Monday, October 10, 2011

Anti-Corruption

A standard ethical axiom that is expected from every human being is that - personal bias is secondary when it comes to the 'correctness' of an issue. Meaning - you may disagree with a person on several issues (lets call it issue-A, issue-B, issue-c); however, if you believe he is stating something correct on a whole new issue (call it issue-E) you should be inclined to support his cause. The reason to expect such a behavior is because of an assumption that logical human beings agree and disagree based on the merits of the issue and not based on who is supporting the issue.

Subramaniam Swamy has probably done more towards anti-corruption and has brought more corrupt politicians behind bars in comparison to Anna Hazare. He has done all this by working within the limits of the legal system. If you compare the relative public support of Anna Hazare to that of Swamy - it is safe to say that there is negligible public support for Swamy and overwhelming support for Anna Hazare. However, if you see their respective balance sheets - Swamy has accomplished what no other Indian has accomplished before. He uncovered the biggest scam in the history of the country, put 2 MPs behind bars, preempted someone from becoming PM on legal grounds, and possibly on his way to put 3 more MPs in jail. Anna Hazare is simply not even in the same planet. All Anna has is an idea of a process to get rid of corruption that may or may not work.

Strangely, there is a wall street like behavior in the Indian mind-set where some organizations are rewarded on potential future accomplishments inspite of having average balance sheets and other organizations are penalized based on negative perceptions of their future sustainability even though they have significant accomplishments till date.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another wall street analogy here would be that if people were rational, there would be no such thing as a trader! Same with demagogues - they exist purely because people are (mostly) predictably irrational.
I think that republican democracy has outlived its use, especially outside of Northern Europe. Perhaps, the Chinese/ Singaporean way of doing things will prove to be more sustainable.

Sachita said...

I almost agree with you, because even though the momentum built by Anna Hazare is used towards a law to enable more Subramanian swamy, people who support him arent doing so because of that.

Meanwhile, Subramanian Swamy was aided by heavily by RTI - so people who pushed RTI should get the credit! :)

sreekrishnan said...

I've been saying the same for months now since that Anna Hazare hype broke out. the fact that Su. Swamy can get corrupted politicians behind bars without a new law actually disproves the need for a LokPal and such. Esp. with that Kerjiwal or whatever name that is - guy says Anna is above parliament. Otha Dei only for him !

The Media is afraid to throw its weight behind Su.Swamy because he cuts the crap most of the times and removes the drama, is blunt as hell. Anna and his team adds more drama which our News channel need.

Su Swamy must be the best person to judge the need of this Jan Lokpal and whatever that is. I wonder what his opinion is on this issue. ...

Ganesh said...

i think this post can be termed as a 'HawkEye Classic'. If one were to single out certain posts that best represent HawkEye, this would surely be one amongst them.

Anonymous said...

Bharath, when you have some time read the following, if you have not done so already:

http://janamejayan.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/parmacharya-sri-chandrashekhara-saraswathi-god-in-human-form/

Ramesh

SathyaRam said...

Agree. This is the best post of yours in recent times

Murali said...

Brilliant post, except for one minor flaw.

If the system works decently well for all, we don't need the likes of Anna. Subramanyam Swamy-s would have done the job of keeping things in check.

The likes of Anna are required when the system needs overhauling.

Not that what Anna's proposing is perfect, atleast it got many thinking that we can do something about it.

Anonymous said...

You are disagreeing with yourself by comparing it to wall street. I am a huge fan of swamy, and Yes Swamy has done many many times more than what anna has done to corruption, But their valuations should depend what people perceive to be future achievements from them.

The Raj said...

Subramaniam swamy just blows a lot of gas. Thats about it. His friends change drastically depending on who or what he is pursuing at the moment.One time it ill be Sonia, the next month or year it will be RSS and so on. No wonder he is'nt popular. People perceive him to be flaky. 2G scam was actually unearthed by some journalist(Gopalakrishnan, if I remember right)who did all the hard work and then popularized by the media.

