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To:

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

“advqos@trai.gov.in”

19-April-2015

Kind Attn: Shri Rahul Khullar / Chairman

Sir

Sub: Short response of INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION to the Authority’s consultation paper no. 2/2015 Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services dated 27th March, 2015

On behalf of the India Against Corruption jan andolan “IAC”, I respond to the subject Consultation paper as follows:

At the outset, the IAC congratulates the TRAI for boldly publishing such an over the top paper which graphically illustrates the deep corruption and lack of regulatory depth prevailing in the TRAI.

The IAC congratulates the TRAI for opening debate on an issue which IAC has regularly highlighted to TRAI, ie. Preferential / discriminatory pricing schemes offered by telcos to access non-voice services.

The IAC is concerned that TRAI did not have the balls (also known as “spine”) to take up the issue of discriminatory pricing for non-voice services when the undersigned complained about Reliance Comm – aka RCOM – during “Objections to Draft TTO (59th Amendment) submitted on behalf of INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION” dated 12.Oct.2014 which is accessible at http://www.iacwiki.in/index.php?n=Main.TelecomRegulatoryAuthorityOfIndia and elsewhere, and may be deemed as an integral part and parcel of this response.

The IAC is concerned, and this is not the first time we have conveyed it to you for your own benefit, that the highest echelons of TRAI have self evidently become so weak, pliable and toothless, starting from yourself, that the TRAI is unable to discharge its primary statutory mandate of protecting the consumers.

In these circumstances, IAC strongly objects to be co-opted into this little farce persons within TRAI have devised to benefit the Telcos – and specifically to benefit 1 telco – who is actually not even a proper telco yet. I refer of course to Mr. Mukesh Ambani’s impending 4G venture which the whole of India is waiting for.

At this point, IAC would like to remind the TRAI what we conveyed in our objections to the 59th draft TTO

Our reasons for this lie in clause 7 of the TTO 1999 which is completely discriminatory for the small consumers vis-a-vis the corporate and bulk users whose negotiated tariffs are exempt from reporting. As a consequence Telcos / ISPs are selling way below cost to corporates but gouging the unorganised general consumers. Accordingly, India Against Corruption has decided to organise the general category of telecom and internet consumers to negotiate better tariffs for their communication, and oppose such discriminatory and predatory amendments which cause us to doubt the integrity of the person/s proposing it.

That IAC is unwilling to play “20 questions” with the TRAI, mainly for the reason that TRAI does not have the intellectual capacity to match ours. I need not remind the TRAI that you were unable to reply to IAC’s detailed response, objections and submissions on the Media Ownership issue. Thereby exposing that TRAI’s consultations are a hollow formality and sham.

Related download: IACs Reply to TRAI Summary of Consultation Issues Media Ownership

That the short response of IAC to the TRAI’s consultation paper no. 2/2015 is as follows:

That if TRAI cannot protect the consumers, then you can take your said document, roll it up tightly, and ram it up your bum”.

That IAC’s long response will follow after a) “anal”ysing the millions of “spam” protests demanding “Net Neutrality” sent to you, which incidentally appear to IAC as being organized by Mr. Mukesh Ambani’s 4G associates / minions over their vast media cross-holdings, b) counter-commenting on the same, c) participating in the TRAI’s Open House/s and so on.

Most Respectfully Submitted in the larger public interest of behalf of IAC.

With best wishes

yours faithfully

Er. Sarbajit Roy
National Convenor
India Against Corruption, jan andolan

Address: B-59 Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110024

1

There seems to be a fringe theory floating around about a larger international conspiracy (CIA etc) influencing Indian politics using the Ford Foundation (among other things). The Great Game India blog (linking to blog because too many interlinked posts to link individually) has been with this train of thought for a few years now. That the RSS creation VIF is manipulating Indian politics and that they started the India Against Corruption movement and so on. They link the Aam Aadmi Party with this larger political conspiracy.

Some of it is verifiably true. The Vivekananda International Foundation was indeed formed in the year after the Vivekananda Kendra got a grant from the Ford Foundation. Manish Sisodia, Kejriwal and others have got grants before the IAC movement and so on.

Some of it is only to be expected and verifiable through sources outside the country for example the US and CIA specifically not being interested in manipulating  a country the size of India makes no sense given their actions world over. There are leaks involving spying. The Great Game India Blog itself has provided considerable evidence of Mossad activity in India based on reports in Indian media including diamond mafia links and raising questions about Israeli role in the 26/11 attacks.

While there are many gaps in the logic that don't allow me to agree with many questions they make, the sheer effort they put into to reference their claims makes it important to at least consider the question with an open mind when they ask "Was AAP victory in Delhi Elections Planned?". The claim being that it was a larger part of a game plan all through to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister and Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister.

My views on this are mixed.

Observations that point to the possibility of scripted wins in Lok Sabha Elections for Modi and in Delhi Elections for Arvind Kejriwal

Both these results would not have been possible without the self-destruction of the other just prior to the polls.

It is likely they would still have formed governments, but If the Aam Aadmi Party had not collapsed so thoroughly after discrediting the Congress, the landslide win for Modi would not be possible. The run up to the Lok Sabha Election saw the Aam Aadmi Party pretty much drop everything to find God and criticize Modi.

And the BJP returned the favor for the Delhi Elections. We saw Narendra Modi and Amit Shah go out of their way to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" as a disgusted supporter put it. Would the Aam Aadmi Party have won anyway? Probably, but 67 seats out of 70? Highly unlikely.

Is there any advantage to these sweeping wins in terms of manipulating India? Definitely. Complete lack of opposition leaves one entity controlling what is done without question.

"Kejriwal for CM, Modi for PM" slogan

This slogan is fascinating, because BJP supporters had used it to woo AAP supporters during the Lok Sabha Elections, and AAP supporters almost used it to woo BJP supporters in the Delhi Assembly elections. The Aam Aadmi Party actually put it up on their website before outraged volunteers made them take it down again.

Kiran Bedi as CM candidate

While many paint this as a move to get some credibility to a discredited BJP, it is impossible that those who crafted the IAC had no idea just how absurd and damaging to credibility Kiran Bedi can be. This was a calculated move to demoralize the Delhi BJP leaders. Dr Harshvardhan, who had been a face of credibility was available and unused, so to say, while Satish Upadhyay did not even get a ticket.

BJP's "abandonment" of the Sikhs

Arvind Kejriwal had reopened investigations into the 1984 ant-Sikh riots. The BJP had made vague and unc0nvincing comments. This definitely lost them Sikh votes. Yet yesterday, a day after the results of Delhi election, the BJP government in the Center announced another SIT (Special Investigating Team) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. If this was their intention, it is rather astonishing that they did not do it before the Delhi Elections.

Religious alienation

There seemed to be a checklist of religions to alienate. Muslims were easy, with the "Ramzadon and Haramzadon" stuff. Churches were vandalized. Sikhs were ignored and BJP's most dependable vote bank - Hindus were achieved with absurd dictates to Hindu women to produce 4, 5 or upto 10 children (depending on which idiot you happened to hear). It was almost the exact reverse of BJP's calculated propaganda to target identities to con into supporting.

Why BJP may want to lose Delhi Assembly Elections 2015

There is an article by this name circulating. This article is fascinating, because of several reasons. It outlines a diabolical game plan to make Aam Aadmi Party responsible for its own failure and eventual decimation by making delivering of promises difficult from the Center. The intent being "The media spotlight on Kejriwal government will allow Jaitley to quietly to push through unpopular reforms — disinvestment of PSUs, budget cuts in health, education in his attempt to cut budget deficit." among other things. Do read. A fascinating article. Also probably untrue for the Delhi BJP and supporters at the very least - the Modi cartels in the center apart.

My guess is BJP Delhi is discovering what Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena, Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan, Telangana and many others discovered after raising Modi to his lofty Lok Sabha victory. What Vidarbha is discovering after bringing BJP to power in Maharashtra. The goals and agenda of those "driving" the BJP have little to do with those of supporters or even their expectations when they supported.

There are other smaller pieces of information from news reports and more that fit into these patterns. Like information for exposes on Delhi BJP leaders coming from leaders within the BJP itself.

What do I think?

In my view, politics is rarely so black and white with a single agenda playing out. Where there is power, there are grabs. Is there a longer game plan involving the VIF? I believe so. Is Aam Aadmi Party a part of the plan? Not so sure.

