Google PlusFacebookTwitter

On the Jan Lok Pal Bill

By on Apr 13, 2011 in Stop The Press | 4 comments

Share On GoogleShare On FacebookShare On Twitter

…the Jan Lok Pal Bill become an attempt by the marginalized urban English-educated classes to take back their country. Its evident in way public feedback is sought, as per the draft Bill, through a website, something that the “poor” don’t really have access to. It’s evident in the qualification criteria for the committee (Magsaysay Award winners, Nobel prize winners, Bharat Ratnas) that the urban middle class wants what we Bengalis call “bhodrolok” in charge.

On The Jan Lok Pal Bill by Great Bong

I have been too confused to put to words what I felt about the Jan Lok Pal Bill, because it was largely a sense of unease at what was going on and the methods adopted to achieve the goal. (I tried to joke it away “Who’s this chick, Anna, then?”) That article on Great Bong’s blog is fairly accurate manifestation of what I felt. As a matter of principle, the proposal feels all wrong. A committee of guiding ‘Elders’, no matter how benign it sounds, is ultimately placing power in the hands of people who have no accountability to anyone.

Anna Hazare may be a man of great virtue and his intentions may be noble, I have no doubts about that. Yet, I find myself disagreeing with campaigns he has run in the past such as banning the sale of alcohol and tobacco in the ‘model village’ he set up. What seems like a beneficial idea, on the surface, is actually a measure that inhibits free will. It is lecturing from a pulpit, saying “I know better; you are too poor/stupid so do this instead.” The idea of a Lok Pal smacks of similar holier-than-thou sentiments.

I do not profess have a better solution. However, I do agree with the argument that measures are needed to prevent corrupt politicians from running for elections in the first place, rather than try to clean up after they have been voted into power. At least Anna Hazare’s campaign has piqued the country’s interest and got the youth interested in taking action. What isn’t so good is the shrill “YOU MUST OBEY US” cries.



4 Comments

  1. Vivek

    April 13, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Interesting perspective. One that struck me a while after I posted my rather one-sided views on the whole thing. Must. Post. Less. Impulsively.

    • Ankur Banerjee

      April 14, 2011

      Post a Reply

      The campaign spurred you to take the step of actually participating / fasting, so what you felt at the time about being part of the process is worth writing / reading about. It’s just the proposal that seems right, and yet, wrong.

  2. Alok Upadhyay

    June 14, 2012

    Post a Reply

    “The idea of a Lok Pal smacks of similar holier-than-thou sentiments.”

    Since the Indian populace has not matured enough to take good decisions for itself, it can’t be adjudged unwise to have such warrior sages around to protect their self interests. Do you not agree with the fact that it isn’t good for illiterate/scarcely-educated-people in our country to be left all by themselves to decide on issues which can make or break their lives. Another thing which supports this fact is that letting a majority of fools and illiterates decide their leader does not necessarily make the decision nor the outcome a wise one.

    What I mean to say with all this is that we are in infancy of our life as a nation and we need some part of our parentage to take care of us till we can become capable enough to be self sufficient in such matters.

Leave a Reply to Alok Upadhyay Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *