14 January, 2012

Jottings on Lok Pal Bill Movement and Team Anna Campaign


December 19, 2011

If Anna Hazare proceeds on fast even now he is clearly ridiculing the Parliament, and taking the people of India for a ride. To any fair-minded person the Congress would appear to have done all it could reasonably be expected to do.

I had joined Anna to fight corruption, not the Congress. And you?

December 19, 2011

Anna claims 2 have banished drinking, smoking, gutka.. from Ralegam Siddhi. How many of his young supporters can voluntarily give these up?

We learn that the violators of these 'crimes' may even be tied to trees and beaten up. Well, how about Anna Hazare becoming the first Lok Pal, or even the Prime Minister of India? After all, we have forests full of trees and, hopefully, millions of willing violators!

December 21, 2011

I entirely agree - and the PM himself said so - that Anna's campaign achieved the magnificent task of sensitizing people to the seriousness of the virus of corruption. In support of his April campaign, I had personally put up a large hoarding at a central location of Ahmedabad. Sadly gradually this movement was directed against the Congress. And the obstinacy to demand his version alone, and his inability to recognize the difficulties of governance, are diluting the goodwill he generated, and, indeed, is now dividing the society into pro- or anti-Congress camps. That is where some of us are deeply resentful. Aruna Roy and Harsh Mandar are no less patriotic and concerned about corruption. Nevertheless I appreciate your comment, Mr Herman David.

December 21, 2011

Journalist and columnist Annil Dharkar remarked in a Times Now interview that Mr Anna Hazare is a man of limited intelligence [http://bit.ly/vd9oE8]. Disassociating with this remark, when the anchor Arnab Goswami pressed him if he would retract his statement, he meekly said: well, actually, he has a narrow vision. Unfortunately, for Anna, his obstinacy and stubbornness is reinforcing this perception of the old gentleman even amongst his admirers.

December 21, 2011

Watch the language Team ANNA uses:

Anna: This Govt has cheated. These are thieves; they rob you of your money.

Arvind: This bill has been made by the corrupt

.. certainly not the language of 'civil' society

Notice that no senior Congressmen [Sonia, Manmohan, Rahul] used such language for these people.

We often feel the temptation to malign those in power and foul-mouth the government. We feel comfortable in advising all and sundry how to run factories, companies, universities, governments, but when it comes to running them ourselves we make all kinds of excuses.

BJP watches every move of Anna and makes suitable noises in appropriate tones endorsing him, and letting the government down. Effectively Anna is playing the chief opposition and the BJP is second fiddling him.

This government appears to have honourably and sincerely carried out its mandate to present a workable Lokpal bill to the Parliament. The Parliament is free to make amendments by majority. Anna can differ but must show due deference to the Parliament of India. Else we owe him no deference either.

December 21, 2011

CBI: Central Bureau of Investigation

It is not just corruption that CBI investigates but frauds, communal violence, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, crimes committed by extremists, violation of Official Secrets Act, large scale Banks and Insurance Frauds etc. It has investigated specific cases like Bhagalpur Blindings, Bhopal Gas Tragedy etc. Courts have entrusted to it cases like murders, dowry deaths, rape etc. Currently CBI is investigating major communal rioting cases of Gujarat, including murders committed by Gujarat police through fake encounters.

The current CBI divisions are: [http://bit.ly/rTRtka]

Anti Corruption Division

Economic Offences Division

Special Crimes Division

Directorate of Prosecution

Administration Division

Policy & Coordination Division

Central Forensic Science Laboratory

Therefore, I for one do not want the whole of CBI to come under the Lokpal. I want it to focus on major crimes that the state police cannot or will not handle. In the name of those thousands maimed in Gujarat I ask Anna-fans if they belittle this role of the CBI?

Do you, too?

December 21, 2011

If murder is more foul than bribing, then I want a अल्पसंख्यक Alpasankhyak or Alpamat Pal [Minority protector], far more potent than the Lokpal - and much earlier.

Now, can Team Anna say: don't bother about killing? Indeed, do they bother about me?

December 21, 2011

When the political history of 2011 is written, one disgraceful chapter will be entitled "BJP". It has abdicated the opposition platform to Team ANNA, often obstructed the Parliament needlessly, contributed to and enjoyed the discomfiture of the UPA Govt at the expense of the citizens, led to the erosion of stature of and respect for the Indian Parliament. All in all, very irresponsible, Ms Shushma Swaraj, and Mr Arun Jaitley.

December 22, 2011


A great week for the Parliament, after prolonged and despicable disruption. Two major pieces of legislation introduced: the Food Security Bill and the Lokpal Bill.

May intelligent and reasoned debates now take place in both the houses enlightening us the citizens. It is time for the Parliament to convince the electorate that it has not elected dumb-heads.

December 23, 2011


One feels that Anna Hazare is rapidly acquiring the image of a very obstinate, adamant man: Jo har bar, HAZAR bar, ADTE hain!

More seriously, those who oppose the full inclusion of the CBI, and of the lower bureaucracy, under the Lokpal are not crazy or corrupt - as Team ANNA maintains. Their reasoning deserves listening to, too.

