Friday, August 19, 2011

My response on Nilekani interview in CNN-IBN about protest for Jan Lokpal Bill

This post is in response to the interview of Nandan Nilekani available at :

Hmm….Frankly, I am not competent enough to argue with someone of Nandan’s stature (as per my expectations). But then, there are some things, which are part of what he said and they are the ones which might be fuelling the protests.
  1. I firmly agree that corruption needs a holistic approach for prevention and/or at maximum removal (I strongly believe it cannot be eradicated fully). This holistic approach does not end with passage of Jan Lokpal bill. Frankly speaking, it does not even start with drafting of the Jan Lokpal bill. There are so many things in daily life that many of us do some mistakes, have to pay fine and look for opportunities to reduce that fine part. This is where the feeding part of the Corruption starts. Unfortunately, the Aadhar card cannot make files move in a public office. The Jan Lokpal bill is to ensure that if we don’t want to be the feeders and are still being forced to, then we have someone to provide an arm to lean on. Say it…get the extortion part out. It’s to ensure that people with responsible public roles, do not succumb to various tendencies. It can ensure that so many laws our parliament passes are adhered to. If not adhered to, why to have laws.
  2. But when you want to ensure something, something people can take help of, obviously you want that helping hand to be available. That “availability” factor is very important. A system (software or otherwise) may be an excellent one, but if not available when required, I will term it “flash in the pan” one. The Jan Lokpal bill has better way of handling that availability factor. As has been correctly pointed out by Nandan sir, the middle class is most affected a lot of corruption. And where does the middle class get in touch with corruption, and its flag bearers…..when they want certain essentials services to be available….health, public infrastructure, law and order (not including the investigation part) and local administration (for various essential licenses). If these essential services were provided in timely, user-friendly manner, I bet that you definitely would not have seen so many people on the road. The agitation would have been an “uncalled for”. Leaving the user-friendly part still to the Executive, the Jan Lokpal bill ensures the “timeliness” part is taken care with each public office having a citizens charter enlisting SLAs for each thing, including penalties if not done.
  3. I feel good that Nandan also agrees that Lokpal is part of those 10-15 things we need to do for handling corruption. When we have decided that a Lokpal is required, why not have one which is better of the solutions on the plate. In the future, if we have better solutions, we can do amendments. In regard to his point that a Lokpal bill is before standing committee, and what is the need to argue. I sympathize with our politicians and amount of time they put in for real public life. When something is being discussed, why not put before the standing committee, and the both houses of the parliament the other one also. If the standing committee and houses of the parliament do not want to take up suggestions of the Jan Lokpal bill, Ok fine. But then even not putting the valid points of the Jan Lokpal bill forward for discussions is the point which is inappropriate.
  4. If you have a Venn diagram for corrupted people, there are many from legislative, judiciary and executive, who will fall into the other circle (of non-corrupt). But then making the other circle populous is the main intention.
I have put forth some of the points from my own knowledge.

And last but not least, this mail is only to share my viewpoint.