Lemon Revolution!

Hi there!

Hope you all are in the pink, maroon and violet of health! I was pale pink, if you all wanted to know 🙂
Well, as an Indian, the past month has been tremendous. For mainly 2 reasons:
  • Epic World Cup win \m/ and
  • Anna Hazare’s fast and victory [regd. the Lokpal Bill]

Since I’ve already talked loads about cricket, in a blog as well as a video, I wanted to blog on the bill today.

Being the patriotic Indian that I am, just like everyone else, I too joined the ‘India against Corruption’ motion. Why?  Because, even though I (and basically millions of other people I guess) had no idea  about the bill, I did know one thing. Apparently, this ensured a Corruption free India. And I loved the concept!
Few days back ( accurately, 10/4/11), I was interested in knowing what I/we had campaigned for. It was just a matter of time that that feeling comes in any of us! I g-searched quite a bit aand…
The Lowdown:
Well, the most important change, is the establishment of completely independent institutions, namely Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in each state. Point to note, I guess, is that no minister or bureaucrat can influence investigations. They have the powers to initiate any action on its own, without any need of permissions from any other authority.
The selection committee seems to be broad-based. It is said to include members from judicial background, Chief Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor General, retired Army generals and outgoing members of the Lokpal. [apparently ensures that there is no govt. influence, whatsoever]
The CBI’s corruption branch will be merged into the Lokpal, which simply means that the Lokpal now would have powers to  register FIRs, conduct investigations under the Criminal Procedure Code and launch prosecution.
Cases against the accused will be seen within 1 year and the trial will also be completed in the next year, thus ensuring that the corrupt politician/officer is sent to prison by 2 years. [that sounds awesome!! =D]
If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose fine on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.
Yeah, well, that just sounds awesome, right? Feels uber-empowering. It like it is the one-stop, one-shot solution for the rampant corruption in dear ol’ India!
Its super that most of India voluntarily rose up to this movement, and has shown spontaneous interest in bringing about a desperate change in the current state of affairs.  But, here’s the catch.
  • The Lokpal has wide ranging, potentially destructive powers, from dismissing a case outright, to blacklisting a firm. With such unrestrained powers, all we can hope to do, is to appeal to the hearts of the panel members, and hope they are benevolent!
  • The selection policy is really screwed up. Since the Lokpal is given such immense power, an important question is, Who will wield this power? As such, there is no way to make this selection, idiot-proof.
    • Apart from the people mention in the previous section, Nobel Laureates (Indian origin), last 2 Magsaysay award winners (Indian origin) and Bharat Ratna winners will form part of the Lokpal. The first thing I found weird is, ‘Why should Nobel Laureates, who have spent their entire life, outside India, have any say in the Lokpal?‘ And whats the point in bringing in Bharat Ratna winners? Why not Padmasri awardees then? I found the selection way too random and senseless.
  • Lokpal, apparently is to be a deemed police. They are also the court. Thus, they have, seemingly taken the security and judiciary positions as well, reducing the ‘burden’ on standard courts and police across the country. How can you confer such powers to a group mentioned above? Insane is a mild word to use.
  • We are a democratic nation. Infact, India is the World’s Largest Democracy. Keeping that in mind, its outrageous that unelected people will take decisions on who will be arrested and who should not.

Well, that’s about it. I still, have utmost respect for Anna Hazare and I am NOT saying that he fought for a wrong cause. The Lokpal bill should be amended. It should be made more democratic.
It cannot blatantly seize property, shut down establishments or act as the court. It should, rather, accept complaints from the public, file reports, get evidences, and share it to the general public; the media and us bloggers will surely gobble it up!
If not, an important question would arise:
Who will guard the guards?”

(*In the title, lemon refers to such a scenario. Looks beautiful outside, but may be sour inside =D )


6 thoughts on “Lemon Revolution!

  1. >lemon. 🙂 some of us say we love the lemon. sour n citrus, just like it is. we love india with its faults. we are faithful citizens afterall. giving and proclaiming our love out loud, day after day, argument after argument. love without a cause.. as is often the case. love for no reason– just because a country demands patriotism, we give it. not because we really are gaga over it or anything.

  2. >pertaining more to your topic- yep, the lokpal bill does have some catches. besides the ones that you already mentioned.."If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose fine on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant."next thing we know, smug officers in charge will offer the compensation to people as consolation, n tel them- calm down, forget the case. at least nowadays u get the cash for making all the noise against corruption, earlier people dint have that also. go home.so much for anti-corruption. n then how many people do u know who will hold on to a cause strongly after years of struggle, after being offered a compensation? when hope is flimsy n attempts seem futile, people get tired. cash looks better. i dont know many who hav stuck on to a cause for long- jessica lal case being an exception. pessimistic approach i know, bt in a state like india, this is what you hav to look out for and eliminate- the loopholes. the whole system of corruption lives n grows fat by virtue of all the loopholes. watch n eliminate them, law makers.

  3. >yes, lemon was the first thing that came in my mind when I began the post. Kind of nutshells everything. :)apparently lokpal gives imposed fine amount, back to the complainant. this pertains to the officers not performing their duties in time, laziness mainly. Since th eproposed bill ensures that case will be resolved in 2 years, I guess no one should get tired. Or thats how its projected to seem.Yes, loopholes are what we should look out for and eliminate, by publicising them. That way, everyone is informed, the public and well as the law makers.

  4. >but it wasnt very functional, and thus pointless in its existance. it doesnt matter when it started, what matters is whether is has brought any change to the system. clearly, it hasnt.

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