुझाव है या यही पारित होना चाहिये या यही पास होना चाहिये ?

    13 – आखिर इस बिल का क्या प्रायोगिक आधार है ?

    14- आख्रि जिस बिल को इतना मजबुत दिखाया जा रहा है तो फिर 60-65 प्रतिशत कमी क्यो ?

    15 – सिविल सोसाईटी और अन्ना के समर्थक जन इस बात को जानते है की सभी नेता चोर है तो फिर ये लोग खुद क्यो नही नेता बन जाते है ?

    16- आप नेताओ को वाल्मिकी या अंगुलीमाल क्यो बनाना चाहते है जबकि आपके सामने खुद विकल्प खुला हुआ है तो ?

    17 – आप लोग , आपके साथ जो नही है उनको देशद्रोही और भ्रष्टाचारी क्यो कहते है ?

    18 – आप लोगो को अपना विरोध क्यो बुरा लग रहा है जबकि आप लोगो का अस्तित्व फिलहाल दुसरो के विरोध पे चल रहा है तो ?

  10. The movement has caught the fancy of the people as they need to vent their frustration at their feeling of lack of adequacy. If seen as a % of the GDP, the corruption amount (not counting bumper scams) may be quite small, and the India shining story is actually true. Any growing economy will have corruption. The main angst against this curruption is the day to day hassles which the common man has to face. It is debatable whether the Lokpal bill will end curruption or not. It is in our blood and we have come to live with it. But the economy is actually growing and the standard of living has actually improved for the middle class. I think this bill should be implemented in phases, so that gradually people feel the impact in their daily lives. The passing of the bill is not going to make anyone more richer, but hassles may be less. A serious debate is necessary on what to implement and when. For starters the govt has to come up with a crash program to implement many social schemes. The govt has to think from the view of the common man on what challenges is he facing in his day to day life. For ex. is transport easily available and reasonably comfortable, is there discipline in railways, which are the places where people have to wait endlessly, is judiciary fast, is police active, is light and water coming, etc. These are the social resposibilities of any govt whether socialist, capitalist or communalist. If the Govt does not provide for the people, the people will eventually turn against the people. In more advanced nations corruption is only in high places. The common man does not need to bribe at every step. In the first phase all civil servants who are directly in touch with the people should be covered. That way the top people will also support its implementation. And gradually people will see the difference. Let’s just hope the peoples impatience and frustration does not lead to any violence as that will further complicate the problem. Jai Hind!

  11. A civil society that is not well informed of all the dimensions and nuances of the causes it is supposedly fighting for is a threat to democracy. In other words, one gets what one wishes for. It is important to know what to wish for. The problem with Anna Hazare and his movement is not that of the agenda. The problem lies in the “Narrative” and the “Content” of such narrative. Anna Hazare is a prop for a motley group that is high on rhetoric. I have a very simple statement to make about all this – “it is highly naive to believe that legislation can change the complexion of a corrupt society. One needs processes and systems for any legislation to succeed; especially when every single entity including you and me are corrupt in this society, in one way or the other”. Here is a very simple litmus test – Most Indians break the traffic lights rules when there is no police around, especially during weak traffic hours like late nights. Most Indians break most laws despite the fear of penalties and get away from penalties with a bribe in everyday life. Therefore, I find this groundswell of self indulgent indignation very amusing, to say the least.

  12. Our country is coming of its democratic age. It is growing a conscience, becoming responsible for itself, and taking back its rights and freedoms from a self-ingratiating political class. Anna represents this shift, is an inspiration, and identifies with each and every one of us. And anyone who dares oppose his strategy for positive change will be embarrassed. Time to stop talking and do the walking. Legislate the Jan Lokpal Bill – the people’s bill. Anna ji – hum tumhare saath hai!

  13. People say we should exercise our right to vote, instead of protesting. I am from Jaipur and was working in Mumbai at the time of election.
    Options to vote:
    1. Go to Jaipur and vote there.
    2. Fill a form and send to EC Jaipur to cancel my registration at Jaipur and then re-apply at Mumbai. Tried option 2, but was refused registration since didn’t had a permanent address in Mumbai. Someone rightly said, “the constitution and laws were made for the people of India, but the processes for politicians and corrupt”.
    A Common Man cannot revolt, protest or challenge because he is just a “Common Man”

  14. Anna Hazare is doing what others elected politicians including Gandhi dynesty shoyld have done long time ago.
    They allowed corruption to take place under their own control. actually they started corruption in India to stay in the power for such alomg time with no repect to people of India or democracy.
    This is a right time to get rid of all this ill, corupt politicians and buerocrats.
    First of all get their monry back from the swiss banks and put them in andaman prison for the rest of their lives.

  15. I am not aware of the full provisions of JLP of any draft under circulation.

    What we have seen from the start of Independence is, that certain beneficiaries have grabbed power in the name of Democracy and transferring it in Turns to the Cotterrie.

