Lokpal Bill not a panacea for corruption: Expert

Dec 10, 2012 DH News Service

 The Lokpal Bill, which the civil society has been vehemently fighting for, is not the solution to end corruption, Samuel Paul, founder-director, Public Affairs Committee, said here on Sunday.

Delivering a lecture on the occasion of International Anti-corruption Day, Samuel said: “The Lokpal Bill tackles just one of the aspects of corruption and it is by no means a solution to the problem itself.”

The civil society must accept the Bill being proposed by the government, he told former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde, who was present on the occasion.

“I think the changes brought in by the government-nominated committee lends more balance to the Bill. Also, one should not want and wait for a perfect Bill and delay its implementation further. We should first accept the Bill and allow its implementation,” he noted. Broadly, there are four barriers in fighting corruption: the flawed system of funding political parties; falling standards of public life; inability to enforce even the existing laws and ignorant citizens,” he said.

Implying that aimless criticism of the government and protesting everything it attempts to do is not the way to fight corruption, he said: “We must understand that it is only through the government that we can bring about a change. It is good that we are unearthing scams and protesting but that is not the end. We must also help the government.”

Paul said that the citizens, having once educated themselves, should identify policies and programmes of the government that are good and progressive and help implement them by demanding good governance.

“Good governance is our right. But, it is important to understand that governments are also trying to bring about changes. For example, the Sakaal scheme of the state government is a wonderful one,” he said.

In his address, Hegde said he is pessimistic when people talk about eradicating corruption.

“But, I hope I am wrong,” he remarked. The former Lokayukta said corruption did not hurt the country but, the extent to which it has grown is what is hurting the nation.
A gradual change, envisaged and implemented by the youth, to solve the problem of corruption was necessary.

“There could be a sudden change, but that is what I am scared of. I am not ready for a revolution. For, a revolution in the present context will not help punish the guilty. We need a gradual change,” he
observed.

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