Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill

Today is the 8th day of fast by Anna. His health is deteriorating. Now Govt. is worried as any serious turn will lead to widespread agitation and Congress & UPA can say good bye to its chances of forming Govt after next election. But Govt. is now short of time. A week was wasted in assessing the situation. They waited to see if the crowds would melt away and they can get rid of Anna as they did with Baba Ramdev. But exactly opposite has happened. Ramlila maidan is witnessing more and more agitators.In Civil society there are more and more voices of dissent with Team Anna. It's painful to read and hear eminent people criticizing Jan Lokpal Bill without offering any new vision or changes in the Bill. Where were they since April when Govt and Team Anna held parleys to draft Lokpal Bill ? They did not insist that their point of view be heard, discussed and added to Lokpal Bill. They would have realized today that Govt. would have treated their suggestions with contempt and would have tabled same Lokpal Bill in Parliament. All Political parties are together in enacting weak Lokpal Bill which would be like CAG or CVC- a toothless,stuffed Tiger.

I do not accept the contention Jan Lokpal Bill is flawed because it is not practical or pragmatic. We can not find honest people to be members of Lokpal, or it will be overwhelmed by cases of corruption at Lower level. Yes if you want to keep Judiciary or M.P.'s action in Parliament out of Lokpal's preview, do so. We can amend and include them in future. But we must have strong Lokpal and then we will see what happens. British never believed that We could Govern. If we had agreed to that then half the world would still be under British rule. We bit the Bullet and today imperfect may be but we are the biggest democracy in world and have changed Governments through elections.

Yes, its possible that Jan Lokpal Bill's shortcoming will hinder its implementation and reduce its effectiveness. But we will not know it till the Jan Lokpal bill is passed and becomes a Law. Whatever the shortcoming it can be corrected by amendments,addition and deleting clauses. Not to pass it because "it will not work", "it will make super dictator", "corruption will not be curbed" etc etc shows lack of guts to take the risk. We will have to take the plunge in the stormy water if we want to Cross. there is no alternative to this.--PK