The political trend in India kick starts and proceeds like a marathon but does not, or seems not to have finality, although politics is the oldest profession . Any political party definitely begins with or has good ideas, but ends up confused as to what is its goal. This may be because no party is given or left without opposition, to show or do what it has promised its people. Just like there are two sides of the same coin, every party has two sides good and bad. As soon as one party comes to power, the others are busy doing research to pull out all the possible loopholes and flaws to defame the seated power. The seated power would fight and fight to save their party. Anyone who would support its leader when he is wrong is welcomed into the party. All during his tenure, time is spent in looking over his shoulders to see if his supporters are there for him. If yes, then he is confident that he is the true leader or his position is safe.

Today India has innumerable Indians who want to serve the country by being the part of the system. Innumerable parties have been formed, each one with its own cause- fight corruption, help the down-trodden, spread education, good governance, equal representation for women, help the farmers etc etc. Everyone wants everything asked for. But how to achieve, what path, what methods-nobody is aware.

These are the questions which each political party in its tenure is attempting to study & find. But how sad! Term ends but no solution. The party ends up not by placing itself at the service of the nation but by placing the nation at its service.

The Movement has just begun…

Yes, we have read about it in history books.  Yes, our grandparents and parents have told us all about it. We have read how “movements” brought about awakenings in the minds of the people of this country, and brought us the independence that we so enjoy now. That was then—1947.

This is now—2011.

That was the momentum initiated by the freedom fighters to overthrow the British rule. This is a fight to curb the cancer-like element called Corruption that has long bitten this country, that is penetrating deeply and spreading like wildfire..

But one more thing that spread like wildfire was the fast unto death that was being called by Shri. Anna Hazare- a bold and confrontational move by a renowned social activist. Shri. Hazare has not emerged out of nowhere. He’s very much a part of this country. He’s the man behind uplifting the village of Ralegaon Siddhi and making it an ideal, independent village. He’s a steadfast Gandhian who rose to the occasion when the country needed the most. And his genuine attempt paid off. After 5 days of relentless fast by him and his volunteers, the Govt seems to have given in to the demands of the protestors and has decided to take up the demanded Jan Lokpal Bill in the monsoon session of the parliament. As they say, the rest is history. But as Anna himself puts it, the fight has only just begun. The committee has been formed, with a good representation being given to Anna’s crusade. Now what should really follow is good implementation.

In our country, at the strategic level, things seem pretty smooth. Where roadblocks get really created is when implementation comes to play.

Those 5 days brought the common man out on the streets protesting for a cause. For a long time, we as a country have collectively and each one of us has individually experienced one or other level of corruption at every step in our day to day lives. In a way the common man of this nation has gotten kind of used to live with this cancer of corruption. It had as though become a part and parcel of the lives of the people here.

And then when one fine day, someone just got up to challenge this very cancer, it shook people from their deep sleep. The 5 day fast by Shri. Anna Hazare literally shook people hard. All the insult, all the anger, all the angst and all the emotions related to the word corruption that we the people had stored somewhere deep in our hearts and minds just came out in the form of the mass protests that were staged across the country. With candles in hand, people marched together and as if vowing that they would eradicate the venom of corruption from the roots of this country. They whole heartedly supported Shri. Anna Hazare and his movement.

All in all, the movement became a very big one. Anna himself mentioned after he broke the fast that he hadn’t expected the movement to take such a gigantic face.

The situation was like- Anna did and people listened. They followed him because they felt that what he was doing was indeed a cause that would lead to the ultimate aim of eliminating forces of corruption governing this country. As a movement, it was a complete success. On a macro level, one man and his brigade of followers showed us how civil society if working together in a democratic setting, can make a good difference.  The bill would be tabled in the parliament. Everything will take its own course and time.

But on the micro level, the onus lies on you and me.  We as the citizens of this country have to show utmost intolerance towards any incidents and experiences of bribery and corruption that we might henceforth face in our daily lives. If we knowingly or unknowingly fall victims to it, as we have been, time and again, all the efforts led by Shri. Anna Hazare will diminish and nullify. If we really want something concrete happening in terms of this pressing issue, we have to ourselves act now and act fast. Instead of falling prey to more and more incidents of corruption and bribes, we have to come forward and voice the concerns openly, bravely and unfailingly.

Only when this effort happens on micro level, will the movement really becomes a phenomenon by itself. It will become the turning point in the entire process that is started off so successfully by Shri. Anna Hazare.

So, rise up folks! There’s a lot to be done. The whole thing has just begun. Let’s keep the momentum alive and let’s fulfill the vow we have made to ourselves this week. Let’s weed out this cancer from the society. Let’s do it for ourselves and our future generations. It’s a wakeup call. Let’s not miss the bus now and convert it into a missed call.

