Dubious Swaraj, Destructive JanLokpal and Uninformed AAP Activists

The only reason most of AAP activists are AAP Activists is - Hope. Very few have read JanLokpal Bill, even fewer have thought about PRACTICAL ways to implement Swaraj - flawlessly. Most of - The AAPians - as they call themselves - have decided to do what BJPians did decades ago i.e. Follow the leaders blindly and - HOPE - that all goes well. It's important to note that there's no doubt about AAP Activists' positive spirit - the problem is with their 1) naive attitude 2) innocent faith in " the people" and 3) complete ignorance towards fixing the SYSTEM. 

It's the need of the hour to explain the risks involved in Swaraj and JanLokpal and to work together to mitigate those risks - And so this blog post - to SUGGEST something to all AAP patriots - On Swaraj and JanLokpal. Not to oppose / ridicule. But to CONTRIBUTE.

Let me make a few things very clear here -
1) I am ON for the 'idea' of Swaraj - but AAP / AK are offering a dubious idea which will prove to be highly dangerous if implemented the way it is being proposed.
2) I am ON for JanLokpal - but AAP / AK are offering 'an uncontrolled Lokpal' which is extremely worrisome. (Yeah - they say "Supreme Court Judges" will control Lokpals. If you need me to tell why this is a wrong idea - you really are uninformed)
3) I don't believe that AK or Annaji is Congress Agent or something. That's bullshit. They are obviously good men - but - AK is unwilling to bring true democracy, while posing to be a pro-democratic. That's my (and of many senior activists I admire) problem. Whatever he is promoting in the name of "De-centralization of Central Government" is actually "Division of Indian Nation in different fragments".

Without wasting fellow readers time, I will come straight to the point.

1) Swaraj - 

a) The Problem :
WHAT IS SWARAJ ? Where is it's Procedure, Law, Draft? Where is pin-pointed directives to Gov officials to follow? Just a rosy concept Which is DELIBERATELY KEPT A DRAFTLESS IDEA to misguide people and innocent activists.

For example, AK says - gram sabhas and mohalla sabhas will take decisions.
What if gundaas influence there? What if people are not prepared for the topics of discussion? What if people are paid/bullied to support a decision in a particular way? What if MAJORITY OF PEOPLE want to CHANGE their decision afterwards?

And MOST IMPORTANTLY - what about complaints?
Ex : A decision is taken by people that X contractor should build the road. But after he starts working, people want to remove him as he ain't working properly and want to give the contract to Y. AND - X goes to Court.

Now WHO has the decision making power here? PEOPLE ? NO. C O U R T.
Then what the hell is Swaraj about?
In short - Swaraj gives almost all dispute solving power to Courts - none to People.
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b) The Solution :
i) Implement Transparent Opinion Gathering (TOG)
ii) Implement Jury Trials for all the conflicts and judicial cases that are under the purview of Swaraj system.

Let me give the simple draft of TOG :
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Transparent Opinion Gathering / Transparent Complaint Procedure / Transparent Suggestion Procedure :

(A proposed Gazette Notification)
If any citizen voter wants, then by visiting Collector’s office, he/she can put his Complaint/Suggestion/Demand etc on PM’s website/CM’s website/any other official portal for Rs 20 fee after verifying his/her identity. Collector will give the receipt about the same to the voter.

If any citizen voter supports a particular Complaint/Suggestion/Demand etc, then by visiting Talati’s (Lekhpal, Patwari etc) office, he can register his support (YES) over the Complaint/Suggestion/Demand etc on PM’s website/CM’s website/any other portal for Rs 3/- fee after verifying the identity. Collector will give the receipt about the same to the voter.

Any citizen voter can change his YES/NO any day by visiting Talati's office and paying Rs 3 for the same.

The YES/NO count is not a binding on PM, CM etc.
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So in a way, this is a standard referendum procedure except for an important difference that - This is NOT binding on Gov. This is JUST AN OPINION GATHERING. This is a safest way to have healthy and positive communication with Government. Please Click here to know more about this proposal.
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2) JanLokpal Bill - 

a) The Problem :
What is JanLokpal ? A system which is supposed to curb corruption by investigating gov officials and making sure that they are punished (in case of corruption).
The question is - Who checks the Lokpals ?
Here, something very disturbing is happening. Many AAP / IAC activists believe that there is Right To Recall over Lokpal in JanLokpal Draft ! They have been told so by their seniors ! Whereas The People of this country have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL over Lokpals. Yes, Supreme Court Judges have. But then, is that called Right To Recall ? Nobody today has to tell how this 'Controlled by SC Judges' idea is flawed.
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b) The Solution :
Just make Lokpals accountable to The People. Yes - the word is - Right To Recall over Lokpals. Before you jump and shout "Lokpal ain't an elected body, so people can't remove them" - I would request you to have some patience and first read the suggestion - the concept of Recall & Replace that I am talking about.