The Aam Aadmi Party, in my observation was formed when BJP tried to bottle the IAC genie before it got too inconvenient and expected them to not be corrupt as well. Till then, the IAC had the strong backing of the RSS and BJP. For all its claims of being an apolitical movement and it probably was, in terms of the leadership of the movement, the amount of support on the ground it got from the RSS and BJP cannot be denied. In many places, "IAC" protests were organized by BJP offices, often right outside the office, where most of the speeches made a point of praising the BJP while criticizing UPA corruption.

Was Anna Hazare complicit? Many in the Congress claim so. Particularly after he praised Modi before hastily withdrawing his statements. He may have been influenced by the support rather than doing the influencing.

However, it cannot be denied that there was an abundance of VIF-RSS-BJP support, which eventually led to an ideological clash. Those in the IAC who were not willing to exempt the BJP would have to find other means of going about their agenda, because they could very likely no longer count on the support of the BJP machinery to hold nationwide protests (which took Anna and Kejriwal by surprise initially).

Thus, the Aam Aadmi Party being a VIF-RSS-BJP creation sounds a bit outside the realm of probability. However, it is almost guaranteed that there were people planted in the party right from the start. It is simply how the RSS operates. These people may have been able to influence the actions of the party to a greater or lesser degree or simply attack from within at inopportune times. So AAP actions could have played into a larger game plan UNKNOWINGLY - for example during the aftermath of the Ambani FIR and subsequent resignation of the Arvind Kejriwal government or the Lok Sabha Election.

We saw AAP leaders and volunteers "defect" for no apparent reason. The stated reasons of a lack of internal democracy or whatever the accusations were, were hardly something to have cropped up at specific times - they would be a part of the party culture that they didn't appear to have a problem with till the time to leave - within days of each other. So it looks more than a coincidence. Given the complicit media promoting all and sundry quitters as "ex-AAP leaders" and in one instance calling an "ex-AAP leader" a representative of AAP in a programme that had no one from AAP on the panel, it seems to be organized and given visibility in a time when media was openly called "Modified".

Also, AAP being a US-Israel conspiracy seems a little more improbable, because I cannot recollect offhand the last time these forces empowered "communist" ideology to empower their agendas. It is counterproductive to the US-Israel agenda for people who don't like "imperialists" to get too much voice - which is a sentiment often shared by Aam Aadmi Party supporters - while they are not actively against, they have a perception of being unwilling to bow to imposed interests or disproportionate or unjust appropriation of national resources by big business.

Thirdly, the US-Israel lobby almost always rattles up countries by empowering the right wing. We also see this in action with the occasional comments of right wing leaders that are in agreement with these two countries as well as the larger tendency - for example being fine with attacks on Hindus by the right wing Buddhists in Sri Lanka or on Rohingya Muslims in Burma or even a VIF member meeting the top right wing terrorist influencer in Pakistan and endorsing him on Indian television channels. A lot of the anti-Muslim propaganda arguments and methods used by the Hindutva brigade are extremely similar to Israeli propaganda. Right from selective history to demonize, to organized social media propaganda.

There are no such "behavioral" corelations with the Aam Aadmi Party that I have noticed so far. There is disproportionate weightage to Ford Foundation as funding anti-national interest. While it would hardly be surprising that the CIA uses front organizations or makes opportunistic use of genuine organizations, it is a little extreme to imagine that all its funding is proof of destabilization. The same with the Magsaysay awards. Only a complete idiot would imagine that P. Sainath is somehow working to further US imperial capitalist interest in India given how much time he has devoted to deconstructing such influences.

Of course, it could "all" be astroturfing. But it isn't useful intellectually to believe something that goes contrary to observable dynamics just because it is possible.

This of course does not exclude the possibility of influencing or otherwise manipulating.

Role of Shanti Bhushan

Shanti Bhushan is a respected lawyer and ex politician of BJP and close to Jaitley as well as one of the founders of the Aam Aadmi Party. He made a donation of one crore rupees to the Aam Aadmi Party, but almost every time he has come to attention since then, it has been for damaging the interest of AAP. Just before the Lok Sabha Election, an article "by Shanti Bhushan" was published in India Today, which he claimed to not have written and it was subsequently taken down. Many of the things said in that article continue to be attributed to him in recent interviews, though he denies writing it.

