Monthly Archives: December 2011

Heads I win, tails you loose…

Team Anna

Jan Lokpal


Team Anna is back again. Just when I thought that there they realised the follies of their ways, back they come again screaming murder. But before I move ahead, let me first state a few things.

1. No MP’s or MLA’s irrespective of which party they belonged to, wants the LokPal bill
2. The LokPal bill will not curb corruption. Good governance will. Lokpal might at maximum (subject to finding an entire team of honest Lokpal officers) be able to catch corruption, but then as we all know punishment is hardly a deterrent for ill-doings. Besides prevention is always better than cure.
3. We need to first decide do we want the Lokpal to curb high-ticket or low-ticket corruption, cause expecting it to do all, will only mean they can do neither. If you expect the baby to run, when the baby is just born you obviously are in for some heartburns
4. To think that CBI is corrupt only cause it has Government interference is simplifying the issue. Every institution in India today has corruption and CBI is no exception. Tomorrow if they free of Government interference, they might still be used by the power of money or any other form of coercion.
5. If the Lokpal Bill does not come, BJP will be winner as it will be a poll issue for them
6. The sense of the house contained 3 items – inclusion of lower bureaucracy, a citizen’s charter and a uniform lokayukta in all states along with having a strong lokpal bill
7. The Government has already passed the citizen’s charter bill (albeit separate but that is different), included the lower bureaucracy and a uniform lokpal clause for all states in the lokpal bill. BJP and TMC opposed the last clause.
8. The last Anna movement was a dismal failure to say the least
9.The Government never ever had the numbers to pass the bill and if the bill did not pass to blame the Government alone is being blind
10. The Government handled the entire show like a fresher instead of a seasoned political party and what even if the Bill did not pass, could have been a brownie point situation for them, turned into the opposite. It was like they scored a goal but sadly in their own goal post

Keeping the idea in mind, let us hear what is Team Anna saying :

Statement 1a. Government failed us. They lied cause they did not keep its promise of sense of the house.
Statement 1b : BJP did not fail us.

Fact : Now if facts are to be placed the sense of the house resolution was actually adopted by the Government, wheras BJP and TMC went against it. But hold a gun to their head, Team Anna will refuse to accept it.

Statement 2a. Government bill was bad – let it not pass.
Statement 2b : At least had the bill passed, we would have had a starting point for discussion.

Fact : If team Anna felt that the bill was so bad, and specially with no Lokayukta clause in it, how would passing of the bill become any good?

Statement 3. The onus of passing the bill lies on the Government

Fact: The Government never had the majority in the Rajya Sabha was well known, so to say that Government could have passed the bill was a blatant misrepresentation of facts. The Government could not have passed any bill which is controversial. Hence it was the onus on the entire parliament to pass the bill.

Statement 4 : Government ensure the Mumbai campaign failed by jamming mobile networks and not allowing autos to come here.

Fact : The only network in Mumbai which did not work on one day was the Airtel one and that too cause the Airtel office had caught fire. Now to imagine the Government would resort to arson to stop the campaign was hilarious. The campaign details were running on the net, on tv channels and every other mobile network. And autos in Mumbai? – Well unless one has never been to Mumbai, one would know that even if God came down and asked, autos in Mumbai will refuse to go to certain destinations, and the venue of the movement was one such destination

Combined with the above and the bizarre reaction by Anna when he got up and left cause he was asked a question against BJP, does go to show one thing – that no matter what the Government would do, Anna team would find fault with them while giving a clean chit to the others. It’s like the game we used to play when we were kids and try and fool the other by saying “Heads I win, tails you loose“…but then now it’s not a game

Again, I have no issues even if the Anna campaign is a BJP campaign. My issue lies with the fact that I am being lied to. If Anna team comes up in the open and says that yes we doing it against the Congress, and they have a right to, I would respect them. But they would not.

In the end, one must always remember corruption is not just about money. Lying and being despotic about power is equal corruption.. Team Anna did a great job bringing the topic of corruption to the forefront but it is time they realised, that people in India are fed up of all forms of corruption – Be it by the Government or Team Anna.

An open letter to Anna Hazare

Jan Lokpal Bill

The Anna Hazare Campaign

Dear Anna,

Tomorrow, when you are about to start another fast, I write to you today as a common Indian citizen who is maybe more disgusted with the corruption plaguing the country than many others. Having personally seen corruption in police, legal system, et al in the last 1 year, my delusion with the country had reached its peak and I had considered what I never thought I would consider – to migrate out of this country. But then you came along and with you brought a hope of change. I was super excited and the first time that you campaigned I did all I could to support you – from the missed calls, to the sms and the email forwards. And after years I had hope for my country – A hope for a better India. But then it ended there, and today I write this letter to tell you why.

I will first start by telling you how I find you and the politicians are so similar:

1. All politicians irrespective of how minor they are change, once they taste power. Your team is no different

The first time you campaigned, the idea was a strong Lokpal Bill and was not just JanLokPal Bill. But the next time around your campaign changed. From the underdog, common man telling the politicians that they should start give us a strong Lokpal Bill and take steps to curb corruption, your stand changed completely to saying give us only Jan Lokpal Bill. Leave alone the fact that the Jan LokPal Bill was equally flawed as the Government version, the entire campaign was a complete U-turn from the earlier one, when you wanted the Government to bring a strong LokPal Bill. Suddenly it seemed that your team was talking with the same tone, we were used to hearing politicians talk – a tone which said we have the power and we will do what we want to, come what may. It seemed only you knew what was good for the country and even the likes of Aruna Roy and all knew nothing. It was as if only your team knew what was good for the country while the rest of the equally diligent civil society members knew nothing. That was the first time I realised that when one tastes power, everyone changes.

