27th August 2011
I was amazed when Agnivesh accused Hazare, his former buddy, of a "dictatorial way of working". That Anna is an not a Gandhian is clear, for he uses fasts unto death in a manner that Gandhi firmly opposed (see this and this – and this by Barun Mitra).
And he is not bothered about non-violence. One man has almost died as a result of his actions, but that did not impact his style one bit. Gandhi called off civil disobedience after Chauri Chaura, but Hazare persists. [Addendum: This supporter has died]
But now I've come across even more amazing information (published in The Telegraph today). A study of his work in Ralegan Siddhi found:
the approach of Anna Hazare “deeply brahmanical”. Liquor, tobacco, even cable TV were forbidden. Dalit families were compelled to adopt a vegetarian diet. Those who violated these rules — or orders — were tied to a post and flogged.
that on Hazare’s instructions, no panchayat elections had been held in the village for the past two decades. During state and national elections, no campaigning was allowed in Ralegan Siddhi.
If this is true, this is just the kind of thing Maximilien Robespierre would do. It is nothing but the tyranny of "integrity", the tyranny of an Aurangzeb.
Next step? – executions of those who disagree with Hazare.
We need GREATER FREEDOM, not more constraints.
If any of this stuff about Hazare being a "moral", anti-democratic, violent (flogging is violence) dictator is true, then entire IAC movement will come down like a pack of cards.
It is NOT enough to have a "moral" streak. We need freedom and good governance.
Why doesn't IAC speak about liberty?
Here's an extract from an article that speaks of acts of ommission (not commission) in relation to Dalits:
when Khairlanji massacre occurred in which four member of a Dalit family was slaughtered on September 29, 2006 in Bhandara district, Maharashtra the new Gandhian was absent. When Dalits’ in an Odisha village were prevented from visiting the village temple few months ago, the new Gandhian was absent again. When Khap chases the Dalits, the new Gandhi is no where to be found. When Dalits demand their rights, he is missing. A 100 miles away from this Gandhian’s village, a Dalit entrepreneur is building a sugar factory, but has been prevented from doing so by the so-called civil society.
In Maharashtra, only one caste has a monopoly over the sugar business. Even Dalits living in Lucknow and Kolkata were aware of the problem this Dalit businessman was facing. Unfortunately, the new Gandhian who hails from Maharashtra didn’t pay any heed or come to the rescue.
27th August 2011
For a very long time now I've advocated restraint and the use of constitutional methods (although I still believe that civil disobedience and protest is a valid method to raise issues in a non-functional democracy like India's).
First Tavleen Singh said what I've been saying.
Nitin Pai said that as well.
Then MMS, otherwise known as India's Overlord of Corrruption, said that.
Nandan Nilekani said pretty much what I've said.
Now even Mayavati – the undisputed Queen (Phoolan Devi?) of Corruption.
The ENTIRE range of opinions – from classical liberal, socialist, to BLATANT corrupt (Mayavati) – now seem to agree that Hazare's point has been made, and while Hazare is entitled to make a protest, he should now, as Mayavati has "dared" him to: "fight the next general elections if … [he] wants the Jan Lokpal Bill to be passed in Parliament" (Source).
How much trouble India could have saved itself had it just listened to my suggestions in the first place?
I'm not being arrogant, just being truthful. Sometimes, it is hard to understand why it is hard for people to understand basic things in life.
If suggestions in BFN are followed, India is GUARANTEED to become not on the world's richest country, but also the most honest.
Give reason a chance! Stop wasting time in idle talk.
Let's get to work. Join FTI.
I have always said that I respect even Laloo Yadav and the most corrupt Indian politician more than people who lecture them from the sidelines. Hats off to Mayavati for following the Indian constitution. The laws are bad and so she is corrupt, but at least she is not a terrorist or anarchist or someone who wants to make laws from the street.
Other somewhat similar views:
Balaji has a collected a list here.