A "breakaway faction" or "collective of ex-supporters" of Aam Aadmi Party, the AVAM, which has made news with absurd allegations against the AAP appear to enjoy his support. More recently, in answer to some questions I asked after a stray remark by an AAP supporter caught my eye, several AAP volunteers shared privately (since they cannot provide proofs and he's a respected and senior member) that he had been in favor of AAP's overreach in contesting in the Lok Sabha polls, which was possibly the single biggest factor in AAP's defeat.

Whether Shanti Bhushan has an ulterior motive or whether he was simply easily influenced by inconvenient narratives is difficult to say and irrelevant at this point, but he does appear to be a consistent source of damage for AAP, including often reported disapproval of Arvind Kejriwal as the leader.

The curious case of Shazia Ilmi

If there is anyone who topped Shanti Bhushan in damage to AAP, it is Shazia Ilmi. The only two "sting" videos to do real damage to AAP credibility involve her. The first appears to show her providing methods to make donations to AAP off the record. The second is where she supposedly asks Muslims to be communal. Whether these were genuine mistakes and she was targeted for stings because she was observed to be careless with words or if she was corrupt or if she was setting AAP up cannot be said. But other common factors seems to be an inopportune exit, affiliation with the "apolitical" AVAM (the RSS is apolitical as well, for a benchmark), new affiliation with the BJP - incidentally a party she leveled outrageous insults at, including personal insults aimed at Modi - some of which even me, an open Modi critic would cringe at.

Binny seems to be more of an opportunist who wanted a way to easy power and got his hopes dashed, who later found enough "appreciation" from BJP. BJP is unlikely to ever give him a cabinet seat either.

All this is water under the bridge. merely stating as an example of how while the AAP as a party may not be "in" on any conspiracy agendas, there is no telling how many people committed to other agendas are embedded inside, who influence or sabotage the actions of the party to suit.

The RSS machine is an expert at subversive strategy and poor at accountability. Sooner or later, disillusionment was inevitable, because there is only so much you can tell people that Acche Din are here, if their lives don't get easier or actually get more expensive. They are smart enough to deploy propaganda at key times and let disillusionment happen in the interim.

So can the Aam Aadmi Party government be trusted?

It would be the height of gullibility to blindly trust ANY political party. Whether the AAP has an ulterior motive or not is irrelevant. It has abundant gaps where more refinement of policy is needed in order for their actions to not harm people's interest. The bottom line always ought to be whether the ACTIONS are helping people or not - regardless of motives or intent.

The AAP has some protection from outright damaging citizen's interests simply because it cannot stand without its volunteer base, and it is impossible to have a conspiracy large enough to include thousands of volunteers and still keep it secret. So even if there are foul agendas at play, implementing them would be an uphill task. That said, it wouldn't be impossible, and only the foolish would believe that all that it takes to receive good governance is casting a vote.

The Aam Aadmi Party government has been entrusted with making Delhi a happier, safer place where all its citizens can thrive. This is a tall order. And if the AAP is honest, spotting mistakes and objecting on time will HELP their objectives. If it is not honest, spotting mistakes on time and objecting may improve chances to prevent them.

Regardless, citizens should not trust governments, but hold them accountable, relentlessly.

2

Dear Arvind,

I have been following the IAC movement and then AAP with much interest and I think you have something important going on.

I have promised to speak in support of AAP till the Delhi Elections to help counter the nonsense being unfairly thrown at you by the BJP and Congress, and it has been a fascinating experience thus far.

Wanted to share my concern about efforts to derail the impact of your campaign and I think that Anna Hazare is best left in AAP's past.

I understand you respect him a lot and I do too, for his strengths, which do not include politics, strategy or accounts. I believe that Anna will become as big a distraction as you let him become and it adds nothing of value to the people whose votes you want to influence with the elections looming. Delhi has moved on from Anna and even when they were paying attention to him, he never was a problem they faced that they needed solved.

There have been questions about IAC funds, which you have answered. Raising them repeatedly does nothing to add value. People who genuinely want to know can google. Or perhaps you can add a button to the AAP website saying "If you're here to find out what happened to IAC funds, click here", and they can go to a page with a text statement and a video of you answering (for those who can't read). To spend your election campaign time on something that keeps coming up without registering previous answers is time taken away from raising issues that will influence your election outcomes.

