The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

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Pranav
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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Pranav » 11 Jun 2011 08:08

Congress plans publicity blitz to focus on sangh parivar's ‘nefarious design'

The Congress also released on Friday a booklet “The Congress View on Present Situation,” the first of a periodic series, which is to be distributed all over the country in the coming weeks. This booklet carries a photograph of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, looking ready for battle, with the end of her pallu, tucked firmly into her waist.
...
The forces of communalism, fundamentalism and extremism, it says, “don different masks at different times. They seize every opportunity to push their sinister agenda. They embrace every cause and support every protest, however dubious, as long as they can gain some political mileage.”

Right wing fundamentalist forces, it continues, are currently under pressure for two reasons — one, because they have lost political ground by losing elections, and two, because they are now “accused in several terrorist cases, including the bomb blasts in Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and the Samjhauta Express.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a ... 094020.ece


Maino-vaadis becoming a sinister version of Don Quixote, tilting at windmills.

Also: Admit Digvijay Singh to mental asylum: Anna Hazare - http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_ad ... re_1553561


http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/tilting-at-windmills.html
Last edited by Pranav on 11 Jun 2011 08:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby disha » 11 Jun 2011 08:15

sanjeevpunj wrote:Fasting is intended mainly for spiritual upliftment. In an extreme scenario of pre-independence, when Mahatma Gandhi used fasting as a last resort to make it clear to the british that we want them out of India, fasting by Mahatma Gandhi was justified. Today's fasting is more of a gimmick and is not really needed.One can quietly fast for acheiving spiritual progress, in a proper regulated manner, but fasting all the time to push a point through the government's thick skulls is pointless.
Ekadasi on 12th is a perfect day to fast for spiritual progress, and should be done at home, on a low key. Fasting in public to get attention shows how weak one's agenda really is. I did not believe that copying what Anna Hazare started will work again, and it did not work when BR did it.He should have instead gone to the Himalayan retreats he has access to, and sat down to meditate and calmed his mind down a bit.He was in a rush to grab this position Anna Hazare has reached, to commandeer the situation, perhaps BJP pushed him into it.BJP realises Anna Hazare is independent, will not tow their line, so they wanted a share of the glory and pushed BR into it I feel, don't you see how Ms Sushma Swaraj rushed to see the Baba? Definitely BJP is behind his fast, there cannot be much doubt.On the other hand, Modi has demanded that the agenda pertaining to the Lokpal Bill be sent to him to study and analyze. He is more or less on the right track here, not BR.We junta need to know what the likes of Modi think of the bill before we go into full remote support mode for the Lokpal Bill.I do support Anna Hazare, he is talking sense all the time, but I cannot have a truck with BR.



Sanjeevpunj-ji, just a quick question for you. What happens if Baba Ramdev passes away as part of fast for the simple cause of bringing back black money? A person lets go of his life for a good cause. Is that an attention to the self or to the issue at hand? Or you will still say that Sonia Maino made a bigger sacrifice? Of her gaddi for the cause of the nation?

Also what is wrong with hindus/BJP/RSS/Maoists/Jayalalitha/my pet dog supporting the cause of getting black money back? Is it cause only valid when teestas and dhotis and geelanahis and owaisis support it?

Baba's views on sexuality is no different from Palin's or newt gingrich or your views on sexuality. He is not on fast to ban homosexuality. He has every right to protest the loot of the nation as much as our right to answer nature's call. What is wrong if his way of expressing protest is by fasting? If you think that black money and corruption is an issue and want to protest, why do not you device a more innovative way?

Regarding rest of the discussion - Somnath has already derailed it. One thing he should stop and ask, what happens on ninth or tenth day and Baba does not recover? Will it be like Potti Sriramulu?

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby disha » 11 Jun 2011 08:19

sanjeevpunj wrote:I do support Anna Hazare, he is talking sense all the time, but I cannot have a truck with BR.


Also was it right for the government to attack a peaceful congregation by unwarranted force and send several to hospital and one critically? If you do not criticize that, you are no different in thoughts from the imperialists like general dyer.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby SwamyG » 11 Jun 2011 08:23

chooti mooh badi baath....call it truce folks. Some members have this tendency to drop labels on other BRFites...leftist this, commie that, Hindutavaadi that, Mainovadis, CONgressi that, Nazi this, liberal, conservative itaydi. It is evident these labels do not describe any one of us wholly. It just creates more animosity. The stalwarts of this forum instead of discussing the points end up discussing each other. I admit the tone of Ramdev supporters is indeed harsh, sometime it appears as bullying others.

Say some shanthi mantra and resume..... And kindly drop the Mainovadi thingie, it is clever and Rudradevji used it couple of time aptly in his post - it served the purpose there. Any more usage will increase takleef of INC supporters. I am sure bunch of us would jump if somebody called BJP supporters some clever name.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Pranav » 11 Jun 2011 08:35

Open letter that nails Chidambaram - http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?277041

Some Questions For The Home Minister
Sir, why do you suddenly seem to be the greatest opponent of the Jan Lokpal bill?
A.K. Agrawal

Dear Shri Chidambaram,

Your interview on Doordarshan to justify the brutal crackdown at Ramlila maidan —timed to perfection with Anna's fast at Rajghat —raised more questions than it answered. Sir, why do you suddenly seem to be the greatest opponent of the Jan Lokpal bill?

Why is it that you, more than anyone else in the government, appear so desperate as to have allowed attacking peaceful fasting people in the dead of the night?

Is it because, as is being widely suggested and perceived, you are worried that the Jan Lokpal would affect your political career?

There have been allegations that the finance ministry, under your watch, is responsible for allowing not only the generation of the largest amount of black money, but also guilty of the fact that it was generated through corruption.

The loss to the exchequer during your tenure, as you are undoubtedly aware, has been tentatively pegged at over rupees two lakh crores divided equally between the 2G scam and the iron ore scam. Sir, is it for this reason that you are being perceived as the greatest opponent of Jan Lokpal?

Prima facie, there seems to be a huge conflict of interest in your continuation on the Lokpal panel and the eradication of corruption through an independent Lokpal as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal bil as would be clear from some of the following questions that keep surfacing:

* Is it not true that Essar were paid Rs 1700 crores by Hutch for the purpose of getting the government clearance from FIPB (under finance ministry) for the Hutch Vodafone deal by a particular date?
* Was it a coincidence that the government gave the clearance within the time stipulated by Hutch, despite Hutch violating the foreign investment ceiling norms, and forgot to collect Rs10,000 crores of income tax before giving the clearance?
* Is it not true that you as finance minister failed to ensure that the pricing of spectrum/ license took place at market determined price through a cabinet decision and not be left to the corrupt ministers of the DMK?
* Can the polite letters written at the time absolve you of the guilt of the loss of around Rs 80,000 crores (pan India spectrum price calculated at Rs10,000 crores, the price at which they were sold) caused by M/s Raja and Maran? How could you have allowed M/s Maran and Raja to sell the pan India spectrum/license for Rs1600 crores in 2007 and 2008, when Vodafone bought Hutch shares for a valuation of Rs 75,000 crores announced in Feb 2007? Can you claim to be so ignorant of the law and valuation so as to allow the deal to take place? Did you, Sir, take any steps to protect public interest and public revenue?
* Did you not, instead, choose to look the other way knowing fully well that the black money will help DMK and the Congress win the election and bring them back to power?

