The fast by activists led by Anna Hazare has elicited different responses from different people. While there is agreement on the need to fight corruption, some have criticized the method.
Their objections are as below:
1) In a parliamentary democracy parliament is supreme. Parliament can not be pressurized by fasting.
2) Self-appointed people can not make law. It is for elected representatives to make law.
3) The agitators have contempt for politics and democracy.
4) The agitation amounts to blackmail.
5) The agitation is fascist.
Let us examine the objections.
1) People are supreme in a democracy. Parliament represents people. MPs are elected to do the will of the people and not as they want. Fasting is a legitimate way to put pressure on parliament. MPs forget they are representatives of people and not lords and masters. The constitution begins with the words â€œWe the peopleâ€.
Anna Hazare is on an indefinite fast for Jan Lokpal Bill. This bill is different from the Lokpal Bill the government has in mind. The government is not ready to meet representatives of activists to reconcile the two bills.
Lokpal Bill is a small step in fighting corruption at the top. The bill has made occasional appears over the last 42 years. Many people have come forward in support of Anna Hazare and there are indefinite fasts in various cities. In California, Indians marched supporting the fast against corruption. Candle light vigil has taken place.
Wikileaks cables are making news for its revelations about paying cash to get votes. Candidates paying money to voters or UPA paying money to MPs to survive trust vote is back in news.
Azhagiri is said to have paid Rs.5,000 per voter in Thirumangalam. Previous bribe was Rs.500 per voter. In Sivaganga, Karti Chidamabram, son of P. Chidambaram, is said to have paid voters. Asaduddin Owaisi is said to have paid money to fund worthy requests in his constituency and according to him the legal spending limit of 25 lakh rupees on election was a joke and he spends 25 lakh rupees on polling day alone.
Judicial corruption is the worst corruption. Judges are the ultimate hope for justice and when they are corrupt justice is denied.
Judges enjoy constitutional protection so they may do their job fearlessly. The procedure for removal of corrupt judges of Supreme Court or High Court is long and difficult. A motion has to be moved in Lok Sabha, signed by 100 members, or in Rajya Sabha, signed by 50 members. When the motion is admitted the speaker of chairman appoints a committee of three members. When the committee submits report recommending the removal of the judge the motion is put to vote and must be passed by two-thirds majority in both houses. The voting is presented to the president of India and the president removes the judge.
There are people who say PDS does not work and cash transfers is the way. Some give example of Bihar where it is said to be 92% effective.
If PDS does not work it should be scrapped. That does not mean people should be given cash. When it is said 92% effective it means 8% ineffective which can become 80% or more. Fictitious accounts can be opened. There is swindling in NREGA and complaints are not investigated. One person in Uttar Pradesh who got an award for his work in NREGA returned it as his complaints were not investigated and swindling continued. Whether the swindling in NREGA is 5% and in road transport 50% as Chidambaram said in Davos or more is a matter of debate.
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