The questions will keep coming from all directions. Staying on track will only be your headache.

[Tweet "Move forward with purpose, not defensive reactions."]

This is how the JanLokpal andolan was derailed. One minute all was going well, the next minute you guys were giving interviews and opinions on anything anyone asked. I even remember seeing Anna on a children's talent show where little girls danced in skimpy clothes under his approving eye. The intensity of the movement died. Just like that.

You can't afford to get derailed right now. You've made promises that you must keep, you've raised funds you must show results for.

I would suggest that you keep your personal relationship with Anna personal. If he writes you a letter, no reason why you can't write back to him instead of carving time out of your TV presence on subjects like inflation, electricity costs, corruption, water and so on.

[Tweet "If Anna writes you a letter, no reason why you can't write back to him instead of replying on TV"]

BJP/Congress will make a ruckus if you don't answer, your followers say. Well, BJP can write you a letter and get a reply too, or use their air time to ask you questions officially instead of baiting people into baiting you.

The questions have not changed, nor have your answers, so people can just go and look at previous answers instead of wasting campaign time on repetition.

Frankly, BJP (read) and Congress(read)  opening their mouth about your funds is only going to result in support for you, so I have no idea why you should even avoid it.

If you have offered to send IAC funds to Anna and he has refused it, he should be asked to take a concrete stand soon, failing which you do something specific with it - final, or it just remains a PR bomb kept hanging on your head deliberately.

Updated: Another thing Anna has to understand that accountability cannot be one way. If his supporters are throwing ink on you, he has no business asking polite replies from you. If that person is not his supporter, Anna should disown him publicly and let the man's identity remain what he claims himself. A BJP supporter. I fail to see why you must not ask for some responsible behavior in turn and let him be known for his stand - whatever it is.

I know you are a good strategist. I'm a good people watcher who spots patterns, and I see these things that may not be visible from up close. This is a contribution for you to use or leave as you find useful in your leadership of the party.

Sincerely,

Vidyut

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2

When words that convey extreme contempt are used, they ought to be used with responsibility, if at all they must be used. For, is not telling people what to think an insult to their ability to reach conclusions?

This post is about an article by Sujata Anandan where she essentially calls Anna Hazare a Tin-pot dictator and condemns his dictatorial policies. I would like to address several things in her article.

Flogging of alcoholics

As the wife of an alcoholic and an occasional drinker myself, I see drinking alcohol and alcoholism as two different things with little in common other than the consumption of alcoholic beverages. For example, a regular drinker could comfortably visit Ralegan Siddhi to cover this epic news and have a drink later after returning home. An alcoholic would travel to the nearest town to find a bar, try to wriggle out of the assignment altogether, sneak in his bottle or finish it fast and return to an environment where alcohol is possible.

You cannot reason with an alcoholic. I mean, you can, but it becomes irrelevant when it is time to drink. It is also not only about the mind. The body forms a dependency and doesn't function properly without alcohol - this is how "medical licences" for alcohol happen.

It takes what many recovered alcoholics call "hitting rock bottom" or overwhelming and undeniable bad consequences for an alcoholic to undertake the overwhelming effort to fight his/her own body and mind to quit. Most alcoholics go to their graves without ever attempting this fight. Others try, lose momentum and lapse.

In other news, while drinking alcohol may be a personal choice, alcoholism is a social, economic and security menace. Alcoholism is almost always associated with domestic abuse - not even because the person is evil, but he is simply too drunk to care that others hurt because of him, and he always wants things his way, because he is too drunk to deal with  anything. They destroy domestic relationships, make enemies out of friends, deprive dependents - particularly children or resources that should rightfully be theirs for nurture.

Alcoholics will buy alcohol no matter what. It isn't a multiple choice question, unless you are talking which brand. They will switch to cheaper brands, dubious quality, spend their last dime, borrow, steal, prostitute themselves or their wives, whatever it takes to get their quota. It is a compulsion. Alcoholism itself is a dictatorship.

Drunk drivers on the streets are a risk to more lives than their own.

I don't see alcoholism as a personal choice, if it damages other people. It is far worse than say exposing people to passive smoke.