Also see Lokpal debate resource page.
27th August 2011
We all know that the VAST majority of the "educated" Indian middle class DOES NOT VOTE. Perhaps they don't like the idea of mingling in the polling stations with the unwashed "masses".
In addition 99 per cent of the Indian middle class seems to clamour for one or more of these three:
a) The "right" to vote for no one ("none of the above")
b) The right to recall representatives
c) The right to punish corrupt representatives
Now the "right" to not vote already exists! Most "educated" people don't vote anyway. So that's a "right".
Recall. I agree with this in principle, but I'm afraid I would never support such a right for those who did NOT vote in the first place. That means most of those clamouring for this would never get to recall anyone!
Third, Lokpal. Yes, that's fine in principle as well, but with one caveat – it does nothing to address the causes of corruption.
Now, what's the common theme behind these demands? – THESE ARE ALL INDIRECT, PASSIVE actions. They signal: "I the well paid IT (or in the case of some, marketing!) professional have a BIRTHRIGHT to an honest elected representative".
But you see, there is no such right in the Indian constitution. You have a right to representation, but honest, good representation is something you have to WORK for. Did no one teach you that basic civic responsibility in your "school"?
It appears the middle class wants to have its cake and eat it too! Sorry. That can't happen.
Virtually none has suggested DIRECT actions like:
a) Let's make sure we vote responsibly
b) Let's make sure that if no candidate meets our expectations, that we ourselves contest the elections and offer to be the good honest representative
c) Let's make sure that we make it easier, in general, for honest people to become political representatives.
I wish there was a free lunch in life. Sadly, there isn't.
Indirect actions will STILL give you exactly the same political representatives: socialist, populist, corrupt. The same "dynasty", the same nautankis.
Unless you, my dear so-called "educated" Indian professional (I hesitate to call you "voter" since you don't vote), exercise your CITIZENSHIP responsibly, you'll keep getting swindled by every third rate thug in town.
They say there's a sucker born each day. In India our entire education classes are suckers – people easily fooled, people easily made mincemeat by every street thug. What kind of education are we imparting in India?
Not unexpectedly, in this social media age, these same "educated" Indians are now actively canvassing for indirect methods by taking to the streets, but without even having tried the DIRECT constitutional methods available.
So what do we need? We need an agitation (if necessary, street demonstrations) for the following reforms:
a) State funding of elections
b) Increase the salary of MPs and MLAs while cutting out ALL their perks.
Please be assured – unless you take DIRECT ACTION, and TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR OWN COUNTRY, all you'll continue to get is third rate people.
To get first rate people you must make it worthwhile for people like me to contest elections. True, honest people by themselves are no guarantee of good governance. You need people who will DEMOLISH socialism and bring in freedom, and a strong, minimal government.
Such good people are assembling to contest elections on the Freedom Team of India.
26th August 2011
Very surprised to read this:
In an unprecedented move, the Gujarat Governor appointed Retd Justice R A Mehta as Lokayukta of the state, bypassing the Narendra Modi-led BJP government which had kept the post vacant for the last seven years.
Personally, I'm not sure how a Governor, who is a MERE RUBBER STAMP under the Indian Constitution, can possibly undertake this action. It sounds dramatically unconstitutional at first glance.
Apparently, "Lokayukta Act says the Governor shall appoint the Lokayukta on the Chief Justice's suggestion".
That, to me, is a deeply disturbing law. For the ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES to not have the FINAL say on the appointment of any functionary paid from the public purse is a highly questionable matter.
However, I doubt Modi will have the guts to challenge this in court.
Question: This raises an even more tricky question. Can a Governor FORCE a government to pay for the Lokayukta's upkeep? What is the Lokayukta's salary? How many staff can he appoint? Who pays for his investigative charges (including travel)? Basically, where is the appropriation in the Gujarat budget? How can a Governor force the people (who are represented by Modi) to pay for something they have not appointed themselves.