    The true benefit of democracy has not reached the common man, because it is being enjoyed by selected group of people.

    Whatever democracy we have in the country, it is because of the strong constitution and system created by erstwhile stalwards like Dr. Ambedkar and other eminent people involved in the national forming. This has been unfortunately manupulated by group of beneficiaries to remain in power.

    Incidentally human mind and tendencies are prone to get corrupt fast by nature, because of the lustfull tendencies, this does not mean only sexual, but economical & social as well.

    A systematic Corruption breeded and devloped in a very bad shape, where human value deteriorated and everything from Netagiri to School admission to every thing became purchasable and the most aristocratic/ beneficiary course became purchasable if you have access to that cotterie.

    Annaji is leading an effective ressistance to obsolete corruption and he clearely agrees that it may end corruption to a good level but not 100%. We always have plus and minus of every aspect, the way an individual has galvanised the whole revolution around him can give, the cotteries and other quarters of wested interest, a good argument to convince people that he may take up the dictatorial role if emerges so strong.

    But the irony is that we are, in any case, not enjoying the full benefits of Democracy today. Atleast one can see a start of that benefication process thru Annaji.A ray of hope is there.

    Furthermore Annaji is not creating Lokpal to replace Government so the major power shall still remain in the hands of Elected representatives who would run the government. Annaji is aiming to crate a watchdog who could twist the leg when someone plays faulty game.

    His programme is broadbased and benefit at the Grass root level only when all Elected people, holding any office of governance, are covered in the regime alongwith anybody (even in the public) who would be found to generate or spread the virus of corruption.

    I think the people’s faith in good moral values and behaviour shall automatically start generating when the proper rule of governance shall take it’s legitimate position. But as a part of our contribution to Annaji’s selfless programme we should take a pledge to discipline our behaviour for spreading good fragrance in the society.

    Finally I feel that Civil Society does not seem to be a threat to the Democracy and rather it seems like a correcting fluid to erase the wrong writting in our democracy script.


  16. No. If UPA agree Janlokpal bill in toto. This will bring Discipline in the System which is being evouprated in all areas. Money is looted by some, instead this amount should be utilized for Country’s Cababilty building to face threats from ill activities of neighbouring contries.
    It will be insult to Congress as future generation should not say Mahatma Conress brought Democratic freedom Manmohan Congress Weakned freedom of Democracy.

  17. If all parliamentarians can get more people together on road in support of their version of lokpal & showcase that janlokpal supporters are smaller in number, then let them pass lokpal bill. Else all of them together shou shut their mouth and listen to people of this democratic country.

  18. today’s times of india, hyderabad gives a scathing revelation, ruling party coliation (minority) partners in andhra pradesh are giving statements to supporters to keep away from anna hazare’s movement as the words used like jai hind or vande mataram is anti religion. please tell these people that it is a apolitical movement and of masses are protesting for their rights and not religion or caste or colour.
    This is the movement of the masses and not the politics or religion or any other form of division this country has been bestowed upon by successive governments or so called leaders.

  19. Core of the issue is attitude of every Government Official. There is no point in addressing them as Government Servants, because effectively, none of them is a Servant to any one. Go to any Hospital, any Police Station, any MCD office, Government Telecom offices. Has any one, ever, come across a Babu who welcomed the hapless visitor and assured him that he is there to ‘SERVE’ him? NO WAY! Every Babu puts on a frown of disgust on face and makes the visitor feel guilty for disturbing his peace. And than either through a tout or directly, makes it known that Government machinery can be moved, but for a price.

    Anna Ji would be doing a great mistake if this golden opportunity is squandered and gets confined to Jan Lokpal vs Government Joke Pal Bill. May be the fight was for Jan Lok Pal. But common man of India has little clue about the Bill and its provisions. Poeple have responded to Anna ji in an unprecedented manner and this is an opportunity which should be used to tackle corruptions at grass root levels, head on. People should be educated to scream about anyone who asks them for a bribe or harasses them for not paying them. Airports, Police Stations, Hospitals, Railway Stations, every Government office that deals with public should have Big Complain Boxes or ideally, a counter to receive direct complaint against any one asking for bribe or harassing someone.

    No, the Government has got it horribly wrong. Just because they are elected, does not mean one billion minus 545 become useless and redundant and now, they get a chance after 5 years only. Infact, this attitude of present Government calls for an immediate dissolution of the House and seek fresh mandate of people. Next Government, even if Congress’s, should be the one responsible for passing the Jan Lok Pal bill. Present one has lost credibility,(not that it ever had).

  20. Shekharji,

    As they say, “Plan your work, then work your plan”, or Plan and Execute. Team Anna should not forget that the Bill is like a “Plan”. Executing this plan requires far greater effort from every Indian.

    Or in other words, some people are all talk but no substance. Will all this talk result in some substance? Only time will tell.

    This should not become a personality clash between Sonia-Congress and Team Anna. We must focus on the issues, not personalities.

