India – Jan Lokpal Bill Government Response

August 23, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

The latest development on political stalemate between the government and civil society leader Shri Anna Hazare is encouraging in terms of Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh’s letter enquiring the civil society leader’s health and request to end his fast on the 8th consecutive day.

Additionally, government overtures to civil society for discussion on Jan Lokpal bill through interlocutors and,

Likewise referring the civil society bill to government appointed Parliament Standing Committee on Lokopal with the Chairman being the administration’s key spokesperson and Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi poses conflict of interest,

Besides repeating the process to delay the anticipated outcome.

Although the government gesture to resume talks is welcome, the purpose behind the efforts is clearly not leading towards civil society’s goals i.e. Jan Lokpal legislation in Parliament.

Instead the government’s calculated strategy spins the people’s plea for Jan Lokpal bill subjecting the landmark legislation to bureaucratic rigmarole at Congress members’ discretions in the capacity as Speaker and Lokpal Standing Committee Chairman without any guarantee for approval.

Such innovative tactics to reject Jan Lokpal bill only confirms the government opposition rather than reconciliation in the standoff with the nation.

It would be honorable and incumbent upon the government to extend identical treatment to citizens’ initiated Jan Lokpal bill as the Food bill and Communal Violence drafts from National Advisory Council by Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi received with ruling power’s overwhelming endorsement in Parliament.

Upon non-discriminatory and non-partisan decisions on national issues benefitting people and country they are elected to serve during their term in office,

The much-touted Parliamentary functionality as the legislative body would be legitimized in upholding republic rule.

As stated earlier, Jan Lokpal bill has been under scrutiny for several decades with no intention from political parties to legislate anti-corruption affecting the entire society.

The immediate action for effective results would be to withdraw government introduced Lokpal bill considering the weak version protecting the offenders than preventing corruption not to mention the inevitable defeat from the opposition coalition.

The government is required to present Jan Lokpal bill in Parliament in the same manner as NAC drafts were accepted and expedited with no modifications on the national interest premise.

Any political maneuvers to subvert the robust proposals against corruption would confirm the political party and the member’s determination to prolong status quo at national detriment eluding public and media investigation.

On the contrary, the government and oppositions’ sincere commitment to address corruption in the society would be evident when Jan Lokpal bill is passed with no loopholes or privileges from top bottom in public and private sector.

Essentially the burden squarely upon elected officials on the electorate watch to acknowledge the core democratic principle otherwise the statutory declaration  –

No one is above the law in real democracy.

It is crucial for government to move beyond agreement to exemplify through Jan Lokpal legislation with a strong provision for transparency and accountability tied to consequences in similar manner applicable to average citizens in the society.

Shri Anna Hazare entering into 9th consecutive day fasting is yet another responsibility for the Parliament members more focused on blocking the civil society backed legislation against corruption.

Moreover with rising sentiments and diminishing public patience on the lawmakers’ deliberation to pass Jan Lokpal bill,

The government and oppositions having wasted valuable time and resources no longer at luxury to squander political capital earned from the electorates ballots in a democratic system.

Shri Anna Hazare’s health and survival rests on the Parliament members’ political will to accelerate Jan Lokpal bill with a unique opportunity to alleviate citizens plight from corruption.

Indian mass is looking forward to Jan Lokpal bill swift passage by government and oppositions this week before Parliament session conclusion in semblance to their response to NAC authorized legislations.

Meanwhile Indian patriots solidarity is paramount to succeed in the crusade against corruption, nepotism and cronyism.

With prayers for Shri Anna Hazare’s well being,

People power must ensure Jan Lokpal bill becomes the law of the land today for a brighter tomorrow.

Jai Hind!

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant






















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