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Don’t fall for the miracle cure that is being offered. Corruption must be fought differently and it’s not easy.
1. Is Lok Pal is necessary to fight corruption?
No, not only is it unnecessary, it will make the problem worse. Corruption in India arises because of too much government, too many rules, too much complexity and too much ambiguity. Adding one more, huge, powerful layer to an already complex system will make the system even more complicated. Complexity creates the incentives for corruption–both on the part of the bribe giver and the bribe taker.
1A. Is the government’s version of the Lok Pal bill better?
No. We don’t need a Lok Pal at all. Making existing constitutional institutions—like CAG, CVC, CBI and the Election Commission—more independent will serve the purpose equally well. If we have been unable to prevent the politicisation and undermining of these instutitions why would we be able to prevent the Lok Pal from being politicised and undermined? If we can prevent Lok Pal from being politicised and undermined, why can’t we restore the independence and credibility of CAG, CVC, CBI and the Election Commission?
2. What’s the alternative to Lok Pal then?
The alternative is to proceed with second-generation reforms, or Reforms 2.0. Contrary to conventional wisdom reforms have reduced corruption, albeit by moving it to higher up the government. In 1989 an ordinary person would have to pay a bribe to get a telephone connection. By 2005, there was no need to pay a bribe at all and anyone could get a phone in minutes. Yes, 2010 saw the 2G scam in telecoms, but that was because the UPA government reversed the reform process.
In fact, data show that perceptions of corruption are lower in some sectors of the economy, usually those that have been liberalised.
If you are interested in exploring real alternatives, you can start by reading Atanu Dey’s slim, easily readable and inexpensive new book, “Transforming India”.
3. Doesn’t Hong Kong have an Ombudsman and doesn’t it enjoy low corruption?
This is a specious argument. There is little evidence to prove that Hong Kong has low corruption because it has an Ombudsman. On the contrary, there is empirical evidence from across the world suggesting that countries with high economic freedom are perceived to suffer from less corruption.
Hong Kong is one of the freest economies of the world, and therefore, incentives for government officials to be corrupt are relatively low. The Ombudsman is useful to address the residual corruption in economic sectors and in sectors like law enforcement that do not have discretionary powers over economic sectors.
4. How can we have economic reforms if the corrupt politicians don’t allow it?
We have not really demanded them at all, actually. If we did, they are bound to register in the national political agenda. We should persuade politicians that their political future is linked to implementing economic reforms.
5. Easy to say, but how can we do this?
By voting. The constituencies that stand to benefit from economic reforms—the middle class—needs to vote in larger numbers. In the absence of the middle class vote base, politicians appease the poor by giving handouts and entitlements, and cater to the super rich by allowing the crony sector to exploit the half-reformed economy. It’s not easy, and we have to be innovative. See for instance, Atanu Dey’s interesting idea to form middle-class vote banks to induce good governance.
Whatever may be the claims made by the people promoting Lok Pal, there is no miracle solution. They are peddling miracle weight-loss pills. Sadly, such pills usually don’t work and can cause severe damage to your health. If you are cautioned not to take those pills, you can’t ask “which other miracle weight-loss pill do you recommend”? The answer is in diet and exercise, which is hard work.
6. In the meantime, what’s wrong with Jan Lok Pal?
This question has already been answered above, but it’s usual to encounter it again at this stage. The problem with Jan Lok Pal is that it’ll make the problem worse. Does anyone seriously think we can hire tens of thousands of absolutely honest officials who will constitute the Lok Pal? Who will keep watch on them? Maybe we need a Super Lok Pal, and then a Hyper Lok Pal to watch over the Super Lok Pal and so on…This isn’t sarcasm, this is the logical extension of the Lok Pal argument.
7. Don’t we have the right to protest peacefully? Why do you say that a fast-until-death lacks legitimacy?
Of course we have the right to protest peacefully. But it’s not about whether we have the right or not. It’s about are we using that right wisely. (You have the freedom of speech but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to blast Eminem using a loudspeaker at 2am in a residential district.)
As Ambedkar said while introducing the Constitution in November 1949, once the Constitution came into force, we should avoid all non-constitutional methods like protests and satyagraha, for they are the grammar of anarchy. If two persons go on fasts until death for two opposing reasons, we cannot decide the issue by allowing one person to die first.
Fast until death is political blackmail. It is a form of theatre engaged in to coerce the government into doing something that the agitators want. Whatever may be the cause, a single person cannot be allowed to dictate laws to the whole nation.
8. Doesn’t Anna Hazare have the right to fast until death?
Anna Hazare has the right to protest peacefully. However to the extent that his actions amount to an attempt to commit suicide, they are illegal. The government can legitimately prevent him from killing himself whatsoever the reason he might have to attempt suicide.
9. You are an armchair intellectual. Shouldn’t we trust activists more?
Pilots don’t design aircraft. Practicing doctors don’t discover new drugs and treatments. These jobs are usually done by armchair intellectuals. So being an armchair intellectual is not a disqualification.
You shouldn’t trust intellectuals or activists because of what they are. You should examine their arguments and make your own judgement. Most of the people supporting Lok Pal have not examined what the proposal is, have not tried to consider opposing arguments and blindly accept it as a solution because some famous people said so.
