lost

sad

a very rough sketch… based on this link 

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Basic laws in India

“Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

Knowing, getting informed,knowledge,awareness are the basics of survival. In India we face so many issues and problems mainly due to lack of information.Carelessness and taking things for granted have caused serious trouble in our society.

Information is life

to live and let live we must inform and be informed

to begin with here is the link for our basic laws, credit: website of  Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department)

BASIC LAWS OF INDIA

http://indiacode.nic.in/coiweb/welcome.html

http://lawmin.nic.in/olwing/coi/coi-english/coi-indexenglish.htm

India – young and old

Few days back i was participating in a TV talk show – the topic was ‘ whether youngsters in India respect elder’s advice or not?’

here are some of my views …

who is an elder and who is younger?

can we just judge by age ? is it right?

if so  are we then contradicting Indian history and philosophies which have always been focusing on the point that age doesn’t makes one younger or elder. On the other hand experience makes a person  mature.

Our nation never hesitated in accepting youngsters views – we had leaders like Shivaji and Bhagath Singh,Viveknanda  on one hand and  mahathma gandhi, Patel,Netaji on the other.

Generation gap was not happening in India then, why now?

I feel  the best aspect of our Indian culture is the repeated idea that’s been emphasized on one single point and that is … ” Don’t judge ”

who are we to judge others? let’s live and try to understand ourselves first.

and the other important issue ‘ letting go of ego’

but today our society especially crowded with people who boast themselves as ” culture protectors of India”  are too judgmental on  everything …

we are so worried about women’s dress code  and youngsters not touching the feet of elders as a mark of respect … but we are totally not concerned about really bigger issues  that’s not only affecting the next generation but the elders as well .

What are we providing for the gen next? a polluted,corrupted,valueless society?  and in turn  demanding respect from younger people ?

how is this logically correct?

politicians watch pornographic clips in parliament

and

youngsters are beaten up when they go to pubs !

Respect doesn’t comes by demand it comes from your acts – that’s how i feel.

many parents feel that  in today’s world kids don’t listen to elder’s views,

point is listening doesn’t matters doing matters and following matters

the problem lies on both side  elders fail to  understand  youngsters and like wise kids too are indifferent towards elders.

for any relationship to thrive there must be love,trust and maturity, this applies to parents and kids too.

The recent incident that shocked Chennai – a school boy brutally murdering a teacher  is an alarming result of a big problem that’s growing in our society.

Thought this incident is a specific one and it cannot be generalized and we cannot draw any generalized conclusion from this brutal act.

Yet few question does arises

few blame the teacher’s strictness and today’s stress full education system

few blame the kids -they are violent and inhuman

few blame the parents

but what can we achieve by blame game?

nothing

this act is a crime no doubt about it

but the killer being a school kid and the victim a school teacher is what all that matters

the simplest straight forward  reason is ‘lack of values’ – not only among kids is a fact that must be understood here, for crime rate in India is alarmingly high

there is no blaming here, the kid has lost his values – responsibility for this act is on society – we can’t pinpoint one single person for this.

this is just an example ,

our education teaches getting 100% marks

kids learn the value of money

kids learn how important quotas are

so amid all these humanity and self respect often gets missed

today the kids IQ levels have risen so high, molding it positively or otherwise depends on one’s own survival skills and personal values 

kids are young people with their own mind and individuality we must realize this , so forcing our views on them won’t help much.

What happens when we forcefully change a new generation’s thought?

Hitler when he gained administrative powers in Germany, closed all the youth clubs and turned them into his brainwash camps for young people.. the result was the Nazi army!

While in India we had real leaders like Gandhi ji, Bhagath Singh and Vivekananda who turned youths to positive human power. So it all depends on what we believe and do

sharing our experiences would be of much help to the next generation rather than boring them with advice.

you change … the world will change, this applies to elders and youngsters too.

history is actually not so boring :)

At school i always had better things to do in my histrory class ,like

gossiping with friends,

fighting with not so friendly class mates,

sketching in my note book,

seriously watching all the interesting things happening around our school from the window ( i always had a window seat ! lucky me )

for history lessons were so boring, i used to seriously wonder why did the schools taught so many unwanted things? like physics, maths, history ( all most all the subjects, seemed so useless … language was at least tolerable , for you get to read stories.)