In fact, Sir, apart from the above questions on the 2G scam, are you not disturbed by the questions that keep cropping up about your electoral victory during the last Lok Sabha? The petition pending in the High Court challenging your election will probably not be decided till your tenure as a MP and Minister is over, but when you question the representativeness of the civil-society members on the panel, do you ever pause to think about the question marks over your own? When you talk about the supremacy of Parliament, would you concede, Sir, that in such circumstances, perhaps your own right is, at the least, questionable?

Sir, would you not agree that the if the Jan Lokpal Bill Draft (that you seem so committed to bury) were to be in operation, your continuation in the cabinet would have become untenable? Would you not concede that an independent CBI, as envisaged under the Draft, would have at least treated you as culpable as M/s Maran and Raja?

Now, Sir, let me remind you of some of the questions about the iron ore scam:

* Is it not true that during your watch as finance minister for four and a half years, corporates raked in profits of over Rs 2,00,000 crore through legal and illegal mining, mostly in the iron ore sector? How was this profit shared?
* Is it not true that the mining royalty is to be revised every three years as per section 8 of MMDR Act? Is it not correct that it came up for revision in Oct 2004 but was deliberately was low and fixed and not ad valorem? Why was this done when profits in the mining of iron ore had soared manifold and were giving a 50% return? Why did it remain at a ridiculous Rs 7 to Rs 27 per tonne (depending on the type and grade of iron ore) with the average of around Rs 15 per tonne. This royalty was neither made ad valorem nor was it revised from year 2000 onwards when the international price of iron ore rose to dizzying levels. Not just that, will you please explain why you did again not revise the royalty in October 2007 by when the rate of iron ore had doubled in three intervening years and profit was 80%? Why did you just not revise the royalty as long as you remained the finance Minster?
* Would you agree that an independent investigation under the Lokpal could investigate the sales record of the iron ore miners to show that they were grossly under invoicing the sale price and under reporting the profits? Would you agree that huge amount of black money was generated and salted away? Would you think it would be a fit case to conclude that there were pay offs for not imposing export duty? Or that even when imposed, the duty was negligible?
* Have you not served on the Board of Vedanta and been a corporate lawyer and a tax expert? Could you therefore argue that you were you ignorant of the stupendous profits being made by the mining industry?

Sir, there are some other persistent questions as well:

* Would you agree that you were the common factor in the leak of Justicre Pathak Inquiry Committee report and Justice Liberhans report?
* We all remember how Mr Natwar Singh was made the fall guy and made to pay for his role in the Oil for Food programme. But is it correct, as has been alleged, Sir, that you deliberately did not refer the three contacts (M9/35, M10/17 and M11/25) of Reliance to Pathak Committee which were obtained by paying bribes? Likewise, Sir, did you go out of your speech in Parliament to shield Mr Mukesh Ambani?
* Why have we still not heard satisfactory answers to the killing of Azad, a Naxalite, and Pandey, an innocent journalist?
* And of course there are disturbing questions in the wake of dirty tricks to defame the former law minister and the co-chairman of the drafting committee, Mr Shanti Bhushan. Sir, a fake CD was certified as true and its report leaked. But a report which certified the same CD as fake was not revealed. Sir, will you be willing to subject yourself to an investigation on any role you may have played in this? Sir, would you agree that the CD did not need any examination because it contained snippets of a conversation which were already in a different CD inolving a different conversation, in possession of the Court?
* Sir, despite your elaborate interview to Doordarshan yesterday, even if we believe all your claims, why was it necessary to swoop down on sleeping followers of Baba Ramdev so brutally? Whether or not the whole campaign was an RSS-conspiracy, why not at least treat them as other citizens, deserving of all the rights? Do they not have the right to protest peacefully? Why not give enough notice and make them leave peacefully? Is it also true that there was an advisory issued to the electronic media not to cover Anna’s fast at Rajghat on June 8?
* Sir, you have often asked the Maoists to abjure violence and express dissent peacefully. Do you think that the brutal crackdown on Ramlila ground sends the right message to the Maoists or all those who wish to protest peacefully?

Sir, after all this, you still think that you have the moral right to lecture the nation on corruption and democracy?

In the interests of fairness, Sir, why don't you step down from the Lokpal Bill panel to allay concerns that your conflict of interest may be causing a negative public perception?

Yours sincerely,

A.K. Agrawal

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby disha » 11 Jun 2011 08:47

SwamyG wrote:chooti mooh badi baath.... I admit the tone of Ramdev supporters is indeed harsh, sometime it appears as bullying others.


SwamyG, not chooti - it is chota (small). Chooti leads to a different and unmentionable meaning. Also if the truth appears harsh, than it is.

I am sure bunch of us would jump if somebody called BJP supporters some clever name.


Since chaddiwallahs is already taken, how about langotiwallahs? For every mainovadi - how about bharatiyavadi?

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Arjun » 11 Jun 2011 08:48

harbans wrote:Manish at least get the context correct. Someone fasts and has a demand for legislative, political changes. And after 10 pages of Pse-BR Camp debate, you've not even asked what exactly he is demanding and how he intends to go about it? If i support Somnath Ji asking that, am i wrong? How many posters here have interjected and tried a course correction on folks like you singing the same Psec-BR camp song for 20 pages now? It's not me or Somnath that are belittling the anti corruption momentum. It's folks like you repeating ad nauseam the same thing over the last 20 pages. I also have made it clear his pro INC stand is his take. It does not matter to this discussion on corruption as that runs through different political spectrums. I gave examples to that effect. But obviously you just can't see.

Hi Harbansji,

If I may interject with my views. I think there are two reasons why the focus of discussion wrt BR is less on the actual issue of corruption and more on the PSec-Hindu divide:

1) Other folks on this forum may disagree with me on this matter, but if the interest is purely in a 'professional' and data-backed approach to lokpal and corruption - then the Anna Hazare camp clearly has better credentials. The interest in BR is fundamentally more because he is a larger political animal as compared to AH - and has a much better chance of denting the INC / bringing it down, than Anna Hazare. There is a large body of folks who believe that the current INC avatar with its baggage of extreme dynastyism/ feudalism and its communalism needs to be evicted - and BR is just an agent of change for these folks. I find nothing wrong whatsoever in having the latter view. The problem is that this forum has one single thread to discuss both the political effect of Ramdev and the issue of corruption. Since more folks out here are fundamentally interested in the former - the latter is getting swamped out. One solution may be to split the thread into two.

