By Anang Pal Malik
I doubt even the saga of fraudpants Tomar would convince the True Believers that they have been had on the most basic premise of Janlokpal.
From day one I (and in fact most of those who were opposing it) have opposed the very concept of Janlokpal on its most basic premises:
1. That there are individuals of impeccable integrity, who are incorruptible. This of course is true.
2. That it is possible to identify and locate such individuals. This is most patently false. Tomar’s case is too obvious, but n number of cases can be cited to prove that it is scarcely possible to identify and locate such individuals. As we the government types know, honest are those who have had no vigilance complains against them, so far. And this is no criterion. After all for everybody who are having vigilance cases against them, there was a time when they also never had any complains against them.
3. That such individuals as located in step two above, should be given draconian powers even over the elected government. The most evil thought. Even if step two were true, nobody can predict the future behaviour of a human being. Power changes man in totally unforeseen ways. Daily we see people who get promoted to the posts with power suddenly transforming into a totally different person. T N Seshan of course is the most known example. One of the most timid bureaucrats, he suddenly regrew the spine when he became unassailable. He turned out to be a boon. He could easily have turned out to be a curse also. No individual or a body of individuals can have peremptory powers over an elected government. Advisory missives-yes. Binding orders-no. Otherwise it is no longer a democracy, it is a tyranny of worst kind.
4. That such individuals, as in step three and given draconian powers, can locate corruption and catch the corrupt. This is totally false. Most corruption is such that both the giver and taker of bribe benefit- monetarily in most cases, otherwise in kind or in convenience. Even if some “activist” type decide to give bribes for the sake of recording the act, or for complaining; few such acts would alert everybody, and result would be that they would place one or more layers of middlemen between them and the bribe giver. Result would be that bribe amount would need to be increased, as the middlemen would demand their share also. And with such safe layers in between, corruption that would show a dip initially, would come back with a vengeance.
Just to conclude, Arvind Kejriwal had claimed that Magsaysay awardees possess the omniscience to identify and locate the incorruptibles who would man his Janlokpal. If the country had given in to his Anna-backed blackmail, both Tomar and Somnath Bharti could very well have been Janlokpals today, with powers to order the arrest of the Prime Minister. He vetted them, and had found them honest and men of integrity.
Actually the whole cabal, including Kejriwal, that was pushing the joke called Janlokpal was a bunch of Leftists. The whole world view of the Leftists revolves around the concept that men of higher intellect, men with compassion, men with feelings, men of greater knowledge, the credentialeds and peer-reviewed, the men of more refined interests than merely earning money; must run the society in a planned and directed way. And The Party can find such men, and place them in a Polit Bureau. I am sure the 120 million who have been murdered so far by the men of Polit Bureau won’t agree at all. Nor the countries which have been thoroughly ravaged by these men,
Fiasco of Tomar should be sufficient to convince us that it is not possible normally to know even the past record of a person, what to say of his future behaviour. There is no way to find persons who would all be honest always. They exist, but man does not have the capabilities to find them.
But at the same time, it is fully possible to design systems such that people have fewer and fewer opportunities to be corrupt. Separation of economy and State, that is a Free Market economy is such system. The less the State has powers to change the economic outcomes for individuals and businesses, more honest the society will become. And reverse is also true, for all societies, including those of Scandinavia.