11. Aren’t those who oppose Anna Hazare’s agitation supporting the corrupt politicians?
No. It takes an enormous amount of arrogance to claim that Anna Hazare and his supporters have the exclusive hold on the right way to fight corruption.
In the real world, it is foolish to expect 100% clean and non-corrupt politicians. The real world challenge is to achieve good governance with imperfect constitutions, imperfect institutions, imperfect leaders and imperfect citizens. This requires us to realise that individuals respond to incentives. If we remove incentives for taking or giving bribes, then corruption will be lowered. We can reduce incentives for corruption by following through with the reforms that started in 1991 but have stalled since 2004.
It is entirely possible to oppose the UPA government’s politics and policies, while recognising that it is the legitimately constituted government of the country. Individuals and parties might suffer from a legitimacy deficit because of flagrant corruption, but the Government of India as an institution remains the legitimate authority to make policy decisions for the whole nation.
12. Why is fasting illegitimate when Mahatma Gandhi used it in our struggle for independence from the British?
There is a huge difference in context between 26th January 1950 when the Constitution of India came into force and the time before it.
Mahatma Gandhi used civil disobedience against laws imposed on India by the British government. Indians had no say in how the laws were made and how they were implemented. Indians could not repeal laws we didn’t want. Civil disobedience was justified in this context.
Gandhi also used it to coerce Indian nationalist leaders too, including Ambedkar and the Indian National Congress, into accepting his views. Whatever might be the wisdom of Gandhi’s intentions, this was undemocratic and created a culture of ‘high command’ that lives on to this day. Fasting was not justified in this context. This part of Gandhi receives little attention in the dominant narrative of Indian history.
With the formation of the Republic of India on 26 January 1950, things changed profoundly. All Indians have a say in how laws are made and how they are implemented. We can amend or repeal laws that we do not like. There is, of course, a method to do this, which must be followed. These are the constitutional methods that Ambedkar referred to in his grammar of anarchy speech. When constitutional methods are available, there is no case for non-constitutional methods like satyagraha or hunger strikes.
There is thus no equivalence between Gandhi’s satyagraha against the British ruling us and Mr Hazare’s hunger strikes against we ruling ourselves.
Hello people,as you might be knowing about Google+, a new Social Networking service by Google.It is just like Facebook or Orkut or hi5 but is not open for everyone.To get access to it you need an invite.
So if want to join the network and need an invite, then you are in the right place. Just comment below with your e-mail id or you can even mail it to us.
Unavailability of delivery report for every SMS you send is one of many disadvantages of iPhone.Even after many iOS releases this feature is not yet available.
But now you can have delivery reports for each and every SMS you send by just installing a small repo in Cydia, thanks to French developer, Francois Guilleme.
All you need is a jailbroken iPhone(2G,3G,3G S or even 4) operating on any firmware.
- Open Cydia.
- Click on “Manage”.
- Select “Sources”.
- Click on “Edit”( in top right corner).
- Now click on “Add”( in the top left corner).
- Now enter this ” http://iphonedelivery.advinux.com/cydia/” and click on “Add Source”.
- Now browse to Settings>Messages and just turn on the delivery reports.
So today I attended Code Wars Intra exactly after a year but this time not as a applicant but in fact as a Code Warrior.Around 65 students from 7th,8th,9th and 10th appeared,less than the expected 80.The paper was very simple(thanks to Pulkit and Aditya) at least simpler than last year’s Intra paper.
Still many students found the paper difficult especially the last question which was the Ultimate Question.So, they started cheating like anything.To stop them from doing so we started making groups of people who were cheating by writing alphabet “C” on their paper.But this could also not suffice,so we canceled a few.Many students even asked members for answers but as usual we did not.The cut off was 7 and the highest marks scored by anyone were 14.
So, in all it proved to be pretty successful and I’m sure we’ll find a lot o deserving members for Code Wars.
As heard in an event held at New York ,Verizon Wireless’ President & COO Lowell McAdam lanuched the most awaited iPhone 4 on Verizon.
The iPhone 4 launched here is ditto same as the iPhone 4 avalible with AT&T and etc.
The Verizon iPhone 4 will go on sale on February 10th, for $199 (16GB version), and $299 (32GB version) on contract. Pre orders begins February 3rd. This New iPhone has iOS 4.2.5 as spotted & has a new feature called as Mobile hotspot.
God knows will it be Jailbroken or Unlocked to be used by Sprint or not.
We also cannt say that has the limera1n expliot patched. All These answers will be with us on the 10th of Feb.
So be Tuned
Lots more coming up !
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2010. That’s about 29 full 747s.
In 2010, there were 50 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 123 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 26mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was December 27th with 183 views. The most popular post that day was Free Xbox Live Gold Membership..
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, ifreestores.com, google.com, healthfitnesstherapy.com, and search.conduit.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for free xbox live gold membership, free xbox live gold membership codes, free xbox live gold, softroot.apk, and free xbox live gold membership codes 2010.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Free Xbox Live Gold Membership. July 2010
Root HTC Wildfire. August 2010
Activate Windows 7 Ultimate Using Chew~WGA 0.9. September 2010
Steam Is Temporarily Unavailable Please Try Again Later Fix. July 2010