    I wonder how effective is in reducing corruption in India?


  21. 1. I support Anna Hazaare for the Jan Lok Pal.
    2. Mismanagement which many times perceived as corruption affects us equally. This stems from the fact that we organised our state structure on the lines of western countries who have had much smaller population, mostly less than 100 Million. At the time of independence as you pointed out our population was only 350 Million and the need of the hour was to integrate the country, hence the federal structure.
    3. Today our population is 1200 Million and MPs represent more than 2 Million people each. There is no way any person can truly represent all issues at one time.
    4. Central Govt is the only one with money this country to make schemes for public at large. But the schemes are designed by a few bureacrats, who don’t understand that what works in Bengal will not work in Rajasthan.
    5. We are in urgently need to start a debate on the possible new state structure possibly with new city states as part of a little more complex Federal structure.
    6. Remember Structures borrowed from west will not work, as is evident from Both China and India, despite being fast growing Nations are finding it difficult to manage aspirations of all its people.

  22. This is nothing but manthan(churning) . Simply put, there are Sur-Asur (Devas and Rakshasas) or more appropriately goverment which insist on corrupt system as they have benefited & still benefitting from this system. Then, there is youth of this country who refuses to surrender to a corrupt system. Marginalised members of society has also gathered enough courage to oppose the current system.

    I am hoping for a positive results. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  23. Of all the various vague points/questions brought forth by the intelligent critics of Anna Hazare and his movement; I have tried to put reason and answer these questions –

    If there are concrete points or issues with Team Anna’s bill – please specify these. Why is it that all the debates on TV and otherwise, all that the various opposing parties have done is pure rhetoric and no specific concerns?

  24. very good article sir i will urge more people to read this & clear their views…as it is the need of time…

  25. रघुपति राघव राजाराम,एमपी को सन्मति दे भगवान !
    जल्दी जल्दी जनलोकपाल बिल को बनाओ कानून,
    नही तो हम आपको एक भी चुनाव जीतने नहीं देंगे!

  26. In European countries Voter apathy exists, fewer and fewer voters are bothering to vote. this is major concern of all carrear politicians. The parliament has tried to make process transprant so it can connect with common men. thay have brought politician wrongdoers to book. However in Bharat political class has never been accountable. Instititions have failed because ingrained corruption. Anna’s anti-corruption is long time coming.There is no going back,multi-national corps must join anti-corruption movement, isolate Manmohan/Sonia coliation government, adding pressure to enact Lokpal law now without delay.

  27. Dear All,

    Please go through the details carefully & try to be part of this mission against corruption if we are awaken for ourselves /
    our relatives/ our friends, neighbours, villagers, citizens, nationals and finally for universe.

    Only Anna alone would not be able to fight against corruption and many problems facing to the citizen of India. We all should have to support according to our abilities and stands. If we have to be happy or satisfied with the present movement is going on, we should try/attempt to do take some actions according to our abilities and situation which could be listed out as below. There is a plenty of possibilities of corrections and additions in the actions to be taken

    1. Each and every individuals could go for a fast or couple of the fasts
    to make our body and thoughts cleared and holy to some extent. This could be done at one’s residence without any publicity.
    2. Each and every individual could go to support to the different programmes connected with the movement on corruption by paying necessary time and attention.
    3. To oppose to support any type/stage of corruption along with write complaint and report to the news papers.
    4. Not to support any matters related to misleading the basic movement against corruption initiated by Anna.
    5. Each and every individual should show his initiatives in public work/activity/program to get it completed without corruption.
    6. The Lokpal Bill proposed by the Civil Society could be resolved very fast if the GOI has a burning desire to control corruption.
    The speed may be increased according to the acuteness/intensity of the desire. The joint session of Lok sabha and Rajyasabha could resolve the proposed bill. The ordinance issued by the President of India would also be a fast procedure to resist the present movement.

    These are the samples of action, but those may be corrected and added many more for a clean and corruption-free India
    Summary of All scams of India : Rs. 910603234300000/-

