Saturday, 27 August 2011

Irrationality of Anna's Camp Followers


One of the most distressing aspects of the ongoing anti-corruption movement in India is the absolute lack of skepticism among a significant section of the camp followers of Anna Hazare (and, is there any need to say,  among the followers of the contortionist Baba Ramdev). In their effort to get others in their bandwagon, some of them write nonsense email messages and others forward them without applying their mind.

These seemingly educated class of agitators who network through SMSes, emails, and online networking pages, seem to believe that with the implementation of Jan Lokpal Bill (mind you, no other version), our country will literally turn into a heaven on earth.

If you doubt my statement, read the following mail I received from a colleague on August 25, 2011. My email ID was part of a Group Mail consisting of not less than 175 members. It took me a few hours to reply to this group, by which time I am not sure how many would have forwarded this absurd mail to their contacts and the latter in turn to others. 

In 1982, In Singapore, LOKPAL BILL was implemented and 142 Corrupt Ministers & Officers were arrested in one single day.. Today Singapore has only 1% poor people & no taxes are paid by the people to the government, 92% Literacy Rate, Better Medical Facilities, Cheaper Prices, 90% Money is white & Only 1% Unemployment exists.. 

Even a few minutes of google search would have helped these people, who are online most of their working life, understand that every single statement in this mail is nothing but nonsense.

Now, look at these facts:

A Lokpal in Singapore?

Well, Wikipedia at least does not list Singapore among the countries having a Lokpal (Ombudsman). See the link:

Even if we presume that Wikipedia is wrong in not listing the country, according to the following article demanding an Ombudsman for Singapore (published Sept 23, 2008), the city-state did not have an Ombudsman at least until 2008.

Does the year 1982 come after 2008 in the calendar of Team Anna’s slogan shouters? (I am not sure whether Singapore has an ombudsman now. Can somebody enlighten me on this subject?)

No Corruption?

Have a look at this link:

No personal or corporate tax?

Rubbish! If anybody wants to have a glimpse into the personal taxation in Singapore in 2011, click the link given below (or any other numerous websites available, including that of Government of Singapore).

And, why are these guys, who employ every devious means to evade tax, so much against paying income tax?

No poverty in Singapore?

Come on, gentleman! Sure, Singapore does not have an official Poverty Line; but that does not eradicate poverty.  Had it been the case, Government of India can also do away with the Poverty Line – with or without a Lokapl! See the following link:

92% literacy because of a non existent ombudsman?

By the way, what has an ombudsman to do with literacy and medical facilities available to the people?

Kerala’s literacy rate is near 100%. The state’s Human Development indicators are comparable to that of European countries. What has it do with the existence or non existence of a Lokpal?

While Transparency International’s (TI) corruption barometer has listed Singapore among the least corrupt nations of the world (in fact, the first), in the United Nation’s Human Development Index, Singapore comes at a low 27th rank, below Italy’s (23rd rank), which, on the other hand, takes the 67th rank in TI’s corruption index.

While a Lokpal may make some positive impact on the top level corruption, it does not eradicate corruption, let alone poverty.


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