2) A lot of folks on the board have extensive experience in debating with Somnath on a variety of issues. The problem of responding to Somnath on this board is one of credibility....The same question asked by other folks has better likelihood of eliciting a response than the same one posed by Somnath. Now is that fair or unfair ? You might think it is unfair - but are you saying there is no onus on the individual to ensure that his / her debating style is reasonable?

Since I saw some reference to Somnath's expertise in law and economics - let me just clarify fwiw that legal matters are not necessarily his forte at all and there are enough forumites (including myself) who can back this up. In the matter of economics, he does have good credentials given his background - but his agenda on that board is very strong in promoting a 'welfarist' economic line which would be regarded as 'left-of-center' by most pro-growth rightist economists.

On a separate issue & unrelated to this thread - I am also somewhat surprised by your strong support for him given that I am very familiar with both his views and yours on matters in general - and I would NOT have expected a match based on core thought processes. I presume this support is issue driven. For example you have been ardent in your espousal of values as a driver of strategy - while Somnath has been explicit in dismissing values outright - and is a fan of the realpolitik school. He would regard your views on Islamic doctrine as anathema. He has constantly done an == between Hindutva and Islamism, which I was led to understand is not something that you believe in.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby sanjeevpunj » 11 Jun 2011 08:50

disha wrote:
sanjeevpunj wrote:I do support Anna Hazare, he is talking sense all the time, but I cannot have a truck with BR.


Also was it right for the government to attack a peaceful congregation by unwarranted force and send several to hospital and one critically? If you do not criticize that, you are no different in thoughts from the imperialists like general dyer.

Definitely It was wrong on the part of the government to do what it did. I criticise the government for such unilateral police actions, not just in this case, but in many cases earlier on,all over the country.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby disha » 11 Jun 2011 08:55

sanjeevpunj wrote:Definitely It was wrong on the part of the government to do what it did. I criticise the government for such unilateral police actions, not just in this case, but in many cases earlier on,all over the country.


Thank you. Now does the present central government has the right to stay in power or to govern?

PS: Do not bring in past or past actions of other governments - since that we agree does not justify the present action unless the action is for the better/good of the society.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby sanjeevpunj » 11 Jun 2011 08:59

disha wrote:Sanjeevpunj-ji, just a quick question for you. What happens if Baba Ramdev passes away as part of fast for the simple cause of bringing back black money? A person lets go of his life for a good cause. Is that an attention to the self or to the issue at hand? Or you will still say that Sonia Maino made a bigger sacrifice? Of her gaddi for the cause of the nation?
Also what is wrong with hindus/BJP/RSS/Maoists/Jayalalitha/my pet dog supporting the cause of getting black money back? Is it cause only valid when teestas and dhotis and geelanahis and owaisis support it?

Disha ji, If baba Ramdev passes away ( I am not saying he will) then it would be his martyrdom that people will sing.The movement started by Anna Hazare will not be derailed by BR passing away.And when did I say I support Sonia Maino. I never mentioned this, so how did you say "Or you will still say that Sonia Maino made a bigger sacrifice? " I only critcised fasting for political gains.That is my opinion, you can either accept or reject it. Now a counter question. Why doesn't BJP support Anna Hazare? Is it because the man is well established in his own principles, and will also point at some BJP rich bigwigs who have black money stashed away in Swissland? BJP does not represent Hindus, of you think they do, you are mistaken.They represent vested interests of Gadkari and some other rich Hindus, mainly Hindu Businessmen. They got five years to change things in India's governance system. Why didn't BJP rein in the black money then?

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby sanjeevpunj » 11 Jun 2011 09:03

disha wrote:
sanjeevpunj wrote:Definitely It was wrong on the part of the government to do what it did. I criticise the government for such unilateral police actions, not just in this case, but in many cases earlier on,all over the country.


Thank you. Now does the present central government has the right to stay in power or to govern?

PS: Do not bring in past or past actions of other governments - since that we agree does not justify the present action unless the action is for the better/good of the society.


Good you asked that question.The present government needs to go, but Anna Hazare's efforts should not be commandeered by anyone.We owe it to him for standing tall on this.The government that comes after this should be able to effectively bring back the black money, and utilise it for helping the poor villagers, instead of killing villagers who have no choice but to walk with the Maoists, right now.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby disha » 11 Jun 2011 09:09

sanjeevpunj wrote: Now a counter question. Why doesn't BJP support Anna Hazare? Is it because the man is well established in his own principles, and will also point at some BJP rich bigwigs who have black money stashed away in Swissland? BJP does not represent Hindus, of you think they do, you are mistaken.They represent vested interests of Gadkari and some other rich Hindus, mainly Hindu Businessmen. They got five years to change things in India's governance system. Why didn't BJP rein in the black money then?


Simple, our gandhian Anna Hazare used to beat up people in Ralegaon Siddhi with his army belt for imbibing a few warm drinks. Now you see why the drunkards in BJP are afraid?

Of course every political party represent the vested interests of few., it is time now for the other part to share in the loot and also make sure that the loot does not leave the shores of the country. Like the tweedlede and tweedledum of the american political system that rotates around every few years (2 years precisely) to share the loot and the loot stays mostly inland. Personally, it is better for the bharatiyavadis to share in the loot than the mainovadis.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby sanjeevpunj » 11 Jun 2011 09:10

disha wrote:
sanjeevpunj wrote: Now a counter question. Why doesn't BJP support Anna Hazare? Is it because the man is well established in his own principles, and will also point at some BJP rich bigwigs who have black money stashed away in Swissland? BJP does not represent Hindus, of you think they do, you are mistaken.They represent vested interests of Gadkari and some other rich Hindus, mainly Hindu Businessmen. They got five years to change things in India's governance system. Why didn't BJP rein in the black money then?


Simple, our gandhian Anna Hazare used to beat up people in Ralegaon Siddhi with his army belt for imbibing a few warm drinks. Now you see why the drunkards in BJP are afraid?

Of course every political party represent the vested interests of few., it is time now for the other part to share in the loot and also make sure that the loot does not leave the shores of the country. Like the tweedlede and tweedledum of the american political system that rotates around every few years (2 years precisely) to share the loot and the loot stays mostly inland. Personally, it is better for the bharatiyavadis to share in the loot than the mainovadis.

Share the loot! Amazing! Where is it!

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby disha » 11 Jun 2011 09:12

sanjeevpunj wrote:Good you asked that question.The present government needs to go, but Anna Hazare's efforts should not be commandeered by anyone.We owe it to him for standing tall on this.The government that comes after this should be able to effectively bring back the black money, and utilise it for helping the poor villagers, instead of killing villagers who have no choice but to walk with the Maoists, right now.


Good that we agree on the first part, hopefully others also see the light and stop supporting the present government.