    See how Lokpal Bill can curb the politicians, Circulate it to create awareness
    Existing System System Proposed by civil society
    No politician or senior officer ever goes to jail despite huge evidencebecause Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) and CBI directly come under the government. Before starting investigation or prosecution in any case, they have to take permission from the same bosses, against whom the case has to be investigated. Lokpal at centre and Lokayukta at state level will be independent bodies. ACB and CBI will be merged into these bodies. They will have power to initiate investigations and prosecution against any officer or politician without needing anyone’s permission. Investigation should be completed within 1 year and trial to get over in next 1 year.Within two years, the corrupt should go to jail.
    No corrupt officer is dismissed from the job because Central Vigilance Commission, which is supposed to dismiss corrupt officers, is only an advisory body. Whenever it advises government to dismiss any senior corrupt officer, its advice is never implemented. Lokpal and Lokayukta will have complete powers to order dismissal of a corrupt officer. CVC and all departmental vigilance will be merged into Lokpal and state vigilance will be merged into Lokayukta.
    No action is taken against corrupt judges because permission is required from the Chief Justice of India to even register an FIR against corrupt judges. Lokpal & Lokayukta shall have powers to investigate and prosecute any judgewithout needing anyone’s permission.
    Nowhere to go – People expose corruption but no action is taken on their complaints. Lokpal & Lokayukta will have to enquire into and hear every complaint.
    There is so much corruption within CBI and vigilance departments. Their functioning is so secret that it encourages corruption within these agencies. All investigations in Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be transparent. After completion of investigation, all case records shall be open to public. Complaint against any staff of Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be enquired and punishment announced within two months.
    Weak and corrupt people are appointed as heads of anti-corruption agencies. Politicians will have absolutely no say in selections of Chairperson and members of Lokpal & Lokayukta. Selections will take place through a transparent and public participatory process.
    Citizens face harassment in government offices. Sometimes they are forced to pay bribes. One can only complaint to senior officers. No action is taken on complaints because senior officers also get their cut. Lokpal & Lokayukta will get public grievances resolved in time bound manner, impose a penalty of Rs 250 per day of delay to be deducted from the salary of guilty officer and award that amount as compensation to the aggrieved citizen.
    Nothing in law to recover ill gotten wealth. A corrupt person can come out of jail and enjoy that money. Loss caused to the government due to corruption will be recovered from all accused.
    Small punishment for corruption- Punishment for corruption is minimum 6 months and maximum 7 years. Enhanced punishment – The punishment would be minimum 5 years and maximum of life imprisonment.

    Dear All,
    Please go through the details carefully & try to be part of this mission against corruption.
    Things to know about Anna Hazare and Lok pal Bill-:
    1.Who is Anna Hazare?
    Ex-army man(Unmarried). Fought 1965 Indo-Pak war. His native village is Ralegan Siddhi, He is staying at the Village Ramjimandir/Chauraha, not having any property.

    2.What’s so special about him?
    He built an Ideal Village Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahamad Nagar District, Maharashtra and provided inspiration to the nos. of NGOs for a concrete rural development.

    3.This village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar power, biofuel and wind mills. In 1975, it used to be a poverty clad village. Now it is one of the richest village in India. It has become a model for self-sustained, eco-friendly & harmonic village.
    4. Anna Hazare has been awarded Padma Bhushan and is a known figure for his social activities.

    5. He is supporting a cause, the amendment of a law to curb corruption in India.

    6. How that can be possible?
    He is advocating for a Bill, The Lok Pal Bill (The Citizen Ombudsman Bill), that will form an autonomous authority who will make politicians (ministers), bureaucrats (IAS/IPS) accountable for their deeds.

    7. It’s an entirely new thing right..?
    In 1972, the bill was proposed by then Law minister Mr. Shanti Bhushan. Since then it has been neglected by the politicians and some are trying to change the bill to suit their theft (corruption).

    8. He is going on a hunger strike for that whole thing of passing a Bill ! How can that be possible in such a short span of time? The first thing he is asking for is: the govt should come forward and announce that the bill is going to be passed. Next, they make a joint committee to DRAFT the LOK PAL BILL. 50% government participation and 50% public participation. Bcoz u can’t trust the government entirely for making such a bill which does not suit them.

    9.What will happen when this bill is passed?
    A LokPal will be appointed at the centre. He will have an autonomous charge, say like the Election Commission of India. In each and every state, Lokayukta will be appointed. The job is to bring all alleged party to trial in case of corruptions within 1 year. Within 2 years, the guilty will be punished.

    Pass this on & show your support..

    Spread it like fire; Our Nation needs us…
    Please Contribute…
    This is not just a forward…
    It’s the future of our Nation.

  28. The ultimate fallacy of these legitimacy arguments is that as Raj points out, there is no way that our parliamentarians can legitimately claim to be “representative” based on numbers alone. But, further, the “consensus within civil society” argument is even more hopelessly flawed. How on earth can 1.2 billion people agree on each specific provision of a bill?! Anna has gained moral legitimacy, there is no form of legitimacy that is greater than that.
    There are however deep vested interests. These arguments are a deflection, it’s a shame that a lot of these vested interests can’t look beyond their own nose, and that a fair few of them enjoy the gift of the gab. However, history shows us that movements with deep moral conviction do achieve their ends. It also shows us that the cynics and pessimists are by-standers while optimists change the world and ensure that the tide of history remains positive.

