The rising sexual assaults on women and children has triggered a mass outrage against the ruling class. Arvind GR spoke to former Lokayukta, justice Santosh Hegde, about his impressions. Excerpts:
What are your suggestions for combating the rape malaise?
There should be education given by the family. There should also be appropriate sex educations in schools. Society should disown such criminals, and there should be social boycott of such people. The police should encourage complainants to file a complaint as it carries social stigma otherwise.
Even if the fast track courts come in,will they help in combating such crimes?
One of the objectives of sending a convict to jail is to create fear in others who are likely to indulge in such activities. So, sooner the judgment, lesser the crimes
What are the future plans for India Against Corruption (IAC)?
Anna (Hazare) is working on it.I believe a lot of retired IAS officers and armed forces officers have joined hands. We will let the people know what is in the box.
Are you continuing your role to represent the IAC in Bangalore?
I will not represent the IAC officially, but will participate in the programme and provide full support to Anna.
What are your suggestions for getting back all the money stashed away by Indians in foreign banks?
The money could be brought back to India if a law like the Swiss law is adopted, which is a condition for the Swiss government to give the information about the amount of money in a Swiss bank to India. The government of India has just been doing some shadow boxing.
After Arvind Kejriwal’s report on HSBC’s hawala transactions, do you think they are heading in the right direction?
Yes, he is. When he exposes these issues, it is wrong to say it is not constructive, or it is like hit-and-run because, remember, he is not the investigating agency. So the government should take action to see that it is done since it has come to the public domain.
Why has Anna Hazare and his team been silent over the past past few months?
Anna has been travelling all over India, but has focused on Bihar more. And even I have been addressing the corruptions issues and the required actions by the youth to be taken in many colleges. I have visited about 500-600 colleges all over the country to explain to students what is happening in India.
Do you think that IAC has lost its the intensity of support it had in 2011?
No. The fatigue factor in the supporters of Anna Hazare is keeping them away from participating actively. When the need comes, I am sure they will come back to the maidans and the streets.
Your comment on the formation of a new party by Arvind Kejriwal.
The objective with which Arvind has formed a party is really good because there needs to be someone who can un-stall the stalled bills, but I am not in it because there is a need for a watchdog body which will keep a watch over all political parties including AAP.
Your report on the mining scam, has caused trouble for lot of politicians. Do you think there will be a satisfactory end to this issue?
Yes. The Supreme court has taken cognisance of the issue. They are monitoring the work done by the CBI. So I am optimistic that it will have a speedy and satisfactory end.
Your comment on the government not appointing a Lokayukta after your retirement?
The issue of the initiation if it has to come from the chief minister or the chief justice is in the Supreme Court. But the issue has to be discussed by the chief minister and the chief justice if they are concerned about the issue. There is a law, and the court has the power to take a suo motu action on this issue.
How do you think the youth can spearhead the future of the country?
They should get into politics with a clean mind and clean hands, and help the people to overcome their problems.