19 August, 2011

i am NOT with anna hazare

the cult, again?

‎"so, what you are saying is that the only way to correct this system is to completely stop it from functioning until your demands are met?" "yes" "ok...and for that you would fast unto death."..."yes"..."so you are like suicide bombing in slo-mo?" ehh..."of course, i am a true gandhian"

is it this?

...or is it this?
the cult of personality of sonia gandhi is just replaced by the cult of personality of anna hazare...we indians are nuts really!

this means that anyone saying anything that does not fit into the current philosophy of anna hazare are hounded out and shouted down, even if they are stating a point of view equally valid (or even if it is not valid).

personally, i do not want the jan lokpal to be as powerful as anna wants. i want to state that an unelected representative cannot be given the power to arrest, prosecute or humiliate the highest elected representative like the PM. in no society is this done. even in the USA, the president is completely immune from prosecution, until s/he demits office, whether through resignation, impeachment or ending of term. what anna is proposing, to me, is not good for democracy.

too many cooks?
secondly, we already have several agencies to keep watch on corruption. we have several laws. we have several institutions (the press, judiciary, the bureaucracy, the parliament etc) that keep check on the others. another one will only burden the exchequer and complicate inter-agency co-operation. from what i hear, a minimum of 25,000 staff will be required by the jan lokpal, once fully functional. thirdly, what is the guarantee that this institution will not be or become corrupt? i am told that this would have its own checks and balances and that the press and the public (‘civil’ society) will keep a watch on it. there would be strict rules and regulations etc.

if it ain't broke...
once again, we go round and round the same argument. we are forgetting we ALREADY have laws, rules and regulations. if needed (and i think it is definitely needed), we can strengthen them, toughen them, give more powers to the executive and more freedom to the press to report them. we already have the police. if needed (and i think it is needed), we can train them better, equip them with superior systems and equipment, pay them well, and strengthen the internal agencies that keep the force clean. we may also need to take a look at the way people are recruited and promoted and how the highest positions are chosen. similarly, we can look at the way the judiciary functions and do the same with that institution. if we are prepared to create a whole new agency and a whole new power centre, shouldn’t we first see if we can manage the ones we already have in place? or are we just creating another new form of corruption? if we cannot improve the current systems that we have already, how can we be sure that the new untried, untested systems we are putting in place would be better and more efficient? and if we CAN improve what we have, we may not NEED a new system!

why should i be branded thus?
i think that is a rational argument and also as valid/logical as the currently popular ones by anna and his followers.

but i cannot even make that point (rational as it is, according to me, of course) in polite society without being branded a 'congressi' (as if that in itself is a rebuttal!) or a 'democracy-killer'. is this agitation actually encouraging or suppressing debate? sorry folks, i am NOT with anna. maybe i am in the minority. but in a democracy, i have the right to dissent and i am exercising it.