  29. Civil Society is definitely a threat,not to democracy but to the corrupt.Common man is confronted by corrupt officials in almost all walks of life,be it getting school admission for his child,getting ration card,cooking gas connection,purchase of a flat where builder wants over 50% in cash,medical treatment
    provisions,vegetables and fruits,adulterated milk,train reservations,getting employment,promotions,
    pensions, you name it, there are millions more activities that cannot be normally solved without a bribe.
    Are these corrupt officials and politicians not responsible for murdering democracy,why blame
    civil sosiety which has made the common man realise that he is being made a succer by the political class giving exaggerated economic figures and paint a rosy pictire of things to come.we are not fooled anymore
    jai hind

  30. i just want to say a very thing that, “if people in ruling party are not corrupted then why they are not supporting anna’s bill?”

    its 7th day to ANNAJI fast and government is not responding even towards the matter and ANNAJI health.

    I would like to say that this government requires a revolution like Egypt & Libya.

  31. Hi Shekhar,
    Here are a Behaviour scientist’s views on this whole issue of Lok Pal Bill. If you like it publicize it.
    1. For ages, an ordinary citizen of India has been helplessly watching corrupt politicians and Babus looting the wealth and fattening their coffers. Now, in Anna Hazare, his helplessness is being converted into a ray of hope that collectively we can do something to settle our long standing wounds and scores. This anger against authority via support to Anna Hazare is an expression of conversion of helplessness into empowerment of people.
    Even our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is one of us, a helpless guy in the face of coalition politics. Let him seize the moment and leave behind a legacy of Law that instills hope in people that they can fight corruption with it.
    In reality this law will be as good as the people upholding it. Ultimately, the character building of Indian citizen alone will tackle the problem of corruption and not law alone. Law only provides hope and gives belief to people that they have power to do something about the corrupt.

  32. This is the tragedy of the democracy that in the name of democracy anybody can do anything, anybody can say anything without taking any responsibility because we are living in a democratic country where public is supreme. we are using it for our benefits in as many ways as possible. everybody is corrupt, they are electing corrupt politicians and then they come out on the streets against corruption. and few people like anna and co. are exploiting these poor people for their benifits. they just want some fame. at present they are behaving in most undemocratic manner. as if they are the king, they are the only right persons in the country, except them everybody is corrupt. they dont even have guts to take part in the elections, give an option to the public, form a government, form the laws of their desire and bring the ramraaj in the country. and those who talk about huge public support for these people, should stop counting the heads and start weighing them too.
    democracy is a very good and most acceptable form of governance but nobody can claim that majority is always right and if majority is not right then what about the rights of minority. cant they do anything. should they just see all the drama and circus. should they not come out and say “we are also against corruption, but we are against all this nonsense too.”
    Every change should come from within. If we are corrupt, we have no moral right to point fingers on others. so first eradicate corruption from yourselves and then come out and set an example for others to follow.we dont always need a sun for light. if we light small candles everywhere, there wont be darkness anywhere. so let everybody join together and light the candles of our souls to defeat the monster of corruption. we do not need any anna or anybody for this simple thing.

  33. Shekhar Ji, Next time when some people get together to stop screening of some movie show or some painter’s exhibition because they have their own views. Please don’t complain because at that time they will have few people with them and no demonstration against them. Concept remains same at both the times showing your strength for your cause. Who will decide what is right or wrong????

  34. it is quite evident that every indian is now supporting anna ji. i am sure there is not a single city in the country where protests are not taking place. people in villages are also gathering and heading towards ramlila maidan. politicians and other corrupt officers must be shaking in their shoes while watching televisions. as a result they are going to try everything that they can in order to stop this ‘kranti’. firstly they started smear campaigns against anna and other members of his team, then they tried sending him to jail, but fortunately none of that could stop people from supporting him.

    now they are giving baseless excuses like standing committee, and also trying to send out messages like this is anti-democratic,and even anti-islam and anti-dalit. they have already said ridiculous stuff like America being behind it. if the government had the intention of making india corruption free, then it would have drafted a strong bill right away in April. but it is instead indulging in ‘time pass’ activities. we will have to realize that the government is trying to sabotage the entire movement by not showing proper sensitivity. lets hope that the govt does not stoop to even lower levels and does something before its too late.

  35. Sir; on the contrary, this is the need of times in the new millenium. You cannot continue to run a country on the premise that you have been chosen for 5 years. The new citizens are impatient, educated and if not educated -informed. They cant be given ‘lollypops’ of democracy anymore. What have these guys given us. Check their filings before Election Commission every 5 years and you will see how their wealth grows every 5 year…….Democracy is not abt representation. If parliament is a home of democracy, we are the masters/owners of that home and politicians are guests…..they can enjoy the fruits of that house but will have to act as per the rules set by the masters……they can not claim to be the owners just because we have allowed them an entry. If we can given them entry into that home, we ALSO can THROW them out……..