It was amusing that when the press sought his reaction to the draft bill as introduced in the Parliament, all that Anna had to say was this: Bahut Kamzor Bill Hai Ye [It is a very weak bill]. Why? How? No word. Not until his Team will advise him!

December 23, 2011


Yes, I am with Anna. CBI should be fully incorporated into the Lokpal apparatus. Provided, of course, that the Lokpal ambit is expanded to include: communal rioting, murder, rape, robbery, fraud, other white collar crimes, organized crime etc... the matters CBI is currently handling.

You can't place one agency under two heads: Lokpal for corruption, the government for all other cases. That can only be said by those that know no governance. Anarchy is not democracy, Sir.

December 23, 2011


Team ANNA have given the impression to the gullible youth as if the draft bill places the LOKPAL under the Government. They don't say that the Lokpal is fully independent - as much as the Team wanted - but that it is the CBI [which falls under a separate act] is independent, AND THAT the Lokpal can entrust it with specific corruption cases. And in respect of these cases it can ALSO SUPERVISE CBI's working.

Similarly the lower bureaucracy - Group C and D employees - who are already subject to existing anti-corruption laws, will come under the CVC - Central Vigilance Commission. Again the Lokpal can oversee this work. After all if you saddle the Lokpal with lakhs of complaints ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs.1,000,000,000.. the big fish will go Scot-free. It is actually good in that the Lokpal can concentrate on the bigger corruption cases. After all, if corruption is checked at the top, the bottom will repair itself in due course.

So, what is such a big fuss about? Why go on the fast now? Even if improvements are required, fairness demands that this model can be tried and later amendments can be made. Why push the country into a possible anarchy, in the face of a frightening economic slow-down? Imagine the enormous damage if the country falls into a recessionary mode. Clearly the youth supporting him now is misinformed.

December 23, 2011


All the arguments that are advanced against administrative control of CBI by the central government apply with greater veracity to all the state police. If governments must not be trusted - nor can they be held to account post facto - then clearly we must not hand over investigations like murder, rape and robbery to state police. And then do what?

December 23, 2011


Yeh sarkar Angrezon ki tarah.../ ..Jail main jaaoonga / chor log hain yeh / chor sarkar hai / [smiling and waving towards the willing young!] Yuva shakti jaag gayi hai ab.. / Desh ke liye apne praan bhi de doonga [obviously indicating the wound mark on his forehead] / yeh doosri aazazdi ki ladai hai...

Now ask who is he talking about: the members of our nation's Parliament, you and I elected.

December 24, 2011


AnnaManians will do well to pay heed to the Bombay High Court's observation made yesterday in the context of their proposed protest. The Judges remarked: your "social service" can be nuisance for others, or be politically motivated. The Parliament is seized of this and your representatives are looking at it.

December 24, 2011

Team Anna has spread a general anti-Congress [or anti-Govt, or anti-politician] sentiments. And gullible and movement-hungry educated young have fallen prey to this hate campaign unwittingly. Notice how they jumped at Kapil Sibal's throat when he mentioned monitoring objectionable content on the net! Now the Delhi court has ordered the social network sites to remove all such content in a few days. Just click some beautiful face on FB and see what filth passes in the name of freedom of speech!

Please see not only who says, see also what is being said.

December 25, 2011


What if the Congress falls to the campaign and collapses at the hustings in the ensuing elections? Arguably BJP will be the winner and lead the coalition government. Since I have not the slightest evidence of this party doing any better than the Congress on checking corruption - and have plenty of evidence of its double-speak, hate, exclusion - I must not participate in any movement that can push the Congress to such a corner. Must you?

December 27, 2011

Then there was this country - called Bharat - where everybody, from their Prime Minister to their 524 Members of Parliament, their judges, their investigation bureau.. all were cruel, supplicatory, corrupt, anti-citizenry.

Then, one day, 9 angels descended from the heavens, called in Hindi the LOKPAL.

And suddenly everything changed completely. Ever since Bharat, now referred to as India, magically turned efficient, clean, honest, pro-people. Ram Rajya!

Lokpal ki Jai.

December 27, 2011

Most of our popular tv channels got the Lopal constitution amendment bill voting completely wrong

December 28, 2011

Shocking that most of our tv channels lacked elementary knowledge of voting procedure

December 28, 2011

While the Congress must take flak for messing up its floor management at the passage of Lopal Constitutional amendment bill it would be interesting to find what the BJP has to say why it voted against that amendment designed to strengthen the Lokpal.


December 28, 2011


Is it time for the tabloids to issue screaming headlines: ANNA BUBBLE BURST, or Anna Loses Deposits? No. Not yet.

But the fact is that the crowds have thinned. The much-hyped up one lakh plus on the MMRDA grounds, Mumbai, came down to just about 5,000 according to DNA, [and less than 10,000 at 'any point of time' according to IE, and over 15,000 according to [you guessed it] the Times!]. And at Delhi's Ramlila grounds not even a thousand turned up despite the year-end vacation. Therefore, if crowd was the main reason for Anna's truth, well, this has been busted.