Regarding the second part, it is AH who should owe to the larger society for staying with him and supporting him. Without them, he is nobody.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby sanjeevpunj » 11 Jun 2011 09:17

Anna Hazare has grit. I feel the people will put in their support behind him.We do need a leader who stands the way he does. A lot of old guard has to quit, doesnt matter which party they represent, these old politicians are just making sure they stay on their rusted seats.The youth will find better answers and implement them too. We need young leaders to come up, and take lead.As for AH he will stay to guide, but age catches up with all.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby somnath » 11 Jun 2011 09:22

In case there is interest in debating the substantive issue, and in the process make some, howsoever small, contribution to the process, here is one platform...

http://www.lokpalbillconsultation.org/

This has been set up by Arvind K and Co..Has the latest version of the draft, details of all meetings with the Ministerial Group...And asks for feedback from the public..

The latest draft of the bill is here..
http://www.lokpalbillconsultation.org/d ... ill2_2.pdf

The big change I see immediately from the Jan Lokpal draft is the constitution of the selection committee to select the LokPal...Its a much more credible list - none of the "all Indian Nobel winners" rubbish...though not sure why the fetsih with "young" (youngest two SC judges etc)...

Some of the more eggregious stuff around sweeping powers have also been modified in first glance...

The feedback can be given individually as well as in terms of a group...

The key point of contention of course is the "coverage" - whether PM or SC judges should be under the Lokpal ambit or not...Personally, I am in favour of that, though it would be interesting to consider what checks and balances are required...Especially for PM, there should be extra caution...

It would be useful and interesting if people posted here the feedback they give...

It will obviously be a less "lighter" exercise than simple fussilades of fulminations (!), or easy bracketing (whether DIE, RAPE, or for that matter "right-wing", "left of centre")...As an aside, on the latter (left wing etc), I havent seen even the most free market of economists describe themselves as "right wing", or the other way round either - its a typically pink paper terminology, that essentially means very little in real life decision-making)...

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby sanjeevpunj » 11 Jun 2011 09:29

somnath wrote:In case there is interest in debating the substantive issue, and in the process make some, howsoever small, contribution to the process, here is one platform...

http://www.lokpalbillconsultation.org/



Thanks Somnath ji, i really am reading the downloaded PDFs now, to get a clear picture of what the Bill contains! Thanks!

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Manishw » 11 Jun 2011 09:29

Pranav wrote:Open letter that nails Chidambaram - http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?277041

Some Questions For The Home Minister
Sir, why do you suddenly seem to be the greatest opponent of the Jan Lokpal bill?
A.K. Agrawal

Dear Shri Chidambaram,

Your interview on Doordarshan to justify the brutal crackdown at Ramlila maidan —timed to perfection with Anna's fast at Rajghat —raised more questions than it answered. Sir, why do you suddenly seem to be the greatest opponent of the Jan Lokpal bill?

Why is it that you, more than anyone else in the government, appear so desperate as to have allowed attacking peaceful fasting people in the dead of the night?

Is it because, as is being widely suggested and perceived, you are worried that the Jan Lokpal would affect your political career?

There have been allegations that the finance ministry, under your watch, is responsible for allowing not only the generation of the largest amount of black money, but also guilty of the fact that it was generated through corruption.

The loss to the exchequer during your tenure, as you are undoubtedly aware, has been tentatively pegged at over rupees two lakh crores divided equally between the 2G scam and the iron ore scam. Sir, is it for this reason that you are being perceived as the greatest opponent of Jan Lokpal?

Prima facie, there seems to be a huge conflict of interest in your continuation on the Lokpal panel and the eradication of corruption through an independent Lokpal as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal bil as would be clear from some of the following questions that keep surfacing:

* Is it not true that Essar were paid Rs 1700 crores by Hutch for the purpose of getting the government clearance from FIPB (under finance ministry) for the Hutch Vodafone deal by a particular date?
* Was it a coincidence that the government gave the clearance within the time stipulated by Hutch, despite Hutch violating the foreign investment ceiling norms, and forgot to collect Rs10,000 crores of income tax before giving the clearance?
* Is it not true that you as finance minister failed to ensure that the pricing of spectrum/ license took place at market determined price through a cabinet decision and not be left to the corrupt ministers of the DMK?
* Can the polite letters written at the time absolve you of the guilt of the loss of around Rs 80,000 crores (pan India spectrum price calculated at Rs10,000 crores, the price at which they were sold) caused by M/s Raja and Maran? How could you have allowed M/s Maran and Raja to sell the pan India spectrum/license for Rs1600 crores in 2007 and 2008, when Vodafone bought Hutch shares for a valuation of Rs 75,000 crores announced in Feb 2007? Can you claim to be so ignorant of the law and valuation so as to allow the deal to take place? Did you, Sir, take any steps to protect public interest and public revenue?
* Did you not, instead, choose to look the other way knowing fully well that the black money will help DMK and the Congress win the election and bring them back to power?

In fact, Sir, apart from the above questions on the 2G scam, are you not disturbed by the questions that keep cropping up about your electoral victory during the last Lok Sabha? The petition pending in the High Court challenging your election will probably not be decided till your tenure as a MP and Minister is over, but when you question the representativeness of the civil-society members on the panel, do you ever pause to think about the question marks over your own? When you talk about the supremacy of Parliament, would you concede, Sir, that in such circumstances, perhaps your own right is, at the least, questionable?

Sir, would you not agree that the if the Jan Lokpal Bill Draft (that you seem so committed to bury) were to be in operation, your continuation in the cabinet would have become untenable? Would you not concede that an independent CBI, as envisaged under the Draft, would have at least treated you as culpable as M/s Maran and Raja?

Now, Sir, let me remind you of some of the questions about the iron ore scam:

* Is it not true that during your watch as finance minister for four and a half years, corporates raked in profits of over Rs 2,00,000 crore through legal and illegal mining, mostly in the iron ore sector? How was this profit shared?
* Is it not true that the mining royalty is to be revised every three years as per section 8 of MMDR Act? Is it not correct that it came up for revision in Oct 2004 but was deliberately was low and fixed and not ad valorem? Why was this done when profits in the mining of iron ore had soared manifold and were giving a 50% return? Why did it remain at a ridiculous Rs 7 to Rs 27 per tonne (depending on the type and grade of iron ore) with the average of around Rs 15 per tonne. This royalty was neither made ad valorem nor was it revised from year 2000 onwards when the international price of iron ore rose to dizzying levels. Not just that, will you please explain why you did again not revise the royalty in October 2007 by when the rate of iron ore had doubled in three intervening years and profit was 80%? Why did you just not revise the royalty as long as you remained the finance Minster?
* Would you agree that an independent investigation under the Lokpal could investigate the sales record of the iron ore miners to show that they were grossly under invoicing the sale price and under reporting the profits? Would you agree that huge amount of black money was generated and salted away? Would you think it would be a fit case to conclude that there were pay offs for not imposing export duty? Or that even when imposed, the duty was negligible?
* Have you not served on the Board of Vedanta and been a corporate lawyer and a tax expert? Could you therefore argue that you were you ignorant of the stupendous profits being made by the mining industry?

Sir, there are some other persistent questions as well:

* Would you agree that you were the common factor in the leak of Justicre Pathak Inquiry Committee report and Justice Liberhans report?
* We all remember how Mr Natwar Singh was made the fall guy and made to pay for his role in the Oil for Food programme. But is it correct, as has been alleged, Sir, that you deliberately did not refer the three contacts (M9/35, M10/17 and M11/25) of Reliance to Pathak Committee which were obtained by paying bribes? Likewise, Sir, did you go out of your speech in Parliament to shield Mr Mukesh Ambani?
* Why have we still not heard satisfactory answers to the killing of Azad, a Naxalite, and Pandey, an innocent journalist?
* And of course there are disturbing questions in the wake of dirty tricks to defame the former law minister and the co-chairman of the drafting committee, Mr Shanti Bhushan. Sir, a fake CD was certified as true and its report leaked. But a report which certified the same CD as fake was not revealed. Sir, will you be willing to subject yourself to an investigation on any role you may have played in this? Sir, would you agree that the CD did not need any examination because it contained snippets of a conversation which were already in a different CD inolving a different conversation, in possession of the Court?
* Sir, despite your elaborate interview to Doordarshan yesterday, even if we believe all your claims, why was it necessary to swoop down on sleeping followers of Baba Ramdev so brutally? Whether or not the whole campaign was an RSS-conspiracy, why not at least treat them as other citizens, deserving of all the rights? Do they not have the right to protest peacefully? Why not give enough notice and make them leave peacefully? Is it also true that there was an advisory issued to the electronic media not to cover Anna’s fast at Rajghat on June 8?
* Sir, you have often asked the Maoists to abjure violence and express dissent peacefully. Do you think that the brutal crackdown on Ramlila ground sends the right message to the Maoists or all those who wish to protest peacefully?

Sir, after all this, you still think that you have the moral right to lecture the nation on corruption and democracy?

In the interests of fairness, Sir, why don't you step down from the Lokpal Bill panel to allay concerns that your conflict of interest may be causing a negative public perception?

Yours sincerely,

A.K. Agrawal

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby sanjeevpunj » 11 Jun 2011 09:32

^^^^^^^^
Wow! Now this is what I want to read! Thank you ManishW!

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Prem » 11 Jun 2011 09:33

Catch 72 for UPA Sarkar, if they pass the law for death penalty or life sentence for corrupt Netas, we might have to import hangmen from Islamic lands like Iran, Saudia or Pakistan to finish the job within one fiscal year. Bhrasht netas are not honorable enough to commit harakiri , Joota of janta janardan is the only remedy left. The game is on and it will be very interesting to watch How long they can control and manipulate the public and divert their attention to non issues.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Manishw » 11 Jun 2011 09:38

SwamyG wrote:chooti mooh badi baath....call it truce folks. Some members have this tendency to drop labels on other BRFites...leftist this, commie that, Hindutavaadi that, Mainovadis, CONgressi that, Nazi this, liberal, conservative itaydi. It is evident these labels do not describe any one of us wholly. It just creates more animosity. The stalwarts of this forum instead of discussing the points end up discussing each other. I admit the tone of Ramdev supporters is indeed harsh, sometime it appears as bullying others.


Please don't take it personally but talking of peace and then labeling a side as harsh together is ironic no? reeks of a biased opinion but no doubt you will call it fact?

SwamyG wrote:Say some shanthi mantra and resume..... And kindly drop the Mainovadi thingie, it is clever and Rudradevji used it couple of time aptly in his post - it served the purpose there. Any more usage will increase takleef of INC supporters. I am sure bunch of us would jump if somebody called BJP supporters some clever name.


I would like to clarify that I am not a supporter of any political party least of all the BJP but haven't enough labels been painted on them as pointed out by Disha Ji but would love to hear any more if you can provide.Such brilliant p-sec minds have worked for god knows how many years on this so bringing something hateful, creative about BJP will be quite a creditable task.
Last edited by Manishw on 11 Jun 2011 09:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby sanjeevpunj » 11 Jun 2011 09:43

From the Birlas to the Tatas, from the Ambanis to the Whoeverisfilthyrichs, this one man - Mr Chidambaram - has always supported since his very early days.Someone must investigate him too, the deaths of CRPF personnel,Policemen in the restive regions of East India (where the Maoists are) are due to his policies that didn't change over the years, and benefitted the rich and mighty and ignored the poor and hapless.This one man deserves to be humbled before the country.he should not be in the Lokpal Bill Panel, he is most likely to subvert it.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Arjun » 11 Jun 2011 09:44

somnath wrote:As an aside, on the latter (left wing etc), I havent seen even the most free market of economists describe themselves as "right wing", or the other way round either - its a typically pink paper terminology, that essentially means very little in real life decision-making)...

You are free to arrive at your own conclusions.

But economists are categorized based on their views on the role of government in the market....and the extent of control they ascribe to the government on monetary and fiscal matters.

Amartya Sen, who you most closely identify with in terms of your economic views, is widely regarded as a left-of-center economist.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Prem » 11 Jun 2011 10:36

IMHO, we should appreciate x/y BRfites Rahul Mehta ji doing his individual part in this holy endeavour.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Nesoj » 11 Jun 2011 11:30

Ramdev not mature enough to lead movement: Anna Hazare
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Baba-Ramdev-not-mature-enough-to-lead-Anna-Hazare/articleshow/8809054.cms
A day after he declared his campaign would have no truck with Ramdev's call to arms, social crusader Anna Hazare on Friday said the yoga guru was "not mature enough to lead a social movement as he does not have expertise other than yoga".

In an interview to TOI, Hazare said: "To get involved in social work, one needs to be alert about many things and Baba is yet to learn it. Baba has the habit of taking decisions unilaterally."

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby jimmyray » 11 Jun 2011 11:42

sanjeevpunj wrote:
Good you asked that question.The present government needs to go, but Anna Hazare's efforts should not be commandeered by anyone.We owe it to him for standing tall on this.The government that comes after this should be able to effectively bring back the black money, and utilise it for helping the poor villagers, instead of killing villagers who have no choice but to walk with the Maoists, right now.

There has been a deliberate effort by some media houses and government to put Anna Hazare against Ramdev and vise versa. IMO people who are against corruption should avoid falling into this trap as this only leads weakening of anticorruption platform. Who started this anti-corruption movement (RD, AH, LKA) or who leads this movement is not the issue as long as this movement leads to a betterment of our society and reduces corruption in India. I am sure most people on this forum are intelligent enough to see this trap but heated debates (though necessary) and massive media propaganda sometimes clouds the vision of even the best of the best. Just my two cents. :)

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby jimmyray » 11 Jun 2011 11:48

Nesoj wrote:
Ramdev not mature enough to lead movement: Anna Hazare
[url]http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Baba-Ramdev-not-mature-enough-to-lead-Anna-Hazare/articleshow/8809054.cms[/url]
A day after he declared his campaign would have no truck with Ramdev's call to arms, social crusader Anna Hazare on Friday said the yoga guru was "not mature enough to lead a social movement as he does not have expertise other than yoga".

In an interview to TOI, Hazare said: "To get involved in social work, one needs to be alert about many things and Baba is yet to learn it. Baba has the habit of taking decisions unilaterally."


Compare what Anna actually said to the headlines. A small example of media spin

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Tamang » 11 Jun 2011 13:21

TOI/HT/IBN/NDTV have become congress mouthpiece. HT has written two editorials till date lambasting RD but not even a single one on the Cong behaviour. Rajdeep has been trying to compare Irom Sharmila's fast to AH/RD's, as to why doesn't it get that much publicity as the current ones. Someone should ask this too clever Rajdeep why his own channel doesn't show more about IS's fast? Did AH/RD stop IBN from covering IS's fast. Shouldn't Rajdeep ask his Cong friends why doesn't his Cong govt send ministers to meet Sharmila also. There is a Cong govt in Manipur and there is a Cong govt in centre and Rajdeep is a Cong sympathiser so who is he fooling on Sharmila's fast.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby abhishek_sharma » 11 Jun 2011 13:26

Image

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby saumitra_j » 11 Jun 2011 13:56

^^ :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
MMS for India is Unfortunate but Necessary to keep the Maino out... :evil:

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Pranav » 11 Jun 2011 14:13

abhishek_sharma wrote:Image



Somebody should draw a cartoon of Maino beating a sleeping Raj Bala on the neck.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby KLNMurthy » 11 Jun 2011 14:22

somnath wrote:In case there is interest in debating the substantive issue, and in the process make some, howsoever small, contribution to the process, here is one platform...

http://www.lokpalbillconsultation.org/

This has been set up by Arvind K and Co..Has the latest version of the draft, details of all meetings with the Ministerial Group...And asks for feedback from the public..

The latest draft of the bill is here..
http://www.lokpalbillconsultation.org/d ... ill2_2.pdf

The big change I see immediately from the Jan Lokpal draft is the constitution of the selection committee to select the LokPal...Its a much more credible list - none of the "all Indian Nobel winners" rubbish...though not sure why the fetsih with "young" (youngest two SC judges etc)...

Some of the more eggregious stuff around sweeping powers have also been modified in first glance...

The feedback can be given individually as well as in terms of a group...

The key point of contention of course is the "coverage" - whether PM or SC judges should be under the Lokpal ambit or not...Personally, I am in favour of that, though it would be interesting to consider what checks and balances are required...Especially for PM, there should be extra caution...

It would be useful and interesting if people posted here the feedback they give...

It will obviously be a less "lighter" exercise than simple fussilades of fulminations (!), or easy bracketing (whether DIE, RAPE, or for that matter "right-wing", "left of centre")...As an aside, on the latter (left wing etc), I havent seen even the most free market of economists describe themselves as "right wing", or the other way round either - its a typically pink paper terminology, that essentially means very little in real life decision-making)...


Thanks for posting the links. My first reaction on reading remains the same as my reaction to the original "nobel prize and magasaysay winners" draft--

1. it displays a clubby and unwarrantedly elitist approach to what amounts to the appointment of another set of high-level government servants; which is odd considering that the whole problem arises because of lack of integrity in the class of government servants and politicians. By clubby I mean, same putatively corrupt judges, politicians and questionable civil society types etc., giving each other certificates of "unimpeachable integrity", "fighter against corruption" without regard to whether they can be fair and just and ethical in reality, and how that can be established beyond just getting certificates from members of the same circles. Also, anyone they don't like can be kept out by conniving with police to file a chargesheet on random charges.

2. On the other hand, it gives a very substantial term (5 years) and a lot of power, wealth and control to a group that is being selected and appointed on such a flimsy basis. I think it is a terrible idea to put so much sustained and institutionalized power in the hands of unelected officials drawn from a class of society that is practically guaranteed to exhibit groupthink, and in mutual backscratching.

3. For me, the eccentric requirements such as "youngest judges" etc., telegraph a smug mindset that thinks it is better than everyone else and has found the magic bullet that has eluded all the billion-plus lesser minds. This is part of the mindset that caused the problem in the first place.

4. There is nothing whatsoever to provide a lever in the hands of the common citizen who is the intended beneficiary. Requirements like "putting information on a website--without requiring public hearings and discussion in each and every village panchayat and basti and mohalla, and taking on the burden to state matters to common people in understandable terms--are bound to keep the lok pal in the stratosphere far beyond the grassroots. Needless to say, there is nothing the common citizen can do through political action--voting or otherwise--to exercise control over the lok pal. I see nothing there that tells me that the lok pal will actually consider itself a servant of the people in fact and not in rhetoric.

I think the entire lok pal concept as presented is wrong, and makes the problem worse. Since something should be done about corruption, and that something needs to have some kind of power, I would pay particular attention to mitigating any harm arising from giving it that kind of eminently abusable power over people and institutions.

My solution would be loosely on the lines of the US Grand Jury system, or a version of the communist people's committee system, where several bodies of randomly selected citizens--using the national id card--will serve for a limited period like 6 months, be compensated for their time & protected from job loss by law--sits to review complaints, call for evidence and hand down indictments. The citizen-jury will elect its own chairman, and will be assisted in a strictly subordinate capacity, by professionals such as lawyers, judges and investigators. It will be incumbent on these professionals to answer questions and explain the cases, clarify matters of law, evidentiary rules, ethics, meeting procedures, protect the rights of those being investigated, etc. These bodies can be at local, state, and central levels. The proceedings themselves may occur openly or in camera as needed by the case, but once the indictment is handed down and prosecution commences, record of all proceedings should be made available to all concerned parties, and public, subject to reasonable restrictions such as national security, need to protect victims identities etc.

This is a quick sketch only, and has its own flaws, but inasmuch as anyone can predict the effectiveness of something that is not yet existing, I think it would be at least as effective as the lok pal, and clearly mitigates the latter's fundamental pitfall, which is the employment of abusable power to check abuse of power. It adds an element of direct people's participation, which to my mind is the key to moving the ball forward in this domain.

There will be concerns about the feasibility of having lay citizens, often uneducated, doing the jobs supposedly done by professionals. That is a genuine barrier but the professionals will be in the picture, except that they will be subordinated to the citizen committees; there will be a burden on them to communicate to the committee in understandable terms. None of the, "oh it is so complicated that I can only use jargon-ridden leaden sentences to communicate it" nonsense--most concepts can be communicated in simple terms provided one has sufficient understanding of the concept.

I have some experience working in the US with lay citizen groups; I have seen that usually some training is required in rules of order, ethics, legal requirements etc. but in the end the group's members manage to complement each other in their abilities and strengths, and the work done is acceptable. This will require some investment in the beginning; professionals can be selected to do the training in the first few rounds of the committees, in later runds we can include the veterans of the committees as trainers, (not as selectors!), the newer committees, which will all be selected at random by lottery). It will also require patience at the start, and a departure from the attitude of going for a quick and easy and wrong solution, just to say something is being done.

One variant of this approach might be to invite the people to come and get trained and become a part of the committee pool. The invitation would have to be open-ended, anyone eligible to vote is also eligible to get the training. As a side effect, this will give rise to an anti-corruption industry, which, in contrast with the present form of the industry--which is cliquish, elitist, often politically skewed, and prone to groupthink at best and corruption at worst--will be widespread and open to all citizens.

The big gain that I see is that this approach actually empowers people and makes the professionals their servants, which if done diligently will set right the imbalance of power today, lead to a more informed and more confident citizenry that knows that it has the power at hand to hold the public servants (not rulers) accountable and that there is an actual mechanism, consisting of themselves, to do it.
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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Chinmayanand » 11 Jun 2011 14:33

After reading that open letter by A.K.Agrawal , i think he's a national security threat . Should be treated accordingly for his blasphemy against His Holiness Chidambaram. :evil: :twisted:

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby ashish raval » 11 Jun 2011 14:37

Sonia cannot be pm of India because I can't be pm of Italy even if I am naturalised citizen of Italy. She can become if I can be, it is quid-pro thing between nations.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby somnath » 11 Jun 2011 16:01

KLNMurthy wrote:it displays a clubby and unwarrantedly elitist approach to what amounts to the appointment of another set of high-level government servants; which is odd considering that the whole problem arises because of lack of integrity in the class of government servants and politicians
------------------
I think the entire lok pal concept as presented is wrong, and makes the problem worse. Since something should be done about corruption, and that something needs to have some kind of power, I would pay particular attention to mitigating any harm arising from giving it that kind of eminently abusable power over people and institutions

I read through your full post, but thought that this encapsulates the critique of ..the LokPal....

For one, I dont think Lokpal is a silver bullet solution to corruption, much less for black money..In fact there is NO silver bullet...However, it can become a significant cog in the wheel...

But it is but one measure - the bigger "game" is structural changes in tax regimes and regulatory frameworks - which is where more work needs to be done...I detailed in an earlier post the measures urgently required, many nealry "cooked" and ready, that are pending...

About the "clubby and elitist" approach - well, that is not entirely fair...Would you say that the Election Commission is clubby and effete elistist institution? Is the CAG? For that matter, is the CVC? My favourite example is RBI - the world's best regulator of Banks (and I use the word "best" very very deliberately)...Net net, there are enough instances of institutional structures with a distinct level of independence from the executive that have served the country well...LokPal can evolve into a similar animal in itself...

Actually, to me the biggest plus point of the LokPal is in that, ie, separation from the executive..It will generate a certain amount of confidence in both people as well as the office bearers of the instituion, enabling it to perform the mission with competence...At this stage, I would say that quibbling over whether putting up info in a website as opposed to having chaupal discussions is elitist misses the woods for the trees...The bigger question is whether the institutional setup is robust with a clear and defined mandate...

In terms of setup, it looks much better now..Appointment, which is the key variable, looks pretty standard to most constittuional authorities - the elected reps are there (through PM and Leader of Opposition), the judiciary is there (it is over-represented, and thats not feasible)...But broadly, looks ok - I am sure the "youngest" business will be edited out finally, not sure what prpose it serves (we should ask Arvind K!)...

In terms of mandate, there are still glitches..For example, this whole business of "LokPal courts"...I mentioned it once before, we have tons of such "fast track" courts - CBI, TADA, POTA - with no disceernible difference made to the pace of adjudication...The issues there are different, quality of investigation and infrastructure beign the biggest by far - setting up fast track courts dont solve anything...Further, it gives certain crimes a "privileged" status...So a case prosecuted through a process of compiant to Lokpal has a fast track court, while one through a process of complaint to the local thana does not - it will only mean that the LokPal will soon become the repository of all corruption crimes possible, deluging it efectively...

Second, this whole idea of making the Lokpal a deemed "police officer" is frought with problems...If law and order is a state govt responsiblity, once cannot have another institution, not really answerable to the elctorate, sitting on the same concurrently...

To me, the Lokpal should primarily be a platform for whitleblowing against higher public officials...So corruption complaints against anyone above a certain level in executive (say, Dy Secretary), can be made to the LokPal..It acts as a whostleblower protector (which is there in the current draft) and get the rest of the "system" to react with alacrity on the complaint...So define timelines for certain processes of investigations, cut through the chase in prosecution (for public servants, prosecution requires certain approvals at higher levels) and so on...This way, it tackles the apex of the problem, at the highest level where the resistance is the strongest...Basically, a judicial/investiogative "grandfather" to the public, in colloquial terms...

The jury system - not sure it can work in India's current stage of societal evolution..Especially because identity based politics is so prevalent, at least as a rhetorical tool...If Mayawati is being prosecuted, a jury with (say) 90% upper caste members will immediately be accused of being casteist - should we then start having reservations in the jury?

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby Venkarl » 11 Jun 2011 16:22

Image

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby sunnyP » 11 Jun 2011 16:58

ashish raval wrote:Sonia cannot be pm of India because I can't be pm of Italy even if I am naturalised citizen of Italy. She can become if I can be, it is quid-pro thing between nations.



Ironically, by not becoming PM in 2004, it gave the Raj Mata even more power and influence. At least as PM she would be held accountable for her actions in office however as it stands, she holds way too much power and there's very little the Aam Aadmi can do about it. The opposition should not have objected to her holding the office of PM back then - it would have made life a lot easier for them in the long run.

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Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby brihaspati » 11 Jun 2011 17:02

KLNMurthy ji has already given his doubts and criticisms, and I echo most of his doubts, so will not repeat them.

But the serious problems with this draft in brief:
(1) Definitions and concepts : for example the "Vigilance" section
Gross or willful negligence; [highly disputed in regular court cases and court proceedings should have shown what happens in trying to make a legally acceptable quantification of "gross negligence"] recklessness in decision making;[again most difficult to pin down legally] blatant violations [again the type of adjective prone analysis we sometime see on the forum - but in legal terms again difficult to pin down] of systems and procedures; exercise of discretion in excess, [my, my - what is the cutoff and who decides what is excess - it takes courts years to decided on such stuff] where no ostensible/public interest is evident; failure to keep the controlling authority/superiors informed in time [this will almost stop all work - because there are plenty a slip through which the superiors can deny that they were informed in time] (c) Failure/delay in taking action, if under law the government servant ought to do so, against subordinates on complaints of corruption or dereliction of duties or abuse of office by the subordinates [again heads in what was so fondly termed by "substantive" arguers as "cuckooland" - only a complete a disjunct from the reality of power relations between "servants", unions, political parties can demand that the "superior" take the blame for "failure" to take action against a subordinate] (d) indulging in discrimination through one's conduct, directly or indirectly [the cake really - plenty of ammunition in the hands of powerful unions or political organizations to tar and feather any "servant" who is not falling in line ](e) Victimizing Whistle Blowers (f) Any undue/unjustified delay in the disposal of a case, perceived after considering all relevant factors, would reinforce a conclusion as to the presence of vigilance angle in a case. [in other words - the arbitrary power to dub vigilance angle depending on dubious criteria] (g) Make or undertake an unfair investigation or enquiry either to unduly help those guilty of corruption or incriminate the innocent. [what prevents the same thing from happening in the wide arbitrary powers given to the Lokpal itself? by the immunity thingie attached later this may mean an added witchhunting tool in the hands of the political party that controls the government]


(2) the second serious issue that comes up is the apparent public disclosure of all documents associated with a "case". So that even if a case is found to be wanting in evidence after all, or the allegations prove just that - allegations, associated details of the targeted alleged person is made public domain. This may not be confined to the allegation proper. Further it is not clear what happens when such disclosures contradict the official secrets act? In all this seems a good tool being provided to specific parties in power.

