Amal Chowdhury

‘’Be the change yourself you want to see in the world’’, Mahatma Gandhi once said. As we all know, Anna Hazare is also being described as Gandhian and he follows the same line which Mahatma drew decades ago.

The solution to the Corruption lies in this one liner. What I say is worth giving a thought to.

This seems so right today with the hoopla and stardom created around the demand of a strong Lokpal bill. Until the root cause of corruption is not flushed; it would be very difficult for any autonomous body to eradicate it. Even for the heavens above, forget a mere mortal Lokpal doing it.

Three major points of Jan Lokpal Bill are under consideration of the standing committee. Anna Hazare has declared it as only ‘half victory.’ The day government declared that the civil society’s key demands have been taken into consideration; the whole nation erupted into joy. As if a magic wand is in the making and the day it becomes law, corruption will be eradicated overnight. I fear that it might not be possible until we are ready to change.

But as a blind Anna fan many of us can say, ‘The root cause are the corrupt politicians. Let it become law first. Then, see it would be surely effective.

Fine then, let’s assume first that the a strong Lokpal bill is made law. Keeping this situation in mind, some simple hypothetical situations are listed below to make myself clear. (In these situations I’m not accusing all of us. There are fair and honest people as well. But the truth is also that their ratio among the corrupt lot is just too meager to even count!!).

  • You are on a two wheeler without a helmet. A constable stops you. What you’ll do? Or rather my question should be what you have we been doing for so many years? You would try to bribe him with Rs 20 or Rs 50! Or lets just say we have been doing the very same for past so many years! As soon as he pockets the money you’ll drive away cursing the ‘Khaki’ people saying how corrupt they are! But ever once you made up your mind to pay the fine. Instead many shrewd people among us will take out the note from their pocket even before the constable asks for it.
  • We go to RTO to get our driving license made. How many of us follow the procedure? Or rather how many of us know it? Hardly any of us! The reason is we tend to go to the middle men standing outside the RTO office rather than enduring some pain and trying to face the music ourselves.

The point I want to make is that the Lokpal is not any magic wand or a genie which when rubbed will come outside and kick away all the corrupt ones among us. Please, we should spare Anna Hazare and the Bill with such undue expectation! We don’t have any right to accuse the politicians or blame them for letting us down. After all we are the one who choose them. We need to change first.

Secondly, isn’t there any watchdog to keep an eye on corruption? Of course there are! There are anti-corruption wings in Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation and Comptroller and Auditor General. Even then, we need a Lokpal because we have been told that it would be an autonomous body free from the government control, which would make it more effective and accountable than any other anti-corruption body in our nation. Fine, so it seems it can help us better.

But, considering the very basic ‘demand and supply’ law of economics (market) it seems if we demand for corruption; there would be people ready to practice it. Just like stop purchasing pirated DVDs and VCDs and one day this corrupt practice might stop functioning. But the problem is we won’t be able to resist ourselves of getting a set of five movies that too of our choice for mere Rs 30.

The bottom line is if we are ready to change ourselves; the Lokpal can be definitely very helpful. But, if we can’t resist ourselves of the mediocrities we often fall for, it would be just like any other law resting peacefully.

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