2. All politicians love to be the judge, jury and executioner of judgement of their own misdemeanors. Your team behaves identically like them.
A few days back there was a huge hue and cry of most of your members. There was a hue and cry about Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and there was talks that you will change your team. So you guys decided to meet and judge the situation and take a decision. It was quite funny watching your team of so-called guilty individuals gather together (minus you) and proclaim themselves innocent and take the decision that they would continue as your core committee members. Actually the only members who were present for that meeting were the actual offenders. Somehow reminded me of politicians (read ministers), when charged with crimes who come up and say they will not leave their posts and would form a team who will report to them and tell them that they are innocent or guilty.

3. The third thing is your paranoia like the ruling party.
The ruling party is of the opinion that anyone who stands with Anna is a part of RSS/ BJP, while you are of the opinion that anyone who dares call your team corrupt is a part of Congress sponsored campaign. While both are right according to me in their limited view, the fact is it is a complete wrong assumption to assume that your so called huge support is only cause of BJP/ RSS support and every dissenting voice against you is Congress sponsored. It seems both parties seems to have an extreme myopic view of any criticism leveled against them and seem to think they can make no mistakes.

So tell me if the teacher behaves the same way as the so called errant students, how are you having the moral high ground to tell the politicians anything?

My second problem is the hypocrisy your team displays at all levels and the dual standards you expect you should display and our politicians should display

1. Let’s start with the fact that you were ready to sue Manish Tiwari cause he called you names, but you at every stage jump the gun, and call everyone the ruling party names. You keep calling them thieves, weak, etc. I have no love lost for any politician of this country, including the Congress, but I am of the firm opinion that you cannot preach, what you cannot follow at least in your public life. Tell me Anna, how are different from them? Have you shown me that your standards of conduct are better than theirs?

2. The second hypocrisy I find is when you have dual standards for the way you judge your team and the way you judge the politicians. A judge recently ordered an inquiry against your core team member Kiran Bedi. You and your team have immediately called it a Congress ploy casting aspersion of course on the judge. But when a judge just agreed to allow someone to present a case against Chidambaram, you and your team immediately declared him guilty and wanted him behind bars ? Why Anna? Why this double standard? What is good for the gander should be the goose? Then why this dual standards for two teams?

3. The third hypocrisy is when you refuse to see the corruption in your team. Kiran Bedi has herself admitted to stealing. Even if I assume or even believe 100% that it was the Government which leaked the news, the fact is she herself admitted to the theft and hence irrespective of how the whistle blew, the story remains is that a wrong act happened. And please do not tell me that a Robin Hood act makes the theft any less of a crime. Robin Hood was a hero of the 13th century but in 21st century sensibilities have changed and such acts are considered a crime today. During our freedom movement, killing Britishers was a heroic act of independence, but today such an act would lead someone to call that person a terrorist, and by the same standards Kiran Bedi is wrong. So then how does your team hold the moral high ground to call politicians thieves? Not that they are not (or most are not) but what gives you the authority to call them one?

Anna, when you show that you do not enact a single thing you tell the politicians to follow, why should I trust you?

Thirdly Anna, and the biggest reason why I have no faith in you, is you like politicians are leading us on to believe you want to cure corruption, and which is far from the truth, and I will tell you why I believe you do not care.

1. Anna, in Hisar campaign you proudly gloated that cause of you Congress lost (It’s a different matter that Congress would have lost there and you used it as a political opportunism but nevertheless). So Anna, why do you want the Jan Lokpal Bill? Is it not to curb corruption? Or am I mistaken and there is a different agenda to your movement? Cause when you gloated that your team was the reason why Congress lost, you forgot to tell the world that you are the reason why the most corrupt candidate won. In other words, you have no interest in curbing corruption, just like every politician.

2. Anna, though I do believe that even if you are a BJP/ RSS sponsored campaign it does not taint your campaign, but the fact you led me on to believe that your campaign is apolitical, whereas its clearly only a anti-Congress campaign, makes me realise you and your team are no better than the bunch of politicians we have. Anna, I know you will tell that it is all a lie. But then let me ask you a simple question. You want a strong Lokpal Bill, and of course that includes a Lokpal in every state. Tell me Anna, why did you not come to Karnataka by-election and campaign against the BJP? The BJP here wants to remove the Lokpal, has made every effort to put in tainted officials in Lokpal after Justice Hedge retired, have even had the gaul to call Justice Hegde’s report trash (He is the only team member in your team whom I sincerely respect), and yet not a word from you. Neither a word from you when Gujarat does not have Lokayukta head for over 7 years? So Anna, am I to believe that this anti corruption movement and Jan Lokpal is just a farce for you? And you only care to malign the Congress. I have no issues with you doing that, but to lead me on to believe otherwise is a criminal offence.

Anna, the politicians robbed us of our money, of justice and basic belief that we matter. But none of the politicians, including our Raja and Kalmadi could rob me of my faith and optimism that tomorrow there would be a better India. That someday, someone will come along who will really be honest and think of us citizens first. But you Anna, have robbed me of that last faith too. So I beg of you Anna, do not continue your agitation. Am ready to live with the fact that we have corruption, but not ready to live with the fact that there is no hope

Anna I do know that if you ever read this letter you will say that I am being paid by Congress cause like them, you cannot bear criticisms. You seem to live in this euphoria of the media generated circus that you are invincible and like the politicians, you too believe you own the country. Sadly you do not. And next time you tell in your interviews that 1.2 billion Indians are behind you, would appreciate you say, 1.2 billion – 1 Indian is behind you, cause I am not.

With best wishes

Priyashmita

PS : And if you can believe then do believe I am no Congress fan or for that matter fan of any politician.

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