Two faces of Lokpal, Lokayukta Mother India

with one comment

santosh hegde, former lokayukta of karnataka, ...

Image via Wikipedia

Editorial in the Shanghai Express

A toast is well deserved. Retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice Santosh Hegde is certainly the man of the hour, courtesy the effective enforcement of the clau- ses contained in the Lokayukta in Karnataka.

However before the toast is raised, before the congratulatory notes start pouring in, it would be worthwhile to take certain things into consideration, study them and digest them. Largest democracy in the world.

Island of democracy in a sea of Nations where democracy has more often failed than succeeded, one of the few developing Nations (when this term was politically acceptable in 1947) where the rule of the ballot has never been disrupted by spells of military rule and the largest democracy in the world.

These are some of the epithets that sit pretty comfortably in the crown of Mother India and to top these is the reputation earned in the last decade or so as one of the fastest emerging economic powers in the world. So as Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa faces the heat in the face of the damning indictment issued by the Lokayukta of the State headed by Justice Santosh Hegde, this should be the ideal time to ponder over some uncomfortable questions.

As a Parliamentary democracy, India rightfully believes that the ballot or the EVMs are the final arbiter of the performance of a Government or more specifically a political party. This means that every five years a sort of a referendum on the performance, governance, character etc of a Government or a political party and at the micro level a politician is held and the verdict of the people is supposed to reflect the points we have just mentioned.

This has been the case ever since India attained independence more than 60 years back yet the five yearly elections have never been able to address certain questions and to this day this failure is reflected in the atrocious positions of women in society, the fate of the girl child, the caste structure which has mutated to caste based politics and probably the most niggling of them all- institutionalisation of corruption.

This is the reason why the word of caution against raising the toast was issued in the first place. In many ways the growing need of Bills or Acts like Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the States is a damning testimony that the mechanisms of power available to the people through the universal adult franchise have been manipulated and distorted by the political class to such an extent that today this democratic exercise has failed to check corrupt practices such as money laundering, bribery, financial misappropriation, stashing black money in foreign countries etc.

In as much as the average man on the street may feel a sense of vindication in the damning indictment of Yeddyruppa, the overwhelming sense of a loss or indignity forced on the Nation cannot be brushed aside. Should the indictment be a time for celebration or should it be a time to reel in a sense of shame that a person who was elected to the position of the leader of the people should be found dipping his dirty hands in the pie ?

The need for raising this very question is necessitated by the uncomfortable fact that Yeddyruppa is but just a small fish netted from the cesspool of corruption which is patronised by the political class and ably aided by a system which is personified by the Babudom. An understanding of this ugly reality is therefore necessary to understand why the Congress led UPA Government is dragging its feet and demonstrating that it is not at all interested in passing a Lokpal Bill which has teeth and muscle.

The adamant stand of the Government is necessitated by the benefits that the politicians stand to gain as long as the status quo is maintained and this is the very reason why Ana Hazare has been able to capture the imagination of quite a large number of people and why a Baba Ramdev nearly succeeded in stealing the thunder from the issue at hand.

In the beginning when innocence was still a virtue there was nothing wrong in bringing the Anti-Corruption branch and the Central Bureau of Investigation under the Government and this means that these two agencies cannot work at their own initiative.

The Lokpal at the Centre and the Lokayukta at the States look to undo this and this means that once these two agencies become independent entities they can initiate action against the top rung officers or any politician without much interference. This is not all.

The Central Vigilance Commission, which is the authorised body at the Centre to recommend the dismissal of a corrupt officer, has been reduced to the status of an advisory body, but Lokpal and Lokayukta will have the authority and the independence to dismiss the corrupt.

Judges can be tried and prosecuted by the Lokpal and the Lokayukta and politicians will have no say in the selection and appointment of chairpersons and members of these two bodies. It is easy to see why the UPA Government has developed cold feet in going full steam ahead with the Lokpal Bill at the Centre and this is totally in line with the political culture that is associated with a Yeddyruppa.

The question is whether it is the system which has given birth to the Yeddyruppas or whether it is the Yeddyruppas who have scripted the system. Karnataka has shown that its Lokayukta is alive and kicking and the natural question that follows is, what about here, in this kingdom of Mr Okram Ibobi ?


One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Kind regards for a particular good advice right here to your writings, organic smallish ask of your website browsers. Who seem to reported next price? . . . .Passion is really client, genuinely like would be good. It doesn’t stop here crave, bear in mind possess, it’s not necessarily arrogant. It’s actually not irritating, this information . self-seeking, not necessarily quite simply angered, the helps it doesn’t monitor of a errors. Really enjoy doesn’t seem to like hateful rather rejoices together with the reality. This tool invariably manages, invariably trusts, ensure you dreams, normally perseveres.

    SEO Services

    August 10, 2011 at 12:42 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: