Indian public is becoming overly optimistic and too ambitious about the Lokpal Bill. They think that it will be a panacea for elimination of corruption from India. It is a misnomer. It may act only a preliminary deterrent but I have doubts on its effective implementation. It may meet the same fate like other laws. We have IPC section 302 which has provisions for capital punishment in murder cases. Are murdering stopped in this country?
For rape cases, there is a provision of 7-10 years imprisonment, are rape cases reduced in this country? When the law enforcement agencies have a tag of deep corruption, how such laws will be effective, even if it has civil society participation.
Do we think that at traffic signals, the constable will stop taking bribes for traffic violations by public? People will still pay bribe because they do not want to go to court and spoil their whole day. Similarly, getting the property documents registered and property assessment, still people pay bribe so that their documents get registered without any problem. Similarly, people who do not qualify for a service, pay bribes to get the benefit. Again in traffic department those people who are unable to pass a proper driving test, pay a bribe in order to get the driving licence.
Unless public themselves do not stop paying bribes, corruption will persist as it has deep cultural root in the system.
Then the question is, should we legalize corruption in certain cases? For example, in certain departments if the public want prompt services because they cannot visit such departments again and again, let them pay a premium service fee to the government if they are able to afford it. Instead, this premium amount is going as bribe into the pockets of officials, it will go to the government exchequer.
One of the main reasons for the heightened corruption in India is that we are a over regulated country. More regulations lead to more corruption. At the same time, over-regulated is a sign of weak, underdeveloped and uneducated society. Unless the government simplifies the rules and procedures, corrupt practices will continue. Now with the new bill to be in vogue, these officials may find other ways or loopholes to break rules.
One important issue on which no body is paying attention even the government is the population explosion. Today we are 1.21 billion, in next ten years, we will be 1.45 billion and in 35 years, India will have 2.00 billion population. It will be a disaster. One of the reason for increasing corruption is the increasing population.
Why the government, the civil society, and the media are not discussing how to control population? Why not have laws on one child family which should be made mandatory?
This country has multiple problems. The main reasons for such problems including corruption is the outdated bureaucratic system and political system. Unless bureaucracy is scrapped completely or revamped considerably, corruption cannot be eradicated from this country. We need to introduce a management-oriented system for political and administrative governance in this country. Only then we may get relief from such ills.
Mr. Anna Hazare got overwhelming support and he turned out to be national hero for the following reasons only:
1. He raised a common man’s issue because corruption affect them the most. For last one year, India has been rocking with scams and corruption so he thought this is the right time to jump into the field. Hammer the iron when it is hot.
2. Corruption, though, is an international issue yet for India, it is the most grave and a national issue. So people from all walk of life supported him.
Had he raised any regional issues such as on migration ( e.g. people from north coming to Mumbai), language, allocation of resources or reservations, he would have turned out to be villain.
3. He is 73 years old person, a social worker, and Gandhian follower. He has no self interest in raising corruption issue as he does not tend to hold any political position. So people trusted him because he has no self interest.
4. Elections in many states are very near. Raising the issue of Lokpal Bill was the right time because he was knowing that the government will agree to pass this bill, otherwise, Congress and other parties may lose elections.
I guess that he will be pressured to form a political party as an alternative to two main national parties because public know that these are corrupt parties and they have done nothing in this regard. By raising the corruption issue, Mr. Anna Hazare may succeed in finding out a third front and likely party may seek elections because people support is there. The way people are celebrating this success of Anna Hazare, they will also support him and his likely party in the same way.