Much to the chagrin of our urban-middle-class-centric electronic media, which had set up the so-called 'round-the-clock' coverage of Annamania, and issued virtually open invitations to people to attend, send SMSs, and make calls [particularly Times Now and Headlines Today], the trick didn't work.

Well past 11AM The Times Now reporter was yelling "the crowds are beginning to swell [sic]" even as her camera could pan on a less than 1,000 crowd. Another one proclaimed the Anna rally/motorcade was 'a kilometer' long with 'more and more vehicles joining every moment'. Trust me my friend, take your media with a table-spoonful-of-salt!

Having said this, I must add that the dear old crusader did do the nation a yeoman's service by re-sensitizing us all to the suffocating grip of this murderous menace of corruption. And we will do well never to forget this message.

December 28, 2011


Last week at Ahmedabad airport auto-rickshaw drivers stopped a foreign film crew from shooting a scene for their film because, according to these informed gentlemen, this film was depicting some Indians in a poor light!

Today a mob stopped a truck, beat up its staff nearly to death, and burnt it because, according to this mob, the truck was carrying beef.

Where are we heading? Will our police, courts, jails and the executioners all be the mob? But, consider, isn't this a logical extension of Anna-like campaigns?

December 29, 2011


Two institutions that never tire of sermonizing to us, the citizenry, and to legislate, on our behaviour, are, respectively, the Press and the Parliament. Watch how roguishly the reporters and cameramen behave while struggling to get a hot byte. Overhearing their acrimonious comments is ever so embarrassing.

As for the Parliament, the less said the better. Just watched in horror the 'debates' in Rajya Sabha on Lokpal bill, and how a RLD member actually snatched and tore off the bill papers. Ditto for several state legislatures. I wonder if most of these august legislators even get to hear each other.

December 30, 2011


Maximum corruption takes place behind the closed doors of defense organizations. Recall Bofors, Coffingate, Adarsh... Yet nobody demands Lokpal jurisdiction over this holy cow. Why? Don't they love the defense department enough? In reality, Babu's bribe hurts, Jawan's bribe kills

December 30, 2011


Yes, yes, the Congress failed to muster adequate numbers at the Rajya Sabha, yes it failed to carry its allies along, yes, may be, having realized these it dragged the session to a quiet death. But what did the BJP do? Could it, or could it not, vote for a: constitutional status at the Lok Sabha? and b: passing the bill at the Rajya Sabha?

My simpleton-logic says it could, and didn't, while the Congress tried and failed. Who is the 'assassin' and who the 'victim', you decide. BJP worked to defeat the Govt rather than support the Lokpal.

If constitutional status were conferred on the Lokpal, someday - even if slowly - the Lokpal could have been armed further, as were the Election Commission, CAG, CVC, NHRC and so on.

Now, if the Congress appears less of a culprit but the Team Anna takes on it, rather than on the BJP, what would its intentions be?

Did Team Anna admonish the BJP for its two major sins? No. On the other hand they threaten to campaign against the Congress and picket Sonia and Rahul. Isn't it time Anna-fans saw the unfairness of this stand? I supported them to fight corruption. And you?

January 1 2012


We urge you, in the interest of fighting corruption and in the larger interest of the nation, to open a dialogue with the Congress and negotiate your demands with them. Only, this time pl don't take a "this and nothing else" attitude about your suggestions, however well meaning. Find a middle ground and get them to make public commitments on a strong Lokpal bill in the next session.

As they go to the assembly polls they will welcome your support. If you can oppose them - and claim to remain apolitical - you can equally well support them and yet remain apolitical, so long as the agenda is Lokpal. Please convert confrontation to conciliation and set an example in how to work with the system to improve it.

If they do well at the state assemblies, their numbers may rise at the Rajya Sabha. So they can't blame the opposition for obstructing the passage of the agreed bill. This way you will regain the support of all those that aligned with you to fight corruption but parted when you appeared to fight the Congress instead. Meanwhile focus your attention on other social ills, including judicial accountability, administrative inefficiency, media watch, professional misconduct like medical and legal exploitation etc.

You claim to speak in the name of the people. This is the vox populi.

All this will augur well for the nation and together we will build a fruitful 2012.

[Will the FB readers pl forward this appeal to where it will matter?]

January 1 2012


Dr Manmohan Singh was shown black flags and heckled by those claiming to support Anna, when he visited the Golden Temple at Amritsar with his family on a private visit.

Does this sound fair, after all that the Govt did to placate these 'civil' society members, for the Lokpal bill?

One wonders what would have happened to these august self-appointed custodians of the nation's conscience if Varun Gandhi's father were in-charge! His youth congress brigade would have fixed them giving them a taste of their medicine.

I wonder, too, if the Team is taking unfair advantage of the civil behaviour of, and the restraint shown by the Congress leadership. What would happen if the latter get tired and let their brigade loose? Would we be in for a civil war?

I had posted a new year wish late last night and an Appeal to Team Anna today. Sorry, this was not a very happy note to start a new year on.

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