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Mera Neta Chor Hai

Those of you who read my views regularly will know my stance against corruption. There is absolutely no need to emphasize on the fact that our governments (state and national) are among the most corrupt in the world. Volumes can be and have been written about the state of corruptness of the governments. That will only do so much good. It was upto us to take the initiative and stand up for ourselves against the menace of corruption and Anna Hazare did exactly that two days ago. He started a fast unto death at the Jantar Mantar urging the government to include eminent citizens, apart from the politicians (it makes me sad to add this as most of you still consider politicians to be eminent citizens), for the discussion of the Lokpal Bill that has been drafted by the government.

Many of you don't know what the Lokpal Bill is. To give you a brief idea as to how the Jan Lokpal (the one that Anna Hazare and the rest of us who care about our country want implemented) is different from the Lokpal Bill drafted by the government, take a look at this piece from

Draft Lokpal Bill 2010

  1. Lokpal will have no power to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. It can only probe complaints forwarded by LS Speaker or RS Chairman.
  2. Lokpal will only be an Advisory Body. Its part is only limited to forwarding its report to the "Competent Authority"
  3. Lokpal will not have any police powers. It can not register FIRs or proceed with criminal investigations.
  4. CBI and Lokpal will have no connection with each other.
  5. Punishment for corruption will be minimum 6 months and maximum up-to 7 years.

Jan Lokpal Bill

  1. Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public.
  2. Lokpal will be much more than an Advisory Body. It should be granted powers to initiate Prosecution against anyone found guilty.
  3. Lokpal will have police powers. To say that it will be able to register FIRs.
  4. Lokpal and anti corruption wing of CBI will be one Independent body.
  5. The punishment should be minimum 5 years and maximum up-to life imprisonment.
  6. Lokpal will not be a monopoly for particular area.

As you can see, the Jan Lokpal Bill has lot more teeth.
I also read on Chetan Bhagat's blog about the 'Mera Neta Chor Hai' initiative. The idea is to spread the message, make our voices heard.

There are thieves amongst us. They steal our hard-earned money; they do not address our concerns even though we pay them to do precisely that; they try hard to keep us divided on the basis of caste; they defame our dignity and integrity. But there is no authority that can meaningfully prosecute these thieves for their heinous crimes. It is our right to do that. Play a part in exercising that right. Help us spread our message of anger at the system, our concern for the society, our love for the great country. Help us remove the blight in our system. Support the movement started by Anna Hazare. Tell everyone from your boss, your teacher, your friends, your parents, your maid to the beggar on the street the stupendous truth behind the phrase 'Mera Neta Chor Hai'. You can either be a part of this noble cause or live to tell your children and grandchildren about your cowardice that prevented you from standing up for what is right, standing up for your fellow countrymen, standing up up for your country, when you were presented with the opportunity.

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