especially History i despised most, all credit goes to the dates , that one had to remember,

and the names of the dynasty’s and kings , ( some kings shared the same name ,  making a student’s life miserable)

i felt like murdering some kings , for they had done nothing other than planting trees and digging wells,

i wondered how a king with all his majestic attire and a sword would have dug a well? seemed pretty awkward to me then,

our history teacher at school was not helpful either, she was so particular about the years and places had taken place, that i almost had a tough time before all my history exams,

some of my friends had this capacity to write pages and pages of answers the talent i never grasped, that would have helped , for i think the teacher tends to fall asleep halfway through  your papers and you end up getting more grades.

so in my school days i decided once for all that i would never ever turn to the subject of history.

but that all changed once i joined high school, during my annual holidays  i joined the USIS and BC libraries, i was introduced to a new world of books that were so different from my text books!

these books were quiet simple, yet had real good information on manifold subjects such as,  science,literature,technology,humanity,history,philosophy and so on…

i also had all the time to ponder over our publication works and my grand dad helped me select some good books on various subjects in Tamil .

so i was all set for a holiday with lots of good stuff to read.

i was over whelmed by the new things i learnt through those wonderful books,

i comprehended  with out chemistry we couldn’t use tooth paste, medicines… and physics helps you understand nature better,

maths helped you manage money, and to calculate stuffs that would make life easier

while language was a door to literature and art , that were nothing but life

though literature was my favorite subject, with out even knowing i was involved with history, Darwin’s theory on evolution, ice age, Indus valley civilization ,  Aryan -Dravidian issues, human communication, empires of India, foreign invasions, freedom movement,revolutions, world history…mesmerized me.

i understood the splendor of our past that i failed to grasp before, and then it dawned on me that all the subjects were interlinked and it was essential to understand these subjects

history was no more boring, it turned out to be rather an interesting subject, that was like time travelling backwards

at times some heroes of the past were more inspiring than a famous

fictional super hero – i  realized that emperors did more than planting trees and digging well,

while some battles of the history, were more interesting than an action movie.

so after all history isn’t so boring 🙂

why we need to agree to Anna’s 3 conditions to quit fast

Anna puts 3 conditions to quit his fast,the 3 conditions are the same 3 sticky points that were not approved by the goverment  in the meet with anna team
condition 1– citizen’s charter, why can’t this be done? isn’t this the main essence of bill? Anna is demanding a very genuine issue,
 A Citizens’ Charter represents the commitment of the Organisation towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redress mechanism, transparency and accountability.
Thus this condition is essential for transparency & to improve quality of public services
Condition 2Introduce Lokayukta in each state, giving them full power, dissemination of power is very essential in removal of corruption.

Condition 3 – want lower bureacracy to be included– the power of lok pal to dismiss a gov employee of his job on the basis  of corruption charges- gov say its against article 311 – job security of corrupt gov employee is more important than fight against corruption? is the gov ever bothered about job security of aam admi?

thus Annaji’s 3 conditions are the basics of Jan lok pal , and his conditions are genuine and crucial issues in removing corruption in our society.

Jan Lokpal Bill

Salient features of Jan Lokpal Bill

  • An institution called LOKPAL at the center and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up
  • Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.
  • Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.
  • The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.
  • How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.
  • So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.
  • But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.
  • What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.
  • What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
  • It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for raising their voice against corruption.

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Critique of Government’s Lokpal Bill 2010

(Proposed to be passed as an ordinance by the Central government)

UPA government has been under constant attack due to exposure of one scam after the other on the issue of corruption. In order to salvage its image, the government proposes to set up an institution of Lokpal to check corruption at high places. However the remedy seems to be worse than the disease. Rather than strengthening anti corruption systems, this bill if passed, will end up weakening whatever exists in the name of anti corruption today.

The principal objections to government’s proposal are as follows:

