India Insight

Probable Lokpal Bill: Neither Anna’s nor govt’s version

By Reuters Staff
August 20, 2011

By Arup Roychoudhury

The events that transpired since Anna Hazare first went on a fast in April, when the word “Lokpal” was embedded in the minds of people throughout India, seem to have given Hazare’s protest a very one-dimensional view — that of black versus white.

The Indian press corps, across medium and languages, may have also contributed to the polarisation. Most seem to have taken a pro-Hazare stand with little or no coverage given to any counterviews.

However, this is still being seen as essentially a political movement, with many angles and viewpoints to it. And, like many political movements, chances are it will probably end in a compromise rather than “victory” for either the ruling Congress coalition or Team Anna.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that he was willing to engage in open dialogue regarding the bill and that there was a “scope of give and take”.

With the government seen as willing to show a rather belated streak of flexibility, it shouldn’t be long before Hazare starts conceding some ground.

The Times of India reported that Hazare’s group has indicated it is ready to drop its insistence of including the higher judiciary within the ambit of the bill.

“The government is now trying to win over the civil society … There is bound to be some kind of a middle ground between the two parties,” said D.H. Pai Panandiker, president of the RPG Foundation, a private economic thinkthank.

“Some riders like exclusion of even the prime minister may be agreed to by Anna Hazare,” he added.

And perhaps that’s what India needs. Instead of two different groups essentially trying to force their viewpoints, it may be more constructive if they sit down and work on a bill acceptable to all members of civil society.

A bill which is neither Lokpal or Jan Lokpal but a combination of good provisions from both, while leaving out the loopholes.

Comments
9 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Every Indian should vow to vote in the next election to only that MP/ MLA who send a letter of support to the Jan Lokpal draft to the standing commitee which will provide recommendations to the bill of law. Write to your local Mp and MLA to force him to listen to the voice of the people. Indians will vote for the party which will support the JanLokpal Bill.

Posted by SunilKumar | Report as abusive
 

Although, I have my reservations on some issues on lokpal
bill we need to salute Anna for uniting India.All these
years the nation is only being divided by politicians from all parties without any exception.Now, the nation is united to fight this back breaking corruption.Atleast for this the nation has to salute Anna, for standing up for a cause and making people realize that their voice matters.The participation in the movement is from all spheres of life.There is no caste, community ,backward or forward,minority or majority dividing these people.Everybody is voluntarily joining the movement.

Posted by valmiki | Report as abusive
 

the bill drafted by Anna and team is the right bill. what will be achieved by a compromise but dilution and accommodation, the very reasons which have ensured this malaise becomes a disease. it seems anti nationals are now at work to divert attention from the core issue.

Posted by BHARGAVANOIDA | Report as abusive
 

unfortunately there are thick skinned bureaucrats who are occupying prime positions. they just want their positions and privileges to continue and don’t care about people. it is evidenced every other day in our daily life.

Posted by BHARGAVANOIDA | Report as abusive
 

Any meaningful bill now will have to be a result of intense dialogue, and if it comes out as strong it will be all to the good.

But why do they have be dragged kicking and screaming to the the table. This is what they had constituted the joint drafting committee for. Or isn’t it?

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Anna Hazare is an exception where the exception that proves the law.

Anna Hazare is performing his Fundamental duties.
A super watchdog of democracy and a politician of the politicians – is performing his Fundamental duties.

What none of the licensed watchdogs could do since last 65 years, Anna Hazare did. The most effective ways to strengthen the media’s contribution to democracy, and to maintain an ideal relationship between media and society, is to let people access proper information. Which is also essential to the health of democracy. This is done by investigative journalism which refers to forms of activist journalism aimed at holding accountable public personalities and institutions whose functions impact social and political life. Investigative journalism ensures that citizens make responsible, informed choices rather than acting out of ignorance or misinformation and also serves information as a “checking function” by ensuring that elected representatives uphold their oaths of office and carry out the wishes of those who elected them. But even after 62 years of formation of Representative democracy in India, since 1950, India’s mass media has failed to achieve it, even to a reasonable standard.

