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Aug 24, 2011
04:43 AM

 A superb summary of events. SUndeep has done excellent work in covering the issue so far.

Aug 24, 2011
04:50 AM

 "Yes, the BJP/RSS have been cynically trying to ride piggy-back on the movement,"

What is so cynical about this? If the BJP had said nothing, the same people would accuse the BJP of trying to dodge the issue. If BJP supports the issue, it is trying(that too cynically) to ride on the movement. Classic case of damned if you do and damned if you dont.

Aug 24, 2011
06:58 AM

From the very beginning, govt agreeing to lokpal as the solution to the corruption problem, is a big mistake. It should have agreed to laws for tackling corruption.  Anna & team's insistence on jan Lokpal is also very immature.  No country has solved this by appointing Lokpals. Why not make everything tranparent that evey citizen becomes Lokpal.. Then there is no need for big bereaucracy.

I doubt however that in the heated environemnt, any meaningful discussion can take place.  India may end up getting a big Lokpal bill with big Lokpal department but corruption will stay same if not increase ( due to an additional lokpal department)

USA, India
Aug 24, 2011
07:53 AM


>> " Anna & team's insistence on jan Lokpal is also very immature. No country has solved this by appointing Lokpals."

True! The campaign is not against corruption. It is for a particular unproven method of solution, now propelled by concern for Anna's survival.

Dallas, United States
Aug 24, 2011
08:50 AM

>> " Anna & team's insistence on jan Lokpal is also very immature. No country has solved this by appointing Lokpals."

But as this essay points out, it is not Anna & team's insistence. It was the government which came up with the idea of Lokpal and thought of thrusting one on unsuspecting people!

Vivian Noronha
Panaji, Goa, India
Aug 24, 2011
11:14 AM

"Anna group's flip-flops are no less striking: it moves from “we-have-a-democratic-right-to-protest-and-place-our-views-in-public,” which is an unexceptionable proposition, to “Anna-will-keep-fasting-until-his-bill-is-adopted-or-amended-with-his-permission,” which amounts to holding a gun to the head of the Centre, and by implication of Parliament, and dictating that the bill it has produced must be passed, or else mayhem will follow. The government's flip-flops are indicative of incompetence; the Anna group's flip-flops arise because of the compulsions of a particular style of politics on which it is embarked, which can be called “messianism” and which is fundamentally anti-democratic." (Prabhat Patnaik, The Hindu).

Dallas, United States
Aug 24, 2011
12:06 PM

Our Parliamentary democracy works only if somebody holds a gun to the head. Only 26/11 attack when not small guns bur real AK-47 were fired at helpless citizens, government woke up and started taking a holistic viewof security and parliament passed some laws, establishedsome institutions unanimously.

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi declared a great victory when Women's reservation ill got clearance in Rajya Sabha. Nothing has been done so far to get it passed in Lok Sabha and remember, nothing ever will be done, till Madam Sonia wants another symbolic achievement.

Standing Committee is a red herring meant to mislead the people. With Amar Singh, Paswan and Laloo Prasad as members and all willing to join the government bandwagon at the first opportunity, the committee will deliberate till next general election. Moreover, bipartisan view and objectivity is sadly lacking in functioning of parliamentary committee particularly if survival of the supreme leader depends upon committee reports. JPC, earlier JPC in Bofors, current PAC are eloquent testimony of the futility of these committees.

Parliament has amended constitution during emergency days when entire opposition was imprisoned, civil society was threatened and sensorship weighed heavily on free expression of opinion. SEZ Act which has contributed to unrest in rural India was never referred to any standing committee because party coffers and personal interests closely aligned to some corporate bucanners required short circuiting of processes. Parliamentary perks and privilages are never discussed by any standing committee but straight way voted upon.

Our MPs never see the light; but they can always feel the heat. It is necessary for Anna team not to release pressure so long as people tired of corrupt babus, netas and helpless Prime Ministers clinging to his office in the evening of his career are wholeheartedly supporting the cause.