  • Lokpal will not have any power to either initiate action suo motu in any case or even receive complaints of corruption from general public. The general public will make complaints to the speaker of Lok Sabha or chairperson of Rajya Sabha. Only those complaints forwarded by Speaker of Lok Sabha/ Chairperson of Rajya Sabha to Lokpal would be investigated by Lokpal. This not only severely restricts the functioning of Lokpal, it also provides a tool in the hands of the ruling party to have only those cases referred to Lokpal which pertain to political opponents (since speaker is always from the ruling party). It will also provide a tool in the hands of the ruling party to protect its own politicians.
  • Lokpal has been proposed to be an advisory body. Lokpal, after enquiry in any case, will forward its report to the competent authority. The competent authority will have final powers to decide whether to take action on Lokpal’s report or not. In the case of cabinet ministers, the competent authority is Prime Minister. In the case of PM and MPs the competent authority is Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, as the case may be. In the coalition era when the government of the day depends upon the support of its political partners, it will be impossible for the PM to act against any of his cabinet ministers on the basis of Lokpal’s report. For instance, if there were such a Lokpal today and if Lokpal made a recommendation to the PM to prosecute A. Raja, obviously the PM will not have the political courage to initiate prosecution against A. Raja. Likewise, if Lokpal made a report against the PM or any MP of the ruling party, will the house ever pass a resolution to prosecute the PM or the ruling party MP? Obviously, they will never do that.
  • The bill is legally unsound. Lokpal has not been given police powers. Therefore Lokpal cannot register an FIR. Therefore all the enquiries conducted by Lokpal will tantamount to “preliminary enquiries”. Even if the report of Lokpal is accepted, who will file the chargesheet in the court? Who will initiate prosecution? Who will appoint the prosecution lawyer? The entire bill is silent on that.
  • The bill does not say what will be the role of CBI after this bill. Can CBI and Lokpal investigate the same case or CBI will lose its powers to investigate politicians? If the latter is true, then this bill is meant to completely insulate politicians from any investigations whatsoever which are possible today through CBI.
  • There is a strong punishment for “frivolous” complaints. If any complaint is found to be false and frivolous, Lokpal will have the power to send the complainant to jail through summary trial but if the complaint were found to be true, the Lokpal will not have the power to send the corrupt politicians to jail! So the bill appears to be meant to browbeat, threaten and discourage those fighting against corruption.
  • Lokpal will have jurisdiction only on MPs, ministers and PM. It will not have jurisdiction over officers. The officers and politicians do not indulge in corruption separately. In any case of corruption, there is always an involvement of both of them. So according to government’s proposal, every case would need to be investigated by both CVC and Lokpal. So now, in each case, CVC will look into the role of bureaucrats while Lokpal will look into the role of politicians. Obviously the case records will be with one agency and the way government functions it will not share its records with the other agency. It is also possible that in the same case the two agencies arrive at completely opposite conclusions. Therefore it appears to be a sure way of killing any case.
  • Lokpal will consist of three members, all of them being retired judges. There is no reason why the choice should be restricted to judiciary. By creating so many post retirement posts for judges, the government will make the retiring judges vulnerable to government influences just before retirement as is already happening in the case of retiring bureaucrats. The retiring judges, in the hope of getting post retirement employment would do the bidding of the government in their last few years.
  • The selection committee consists of Vice President, PM, Leaders of both houses, Leaders of opposition in both houses, Law Minister and Home minister. Barring Vice President, all of them are politicians whose corruption Lokpal is supposed to investigate. So there is a direct conflict of interest. Also selection committee is heavily loaded in favor of the ruling party. Effectively ruling party will make the final selections. And obviously ruling party will never appoint strong and effective Lokpal.
  • Lokpal will not have powers to investigate any case against PM, which deals with foreign affairs, security and defence. This means that corruption in defence deals will be out of any scrutiny whatsoever. It will become impossible to investigate into any Bofors in future.

Therefore, the draft Lokpal ordinance is eyewash, a sham. It is sad that despite so much of embarrassment caused to UPA due to so many scams, UPA is still making a fool of the people in the form of this draft ordinance.

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Deficiencies in the present anti-corruption systems Central Government level:

At central Government level, there is Central Vigilance Commission, Departmental vigilance and CBI. CVC and Departmental vigilance deal with vigilance (disciplinary proceedings) aspect of a corruption case and CBI deals with criminal aspect of that case.

Central Vigilance Commission: CVC is the apex body for all vigilance cases in Government of India.