A positive strategy to eradicate corruption

There is no denying that corruption has become a routine in India day in and day out.  It is so deep rooted at many levels in our land  that  one can’t eradicate it without literally launching a war  against it. It has grown  into a giant as well  over the last 50 years or so.  So much so, to find a corruption free man in any government circle is a wild goose chase.

The other day, the Congress President made a fervent plea in her address to the 83rd plenary session of all the congress leaders to do something about it. She herself did not suggest any modus operandi.  Corruption will not vanish away just by wishing it. We need to apply a well thought out operational plan.

We must be clear in our mind about, “What is corruption?” The list could run into thousand points but broadly speaking they are: Taking a bribe for getting a job done which  in any case is a citizen’s right; for doing an undue  favour;  deliberately delaying the  issuing of  a document/work order etc, to a  citizen without any reason;  acting against the laid down rules and procedure in awarding contracts or executing any kind of work.

As things are now, a citizen seems to enjoy no right whatever  for anything.  He is all the time at the receiving end and at the mercy of a government servant. It is he  who dictates the  terms.  A citizen doesn’t know who to approach for redress.  He  is a silent sufferer.

The  PRO and Vigilance officers posted at the various department are inefficient and corrupt themselves.  As a matter of fact, only the most unwanted officers are posted on these appointments or the ones on the verge of retirement.

Strangely there  is no watch tower against political corruption at all.  A politician seems to be a free bird. He simply cannot be caught ! They too need to be brought under this proposed umbrella.

Since corruption has seeped into every department and every level of the government and our  daily life itself, you would need an Army of officials to tackle it.  But then, we do have such an Army within the land, viz, the Income tax payers. Those IT payers who are retired from service and who still continue to pay  the  Tax  and are  over the age of sixty would be  the members  of our Watch dog Army.

According to the current records, only 3% of the Indian population are tax payers which amounts to 31.5 million.  I couldn’t get the precise figures of those above sixty years of age.  Shall we take that  around 15% belong to that age group? This works out to approximately 4.5 million. A gigantic force indeed, isn’t it?   They would be our soldiers and leaders as well in the Anti corruption Army.

Let the government through a Parliamentary act or Administrative order, authorise these IT payers (ITPs) to book the culprits and also suggest a suitable punishment not amounting to dismissal from  service.  The departmental heads are responsible to honor the reports and recommendations  submitted by the ITPs and award the punishment then and there.  Only in extreme cases, should the HODs  disagree with the report of an ITP. In  such cases, the decision of the HOD must be endorsed by his/her superior officer.

As regards the serving  MPs/MLAs, any kind of malafide action such as influencing or threatening an official to taking unlawful on their part would constitute a crime including taking/ giving bribe  action. On receiving reports from ITPs,  action  must be initiated by the Speakers  and Vice President.  This action  will be invariably in the form of  depriving them of their seat in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha or Legislative Assembly. And they will be debarred from standing for any future election for life  time. This will be a permanent black mark on his/her character. As regards  the other politicians, the party president should remove them from membership for ever.

The ITPs’ policing duty would be restricted to the government department only right up to the village level  initially and later extended to the non government sector.  An ITP at his/her own initiative could undertake an investigation. Or, any aggrieved citizen  could approach an ITP for in investigation  of any issue in any quarter. An ITP will have the liberty to walk into any government office after establishing his/her credentials or offer to probe into any misdeed or transaction or whatever.

The ITP should submit a proper report about the misdeed supported by the evidence of at least one witness  along with video or voice recording where necessary to the HOD or the authority concerned. This is so to prevent an ITP from taking revenge on an employee.  Toward this, every ITP may carry a portable voice recorder and a cell phone camera.

It is not necessary that the government should appoint specific IT payers as ITPs for the  watchdog role.  Any IT payer  can convert himself/herself into an ITP when a situation demands it. All that is needed is his PAN card.

Such extraordinary power to ordinary citizens could be misused and the ITPs themselves may  become corrupt over a period.  In order to have a check on them, there is a need to create  a “Super ITP” squad  to spot check on the activities of the ITPs.  If the HODs themselves feel that the report submitted by an ITP suffers from some setbacks or doesn’t appear to be genuine, the matter may be referred to the Super ITP by the HOD for necessary investigation.  If the charge is proved correct, the concerned ITP should be removed from the Practice and a black mark placed on his name.

The SuperITPs would be such officials whose integrity and honesty are of the highest order and reported as such in their annual confidential report.

