Home > Corruption, India, Indian media, Politics > Who will guard the guards?

Who will guard the guards?


India must work on more freedom, less governance model of polity – unlike Desert Bloc systems that need more laws, more powers that limit freedom.

Anna Hazare has an empty agenda. Zero ideology. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; source and courtesy - timescontent.com). Click for source image.

Anna Hazare has an empty agenda. Zero ideology. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; source and courtesy - timescontent.com). Click for source image.

Santosh Hegde ran protection money cartel as Karnataka Lokayukta, claims IPS officer

A senior police officer who was part of the Karnataka Lokayukta during Justice N. Santosh Hegde’s tenure has alleged that the watchdog was steeped in corruption.

In an interview to a Kannada daily, IPS officer Madhukar Shetty said: “The officers have formed a cartel to extract protection money from a particular department in return for a free run.” Shetty, who was the SP in the Lokayukta’s police wing during Hegde’s tenure, is now in the US on study leave for two years. (via http://indiatoday.intoday.in | Santosh Hegde ran protection money cartel as Karnataka Lokayukta, claims IPS officer).

Seduced by the glamour of 'progress', media attention, moral 'superiority', the anti-corruption crusade is an empty jihad. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; Posted On Friday, April 29, 2011; source and courtesy - mumbaimirror.com). Click for source image.

Seduced by the glamour of 'progress', media attention, moral 'superiority', the anti-corruption crusade is an empty jihad. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; Posted On Friday, April 29, 2011; source and courtesy - mumbaimirror.com). Click for source image.

Even if this is untrue

Even if these accusations are not true, this brings an important question to fore: Is more governance an answer to a corrupt system?  So you put a Lokayukta on top of all the politicians – how do you ensure that he/she is not corrupt? In fact – as the IPS officer alleges, the Lokayutka was running his own “protection money racket.”

Pay me or else I will report you!

What India needs

Both Anuraag’s model of भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra or the Indic Triad of Freedom, presented in Operation Red Lotus, view Indic polity that makes freedom not governance as the basis for a political system.  The question of who will guard the guards was answered by devolution of power, not concentration of power.

As long as India continues to embrace Desert Bloc models of top-down hierarchical systems of polity, questions such as “who will guard the guards” remain relevant.

Empty ideas

The proposed लोकपाल or a national Ombudsman will aggregate this power even further!

Will Anna Hazare look within India for answers or continue to be seduced by western models with Indian names?

Will Anna Hazare listen?


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  1. Rajiv Varma
    November 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Very prudent take on the issue of Lokpal. [ Though I would take allegations against Santosh Hegde with a pinch of salt. ]

    An all-powerful Lokpal / Lok Ayukta would be centralization of power. Therefore, it would be prudent to have the necessary checks and balances built into the system. There should be a system of impeachment of Lokpal / Lok Ayukta as is the case with Judges. The power to check and balance should flow both ways.

    There are some structural lacuna in the constitutional setup – esp. the way it is implemented. The talk of too much power centralized in Delhi is an old one. What is not mentioned that there is too much power in state capitals as well.

    The so called 3-tier Panchayati Raj system is supposed to devolve power to Mandal (Division), Janpada (District), and Prakhand (Block) levels, but the elected councillors can only legislate (pass the budget) but cannot exercise executive authority. The DM & the SP are appointed and supervised by the state governments, not the elected councillors of the Panchayats.

    Some of salient points of the constitutional/administrative reforms that are required, in my opinion, are as follows:

    – Establishment and transfer of executive authority to the lower levels of administrative units (Division, District and Block).

    – Ability to directly collect taxes and generate public revenue (bonds, fines, etc.) at the local level, along with the necessary audit mechanism – there will be an obvious issue of uneven revenue collection – but that can be addressed by development grants by higher levels of government

    – Ability of the political executive to appoint, transfer and/or sack public servants (IAS, IPS, PCS officers)

    – Streamlining the Judicial system at the local level – ability to appoint (and impeach) judges at the local level

    – Establishment of Direct Democracy at the Village / Mohalla level – meaning the Sarpanch should call out for referendum on any issue by calling everyone to the grounds of the Gram Sabha and ask them to vote.

    – Reduce the footprint of subjects at the national and state levels – currently there are three effective lists – Union, State, Concurrent ; instead the subjects/powers should be delineated right to the lowest levels of government : Union, State, Division, District, Block, Village/Mohalla ; the last one should simply read (“all other powers that are not exercised by any of the above levels of government shall be exericsed by the Villages/Mohallas”)
    Streamlining of subjects right down to the line – my favorites are Education and Health: (a) Primary education 1st-6th grades: Block, (b) Secondary education 7th-12th grades: District, (c) Vocational/Higher education: Division ; (d) Primary Healthcare – Block (primary health clinics), (e) Secondary Healthcare – District (General Hospital), (f) Tertiary/Special Healthcare – Division (Medical Center). So on and so forth.

    – An autonomous system of public ownership of health and education infrastructure – meaning the government itself should NOT own public schools, colleges, universities, health clinics and hospitals – instead the people should directly own and operate them (in the form of public trusts – where trust officers are directly elected by the locals by a vote) ; the government can just regulate and supervise – and allocate or deallocate funding based on performance criteria.

    Much can be done within the parliamentary framework, but that will require consensus between at least 2 major national parties – Congress and the BJP.

  2. Tron
    November 20, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Japan arrest of a Chinese fishing captain within the 12-nautical-mile territorial sea surrounding the Diaoyu Islands has again inflamed relations between the two great East Asian powers.

    China claim to the Diaoyu Islands is based on the “discovery” of unclaimed territory and derives from a range of Chinese governmental contacts and references going back to 1372.

    Japan claim is also based on the “discovery” of supposedly unclaimed territory, despite the fact that official Japanese documents, several of which were unearthed by Taiwan scholar Han-yi Shaw, demonstrate that the Japanese government was well aware of China historic claim when it began to take an interest in the islets in 1885.

    During the subsequent decade, contrary to the assertions now made by Japan, its officials not only failed to complete surveys of the islets necessary to confirm their alleged unclaimed status, but also recognised that the matter “would need to involve negotiations with Qing China”.

    To avoid China suspicion, Japan chose to conceal its intention to occupy the islets “until a more appropriate time”. That time came in January 1895, when Japan by then on its way to defeating China in their 1894 war, adopted a Cabinet decision that the islets were Japanese territory. Yet even that Cabinet decision was not made public until after the second world war.

    Moreover, if the US were to become an impartial mediator, it would have to note that Japan claim to sovereignty over the islets is based on a distorted version of late 19th century history that does not pass the international smell test.

    It is time for Japan to reassess its views on the international law of the sea. Those of its views that are plainly irresponsible only discredit others that deserve serious consideration.

    Perhaps most insulting to the world community is its claim that the rock called Okinotorishima that constitutes Japan southernmost “land”, a reef system with land at high tide no larger than a king-sized bed, is entitled to an EEZ and continental shelf.

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