    ” “सदियों की ठंडी भुजी राख सुगबुगा उठी
    मिटटी सोने का ताज पहन इठलाती है
    दो राह , समय के रथ का घरघर नाद सुनो
    सिहांसन खाली करो के जनता आती है
    जनता ? हाँ मिट्टी की अबोध मूरतें वही
    जाड़े पाले की कसक सदा सहने वाली
    जब अंग अंग मैं लगे सांप हों चूस रहे
    तब भी ना मुहं खोल दर्द कहने वाली
    लेकिन होता भू -दोल , बवंडर उठ -थे हैं
    जनता जब कोपकुल हो भृकुटी चदा -टी है
    दो राह , समय के रथ का घरघर नाद सुनो
    सिहांसन खाली करो के जनता आती है
    हुंकारों से महलों के नींव उखड जाती है
    साँसों के बल से ताज हवा मैं उड़ता है
    जनता की रोके राह , समय मैं ताब कहाँ ?
    वह जिधर चाहती काल उधर ही मुड़ता है
    सबसे विराट जन -तंत्र जगत का आ पहुंचा ,
    तैंतीस कोटी हित सिहांसन तैयार करो
    अभिषेक आज रजा का नहीं प्रजा का है
    तैंतीस कोटी जनता के सर पर मुकुट धरो
    आरती लिए तू किसी ढूँढता है मूरख
    मंदिर , राज प्रासादों मैं , तह्कानो मैं
    देवता कहीं सड़कों पर मिट -टी तोड़ रहे
    देवता मिलेंगे खेतों मैं खलियानों मैं
    फावडे और राज-दंड बनने को हैं
    धूसरता सोने से श्रृंगार सजाती है
    दो राह , समय के रथ का घरघर नाद सुनो
    सिहांसन खाली करो के जनता आती है

    Those words have come back to life again….they r so much relevant today…

  36. Threat to democracy… do we really think we are living in democracy? if we really are then the jan lokpal bill and civil society is the right thing. Government is setting a bad example of dictatorship and proving that they seriously lack leadership.

    Why don’t they agree for open house debate on jan lokpal bill with civil society at ramlila ground or india gate??

  37. Dinkar’s exhortation- A just society does not occur spontaneously. It has to be nurtured and protected with valor. Here is a poem so characteristic of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. Poets like Dinkar wrote poems to preach the society with lots of convictions. This style has almost vanished now. This poem is an excerpt from “Parshuram Ki Pratiksha” …and is so relevant today…..more relevant today than it was ever!

    वीरता जहाँ पर नहीं, पुण्य का क्षय है
    वीरता जहाँ पर नहीं स्वार्थ की जय है
    तलवार पुण्य की सखी, धर्मपालक है
    लालच पर अंकुश कठिन, लोभ सालक हैं
    असि छोड़ भीरु बन जहाँ धर्म सोता है,
    पातक प्रचंडतम वहीँ प्रगट होता है
    तलवारे सोती जहाँ बंद म्यानों में,
    किस्मतें वहां सडती हैं तहखानों में
    बलिवेदी पर बलियें नथें चद्ती हैं
    सोने की इंटें, मगर, नहीं कड्ती हैं

    पूछो कुबेर से कब सुवर्ण वे देंगे?
    यदि आज नहीं तो सुयश कब लेंगे?
    तूफ़ान उठेगा प्रलय बाण छूटेगा
    है जहाँ स्वर्ण, बम वहीं, स्यात, फूटेगा
    जो करें, किन्तु, कंचन यह नहीं बचेगा,
    शायद सुवर्ण पर ही संहार मचेगा
    हम पर अपने पापों का बोझ न डालें
    कह दो सब से अपना दायित्व सम्भालें
    कह दो प्रपंचकारी, कपटी, जाली से,
    आलसी, अकर्मठ, काहिल, हडताली से,
    सी लें जबान, चुपचाप काम पर जाएँ
    हम यहाँ रक्त, वे घर पर स्वेद बहाएं
    हम दे दें उस को विजय, हमें तुम बल दो,
    दो शस्त्र और अपना संकल्प अटल दो
    हों खडे लोग कटिबद्ध वहां यदि घर में
    हैं कौन हमें जीते जो यहाँ समर में ?

  38. aug22’2011

    The nation has a probelm, namely corruption.

    cause, political funding is not well organised but done adhoc by all political parties.

    collection/routing of political funding is thru the services like ifs, ias, irs & ips and the likes of them at all levels. this victimises the average citizen. collecting persons pocket quiet a large sum for themselves at every level.

    what is desired is political funding needs to be directed in other ways where all agencies, services etc inclusive of grass root level be legalised. surely corruption will not go away but just shrink to maybe 1% or less from its current level.

    legislation to monitor and punish the unruly agencies/persons who cant give up corruption to be dealt with severely and modes operandi can be live and ever corrected or improved to achieve better results.

    politicians and legal profession need to have strong strictures and multiple punishment at much higher levels as they are competent of devicing other methods of being corrupt and evading punishment, as has been thier record in the last 64 yrs.

    voting to be restructed such that the average man who has contributed to the plight being hand and glove with the unscrupplous, underworld, politicial parties is advised & guided sufficiently by about the election commission thru the radio and video media about methods that cause corruption which hurts all and specially them.

    present political parties who r all without exception corrupt need to be warned by the election commission to reorient or be disqualified.

    some thoughts by an indian citizen, 60yrs of age, who has lived and travelled globally and done business and had industrial experience in India and overseas.