Subramaniam Swamy can't arrest his own dirrhoea leave alone arrresting politicans.People support Hazare not just because of who he is or the method he adopts, but because they see merit in the issue he supports as well. They perceive it to be a long term solution and a deterrent to corruption rather than trying to arrest politicans after the scam has been comitted. (Whether that perception is right or wrong is a different issue altogether) Hazare inspired a mini-movement after all by going on a fast. Whereas they perceive Subramaniam Swamy to be just a freelance trouble(and attention)-monger.

tifosikrishna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tifosikrishna said...

"The reason to expect such a behavior is because of an assumption that logical human beings agree and disagree based on the merits of the issue and not based on who is supporting the issue."

Everything else in your post makes sense but for the aforementioned basic premise of your post.

Human beings including you & I are highly irrational and emotional that what we think we are...

Request you to read the book 'Fooled by randomness', we will realize how irrational we are..

Alan Smithee said...

Zune plays music too...

Sridhar said...

The Raj,

would you agree with a person who closely followed the ethical code outlined in para 1 of this blog?

The Raj said...

Sridhar, para 1 is irrelevant here. If both Anna and Subramaniam were fighting for the same cause(Lokpal bill or something else) at the same time and if both of them sought public support and only one of them got the support and the other did'nt, then we can begin to have a discussion. Baba Ramdev vs Hazare might not be such a bad comparison to make. Whereas these two are like chalk and cheese in their prior accomplishments, approaches and agendas. Makes no sense to compare them in the first place.

Sridhar said...

The Raj,

I give up. sigh! the first para was in simple english, my question was also very simple. adhukooda eppadi....

Random said...

any reason why a gzillion people have liked this post in google reader and google+. its a good post but thought so many likes was out of the ordinary.

The Raj said...

Sridhar, why do you care about what I think of para 1? Are you bored?

Sridhar said...

the raj,

answering a question has never been your strength, is it?

Veteran said...

It is amusing to read the paeans sung for Subbu Swamy. His political career started around 1976 but for 30 years it was utter shite. He was the lapdog of the Gandhi family until the last 5 years. Check what he wrote in 1999(http://www.flonnet.com/fl1614/16141240.htm):
"In the case of Nehru, Shastri and Indira Gandhi, we can accuse them of hankering for peace, but they were patriots and had sacrifices in the struggle for national independence behind them. The present Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition consists of parties which are anything but patriotic. The strings of this government in crucial ministerial portfolios are pulled by two sinister organisations, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)."

And this is his scathing attack on the RSS in 2000(http://www.flonnet.com/fl1702/17020950.htm).

Anyone who followed his career would tell he sucked up bigtime to the Cong in the hopes of gettign his share of the political pie. When the likes of JJ could cash in on the Rajiv assassination to cement a political career, it was too much for our man. Therefore, he turned into an attention craver.

One wonders why he was sucking up to Cong during the Bofors days and chose to come out a couple of decades later.

So why is SS not taken seriously by anyone? Because he was a joker for way too long and this turnaround is his last shot in grabbing some political dole. Had he been given a berth in 1991, you would be seeing him beside Rahul today.

The Raj said...

Sridhar, I have already answered your question. A little slow in the head, are we?

Snehal said...

What Su. Swamy is doing is way beyond the imagination. But one has to understand, he is doing the same on personal capacity. Su. Swamy is not going to live forever. He takes the single cases. Where as what Anna is doing is to improve the system itself. What Su. Swamy is doing can not be done by you and me. But with strong Jan Lokpal bill, it will be a process to avoid such scams. Su. Swamy may be able to send A Raja behind bars, but what has been lost is lost. Where as with JanLokpal, this can be avoided or recovered. Su. Swamy is targeting and working on individuals or individual cases. Where as JanLokpal is targeted to improve the system and process. I am with both. And supporting both of them.