Please remember, Anna may be simplistic but has a strong sense of reality.His advisors like Kejariwal or Bedi are neither arm chair thinkers nor corporate achievers like Nilekani or Pitroda who are used today as showcase pieces by government. They know how much to stretch and when to relax. If these people are defeated today, social activism in India will die down a natural death paving the ways for the likes of Yeddi, Laloo, Mayawati or Mulayam.... wild animals always in search of a helpless Prime Minister.

mumbai, India
Aug 24, 2011
12:22 PM

Anwaar, The problem with educated Indians either abroad or here, is that they waste too much time in intellectual monologues with themselves. India needs action. Anna Hazaare is doing his bit. Existing democractic system has been exploited & misused by our politicians. Thats why citizens like Anna or us need to get out and protest to what is right & just. No matter what form of government a country has, democracy, communism, dictatorship whatever, it is always few 100 decision makers at key posts run the country, rest are just part of the system followers. In India there are few policitians which are running the game, because of them the system is rottened with Corruption. Lokpal will be one of the most important aspects of our society that will come into place, in checking the absolute power of these corrupt individuals. Anna is just a catalyst. We as citizens want a much tougher stricter accountable law to deal with the menace of corruption. Otherwise our society will go into chaos in the next 20/30 years. Its India's survival as a society which is at stake. In this process if we dont adhere to some democractic rules & norms, so be it. The parliament & democracy is there to serve us Indians, not otherwise. If need be we should be able to change it for the greater good of our society. Jan Lokpla Bill is a start to that. Someone needs to start something somewhere. Anna has done that. if left to intellectual India abroad & here we will be just writing definitions of anti-democratic, messianism & incompetence and so on. India needs action. Words we have enough of that.

mumbai, India
Aug 24, 2011
12:31 PM


>>  India needs action.

I agree. But if we use undemocratic and unconstitutional methods, we shall pay a price. If the government, the opposition, the press and the elections all failed to remedy a problem, then those institutions should be looked at and strengthened instead of setting precedents which would come back to haunt us.

Dallas, United States
Aug 24, 2011
12:53 PM

Simple Hazare is a loyal and committed soldier who has been effectively deployed  against a Government which has bumbled all the way so far!. An all Powerful Lokpal /Lokpal is not a solution to the gnawing problem of corruption! There are several miles to traverse - there is no one stop solution.

R V Subramanian
Gurgaon, India
Aug 24, 2011
01:15 PM

To rectify our government functioning, oppositon, elections, MPs, judiciary, bureaucracy so on, best strategy is to idenitfy the fundamental variables why they have failed to deliver to society's expectations. Solve each problem one by one. Corruption is one of the most important reason why all these functionaries are not able to live upto their promises. India has fantastic policies on paper to manage our state, center, development, planning etc but it only on paper. Most of them have failed miserably when it goes for implementation. Because we have vague or no laws at all for abuse of power specially in terms of corruption. Politicians at various levels, have no fear at all & are becoming audacious day by day in stealing public money meant for society. This mentality has become a culture across the public functioning. Now nothing moves ahead withour corruption. this will destroy the fabric of our society. Because of corruption politics has become the most prefered ground for making quick money, arm twisting policies, setting favourable laws & then sharing the creamed money. We need to shake this system, which cannot be done just by writing or commenting or giving interveiws. It needs a self driven righteousness integrity what Anna has shown. Which non other politicians have shown. These same politicians have maligned the democratic structure, thus we cannot get anything changed if we play to their games. I agree with your view, but on dwelling further if anyone is doing anything un-democratic, un-constitutional he should be punished by the law even if its Anna. Strengthening existing instituion will be much more easy & effective if we have a support system to drive the cleaning. Which Jan Lokpal Bill will provide. If we look at history about any country or society, there has always been a movement which has set new standards of democratic fucntioning. We need to be flexible to change our democratic structure suiting the will of the people. This is that moment for India. If it calls for a revising our constitution or democratic framework, why not do it. It will benefit our society & people. what can be more important than that.  

mumbai, India
Aug 24, 2011
02:47 PM

A Kapil Sibal with a heyna smile.A Manish Tiwari with an ugly mouth.A Chidambaram who may land in jail anytime for his fraud in getting elected.A Manmohan Singh who can bore the whole nation to death by his mumbling.A Rahul Gandhi who conveniently escapes to Pune,to avoid all this ununderstandable cacophony about LokPal Bill.Now,there is a brainwave.Let loose the Catholic Church on the Anna movement,using Johan Dayals,Udit Rajs and others.Ask the Catholic instititions,who afterall have the strangle hold on educational institutions and threaten the students that they will be removed if they attend the Anna agitation.To hell with the anti-corruption movement of Anna,there cannot be a more important agenda than projecting Rahul Gandhi as the messiah who has the magic wand to solve all problems.

