Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Anna Hazare’s is a hoodwinking farce formulated to mislead the masses that want end of the corrupt regime. It is as bad as a medicine prescribed for an undiagnosed disease.
Right on private property is the basic cause of corruption. Eliminate this right, corruption shall end.
Any agitation for end of corruption without putting priority on elimination of private property is an agitation against emancipation of india from the labyrinth of economic contradiction that the Constitution, in the words of its author Dr. Ambedkar, has pushed the country into.
Dr. Ambedkar had hoped that the first parliament, formed on the constitution by representatives of the people, would take steps for removal of the contradiction, which he had pointed out as economic inequality; but it did not happen.
Dr. Ambedkar had warned in the same speech that unless the first Parliament passes laws to obliterate the contradiction by removing the right to private property that helps the rich to become richer, the Republic so laboriously created by the Constituent Assembly shall be destroyed by the victims of economic inequality.
This is bound to happen. And, this has started happening as is discernible in the very fact that even non-violent sympathizers of the victims of economic inequality are being prosecuted against for sedition.
Hazare’s conception will cause more hazards inasmuch as the so-called mechanism against corruption, if at all formed in terms of his demand, as and when formed and functions, will only multiply unending litigations that will never end corruption.
Indian constitution is so very defective that right on property will not normally end.
If right on property will not normally end, avarice will not end. Then corruption will never end.
We ought to understand that in the environment of plutocracy, when right on property is being protected and consumerism savagely encouraged, persons in positions will be anxious to accumulate as much property as possible; because that is the only way to enhance and retain their consumer ability and comfort in India.
Corruption being the only way to acquire property to match the ambitions that plutocracy has been generating, peons to the prime minister, every office-bearer of this country is bound to indulge in corruption.
So the constitution that provides for protection of right to acquire and retain private property needs be changed if India is to be free of corruption. It is not easy to change. Therefore attempts must be made to put ceiling on private property. Within the framework of the constitution, at a time, ceiling was imposed on landed property. Steps need be taken to impose ceiling on properties commutable on terms of money too, with immediate effect.
In these pages, I have written on this necessity on different contexts earlier.
If India is to be saved, ceiling on property of the rich is a must in order to curb, if not eliminate, economic inequality, which, if done, will drastically reduce corruption. Then, the country can be addressed to eliminate the root cause of corruption, private property that private ownership over means of production basically creates.
The other reason of corruption is candidate-constituency link in elections.
Political leaders resort to corruption to collect money from operators of trade and industry to keep well-fed their pet packs of vote-catchers in the constituencies they represent and use their political influence for benefit of those fund providers, even though, thereby, the nation suffers the loss.
One of India’s top revered leaders of freedom movement, Nabakrishna Chowdhury, who, when Orissa’s Chief Minister, in May 1955 had warned the nation of this syndrome in the A.I.C.C. meeting at Berhampore. But Nehru and others had preferred to ignore this warning. Later in his famous speech while inaugurating the Gandhi Tattwa Prachar Kendra at Balasore on 14 July 1963 that hit headlines all over the country and abroad, he had described how Nehru’s trusted lieutenant Rafi Ahmed Kidwai was engaged in raising such funds. He had said, “Huge amounts are raised at the time of elections from big mine-owners and rich businessmen for which no detailed accounts are kept”. On the other hand, he had exposed, “As the businessmen have to pay taxes, they do not show this amount in the actual accounts book which they have to show to the Income Tax department. They keep note of these amounts in their personal note books”. (Annexure I to the Report of Commission of Enquiry headed by Sarjoo Prasad). He had also indicated how large portion of the money so collected in the name of election fund was being grabbed by the leaders in charge of funds collection and / or the top leader of the Party. Though Chowdhury had told this of his own party, i.e. the Indian National Congress, it cannot be said for certain that there is any political party in India which can be viewed as a party free of this syndrome.
All of the political parties collect money for funding elections. Over and above the fund received from the parties, individual candidates invest money in their respective constituencies and try to convert the constituencies into personal domains as is evidenced by terms like “my constituency”. This “my constituency” concept is the main cause of politicians resorting to corruption, which as they grow in stature, grows in velocity and viciousness.
How to get rid of this syndrome is discussed here.
Anna Hazare type of agitation is far from addressing to the causes of corruption discussed. Therefore, it can be said that it is an attempt to divert attention from the necessity to wipe out corruption.
Correspondences between Hazare and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, charges of corruption against co-chair of the drafting committee of the Jan Lokpal Bill that Hazare espouses, ruling party attempt through Digvijay Singh to further embarrass the said co-chair and various other developments hitting headlines make the farce murkier and makes it clear that no combine of practitioners of corruption can bring out any method or mechanism for elimination of corruption.
Corruption is growing because the country is going on the capitalist way. Only the opposite political economy can stop corruption.