The problem with this agitation led by Anna Hazare has been the creation of this notion that if you don’t support Anna and the Lokpal bill , you must be pro-corruption , anti-development , and neck deep in corruption yourself , which is why you are afraid of the lokpal bill . That is not the case and the sooner more people realise that , the more answers we will get to the question of how to stop corruption . The lokpal bill is not the last straw in the battle against corruption . It’s not that the lokpal is not going to help . The mass agitation for it is a significant step, a crucial step that has shaken the government and told them that the people are angry , fed up and disgusted by corruption and the inabilty of this government to do anything to counter corruption has fueled that anger further .
Tell me . What is it that affects the common man more? The fact that he has to pay a bribe to get his passport , driver’s license , railway ticket , ration card and all that or the extremely large amount of money wasted at the commonwealth games and so on ? Let me be clear . Both are equally bad . But the former affects every one of us more directly . Is punishing the guy who asked for a bribe more important or is it more important that you don’t have to pay a bribe at all ? Yes the bribe taker should be punished but is’nt prevention better than cure? The major argument is that a strict law will deter the wrong doers. There are stern punishments for murder and rape too. That has not stopped murders and rapes, has it?
That is where we need to think beyond the lokpal . Look at the root of the issue and solve it . Why do we have to pay a bribe ? To get some work done fast .A certain process that otherwise takes weeks gets done in days or hours when a bribe is paid . That tells me something .That it is infact possible for that process to get done that fast . Why does it not happen ?
Well , the officer at the office will take his own time to work on it . Be patient enough and weeks , months later, you’ll find your work is done . Like in courts around the country , government offices have a lot of backlog . Files are simply not cleared fast enough to be able to clear new ones . Efficiency therefore is poor .
When you go to a government office , you are in a line . You are way behind the poor farmer who was there 2 weeks ago to get his land registered . Now by the time his file gets cleared , its going to be 2 more weeks . Consequently , yours will be cleared only months later . That is the reason for the delay.
But say you bribe the guy at the counter . He’ll clear your file ahead of the others . Basically you cut the line . Infact , there is no line at all . You bypass the line ! Sadly , the poor farmer is still stuck there because he can’t afford a bribe . And he has to wait for longer because there are more people who will get their files cleared by paying bribes .
It’s what they call a gap in supply and demand . The solution therefore , lies in recruiting more officers who will inturn clear more files , which will inturn reduce the backlog which will inturn reduce the time you need to wait for your passport or driver’s licence and inturn make the whole process a lot more efficient and someday , hopefully , that farmer will get his work done too .
Now where does the lokpal get involved in all this ? It does not actually . Where the lokpal really needs to create an impact is at the higher levels . Things like the 2G scam and CWG scam . Let the lokpal investigate and prosecute the guilty in those sort of high profile cases . It reduces the burden of the lokpal , maximising it’s efficiency too . And instead of recruiting more people to work under the lokpal , you can simply add them to existing offices and make the whole system more efficient .
And what happens to bribe takers that will exist after all this ? The lokayukta at the state level is more than capable of handling those cases . The Lokpal does not need to bother about it .
This is just an opinion . It’s what I feel really has to be done . To implement this , it takes a strong will to counter graft . The government may have the will , it has failed to show it . And that is where I will be critical of this government . For not showing that will .
I don’t have the support of 5000 people at some ground and thousands others everywhere else . So this opinion like the many, many others will just vanish into miniscule nothingness infront of the pseudo greatness the lokpal has acheived before even having been tried , tested and proven .
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