    Annaji’s movement has given the required energy to the masses to demand better governance without being victimised by the system.

    May god be with us all India.

  39. India – the problem starts with the name !

    It is a European name to our ancient land, called Maha Bharata.

    Or Aryavarta.

    Bharata that is India, deviated from its Cultural Genius – Dharma.

    Deviation from Dharma Highpoint = Emperor Ashoka giving up Kshatriya Dharma, converting his Imperial Indian Army into an Army of Buddhist Missionaries.

    India lost its Dharma in other ways, going Non Violent when Violent Jihadi Islam was attacking India.

    Once Slavish mindset collects, it infects the Heart.

    We have Daylight Robbery in India,led openly brazenly by a Foriegn Italian woman and Cabal about which we know nothing. NAC superceding PMO. Puppet, Un- Elected PM, nominatedfrom Rajya Sabha!!

    Indian Democracy or ‘Demon o cracy ‘ ????

    Dharma needs to be established in India and on Earth yet again.

    It will be.

  40. Thanks Shekharbhai!

    The pseudointellectuals are the real problems in the society; and are the ones who are opposing the movement. They are worried that right wingers might come in the power missing the real issue of corruption. Plz keep fighting for us.

  41. I have a representative in parliament – a less than perfect person perhaps, but I chose him, and only he will speak for me. I will not be ruled by street-corner protesters.

    If the elected government (with the mandate of a disillusioned people) is trying to ram their version of the Lokpal Bill down my throat, Team Anna (with the mandate of a few thousand holiday picnickers) is trying to do the same with their version. Give me the flawed government version any day; we can amend the flaws as we go along.

  42. No body will support corruptiion. Everyone of us is upset with & fedup of it.
    But there are many things troubling many of us.

    a) How can Anna Hazare’s team claim to represent India? If people are coming onto the streets, it’s becaues of the media. Also most of them are supporting just the cause while are ignorant of the details.
    b) Inspite of all good intentions, how can someone say that “My bill alone must be passed, within the period I order”. This is outrageous and undemocratic.
    c) There are other civil society members disagreeing explicitely with Anna’s team, like Ms.Aruna Roy’s who MUST be heard.
    d) Mr.Prashant Bhushan says passing of a bill need not take more than 3 or 4 days. But given the present situation, with of somany controversies, this bill must be given more time for discussion in and out of parliament.
    e) As common people, all of us need to know the implications of the bill. That must be done thru media by experts.

    f) Anna’s version conveniently excluded Corporate Corruption and NGOs.
    g) What’s the guarantee that the Members of LokPal tomorrow won’t turn corrupt? We cannot trust people with power. This is the truth history taught us over centuries.
    h) Like today Ms.Arundhati Roy today pointed here in Hyderabad, “we are creating another bunch of babus to monitor one bunch of babus.” Babus and Babus join hands and we are left out like fools.

    Any bill must answer all these questions.

    About agitating public on streets, surely they r against corruption. In a way they r told that there is this bill which shall curb corruption. They r celebrating the fact that they r fighting corruption, many of them not knowing the details.

    What pulled them all out is the publicity, thanks, mostly to the electronic media.

    Now, coming to opposition parties. They r just supporting Anna Hazare to make people believe that they r not corrupt. But the fact is, today people won’t trust the leaders of even opposition parties.
    Knowingly opposition is trying to pretend otherwise and clean its image.

    The ultimate power of creating a bill must be vested in the hands of the Parliament. Let’s not forget Parliament, in the both the houses represent each and every corner of our country, each and every section of people, (religion, caste, creed etc,), and in the upper house each and every profession.
    Technically it guarantees that justice done to everybody in the society.

    Now coming to Anna Hazare, Govt was foolish enough to put him in Jail. That decision was POLITICALLY and STRATEGICALLY incorrect, but NOT TECHNICALLY.

    A person who says the Democratically Elected Government must QUIT. A person who questions the Constitutional representative of the people of India, the Prime Minister’s authority to hoist the national flag on the Red Fort. A person who is sitting in Ramlila Maidan has already committed his share of offenses to be jailed.

    Now those who feel our Democracy has failed, please think twice. Most of those including me, haven’t witnessed even the Political Emergency. So saying whatever our government is doing is dictatorship isn’t proper.

    Our ways are sending wrong signals to the world and prompting them to compare us with Libiya, Egypt and the like. While it’s not the case. Our leaders r scared of us and that’s why these tactics.
    We can pull them down from power. We can right now go and tell them they r bad and still get away.
    That’s because our democracy is very strong.