(3) the "selection" issue:

for example the clause :
If he is associated directly or indirectly with any other activity, which is likely cause conflict of interest in the performance of his duties in Lokpal, he should suspend his association with that activity. Provided that if even after the suspension, the earlier association of that person with such activity is likely to adversely affect his performance at Lokpal, that person shall not be appointed as a member or Chairperson of Lokpal.


The power to judge this "likely to adversely affect" is kept in another "selected committee" that "selects"! What are the criteria for such judgments? No guidelines provided.

Any person, who was ever chargesheeted for any offence under IPC or PC Act or any other Act
- well what if the chargesheets failed to carry in the court or were dismissed for lack of evidence?

At least four members of Lokpal shall have legal background. Not more than two members, including Chairman, shall be former civil servants.


Why axe only the "civil servants"? Isnt this body also meant to look into the judicial "servants"? Giving more representation to the "judicial" is not going to affect the possible tenderness in protecting judicial servants?

The members and Chairperson should have unimpeachable integrity and should have demonstrated their resolve to fight corruption in the past.

This is actually naughty! How do you show "unimpeachable integrity"? It means only those persons who were in a position to be subjected to "impeachable" circumstances or events, can at all even be in a position to be tested for "unimpeachability"! Does it not rule out people who by their very position/profession/lifestyle have never been in such "testing" conditions? Since there is no way to prove that they will remain "unimpeachable" under sufficient "inducements"!

"Should have demonstrated their resolve in the past"? Well this seems to be based on a subconscious model of existing real persons who are perhaps seen as appropriate for memberships. One of the serious questions about such vague criteria is the more fundamental issue that obsessive ["determined" if the person belongs to a favoured political spectrum - but obsessive/a nut case/bunkum if does not belong to such favoured political spectrum] pursuit of issues that overlap with concepts of "misconduct" or "corruption" may have a moral crusading angle with hidden character traits of intolerance or hatred against pet peeves. For example the homophobia of someone who is otherwise showing resolve in the past - becomes a disqualifier in many people's mind, but say reputation of using the "army belt" on tippers does not cause similar unease about possible moral straitjackets that can make an otherwise "determined fighter of corruption" a potentially dangerous withchunter when given full immunity.

Any person who has either joined any political party after retirement or has had strong affiliations to any political party.
How will you guarantee that someone who has stayed under the radar but held strong political beliefs and fondness for particular political parties/ideologies/leaders inside is being prevented from coming in? Will you take the help of the IB in this? How do you guarantee that the secret services have not been given the signal to brush up the report by appropriate political leadership to ensure that a certain person becomes a member?

(3) immunity : item 27 gives blanket protection to acts of the Lokpal and its members including the chairperson even though earlier it is allowed to petition the SC to have a member(s) removed for misconduct etc. Which implies that it would become impossible to seek redress of grievance towards the Lokpal which in its turn might have used its powers to unduly victimize or penalize the petitioner. A misconduct from the Lokpal side could be covered entirely by a shrewd player of the game as regular "act" of the lokpal itself.

There are many other items there that would be hilarious if not a legal quagmire when sought to be practically implemented. Moreover there is scope for ample political manipulation - for example,
The five members selected above shall nominate five members from civil society.
But this "civil society" has not been defined. The courts have already defined that "keeping a work by Gandhiji" does not make one a "Gandhian" which makes Vinayak Sen - not a Maoist. Does he qualify as member of a "civil society" and also having no "past political affiliation"? Can "Teesta Setalvad" be considered a member of the "civil society" [not yet "chargesheeted" if that is to be raised about Vinayak Sen!].

I agree with KLNMurthy ji. This would be another "selection" tool to selectively coerce opponents of whatever political regime is in state power, and whitewash "favoured" beings and stooges.

somnath
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3416
Joined: 29 Jan 2003 12:31
Location: Singapore

Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby somnath » 11 Jun 2011 17:26

Just read that the amount of "black money" claimed by BR is 400 lac crore (from the hindi website of Bharat Swabhimaan Trust)...That is around 10 trillion dollars - 10 trillion, bigger than most estimates of the size of the global offshore private banking industry, thereby implying that Indian slush money stashed offshore accounts forms every cent of the offshore pvt banking market, and then some more (maybe under various carpets in Zurich and Monaco!)...

And yet, questioning him is tantamounting to being "mainowadi" (whatever that means)...

But I had missed this..
sidhant wrote:And Somnathji you are giving excuses on the behalf of Govt, that economically and legally how difficult it is to get back black money, how much complexities are involved. With all due respect to your knowledge about economy and other aspects, I think our Prime Minister is more knowledgeable in this respect. During the last elections when he promised that he will bring back the black money in 100 days, given his experience in both politics and economics, I am sure he did not get that number out of thin air

First, I am not giving any excuses on behalf of the govt..In fact, please go through my post on what my views are on whatt needs to b done - I think that the current UPAII has been pathetic on not going through with the substantive stuff targteted (among other things) directly at the phenomenon of black money and public corruption..

Second, the critique is of BR's proposals - and I assumed its a public spirited initiative to make a change, given that the modus operandi was "do this, or I fast"...(given his otherwise popular stature, a "fast unto death" obviously also has potential implications on civic order)..And this "this" was apparently discussed through numerous secret back channel parleys with senior ministers...Now, if the "this" in question is defined with so much frivolity, lack of attention to even the big picture, and general tenor of sloganeering and little else, then all citizens are entitled to question both the proposals as well as the intent..Which is what I have done...

SAffron et al are non sequitor - sceptic on BR is not = mainowadi, or supporter of the govt...

Last, the PM is about a million times more knowledgeable than me on econ, hence I find it difficult to believe he gave an undertaking like that - can you give a reference?
Last edited by somnath on 11 Jun 2011 17:46, edited 3 times in total.

SwamyG
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16102
Joined: 11 Apr 2007 09:22

Re: The Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare, and Baba Ramdev

Postby SwamyG » 11 Jun 2011 17:39

disha wrote:SwamyG, not chooti - it is chota (small). Chooti leads to a different and unmentionable meaning. Also if the truth appears harsh, than it is.

:rotfl: I can vouch I have heard that word :mrgreen: I should have said Choti instead of chooti...haa haa. Does Choti make it a feminine word?


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