Bangalore, India
Aug 24, 2011
03:00 PM

It augurs well for the nation if the millions, one sees vocally supporting Anna, are indeed against corruption by heart. If the young crowd does not support corruption, actively or passively, there is hope for future. And this is much more important than just the 'Lokpal bill'. Corruption has to be rooted out from society where it is firmly and truly entrenched.

Bangalore, India
Aug 24, 2011
03:39 PM

From the very beginning, govt agreeing to lokpal as the solution to the corruption problem, is a big mistake. - Deepak

True! The campaign is not against corruption. It is for a particular unproven method of solution - Anwaar

After 42` years of lip service (by all parties) to the concept, when the issue comes to the boil, you suddenly realise that there is no merit in a Lokpal at all. You two gentlemen should offer your services to the Congress to join their strategy planning division. You would make a much better fist of this than the present incumbents. Unfortunately for the Congress both of you are too far removed from the scene of the crime for them to be coopted. Congress' loss.

It's one thing to be an ardent supporter of the Congress. It's another to be totally blind to it's shortcomings and defend it by casting aspersions atothers.

Chennai, India
Aug 24, 2011
05:19 PM

Manmohan Singh 's economic philosophy which is top-down growth  rather than bottoms up development is his mental block in sincerely taking corruption head on. People talk about his honesty. It is honesty of his faith in growth through welfare of a handful of business houses instead overall welfare of people at large which is what holds him  prisoner of double digit growth , no matter how. Until there was this US debt crisis & the stock market crashed, there was lot of  breast-beating about the Indian  growth story & its emerging economic prowess in the world stage.

Fact is the recently Indian growth story is two horse growth - real estate & BPO. Manufacturing which is what contributes to sustainable growth has been laggard. The first can only survive in a economy dominated by the parallel subterranean transaction & transfer of value, the second , of course is a bonded labour of other country's growth. 

But the bird's eye is double digit rate of the net product measured in terms is cash instead of products. One talk of religious fundamentalism. Fundamentalism of GDP is equally corrosive. 

Sundeep here has put out one of the best anthology of  Manmohan government's recent prevarication on the issue of corruption. His indignation is justfied. But one must understand that there is a method in this madness. Not ever having been an elected politician & his total disconnect with the Indian milieu & I suspect he is loner without any degree of rapport with his cabinet coleagues, made matters worse. And the icing on the pile of ineptitude are a couple of corporate lawyears dominating his cabinet. A 79 year old truly personally honest gentleman whose ideas & mind has frozen in time , is ill equipped to take on such systemic evil like corruption. Neither he will because he do not understand what all this hue & cry is all about. He honestly believed in the nuclear deal which he got  through with steely determination by hook or crook against all odds. That the deal has fizzled out is hindsight.

If the Congress Parrty believes that raging corruption need to be tamed to create sustainable development, Dr. Manmohan Singh is not the man. A more astute political animal with grass root horse sense is needed.

Aug 24, 2011
05:30 PM

excellent write-up Sundeep ... more comments later ...

The Contrarian
London, United Kingdom
Aug 24, 2011
08:05 PM


It is true that public officials have become brazen and refractory. If the system requires fixing, then Anna's messianism may actually retard that process. It will produce temporary benefits and create laws which will look good on paper. Sustained and imaginative efforts are necessary to generate an ethos of probity and an internalization of an ethical standard. 

Kejriwal and Sisodia have spent several years in very worthwhile efforts to make  bureaucracy more responsive to aam aadmi. However now they are proposing a huge new beureaucracy to deal with the evils of the old bureaucracy! Have they become jaded?