  43. Yes it is a threat to for such type of insane democracy in guise. will u hire employees who do the opposite of what u require, we dont need such namak harams, they r more stuck to their party than to us who have nominated them as trustees. all the time they r telling lies to protect their kind n kin

  44. जब जनता (जिसमे अन्ना और उनकी टीम भी शामिल है ) अपनी खुद की चुनी हुई सरकार से अपनी बात कह रहे है
    तो बीच में ये दलाल कहाँ से आ गए इनको क्या समस्या है अगर हम लोग अपनी बात अपने प्रतिनिधियों तक पहुचाना चाहते है
    खुद तो कुछ करते नहीं है और न ही कभी कुछ किया है , अब इनके पेट में दर्द क्यों हो रहा है,
    अख़बारों,फेसबुक और टीवी में बकवास करने से कुछ नहीं होगा कुछ ठोस करके दिखाओ…

  45. I can say only one thing. Is a society which is civilised danger to democracy 🙂

  46. Following are the statistics from Election Commission of India web site regarding 2009 (April-May) elections for Lok Sabha constituency of Chandini Chowk, New Delhi. Mr Kapil Sibal won the election from there.

    Total Electors – 1413535
    Total votes cast – 780445
    Sibal’s votes – 465713 – nearly 33% of total electors

    Electors who did not vote, i.e. votes which may not be for Mr. Sibal: 1413535 – 780445 = 633090 i.e. nearly 45% of total electors

    Confirmed votes against Sibal: – 780445 – 465713 = 314732 i.e. 22% of total electors
    With above numbers and illustration, lets analyze the first-past-the-post system of elections. Of 1413535 (total population of constituency will obviously be more), only 780445 cast their votes. 633090 electors (1413535 – 780445), we cannot be sure whether they would have cast their votes for Mr. Sibal. But, presumption should be that since they had not come out to vote, their vote would obviously have been against Sibal, or else, had they been enthused by Mr Sibal, they would have surely come out and voted in his favor. So, total votes against Mr Sibal are 947822 [(314732+633090) or (1413535 – 465413)], which works out to nearly 67%.

    And how votes of these 465713 electors was secured by Mr Sibal.? On his merits? No. Most of them voted for him because of his ‘secular’ credentials (read sympathetic to Muslims) of Congress Party. And how these electors were tried to be won over? By devious means like berating the honor of police men who died in the Batala House (near Jamia Milia Islamia in New Delhi) encounter on September 2008 while trying to flush out militants from there. In other words, blatant communal politics.

    So, this is the beauty of our parliamentary system. A person for whom only 465713 votes are cast, but against whom there are 947822 voters i.e. more than double the votes in favor, is elected as MP. And then with beating of chests it pronounced ‘We are the elected the representatives’, ‘We will make the laws’, and these 947822 voters are creating tyranny of the unelected!!!
    I am sure if above kind of analysis is carried out for all the parliamentary constituencies, you would find same results – more electors against the elected MP, then his/her favor.
    So, how can Parliament be said to representative of people? It is in fact against majority of the electors.

    No system of governance is perfect, least of all democracy and a parliamentary democracy at that. So, what should be done? Shamelessly exploit the weaknesses of the system for personal gains, or with humility accept the weaknesses, and work around them so as not to damage the system?

    Lets continue with above numbers. Should 947822 electors in Sibal’s constituency, who either voted against him or did not vote, have no right to be heard after the elections are over? Honest, mature and wise politician would be aware that he has been elected by a minority of the total population of his constituency, and will try to hear the voice of all the people, as far as practical. Because that is not being done, we have Anna Hazare’s movement. It is voice of all the people who have either voted against their current MP or did not vote at all. It is a perfectly legitimate voice in our democratic system. In fact, it is filling a much needed vaccum or corrective to a serious lacunae in our parliamentary system. It is height of stupidity to call it tyranny of unelected, as Manish Tiwary did. In fact, so far we have been suffering from the tyranny of the elected. Or even, the unelected like Manmohan Singh, and to be more precise, defeated in popular Lok Sabha elections from New Delhi.
    Now a constitutional question can be raised, of right to political protest by organizing rallies, protest, agitation etc. This right is guaranteed by cumulative reading of Article 19(a) – to 19(d) of Constitution of India, 1950 [freedom of speech and expression, 19(b) – assemble peacefully, 19(c) form associations, and 19(d) move freely through out the country]. Now, fact is – Mr Sibal is elected by 465713 electors, with 947822 electors against him. Question is – can one representative of only 465713 electors deny 947822 electors right of political protest, by saying Parliament is supreme? Everyone else, except Mr. Sibal, has got the answer to this question correct.

  47. ~ In the books. Sometime in future. ~

    “The nation was at an inflection point. Civil society’s voices reached a crescendo. Masses transformed from passive observers to active participants and joined protests against corruption. Millions came on streets for days without a single incident of violence.

    While, some continued to helplessly face corruption, some started really fighting hard to change things with all their energy.

    And then there were those who are just keeping silent, despite being in positions of power to bring about a change.

    History was being written.”

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