India – Jan Lokpal Bill Impasse and Repercussions

August 24, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

The government is testing civil society patience in motionless Jan Lokpal bill.

Government stall tactics is taking toll on Shri Anna Hazare’s health.

Shri Anna Hazare is 74 years old and has dedicated his life in national service.

The government and oppositions in their resistance to pass Jan Lokpal bill are challenging the civil society momentum to eliminate pervasive corruption.

It is important to shed light on political hypocrisy concerning the Parliamentary laws, constitution, democratic institutions and the procedures…by politicians in violation of these same rules and law of the land that prohibits corruption and criminal activities prevalent in every branch of the government and other areas in society.

The government appointed Parliament Standing Committee on Lokpal has members with respective political baggage and on going corruption charges against them.

With such background within the committee, expecting positive changes on Jan Lokpal designed to bring the violators to justice is an inevitable defeat.

It is a clever political maneuver denying citizens request for strong and fair Jan Lokpal bill adhering to the constitution that upholds republic rule and statutory declaration  –

No one is above the law in real democracy.

When the lawmakers are implicated on various charges, they are obviously expending their political capital to block Jan Lokpal legislation for their lucrative financial security.

Parliament Standing Committee Chairman Abhishek Manu Singhvi as the spokesperson for the government during the interview on August 23, 2011 wasted no time in stating that the bill protecting members facing diverse charges i.e.

All those charge sheeted or implicated for unlawful involvements will not be brought under Lokpal upon legislation.

It is clear that concerted efforts are made to create buffer in safeguarding self-interests with bills prepared in a matter of time for Parliamentary approval.

Similarly bills for Parliament members’ salary increase…and anything to benefit them is expedited without political wrangling witnessed on Jan Lokpal bill.

If Parliament members truly believed in democratic governance yet to be established in the increasing political oppression on national issues,

Then the popular anti-corruption law would not be subjected to undemocratic convoluted means to maintain status quo.

The outpouring public grievances on corruption beginning with the political system down to basic service in the society is discarded by Parliament members primarily elected to alleviate citizens’ suffering largely emanating from corrupt environment.

Political talks thus far has not produced the desirable outcome – Jan Lokpal bill with no preferential treatment to any branches of the government considering the massive corruption scandals at state and national levels brought to public attention in the past and recent years pre-empt the outlined –

Jan Lokpal main framework:

Including PM, JUDICIARY and Incumbent Members of Parliament caught in corruption act under Lokpal purview.

Likewise rigid Lokyukta for state corruptions noted in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan…and others across the nation.

Lokpal and Lokyukta to investigate and deliver decisions on corruption cases from the highest to the lowest in the hierarchy following the democratic principle –

All are equal and accordingly laws would be applicable to crimes committed regardless of political, economic and social stature.

Citizens charter guiding victims of corruption to report to the nearest accessible authority for quick response and appropriate results.

Anti-corruption wing from CBI delineated from the existing structure basically in place to promote criminality in the highest order.

Lokpal and Lokyukta to comprise members independent from political, economic and social influences for effective role in deterring bribery and corruption culture.

Jan Lokpal and Lokyukta objectives are to create simplistic and highly efficient anti-corruption authority to monitor and deal with corruption in daily existence.

Additionally, citizens on their part could adopt the resist-corruption approach and use technology to share their experience and expose individuals demanding bribes to discourage corruption currently practiced as religion in the society.

Similarly address nepotism depriving both merit-based and marginalized demography from equal and fair opportunity.

As for cronyism predominantly in politics and economic sectors –  be a model for success through hard work, commitment and integrity rather than disingenuous appeasements and short cut strategies.

Most importantly do not abandon moral and ethics in daily life.

Never be afraid to speak the truth and display courage to defend the weak and the voiceless within and around you.

Do not tolerate injustice for it would only spread immorality,

Instead seek peaceful and non-violent course to prevail in your struggle.

Be informed and raise public awareness on issues.

Last but not the least be peaceful, compassionate and a true patriot.

With respect to the political standoff in the People vs. Politics:

The situation is precarious for the government and political factions for not arriving at a consensus in resolving the monumental national issue.

It is imperative for the government to honor republic will with corruption having a devastating impact on citizens’ lives and as a result hindering proportionate national progress.

Given Shri Anna Hazare’s declining health, the government and oppositions contemplation without concrete action to introduce and pass Jan Lokpal bill is conspicuously favoring corruption.

The honorable Parliament members citing the importance of laws and rules on Jan Lokpal issue need to shift focus on the stifling corruption in politics obviously stemming from the slight for the rules and regulations that the civil society is requesting to be mandatory.

Present government position to persuade Shri Anna Hazare to end fast either voluntarily or forcibly would lead to serious repercussions.

Any unfortunate event with Shri Anna Hazare is not ideal for the political powers.

Jan Lokpal bill can no longer be evaded and comparing national issue to state politics is political circumvention for Jan Lokpal bill has unanimous support and political party moving forward with civil society bill would gain enormous political mileage.

Shri Anna Hazare ending fast without government Lokpal withdrawal and Jan Lokpal introduction consisting all of the highlighted proposals exclusively in national interest,

Unlike government and oppositions’ vested interests proved detrimental until now, would lead to citizens’ peaceful and non-violent dissent.

Government and oppositions humble attention to world events with people power emerging victorious in Tunisia, Egypt, Thailand, Libya and soon Syria could perhaps modify irrationality and accept Jan Lokpal bill for corruption free society.

Youth movement and citizens peaceful and non-violent participation is crucial for Jan Lokpal bill victory.

Wishing Shri Anna Hazare strength and energy to succeed in the crusade against corruption.

People power must win on national cause.

Jai Hind!

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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