Dallas, United States
Aug 24, 2011
08:45 PM

 I congratulate Sundeep Dougal for an excellent write up detailing the Flip-Flops by the Government! I wonder if there is anything called, 'Government' or 'Governance' in all this sordid affair!! 

May I request the Editor to send a copy of this for educating our beloved and honest PM so that he does not repeat, “recent developments have raised issues, related to the functioning of our Parliamentary democracy, that concern all of us".

Getting in Ms Arundhati Roy, Ms Aruna Roy or even technologist like Mr. Nandan Nilekani is a bit too late. Introduce Janlokpal Bill and do not issue any whip so that people can watch and know who is on whose side?

Pavuluri SurendraNath
Hyderabad, India
Aug 24, 2011
10:48 PM

The bottomline problem is, Anna Hazare and his movement is demanding that MPs pass a bill that would facilitate prosecution and punishment of those same MPs.  That is why the resistance.  I have read reports that many MPs came to Ramlila Maidan and proclaimed full support to Anna Hazare and same MPs during All Party Meeting opposed Jan Lokpal Bill's various points.

P.B. Joshipura
Suffolk, Virginia, United States
Aug 24, 2011
11:01 PM

One suggestion to the posters here... Please give some line breaks between the paragraphs.. Its very difficult to read big posts without any spaces..


Bangalore, India
Aug 24, 2011
11:06 PM

I have read reports that many MPs came to Ramlila Maidan and proclaimed full support to Anna Hazare and same MPs during All Party Meeting opposed Jan Lokpal Bill's various points. - PB Joshipura

Are you surprised?

Chennai, India
Aug 24, 2011
11:07 PM

MPs, MLAs are very strong "pro corruption Lobby", hard to pass a law to check them. This law can only be passed in this (by holding govt. on ransom) fashion, there is just no other way. We can always debate the eligibilty of this process later.

Mukesh Tomer
Washington DC, United States
Aug 24, 2011
11:15 PM

This Blog by Sandeep Dougal should be translated in every local language and printed in every news papers in India.  The seasoned politicians depend on the short memories of the voting public.  Most people tend to forget various tricks tried by the cunning UPA/Congress ministers and their Chamchas.

I am now a big fan of Sandeep.  Salutation.

P.B. Joshipura
Suffolk, Virginia, United States
Aug 25, 2011
05:36 AM



subhash saini
hoshiarpur, India
Aug 25, 2011
02:54 PM

<< if we use undemocratic and unconstitutional methods, we shall pay a price >> Excerpt from post # 9

The arrest of Anna was undemocratic and unconstitutional. The Government must pay the should withdraw its farce of a Lok Pal bill and introduce something which can really tackle the scourge of corruption.

Visakhapatnam, India
Aug 25, 2011
11:41 PM

I say this whole bill should be named after Shanti Bhusan. We must recognise him.

Santosh Gairola
Hsinchu, Taiwan
Aug 26, 2011
02:50 AM


>> The arrest of Anna was undemocratic and unconstitutional.

It was a political blunder, but it may have been quite legal.

Dallas, United States
Aug 26, 2011
11:37 AM

>>It was a political blunder, but it may have been quite legal.

It became a political blunder because it was unconstitutional!

Delhi, India
Aug 26, 2011
08:37 PM

 As usual a superb column by TVR Shenoy.

Aug 26, 2011
11:22 PM

 Is it not high time for Congress, as a political party to take stock about its leadership? Regardless of what happens, Manmohan Singh's political career will be over by the next election. He absolutely has no incentive to change track at this stage in his career. Pranab Mukherjee is another guy whose career will likely be over by next election. Chidambaram has already signaled his willingness to resign from active political life.

So why are the other COngress leader's sticking out with this group? Does it not make political sense to change the leadership and ministry now so that you can approach 2014 with a new face? If Manmohan and co are removed from office now, the new PM(Rahul) and his team would have two years to rebuild their party and the image. Difficult but not an impossible task. Sticking with Manmohan is a sure failure so why not try a new route?

Especially after this fiasco, if Congress party sticks with the Manmohan team for another three years, they would qualify as the biggest nincompoops in the whole world.

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