Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Dealing with corruption
How about a moral society?
My opposition to Anna Hazare's agitation to force his version of the Jan Lokpal Bill on the Government without bothering about Parliament and its law-making process has been misconstrued by many as support for politicians denuded of scruples and ethics. Contesting such bunkum is meaningless as critics more often than not have pre-conceived notions.
Most Anna fans are blind to reason and logic; sadly, they are also ignorant of how Parliament functions; tragically, they are disdainful of the parliamentary system of governance; ironically, they claim to uphold democracy while repudiating the very basis of our democracy: Our electoral system.
I firmly believe that a Lokpal Bill, call it Jan Lokpal if you must, will not cure our Government and society of the debilitating ailment called 'corruption'. Yet another law will at best serve as a palliative -- it will provide us with a sense of relief rather than kill the virus that is eating away at the innards of our nation.
What we need are reforms, radical and sweeping, to remove the reasons and incentives for giving and accepting bribes. We need to move towards minimum government, maximum governance. We need to take away discretionary powers from politicians and babus. We need to make Government transparent to the extent that the RTI becomes redundant.
We must not countenance any suggestion to maintain the status quo, or gloss over what are often described as sins of omission and commission but are in reality the pocketing of commission by those in power and authority.
Yet, we must not lose sight of the fact that our politics and bureaucracy are an accurate reflection of our society; after all, neither politicians nor bureaucrats come from an alien planet, they are elected and selected from amidst us.
Can we then, as a society, look within? And force fundamental changes in our outlook? Can we demand, and mobilise masses in support of that demand, radical reforms without even a day’s delay?
More importantly, can we strive to build a moral society which is strong and can resist the temptation of succumbing to the amorality that we now witness?
These are some of the issues I have raised in Vacuous morality and low cunning. Your views and comments, as always, are welcome.