While I don't agree with the method of flogging, as someone who has read extensively on alcoholism, I can see how a rural environment lacks absolutely any leverage that is "legal" to prevent this damage to families. For a population of alcoholics amounting in the millions, we barely have enough affordable support for de-addiction in cities. Leave alone villages. Obviously, there is a point where you either bend rules, or watch many people suffer the consequences of one person's alcoholism. Would I have done it the same way? I don't know.

But this is far from a dictatorship. In focusing that Anna "sometimes" flogs alcoholics, it is easy to overlook who is doing it other times. Sure, it is human rights abuse according to fancy, imported ethics. So where are the facilities that an alcoholic can be arrested and rehabilitated if found in a village where alcohol is banned? Is it more "human rights" friendly to get an alcoholic arrested, likely beaten by the cops instead, accommodated in some prison while the country's over burdened system waits for his case comes to court? Or should this glorious Sharad Pawar experiment be ignored - I thought she liked it, but it shouldn't be enforced?

Power to women to close down liquor shops

A little more research would have told this writer that this isn't an experiment by Sharad Pawar, it was an ammendment to the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 - her tin-pot dictator Anna Hazare is the one to demand it. Ralegaon Siddhi was the model on which the conditions were developed for banning liquor based on a vote by the women of a village - very dictatorial, huh? Nice style, calling him a tin-pot dictator, and attributing the result of his appeal as an experiment by someone else. It is obviously an article written by a gushing fan, but the facts stand there. Also the RTI, etc.

Banning alcohol and cigarettes

I smoke and drink, but as a citizen of a democracy, I also recognize the right of that village and its elected body for self-determination. With the number of people who smoke and drink, I don't think it is something that can be imposed by some freak dictator on the majority.

Which brings me to - this is the second mention of youth running away from Ralegan Siddhi rather than bear "dikkats". I only want to point out that with all the publicity the village got, as well as the massive mud slinging efforts mobilized, it should have been relatively simple to interview a few of those youth about the tortures they escaped. Surprisingly, months along, I'm still searching news for this epic article that would kill all support for Anna among youth, etc.

That said, I was a staunch supporter of the IAC movement, but I see it drifting away from the things about it I supported. However, this doesn't mean that our national sport of mud slinging is a good idea, and this is one big reason media today cannot be trusted for information in order to form your opinion. You are fed conclusions.

Thus, when an editor chose to do this, I thought why not debunk it, for no reason other than I value the freedom of thought and oppose vilifying anyone?

2

In the previous article, I have outlined some dynamics of power. Those are universal. They help us understand the JanLokpal agitation and how it is unfolding. Whether you call this troubleshooting, or you call it a strategy map depends on which side of the fence you are.

These observations are of the dynamics - they have no intent other than to describe the flows of power on an overall scale.

If you have not read the post about the dynamics of power, this article may not make sense to you at all, unless you have skills of understanding power dynamics. So I suggest that you read it.

Without further ado... here is the narrative of the movement in terms of power.

Conditions

The conditions at the time of the emergence of the JanLokpal andolan were ripe for the existing powerful enitity to be challenged. If you look at the examples of reasons why a change is seeked, you will see that all those and more were present in the situation. People were frustrated and angry and wanted to challenge the power of the government. But they also lacked power individually. That was a lot of motivation without outlet.

The birth

Some individuals with initiative made a determined, well organized attempt to challenge the power of the government by coming together as IAC and strategizing meticulously in order to have enough power to cause a shift in the power structure of the country. (this is a staple of all civil uprisings)

The growth

While IAC made sustained, determined and highly efficiently designed efforts to grow in power, the vast number of people frustrated with the government found a stronger entity to support to achieve a larger goal.

Mistakes by the government

  • In acknowledging the IAC, the government gave it power - this was inevitable because the magnitude of the IAC challenge made communication a must. This is also an advantage of hunger strikes - by forcing a time limit for a response before stakes became unacceptably high, the government essentially ran out of time to regain its power.
  • By attacking the IAC before addressing any of the conditions toward a better advantage, the government gave it power by magnifying the conflict. The more attention it caught, the more support it got, because this simply wasn't the government's pitch and it failed to recognize that.
  • In response to the challenge, the government counted solely on its institutional power prevailing and became rigid to defend it. It did not take several opportunities where small concessions in institutional power would bring them significant situational power, choosing to attempt to disempower the opponent rather than risk any loss of power in a bid for increasing power.
  • It made several attempts with red herrings which got exposed and further disempowered the government.
  • It failed to understand what was happening and use the interval between protests to create more favorable ground.
  • It over estimated its institutional power and made no effort to develop situational advantages.
  • It squandered the advantage of institutional power for using it for creating red herrings, which was correctly recognized by citizens as an attack on their interests and rejected, resulting in disempowering of the government in relation with IAC

The challenge and victory

The IAC successfully consolidated all the power received from the people and informally institutionalized it as the "civil society". This added tremendous endurance to their challenge.

