Lokphallic symbol

You may have guessed I’m not a fan of this Lokpal idiocy. The thought behind it is admirable but then idealism without factoring in practical realities won’t lead to anything useful. The very idea of an all-powerful extra-constitutional body is silly. But what’s the solution, you ask?  This post by Acorn comprehensively outlines why systemic change is going to take time, why existing institutions have to be strengthened and why the Lokpal isn’t going to help usher in change.

Change.

Knee-jerk reactions are characteristic of an empty clamor for change. The current system doesn’t work so let’s change it.  Anna Hazare’s clever media strategies have ensured the Lokpal has become a predominant symbol of people power. Junta swag.

A Lokphallic symbol, if you please.

This reminds me of the Emperor’s New Clothes. The restless, dissatisfied Emperor hankers for the best clothes. Ornate, bejeweled, dazzling garments representative of his status.  He wants change. CHANGE, CHANGE, HIS KINGDOM FOR A CHANGE. But there aren’t any. Not immediately anyway. So he’s fooled into shedding his old garb, something which may not have been the most comfortable but which kept him warm all these years. He’s fooled into believing his new clothes are befitting of his status and their magnificence will make his detractors tremble. But they see him for how he is – naked. Naked and foolish.

Change, change, our kingdom for a change. That is exactly what we’ll be giving up.

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5 responses to “Lokphallic symbol”

  1. Yasha says :

    The last time an emperor wanted change, he moved his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad and minted copper coins. The rest indeed is history!

  2. dyogesh4ush says :

    Award winners nominations was only in the first draft. That draft has been changed though many have not bothered to check it out. Now it is a committee composed of executive, legislative and judiciary. The main difference between the existing “Kingdom” and JLP’s committee is the inclusion of some CJIs and opposition members et al in the committee by JLP. Various other constitutional bodies, if i am right, are decided in this manner. So still it is not clear how JLP’s committee will be extra-constitutional in the manner other bodies aren’t ?

    My claim is that JLP and NCPRI’s drafts already have enough suggestions for strengthening of existing branches.. One needn’t go the full hog like JLP has suggested but a part of it is valid. First steps, first steps as i said have rarely the luxury of insight and oversight available to the later ones. If the supporters have been rigid so have the critics too in their opposition of nothing useful of it.

    Let us disagree on constitution in theory being on the look out for Indians. I, rather believe that we have made some superficial modifications while primarily driving out the tiger but retaining its nature.

    • daddysan says :

      Fair point about the rigidity on both sides. My opposition is to the implementation of a Lokpal, not to their suggestions for getting the constitution to work better.

  3. dyogesh4ugesh says :

    I am not sure what Kingdom do we have, that we are going to give it up.

    In the 1940s, there were many British who had a similar view about Indian independence like Acorn’s on Lokpal – India had not yet proved itself ready for Independence and needed more systemic changes. It was a flawed country plagued by many ills and still is. It started with a flawed constitution and still has a flawed one. First steps are rarely perfect. They are always flawed. But they can’t be the reason not to take a first step. The JLP draft is only a first step and hence was bound to be and is flawed.

    It looks like many do not have a problem with Govt. tabling a weak LP but incorporating some of JLP’s suggestions to better it, is an issue for many. When words of a select few corporate honchos or academicians or so-called intellectuals are listened to, it is all good but listening to somebody else isn’t advisable eh ?

    And given that the body will be chosen by the govt. and judiciary, how is it extra-constitutional ?

    Yes, JLP has its flaws major & minor but do we have any other perfect solution ? It has valid points that will help in strengthening existing institutions and good to listen to those valid points.

    • daddysan says :

      I see what you mean about systemic change but I’ll argue that the “constitution” pre-1947 was never in our favor. What followed is flawed, has challenges in the way it is implemented and has loopholes that can be used to exploit it, but there is no question that our constitution in theory looks out for Indians.

      I just can’t understand how adding another layer of people, answerable to no one and as flawed as the people they’re going to judge, improve the implementation of the constitution! (Nominating award winners is by no means a way of flawlessly ensuring their honesty and/or judgment.)

      The constitution mandates a executive, legislative and judiciary. It does not mandate whimsical installations of overseers with limitless power to reign in or supervise these three branches and so it is extra-constitutional. It’s not that the three branches don’t function. It’s the people manning those branches who cause the rot.

      The other issues you mentioned are related to implementing this flawed concept. Obviously the govt would like to ensure the Lokpal has no teeth and supporters of Lokpal would want the opposite. If supporters of the Lokpal have suggestions on how to make existing branches of the govt work better, I’m sure those suggestions will be welcome.

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