India – Jan Lokpal bill and Political Stalemate

August 22, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

Civil Society leader Shri Anna Hazare continues his fasting for the 7th consecutive day while the ruling and opposition parties fail to honor the constitution that upholds the republic will.

Constitution with “We the People” declaration prioritizes people above all branches of governance in a functioning democracy.

Jan Lokpal bill emphasis on corruption and appropriate actions against the corrupt are the contentious issues for political power in Parliament considering both ruling Congress and BJP along with others are implicated with numerous scandals and charges at state and national level.

The questions regarding Jan Lokpal bill whether it would pass in both houses of Parliament and the argument based on various proposals in the bill to curb corruption is simply a rebuttal from the political side to delay and eventually eliminate Lokpal bill discussion from public domain.

Seeking legislation on Jan Lokpal bill that would effectively address criminality surrounding corruption in the society beginning with political system is thwarted especially when the lawmakers responsible for corruption are required to pass the bill subjecting them to transparency and accountability.

The skepticisms on Jan Lokpal bill approval in the Parliament directed at content viability are diversion from the real factors i.e.

Parliament members’ concerted attempts to block the unbiased and meaningful anti-corruption law in the country.

The ruling members against Jan Lokpal bill and opposition parties not entirely backing the anti-graft unequivocally favor the status quo allowing gross abuse of power granting them impunity on corruption and unlawful activities directly affecting national progress.

The incumbent finance minister demand on civil society to abide by the constitution is double standards alongside the current administration arresting Shri Anna Hazare prior to peaceful assembly on August 16, 2011.

Furthermore the government position on Jan Lokpal bill rejecting republic will under false pretexts such as Parliamentary procedures, respect for constitution and democratic institutions…is contradictory to their own actions thus far.

The legislators ignore the fact that without republic there would be no constitution, Parliament, democratic institutions and last but not the least Parliamentarians viz. elected officials in a democracy.

Constitution protects people first and foremost as citizens and electorates with guaranteed rights to freedom of expression not excluding basis to laws concerning public and national interest.

UPA government throughout anti-corruption rallies previously by the Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev in June 2011 and lately with Shri Anna Hazare has violated citizens’ constitutional rights time and time again.

The government misuse of the constitution to suit their convenience is transgression in a democratic system.

Civil society non-violent approach mischaracterized as anarchy when the government extreme measures and relentless tactics to bar Jan Lokpal bill is anything but democracy.

Corruption is protected as the rule of law in the political inaction on all sides with hypocrisy maintained in the defense.

It is poignant to highlight Congress role on similar issues with opposite response leading towards political reasons behind discriminatory decisions.

National Advisory Council headed by Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi drafts on FOOD Bill and Communal Violence is reportedly expedited by the government without modifications and,

Concurrently Shri Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal bill benefitting all – the poor and middle class in particular is challenged with undemocratic strategies like arrests and aggression,

Besides refusal to introduce the bill in Parliament for consideration confirms the misplaced loyalty in the post Independent India.

Comparing the two scenarios – Food bill and targeting communal violence brings relief to economic and social victims, at the same time adding political mileage to the party.

On the contrary, political parties facing charges view Jan Lokpal bill as a major threat to the privileges viz. exemption from inquiry or investigations with no consequences.

If legislations are passed selectively for specific political agenda, it does not correlate with the assertion on Parliament sanctity applied to Jan Lokpal bill.

Evaluating each bill on individual merit is relevant.

However, Jan Lokpal is a lifesaver with the opportunity to recover and retain national wealth for domestic investments.

Black money is widely in circulation through bribes and restricting illegal money supply is required under Jan Lokpal bill.

Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, BJP leaders along with other opposition members are undertaking tremendous risk in continuing with the impasse between civil society led by Shri Anna Hazare and them.

Shri Anna Hazare’s fast ending immediately is paramount to salvage the nation and political leaderships from dealing with monumental crisis possibly endangering national security.

With respect to Jan Lokpal bill examination and debate, the Parliament members are reminded that Jan Lokpal bill has been under scrutiny for over six decades and procrastination reflects all political parties unanimity to prolong corruption as religion in the society.

It is imperative for civil society to seriously engage in forming Lokpal party to compete in national and state elections.  This is the only path to liberate India from political oppression experienced in the twenty first century.

The Congress Party and opposition alike are requested for the last time to acknowledge nearly 98% of 1.2 billion population endorsement of Jan Lokpal bill overwhelmingly overriding the 500 Parliament members resistance and conclude the political stalemate momentarily.

Failure in this regard would determine the political system in India synonymous to the governance in Middle East or pre World War era.  The political rule disguised as democracy in name only is betrayal of republic trust,

Hence legislating Jan Lokpal bill is no longer an option but a necessity to move the nation forward sharing prosperity among all citizens rather than exclusive distribution to the top 1% evidently hoarding money in Swiss bank accounts from embezzlements, tax evasions and innovative sources.

Citizens’ participation to succeed in Jan Lokpal bill legislation is outstanding and keeping up the momentum is equally essential so that Shri Anna Hazare could stop fasting from today.

The government and political oppositions bear the burden to legislate Jan Lokpal bill instantaneously proving their allegiance to the people and the nation they were elected to serve during the term in office.

Yes instantaneously due to the alarming loss of life and national resources wasted in the 64 years since freedom.

Vande Mataram! Jai Hind!

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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