Two-thirds of India hasn’t heard of Lokpal: Survey
Not many of yoga guru Ramdev’s followers want him to dabble in politics. But his appeal is bigger than that of Hazare in rural areas.
Anna Hazare and his campaign to end corruption have kept the news media engrossed over the last three months. The 74-year-old Gandhian’s determined battle against an obstinate establishment over the institution of Lokpal has fired the public imagination and there’s a groundswell of support for him across several pockets in the country.
But, interestingly, not too many Indians are aware of the institution in the heart of controversy. According to a nationwide survey conducted by CNN-IBN & CNBC-TV18, only a shade over a third of respondents have heard of Lokpal. Thirty-four percent of all respondents said they have heard of the ombudsman and only 24 percent know what it actually means. However, the response is encouraging among the more educated, particularly people above the college level. While 67 percent have heard of Lokpal, 51 percent know what it means.
The choice between Team Hazare’s Jan Lopkpal Bill and the government’s bill is clear. Hazare’s bill, which demands a powerful Lokpal with sweeping powers to investigate cases of corruption, wins hands down. Twenty-five percent of the respondents said Anna’s bill is better while only seven percent favoured that of the government’s. However, a whopping 63 percent said they had no opinion to offer.
The trend in responses here is interesting. There was more support for Anna’s draft up the education ladder. The role of education gets clearer as the survey poses questions on the broad aspects of the bill.
Thirty-eight percent of all respondents and 60 percent of college-educated respondents say Anna Hazare has forced the government to face the issue of corruption and his demands for a new anti-corruption law should be accepted. Not too many agree that the government has been too accommodating in accepting Anna’s demands. As many as 30 percent of the respondents feel Lokpal will reduce corruption; half of the college-educated ones feel the same way.
However, there’s a word of reason too. Lokpal is alright but we need to strengthen existing anti-corruption agencies like CBI and Vigilance Commission, feel some. Twenty-eight percent of all respondents said other mechanism to fight corruption needed to be strengthened.
Table 1: Opinion on Lokpal bill
Table 2: Anna's Lokpal bill more trustworthy than government's bill
CNN-IBN CNBC-TV18 State of the Nation Poll in association with Forbes India conducted by CSDS.
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Hazare has been suffering from cold and mild fever for the last two days, his doctor said, adding that he has been under medication for three days.