The sheer number of people coming together made IAC powerful enough to challenge the government and force it to compromise for survival. This is a victory. That battle was won at this point with the creation of the Joint Committee.

The resistance and counter challenge

While the government lost the battle in terms of operational power, it has institutional power which requires no energy to sustain. This power is drawn from the support of every person in the country through elections leading to its formation. No matter how many people rise up in challenge, very little dissent is required against them to overpower them because they cannot exceed the population of the country.

It has an advantage of being able to out endure challenges far more easily than one without that. The IAC with its excellent organization came very close to out powering that as well, and it would have in an out and out battle, but the government naturally used the advantage it had by drawing out the battle at very little cost to itself. It also made several and sustained efforts to undermine the power of the IAC which worked well.

I insert here a comment: It is not ill intent toward the country which causes this resistance. Any power challenged will resist. It is the nature of power. No matter how big or small.

Mistakes by IAC

After the initial victory, the IAC made several critical mistakes.

  • Their biggest one was shifting their power from the entity it had institutionalized it under to individuals. A system is far more difficult to overpower than individuals.
  • This backfired, because the red herring attacks by the government started hitting the power of the movement itself because the people had been turned into symbols. Make no mistake, the government has made personal attacks as distraction mechanisms all through. They had no impact on the movement till the people started becoming symbols of the movement.
  • Possibly this was done as a protection to the leaders of the movement who were under severe and sustained personal attacks. However, it divided the power being received and made it far less stable. Massive support became less visible.
  • You also notice this in the fact that among people around you, you will find very few who have changed their minds about the JanLokpal. What has changed is the ability to consolidate support.
  • Another reason, not related with the nature of power, but became a big disadvantage is supporting people runs instinctively counter to an objective of creating an independent authority not influenced by people. Therefore, the conversations of the IAC became increasingly tangled in futle, unconvincing explanations and attention was lost from supporting the primary objective to defending individuals, intentions, logic, credibility, etc based on subjective arguments... this dispersed available power over such a large area that it is becoming rapidly unsustainable.

I would like to note here that supporters of the IAC call the attacks against their leadership as the evil designs of the government, but I see it is an unethical but prevalent practice in our country and indeed in the world. The IAC has also made personal attacks on members of the government.

Would not like to comment on immediate situation because it is still fluid, but here are tips for both the IAC and government.

For IAC to win

It needs to move back as fast as possible to institutionalizing its power and leaving defense of personal attacks to individuals - no matter who.

It needs to stop adding agendas that disperse and over reach its power like election campaigns and other things. Opening more fronts of attack may seem like a temporary victory, but the government has no problem with that at all, while sustaining it will be an active effort for IAC - that way lies exhaustion. Better consolidate all power first to achieve JanLokpal before moving on to other obectives.

Citizens are smart enough to vote for whoever they choose - they most certainly know about the corrupt congress, etc and have an active interest in selecting non-corrupt people. That is a large investment of effort to achieve something that would happen anyway.

For the government to win

An institutional power is not effective against citizens at large for a very long time. It is important to get situational power by getting support and "buy ins" by the people. (no, this isn't about bribing, but convincing). A good way would be to take up a pressing concern and make an absolutely open and unhesitating stand to fix it.

Changing the nature of attacks to more ethical ones in terms of debating the utility of the JanLokpal or whatever, but moving off from personal attacks will create a massive moral advantage. It will mean learning a whole new way of counter argument.

 

I would like to say here, any victory is likely to be temporary. A more lasting solution would be in reaching mature compromises, but the chances for that seem low on both sides currently.

Yeah, that's about it. What I see in this situation without pushing my own agendas (which I have done plenty of already 😀 )

Thank you for reading.