The Recall (or, Replace - would be the proper word) proposal is as follows :
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Clause 1 – Any Citizen Voter who wishes to be XYZ can visit collector’s office, prove his eligibility for the XYZ post by providing necessary documents and submitting fees/deposit required to apply for the post, if any. The Collector (or any clerk appointed by the Collector), after scrutinizing authenticity of the Citizen Voter and that of the documents, will scan the application and publish it on PM’s/CM's website or any particular website. The collector will give a printed receipt to the Citizen Voter which will have details of the request put up on the website and – a serial number as an id of that request.

Clause 2 – Any Citizen Voter can support/oppose the applications mentioned in Clause 1 by :

1) Visiting Collector’s/Talati’s office, proving authenticity though voter id etc and mentioning Yes/No for those applications for Rs 3/- (Re 1/- for BPL people)

2) Using mobile phone sms (one number registered per voter id), ATMs etc.

This support/oppose (i.e. Yes/No) can be changed whenever voter wants. Latest entry from that person/mobile number etc will be considered, previous ones will be cancelled. All these Yes/No will be displayed on the website. The Collector will declare total number of Yes/No for all such applications per month.

Clause 3 – This is NOT a REFERENDUM – i.e. - If 51% or more of total voters support a person (i.e. submit ‘Yes’ for that person’s request) for the post of XYZ – existing person occupying the post of XYZ MAY or MAY NOT resign. The PM / CM etc MAY or MAY NOT fire the existing person and MAY or MAY NOT appoint the person who has fetched 51% or more support.

For District level posts, voters considered will be of that particular district. Similarly for States.

XYZ means – All Gov Posts viz - PM, CM, MPs, MLAs, Ministers etc. And -
Not just elected representatives – I support same procedure for Lokpal, Lokayukt, Supreme Court Judge, High Court Judge, Police Commissioners, IAS / IPS chief officials, Collectors etc.
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Now please ask yourself - if above proposal WRONG ? BAD ?
If you still have worries kindly Click here to read a detailed explanation.

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I (and one of the groups of activists I am a part of) have submitted these proposals to many many AAP / IAC folks. Have never received a proper response. We all must discuss all the flaws in Swaraj and JanLokpal and make them flawless to the best of our knowledge. Unfortunately, it appears that AAP / IAC Apex has determined to bring (or just promote) Dubious Swaraj and Destructive JanLokpal Bill and AAP / IAC Activists have determined to have blind faith and naive hope.

Those of us who support Participatory Democracy and all pro-common democratic proposals like the above mentioned, of course, are open to discussions and offering a helping hand.
The question is - Is AAP Apex - and more importantly - Is AAP Activist group ready to discuss, debate and accept suggestions ?

3 comments:

  1. Dear Omkar, u might remember your FB critic Rakesh Sehgal on some of the recent posts. Actually someone else was using my Phone and hence wrote anti comments to your suggestions.

    Now that I have read your blog and definitely appreciate your concerns, but dnt you think that dispute resolution should lie with the courts only since it needs not just a plain look at the facts but a deeper understanding and experience and unbiased decision making ability. If we give the same to the sabha then they would again become the wholesole authorities capable of decisions which not necessarily be rational. Also it also answers the query as raised by you related to influence of people, don't you think in your proposed scheme of things the influences would have a larger say since now they just need to show their muscle power to the dispute resolution authority which is the same sabha. On the contrary, in a court practically speaking the influence us reduced to a large extent. Definitely in one go and overnight the systems and behaviours aren't going to change but with the strengthening of judiciary through fast track court, resolution centers, distributed specific courts etc and more no. of lawyers the sped of justice and filth in the system would reduce gradually.

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    1. Dear Rocky, thanks for comment.

      It's surprising that YOU - being AAP supporter - being a supporter of a party which boasts of "decentralization of power" and "empowering aam aadmi" are opposing the ideas of giving power to Citizens.

      Kindly note that India had Jury System before Nehruji ended it. US and many European countries have Jury Systems TODAY as well - and existence of Jury System is one of the reasons of prosperity of those democracies.

      Who will have more unbiased decisions - a group of 5 or 25 to 50 (or even more!) RANDOMLY SELECTED ADULT COMMON VOTERS or fixed, prone to corruption and nepotism judges ?

      If expertise of Laws is needed - Juries will seek counsel of experts. Big deal ? The basic sense "Right and Wrong" is common to all. Only technicalities of how much punishment etc need knowledge of Laws...which can easily be provided through help on case to case basis.

      Finally - a fixed bunch of 5-10 people having power (Sabhaas n Panchayat) is much much worse than having a say of ALL thousands of Citizens.
      Can you give ONE EXAMPLE where a Panchayat will take a better decision than ALL / MAJORITY of the citizens of village ?
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      Waiting for reply.
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      VandeMataram !

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  2. well said my friend. Happy that you fall in the category of youth you blindly does not go gaga over a new politicians unless he has proved himself. Nice article buddy. I am with you on this. And AAM supporters have made a mind set already that kejriwal is the best, its just like a man in a well who cant face the bitter reality of AAP. My candid opinion is that if AAP contests for loksabaha they will end up dividing the votes and stop Modi from coming into power, and i believe this is what the UPA want to watch happen in reality :-) My sincere advice to every youth is to please consider Indian development when you vote. After all we all want a better India. jai hind

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