This is an honorary job  and  a Service to the society to root out corruption. An ITP will get no remuneration whatever for the service rendered by him. Government may give a suitable award or mention in dispatch   for  the services rendered.

Punishment must be awarded immediately on receipt of the report from an ITP. These will be administrative actions at the hand of the HOD/competent authority and there would be no need to send the culprit to the court. Nor will any appeal in a curt of law against  the punishment will be permissible. Dismissal is not recommended to be a punishment  in an ITP case as regards a government servant.  For dismissal, the normal procedure in vogue now would apply.

The proposal made in this article may sound tyrannical and totalitarian but then it must be remembered we are trying to remove a  chronic cancer   in our system.  Only a heat  treatment or a major surgical operation will heal this disease.

Once the system  stabilizes in the government and political circles, it could be extended to the civil sector in course of time.

Common Wealth Games

The Common Wealth Games are taking place in India from 3rd to 14th October. Indeed it’s matter of pride, pleasure and honor for India to be proud to host the Games, which will be watched world wide by millions of people. Despite many setbacks, hurdles in the preparation of the Games arena and other infrastructure, India was able to present the opening ceremony with a lot of colour, dances, cultural shows and picture of India to the dignitaries and sports men representing more than from 72 countires. The opening show was as an extra ordinary, eye catching, extravaganza. The hosting of games is going to cost India over Rs 70 thousand crores. This figure may mount eventually after a stock is taken of the total expenses incurred. Now a million dollar question arises in my mind. Is this expenditure worth it, when million of people in the country live under poverty line. They do not have enough food to eat. They can not afford proper housing, education for their children, water for their daily use, clothes to wear. One shudders to think to incur such an extravagant expenditure by the Government just to show to the world that our country is in a position to host a Sport-festival of this kind. Basically to my mind this function was supported by the Government and Sport Authorities without batting an eye lid and ignoring to the needs of the poor. Positively this was an occasion when CWG officials could earn national level reputation and high light their image to the country man. This also gave an opportunity to them make money by corruption on a large scale where in relatives and friends of ministers, politicians, government officials and others involved organizing the games made a hay and loaded their illegal accounts. This needs a detailed investigation by a jury of honest citizens of the country and a strict deterrent for the government to avoid such mind boggling expenditure in future.What will be the outcome of this Games-Festival, lets think seriously, GOLD, Silver and Bronze Medals and some sports men will break previous records. Is this more important than looking after the poor of the nation? No body can deny the importance of sports and these should be patronized, promoted and facilitated at the Institutional level like colleges, schools and other training centres. Most of the people in the country have strongly felt that the expenses incurred could have been avoided and better utilized for the benefit of the nation and its people.This is my personal opinion and a public opinion on an All India basis should be sought to propagate the true feelings of the people of this country by the news channels.

What Is Your Identity

Remember there was a time when lineage determined your class and social status in India,well all that has changed now. Get the drift all this and much more is decided by the level of corruption that exists in your life. What innovative techniques you adopt to ensure your place in  the organization that you serve. It amazes me to be even talking about it. Corruption has reached scintillating heights and it makes me proud to be an Indian whereby we can claim our tenth position as the most corrupt nation in the world! Pardon me if my statistic is wrong.

When I went to school our teacher taught us ” Honor before Self “; now its ” Self (gratification) before Honor!” Individual goals howsoever misplaced it may be is the sole purpose of ones existence. This is a serious problem affecting our society today. Corruption is the way of life you can realize your life’s mission this way. Some specific examples you can be ‘regular’ student in a college without attending a single lecture. A few thousand rupees in the right  places in the university office ensures your examination seat. Girl students in the middle-school has to buy a ‘free’ bicycle meant for her for an x sum of rupees from her school!

Well suppose I am an affluent member of the society in the posh upscale neighborhood of Delhi or the NCR yet it bothers me to pay the heavy electric bills(heavy usage of Ac). How do I innovate when I can’t bypass the installed meter… Exactly that’s what I do… I will take a direct connection from the electric source  bypassing the meter. Hello are you listening?

The other day I took a ride on the auto from my office to GIP Noida. I struck up a conversation with the cabbie. I told him that pollution level had gone down with the use ofCNG and I said I am glad your auto is run on CNG.  He said I use gasoline and not CNG the sign was to dupe the authorities. Tell me how many auto rickshaws are being run that way in Delhi and NCR.

We devise so many ways to dupe the authorities and who in turn devises newer ways to dupeus !! I am confused what are we… are we a society with high moral values or a society withlow moral values, decadent, non-progressive and utterly corrupt one. If one wants to see themirror one needs to visit the state of Jharkhand to know, witness, experience corruption first hand! Seriously, I want to be in an India which is progressive yet traditional of high moral values.