But today, Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption has taken him to such a standard that fights to the corridors of power and challenges the government at the highest level. People, the common man and well known personalities alike, are supporting him in the hundreds swelling to the thousands all over India.

After a freedom struggle of about 90 years, we have achieved Independence in 1947 and then India has formed a representative democracy. Accordingly, India has enacted its constitution by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, a constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organisation is governed. India’s Constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950. The preamble to the constitution of India reads, “we, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic and …”. Where, a “republic” is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, retain supreme control over the government and a “representative democracy” is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people i.e. a government in which all eligible people have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.

India’s Constitution guarantees Fundamental Rights to its citizens without presumption or cost of privilege to all human beings under its jurisdiction. Fundamental Rights is a charter of rights and guarantees civil liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace and harmony as citizens of India. These include equality before law, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom to practise religion, and the right to constitutional remedies for the protection of civil rights.

The Directive Principles of State Policy are guidelines for the framing of laws by the government. These provisions are not enforceable by the courts, but the principles on which they are based are fundamental guidelines for governance that the State is expected to apply in framing and passing laws.

The Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India. These duties concern individuals and the nation. They too are not legally enforceable.

A politician or political leader is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making where a group of politicians form a political party. A political party is a political organisation that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office, such political party comes into power and forms a government through voting system. Voting is a method for a group or groups of political party, decided by an electorate following an election campaign found in democracies and republics. Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organised. Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state.

However, though it is the duty of media to monitor a government and ensure that citizens make responsible, informed choices rather than acting out of ignorance or misinformation and also to serve information as a “checking function” by ensuring that elected representatives uphold their oaths of office and carry out the wishes of those who elected them, unfortunately such is not the ideal fact noticeable in India even after 65 years of Independence. Due to illiteracy, poverty and population most citizens of India casts their votes out of ignorance and misinformation and also fails to ensure that the representatives elected by them uphold their oaths of office and carry out the wishes of those who elected them.

Fortunately, India is now blessed to have Anna Hazare as one of India’s well acclaimed social activists, and a former soldier in the Indian army, who fights Indian anti-corruption movement, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. The whole India has to learn from Him.

Posted by SNThakur | Report as abusive
 

I disagree with the writer who thinks that most Indian media is pro-Hazare. In fact, most media has a anti-Anna bias. The only notable exception is the Times of India group, that seems to be solidly behind the movement. CNN-IBN, NDTV, and others are strongly against the movement. (they will qualify that they are anti-corruption but they do not believe in Hazare’s methods.) For more discussion on these topics, please visit http://leftbrainwave.blogspot.com/

Posted by nayakan | Report as abusive
 

In short let me mention that we forget that Corruption is a contagious disease. It is the most fatal disease in the entire world. It has no medicine invented to cure the disease, but the Chinese curb’s it control by putting the corrupts under firing squad to kill from time to time.

This is not possible in Democratic country to kill people however bad or corrupt they may be. Therefore, it is easily presumable that what ever the government of India and Anna Hazare does to check corruption nothing will work permanently except by death the only way it can be curbed to certain extent.

This corruption is fatal I mentioned because first of all the largest Democracy is already being addressed by public of some community of nations as The Largest corrupt Democracy of the world. It is defenitly a fatal blow to the once country’s good name.

Then as this corruption has extended to all governmental Institutions, Ministries, Administration, and the most vital institution the Justice Department, it can be visualized that state of affairs in business sectors, and Political Circle.

To cut down a long story short the venom of this corruption will ultimately turn this land as a failed country and the time is but running out fast if at least nothing to stop is done as a last resort.

I have stated the fact because of the believe that better to face the truth boldly then to cry behind the screen.

Posted by KINGISKING | Report as abusive
 

Thorough discussion is very essential before presenting the draft for Lokpal Bill in the parliament.

Posted by Ashok007 | Report as abusive
 

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