ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Anti-Corruption Crusade

This is regarding the editorial “The Anti-Corruption Crusade” (EPW, Vol XLVI, 20 August 2011). The editorial was timely and rightly noted that no matter how much support Anna Hazare has been able to muster, nothing places him above the Constitution. Apart from this, when Hazare’s version of the bill is wrought with impractical provisions and cannot be accepted without extensive debate, his method of indefinite fasting to get it passed is very undemocratic, despite the government’s bill being weak. It should also be kept in mind that those chanting anti-corruption slogans are not totally without blemish. Can it be said with any certainty that those assembled in the crowds would not pay a bribe to get work done and, worse, would not accept it when offered? To me the crowds supporting Hazare appeared frivolous, who neither know anything about the Lokpal nor about democracy.

One major aspect of the Jan Lokpal Bill which is deeply disturbing is the dependence on eminent persons for selecting the Lokpal. If the selection committee for the chief vigilance commissioner could commit a disaster, then how can one trust such a selection committee for the Lokpal? Also, as a noted columnist recently pointed out, the bill places deadlines over deliberative consultations, forcing the government to enact the law as soon as possible, even if it amounts to hasty and faulty inferences.

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