Friday, August 12, 2011

Lokpal, corruption Indian governence

.....the anna hazare uprising and upcoming fast.....

I saw this very emotional and inspiring talk( by Arvind Kejriwala. This was the first time, movement angainst corruption with Anna Hazare as front face, really moved me. One can see genuine concerns of this group. I seriously considered, shutting down of office for one week starting from Aug 16 in support of the cause. However more I thought of this, i realized that there are some fundamental flaws in Anna's school of thought. May be my reasons are petty excuses to avoid loss of business but I could not convince myself to be partof this non-cooperation movement. The fundamental premises of the movement is that corruption is cause of all evil. This sounds plausible due to rampant and overwhelming corruption around us. However I'm not convinced about that. If I think about it, entreprauners like me would have no way to get their task done without prevelant corruption in the system. A governement employee has almost no incentive to work hard or infoact to work at all. There is no individual to be blmed for that, the PSU system is designed such that its inevitable that the system would be inefficient. Corruption is a way to get things done quickly and efficiently in this system. I have this nasty feeling that removing corruption from current system will make the system even worse. Obviously corruption is bad but the disease should be treated from the root cause. Strong lokpal is like doing chemotherapy of a person suffering from leukemia. This might cure the patient but in all probability, the patient will die a painful death. I dont think this a risk worth taking, especially when economy is growing and our patient is developing internal strength to deal with diseases. I feel steps taken by current and pasf government in this regard are more pragmatic. As an entreprauner struggling with system for last six years, i can see some subtle changes. Everything is becoming online, reducing the requirement to deal with revered babus. The much celebrated UID project although largely unclear but gives hope. People tell me NREGA is a success. The process of taxation is becoming less taxing.
Having said that, I must add that the movement has noble intetions. It looks like that the whole Anna team is really passionate to do good for the nation. People and goverrnment is raising issues like how do they represent people, not elected, parallel government and all that crap. The indpendence movement had natural leaders who took initiative to fight the system. Same is the case with them. I've no doubts that they will be honest and good lokpals. Just like Jawaharlal and his contempories. The polotics was a noble profession till Shastri. II think the script went wrong when next generation Indira Gandhi came to power, who incidentally was not supported by Nehru to lead the country. Similarly these first lokpals who are fighting for the cause would in all probability do a great job and perhaps improve the system. But the task is momentous and I'll go with technology and downsizing of administrative system rather than sending jail to about 25% population of the country.


Anonymous said...

Great post. But I have to raise one point.

Corruption at 'lower' levels can be dealt with existing administrative procedures, enforcement agencies and new technology etc. However, there are absolutely no means to control it or even detect it at the highest levels of governance.

I believe this bill is already very late. We should have had it right after Bofors scandal. That we need something to police our own administrators and government is worrysome in the first place. Still, it is quite shameful we took 20 years to wake up and get into action.

Unknown said...

I agree. I don't have any first hand experience, but it surely seems like it. Lokpal bill might be a really effective for instilling fear against political corruption. Kudos to the team and without any sarcasm, we should thank them. But I really hope lokpal would focus on political corruption.

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