The first question is: Do corruption and bribery hurt you? If they do, do you want a solution? If your answer is yes to both, do you think such a solution lies with an independent authority? Or do you think a corrupt Government can fight corruption on its own, and within its own ranks? If your answer is no to that, then we need to create an independent institution to fight corruption. Right? Well, that’s precisely what Anna is asking for. He is asking for a Lokpal that the Government cannot influence nor manipulate. This is the first battle.
The second battle is over four things. One: Should the Prime Minister come under the purview of the Lokpal? Almost everyone I know thinks he should. A honest Prime Minister wouldn’t care. A dishonest one must be supervised. Or else, we will have cases like Bofors that will never ever be resolved.
Two: Should Members of Parliament come under the Lokpal? I have not met a single person till date who thinks that our MPs are so honest that they need not be supervised. My guess is if a referendum is ever taken, Anna will get a 100% yes to this question, given what people think of our politicians and the standards of probity in public life.
The third question is even more obvious: Do all public servants need to come under the Lokpal? My guess is India’s answer will be yes, yes, yes. Every day, in every area of our life and work, we are constantly harassed, intimidated and extorted by corrupt Government officers. The poorer you are, the worse is the torture. So yes, every public servant, every Government officer must come under the Lokpal.
Question four: Who should give permission to file an FIR against a corrupt judge? If the Lokpal can look into corruption charges against the PM, the MPs and Government servants, isn’t it only logical to expect it to do the same against judges?
Why must Anna go on a hunger strike all over again to press home the point that corruption must be fought back? I guess it’s a question of both ego and fear. No one likes to give up the power they have, and certainly not the Government. In fact, it’s always trying to interfere more and more in our lives, grab more and more authority, more and more space. And fear? Well, I guess we all know the answer to that.