This post is a response to the opinion article by Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta criticizing Jan Lokapal Bill and Anna Hazare.
Article is available at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/of-the-few-by-the-few/772773/1
YES… Of the FEW , By the FEW …when there are NONE
Contrary to some extreme comments, I think this articile by Mr. Mehta communicates a point of view which is the other side of the coin and must be addressed. Let’s address some of Mr. Mehta’s points:
Mr. Mehta : “…Crossing the line of reasonableness …”
A peaceful protest by the FEW in civil society is unreasonable while the unbridled corruption in the top echelon of Indian leadership is reasonable. Really ??
Mr. Mehta says: “…But in a functioning constitutional democracy…”
Functioning constitutional democracy: Yes it is … of the corrupt few, by the corrupt few, for the corrupt few.
Mr. Mehta says : “…Jan Lokpal Bill is not necessarily the best, or the only solution to the corruption challenge…”
Who Ever said it is? It is a Start and subject to change. The demand is to have equal participation from government and citizenry.
Mr. Mehta says : “…Power, divided in a democracy, can often be alibi for evading responsibility. But it is also a guarantee that the system is not at the mercy of a few good men…”
Isn’t it better to be at the mercy of few good men rather than the mercy of all the corrupt ones.
Mr. Mehta says : “…one draft very reassuringly put it, two of the “most recent Magsaysay Award Winners”. Then there is no sense of jurisdiction and limits. ..”
What is Mr. Mehta suggesting…GoM including Sharad Pawar(now resigned) is a better choice compared to the recent Magsaysay winners. I am not saying award winners are GOD who will make no mistakes but what point Mr. Mehta is trying to make here, just sounds like the same tired tune.
Mr. Mehta says : “…It is not going to look at corruption only. It can even look into “wasteful” expenditure. They can, potentially usurp all policy prerogatives of democratic governments. So many accountability institutions, in the name of accountability, are not distinguishing between policy issues and corruption. They are perpetuating the myth that government can function without any discretionary judgment…”
Fear mongering…”So Jaa nahi tau gabbar aa jayega” type of intellectual emotional blackmail” practiced on unsuspecting mere mortals like us. Just in the beginning of article Mr. Mehta advised against emotional blackmail …now he seems to be unknowingly unleashing here as well.Isn’t wasteful expenditure is another type of corruption, when the same indian road gets digged up hundred times , each ends up filling bureaucrats and politicians pockets that many times.
Mr. Mehta says : “…Virtue has an impatience with processes and institutions that needs to be checked. It is a dangerous illusion to pedal that badly designed new institutions will be a magic wand to remove corruption. All they will do is promote wishful thinking and distract from the myriads of prosaic decisions that will be required to get a better politics. …”
This is just amazing, and totally reflects the height of insensitive and amoral intellectualism prevalent in higher echelons of our society. Some may like to call it as elitism. However it is much more than that. This practice of elite and intellectual tribalism practiced by few which relies on the notion of everything trickle down, from justice to welfare handouts. This and the ones who practice it do not believe in bottom up evolution because looking down from their gold/degree plated pedestals everything is so freaking small that for all purposes other than votes, it does not exist. So for everything their solution is one size fits all solution which only they or their handyman can come up with because the rest of us fools …what the heck we know. Citizen Hazare is not asking for a process which is ‘THE PROCESS’. What he and the rest of us are asking is due recognition of the need for Indian political leadership to honestly deal with their citizenry and be done with the GAMES. But the astonishing but obvious fact is Mr. Mehta do not see that and favors the intellectual tribalism practiced by his so called processes and finds fault in the impatience of VIRUE. It would be highly unlikely that Mr. Mehta and the rest like him will ever be able to see what’s going on here because as a saying goes … Mr. Mehta is searching for darkness with the torch of intellectualism in his hands. We can only wish him Good Luck.
In the mean time, Go SIR HAZARE !!!!!