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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jan Lokpal – The Debate Seems Never Ending

Team Being Cynical
Call it an irony or the faulty framework of our democracy. The whole fight against corruption and the formulation of a Lokpal bill boiled down to the mercy of the very crooks against whom such a bill is proposed. People against whom this movement was staged have now become the authorizer and approver of it. How fair and effective they would be to stamp their own death warrant is anybody’s guess.

So as expected, the all-party meet to discuss the Lokpal bill went of more on the expected lines than anything. If the media is to be believed then a lot of TuTu-MainMain happened, yielding almost nothing. No party seemed too sure on where to put their money and whom to support. No consensus reached on what to do barring the Prime-Minister who did a formality when he said we need a strong Lokpal.

Bravo!! As if without the utterances of the Prime-Minister the populace at large wouldn’t have realized how badly we need a strong Lokpal bill. In nutshell, the entire all-party meet was a complete failure and yet another wastage of public money.

This raises a very concerning question. Can we really allow people to be the judge of their own crimes and then expect a fair verdict? Our democratic framework mandates the involvement of both houses of the parliament for new legislation to pass. While the procedures holds fine for other such legislations, it looks a little illogical and out of tune when we try to follow the same process in the case of a strong legislation like the Jan Lokpal. We all know it is formulated looking at the enormous amount of corruption in the country; 90% of which have some direct or indirect involvement of a politician.

The clear lack of conviction and will to allow such bill to come into existence was evident among all the political parties at yesterday’s all-party meet. Everyone was busy blaming the other, conveniently brushing the Asli Mudda under the carpet. If this is what the outcome at an all-party meet then one doesn’t need the IQ of a Nobel laureate to guess what the fate of the proposed bill would be when it goes to parliament for approval. Rather being in praise for Anna Hazare who took the pain to bring the Lokpal into public ambit, majority of the political parties were seen bashing his method of revolt which they feel is nothing but blackmailing the present day government and taking nation to ransom. All this farce in the name of an all-party meet doesn’t give much confidence to the common populace that the bill they are eagerly waiting to see getting passed would ever be materialized.

Now where this leads us to? When the very framework dictates the involvement of both the houses in matter like passing new legislations, how in earth one can bypass this? Is there any clause available in our constitution which can be used to keep away the crooks to decide the fate of a bill which is designed against the very same crooks? How about a referendum? Can we for once let the people of India decide what they want in which form when it comes to some sensitive bill like the Jan-Lokpal? Many European nations exercise this clause in issues which largely affects the people of the country directly.

In India corruption is something which each and every citizen must have suffered and continues to suffer. From production of Baby food to our Moon mission, each of it is marred with high degree of corruption. The level to which this malaise has spread into, that it has already started to suffocate us in our day-to-day life. When the phenomenon is hitting the common-man so badly, shouldn’t the same common-man be allowed to decide the nature of cure he wants to see? Why a bunch of elected representatives must always decide what is best for the nation?

But in India, it is always easier said than done. The first thing that been told to the nation every time there is a demand for referendum is the non-availability of any such clause in our constitution. The politicians always carry the constitution baton whenever it suits their need. This is where I dearly love to ask the political mass, does the constitution allows the rampant corruption that most of their brethren seem to be engulfed in? If they are so duty-bound to follow the constitution till the last letter, it makes one wonder where the same vigor vaporizes while getting corrupt? There are so many things the constitution doesn’t agree to or elaborates on. Constitution doesn’t mention anything on the funny first-come first-serve mechanism while dealing with mercy petitions either. So why this love for constitution and its respect when things suites your interest? Why not for once go a little wayward and ask the citizens what they want and decide on it; more so when our political class has failed to take any decision in last four decades after seventeen rounds of discussion.

The points of dispute which includes having the PM under the Lokpal along with grade C & D employees and formulation of citizen charters and making CBI as an independent investigative organization didn’t get any kind of consensus in the all-party meet. The final decision on these points still remains as volatile and fragile as it used to be when Anna started his agitation a year back. While there are few parties who agree to accommodate first three points of the demand the last one doesn’t find many credential buyers. As a middle path a bifurcation of CBI is proposed instead, where the CBI will do only investigate the financial crimes as an independent body whereas for others it would pretty much remain as it is now. I don’t know if it is too dangerous for our political parties to let go CBI of their clutches or it is plain ego which is stopping the political parties to make CBI an independent institution?

Won’t it be further messy if CBI is broken down to such micro level of operational expanse? Won’t it be a farce when CBI would wait for the CVC’s nod to start working on any particular scam? This proposal not only looks rubbish on the face of it but also explains the IQ level of our representatives.

Smelling the mess no wonder Anna has already decided to start afresh with his hunger strike from 27th if things don’t get through by then. Many may term such acts as an act of blackmailing, but truth be told, you require some strong arm tactics to set right the highway robbers. Hope things won’t deteriorate to such proportion that we have start all over again from 27th and would feel ashamed in front of the world that not only our politicians are the most corrupt lot but also are cheats of highest degree.

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