Friday, September 23, 2011

Lokpal Is Not The Magic Wand

Anna has created the national movement which has shaken the masses to action and the government on its table.

However, the citizens of the country are shouting against the graft as if its the only problem that we have - the magic wand of the Lokpal will just solve all out problems and we will have the Ramrajya. But corruption is not the only problem we face. True, Lokapal will create transparent systems and we should aim for it. However some of the problems which we face are not due to the graft but because of the poor decision making, weak foreign policies, populist measures etc. as well. Here are some of the few:

1. Environment: This is a global issue. But we needs to put up a firm step. We are the country that will be one of the worst affected by the environment changes. We need a well thought out framework which gives us sustainable development and living.

2. Insurgency: Matters related to national security are kept under black covers and these matters cannot be scrutinized publicly. Issues of Kashmir, North East states and Naxalism cannot be solved by mere force. We need strong public opinion and political willpower to rise above petty differences and provide long term peaceful solutions.

3. Security forces atrocities: AFSPA is a menace for the people in North Eastern States and Kashmir. Even if we keep that aside it, a lot happens in the police stations as well. Section 197(2) of IPC, 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure and various state laws provide various immunities to police and security forces. Its not a surprise when they have been alleged about false encounters, forging evidence and human rights violation. We need better training, proper equipment and effective intelligence, not more of Daya Nayak's.

4. High-handedness of elected politicians and higher officers: A series of transfers follows every appointment of CM and PM. Mostly based on the loyalty and affiliations of officers than professional excellence. Also, the statues and parks constructed by UP's CM Ms. Mayawati are legal. So is the change of the Indian Railways headquarters from Delhi to Kolkata by Ms. Mamta Benarjee. From hikes in salaries of MPs and MLAs to the various amenities enjoyed by higher ups are legal, many times without justification.

5. High Population: Everyone talks about corruption, but none discusses its most prominent reason.

   '''High population and paucity of resources to satisfy them'''

With India's population set to become maximum in coming decades we will face food, water, energy and health problems unprecedented. We need more than just adverisements for population control.

6. Social inequality: Inequality in out society based on gender, caste, religion, region and ethnicity is deep rooted. Making the laws doesn't actually help. Untouchability is a crime, but it is still practiced in many parts with impunity. Reservations have become a political issue. Societal changes need altogether different movement.