  • However, it does not have adequate resources commensurate with the large number of complaints that it receives. CVC is a very small set up with a staff strength less than 200. It is supposed to check corruption in more than 1500 central government departments and ministries, some of them being as big as Central Excise, Railways, Income Tax etc. Therefore, it has to depend on the vigilance wings of respective departments and forwards most of the complaints for inquiry and report to them. While it monitors the progress of these complaints, there is delay and the complainants are often disturbed by this. It directly enquires into a few complaints on its own, especially when it suspects motivated delays or where senior officials could be implicated. But given the constraints of manpower, such number is really small.
  • CVC is merely an advisory body. Central Government Departments seek CVC’s advice on various corruption cases. However, they are free to accept or reject CVC’s advice. Even in those cases, which are directly enquired into by the CVC, it can only advise government. CVC mentions these cases of non-acceptance in its monthly reports and the Annual Report to Parliament. But these are not much in focus in Parliamentary debates or by the media.
  • Experience shows that CVC’s advice to initiate prosecution is rarely accepted and whenever CVC advised major penalty, it was reduced to minor penalty. Therefore, CVC can hardly be treated as an effective deterrent against corruption.
  • CVC cannot direct CBI to initiate enquiries against any officer of the level of Joint Secretary and above on its own. The CBI has to seek the permission of that department, which obviously would not be granted if the senior officers of that department are involved and they could delay the case or see to it that permission would not be granted.
  • CVC does not have powers to register criminal case. It deals only with vigilance or disciplinary matters.
  • It does not have powers over politicians. If there is an involvement of a politician in any case, CVC could at best bring it to the notice of the Government. There are several cases of serious corruption in which officials and political executive are involved together.
  • It does not have any direct powers over departmental vigilance wings. Often it is seen that CVC forwards a complaint to a department and then keeps sending reminders to them to enquire and send report. Many a times, the departments just do not comply. CVC does not have any really effective powers over them to seek compliance of its orders.
  • CVC does not have administrative control over officials in vigilance wings of various central government departments to which it forwards corruption complaints. Though the government does consult CVC before appointing the Chief Vigilance Officers of various departments, however, the final decision lies with the government. Also, the officials below CVO are appointed/transferred by that department only. Only in exceptional cases, if the CVO chooses to bring it to the notice of CVC, CVC could bring pressure on the Department to revoke orders but again such recommendations are not binding.
  • Appointments to CVC are directly under the control of ruling political party, though the leader of the Opposition is a member of the Committee to select CVC and VCs. But the Committee only considers names put up before it and that is decided by the Government. The appointments are opaque.
  • CVC Act gives supervisory powers to CVC over CBI. However, these supervisory powers have remained ineffective. CVC does not have the power to call for any file from CBI or to direct them to do any case in a particular manner. Besides, CBI is under administrative control of DOPT rather than CVC.
  • Therefore, though CVC is relatively independent in its functioning, it neither has resources nor powers to enquire and take action on complaints of corruption in a manner that meets the expectations of people or act as an effective deterrence against corruption.

Departmental Vigilance Wings: Each Department has a vigilance wing, which is manned by officials from the same department (barring a few which have an outsider as Chief Vigilance Officer. However, all the officers under him belong to the same department).

  • Since the officers in the vigilance wing of a department are from the same department and they can be posted to any position in that department anytime, it is practically impossible for them to be independent and objective while inquiring into complaints against their colleagues and seniors. If a complaint is received against a senior officer, it is impossible to enquire into that complaint because an officer who is in vigilance today might get posted under that senior officer some time in future.
  • In some departments, especially in the Ministries , some officials double up as vigilance officials. It means that an existing official is given additional duty of vigilance also. So, if some citizen complaints against that officer, the complaint is expected to be enquired into by the same officer. Even if someone complaints against that officer to the CVC or to the Head of that Department or to any other authority, the complaint is forwarded by all these agencies and it finally lands up in his own lap to enquire against himself. Even if he recuses himself from such inquiries , still they have to be handled by those who otherwise report to him. There are indeed examples of such absurdity.
  • There have been instances of the officials posted in vigilance wing by that department having had a very corrupt past. While in vigilance, they try to scuttle all cases against themselves. They also turn vigilance wing into a hub of corruption, where cases are closed for consideration.
  • Departmental vigilance does not investigate into criminal aspect of any case. It does not have the powers to register an FIR.
  • They also do not have any powers against politicians.
  • Since the vigilance wing is directly under the control of the Head of that Department, it is practically impossible for them to enquire against senior officials of that department.
  • Therefore, , the vigilance wing of any department is seen to softpedal on genuine complaints or used to enquire against ” inconvenient” officers.

CBI: CBI has powers of a police station to investigate and register FIR. It can investigate any case related to a Central Government department on its own or any case referred to it by any state government or any court.

  • CBI is overburdened and does not accept cases even where amount of defalcation is alleged to be around Rs 1 crore.
  • CBI is directly under the administrative control of Central Government.
  • So, if a complaint pertains to any minister or politician who is part of a ruling coalition or a bureaucrat who is close to them, CBI’s credibility has suffered and there is increasing public perception that it cannot do a fair investigation and that it is influenced to to scuttle these cases.
  • Again, because CBI is directly under the control of Central Government, CBI is perceived to have been often used to settle scores against inconvenient politicians.

Therefore, if a citizen wants to make a complaint about corruption by a politician or an official in the Central Government, there isn’t a single anti-corruption agency which is effective and independent of the government, whose wrongdoings are sought to be investigated. CBI has powers but it is not independent. CVC is independent but it does not have sufficient powers or resources.

India against corruption team

http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org