FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
EUPHORIA, RHETORIC & MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
It is unfortunate that a Historic Opportunity to bring about a consensus opinion of the whole nation on the important issue of corruption and its eradication is getting lost in Euphoria, Rhetoric and Missed opportunities.
Ø RHETORIC : I am surprised that a seasoned crusader like Kiran Bedi must be saying - Anna is India, India is Anna. I do respect Ms.Kiran Bedi a lot. And, in fact, I had listed some probable, eligible candidates (in my humble opinion) for the post of Lok Pal in my Post.2 dated 3rd, August, in which the name of Ms.Kiran Bedi is also listed by me along with other names. I stick to this view. But, “Anna is India; India is Anna” sort of rhetoric is unnecessary. No one represents the whole of India. Just none. Anna is a Gandhian, fighting against Corruption – very effectively. But, let us not equate any one with the whole of India.
Ø MISSED/ LIKELY TO BE MISSED OPPORTUNITY :
Ø In Post.4 dated 10th,August, this Blog had suggested the following :
Ø “Second – Team Anna should have co-opted a few MPs also in its fight against Corruption. After all, Democracy is represented by the Parliament and its members. No one can say – they do not represent people. Had this been done – Team Anna could introduce even a Private member’s Bill in Parliament, to counter the Government Bill, in a full fledged manner, get it circulated, get it discussed, and then send to the standing committee. It would have been a huge advantage for the Bill.”
Ø I now find, Mr.Varun Gandhi feels like introducing the Jan Lok Bill itself as a Private Members’ Bill. I do not know, if Team Anna has discussed this with Varun Gandhi – but, this is one line of action that team Anna must pursue actively. It could succeed better than many other measures – if orchestrated well in Parliament. But, team Anna needs to do a lot of lobbying work – as Varun’s Private bill could fail miserably in the absence of such lobbying and could be seen as a vote against Jan Lok Pal Bill, if it fails.
Ø MISSED OPPORTUNITIES : You can take any ethical stand on any subject with soft words or harsh words. You will use soft words if you want the other person to co-operate with you. You will use harsh words, if you don’t care for any such co-operation. Both Team Anna and the Government are terribly Guilty of this indiscretion in using harsh words against each other. They are thus missing the opportunity of emulating M.K. Gandhi – who never used a harsh word against the British.
Ø MISSED OPPORTUNITY : The Government is also guilty of investigating into the distant past of the crusaders against corruption – to find just anything to beat them with. But, as Buddha stressed many a time – this man is not the same man you saw years ago. No man is. Every one changes. Anna, whether he was corrupt earlier is immaterial. Today – he is a crusader against corruption. Don’t dig the distant past of every crusader against injustice, sir. You were probably just as unclean as (you say) he was (or more so) in that distant past. Today’s issue is important. Not the person’s past. Government has already shown itself in poor light in case of Swami Ram Dev and is repeating the same mistakes again in respect of Team Anna. It is a historic opportunity to cleanse the Nation of a huge chunk of its corruption, if not the whole of it, and at this time, the Government is - fighting the fighters against corruption and not corruption itself!
Ø RHETORIC : Is Parliament supreme in making legislation or not? It is. It always was. But then, why was the Lok Pal bill not passed in Parliament for four 4 decades? That makes it necessary for some one like Team Anna – to demand of the Parliament, to make this legislation, and make it a strong lok Pal Bill, not a casual one. Still, team Anna is not making the legislation. Only Parliament has to. So, let us see the Parliament introduce the Bill, debate on the Bill, and pass the Bill in such a way that the country has an effective Lok Pal. No one can take away that right from Parliament. Certainly team Anna cannot.
Ø RHETORIC : Either the Jan lok Pal Bill is passed by Parliament, Or I will fast unto death! This too is rhetoric. This is what many intellectuals are now calling as – the attitude of “either it is my way, or it is the High way”. For all that I can guess, this rhetoric is just wrong choice of words and team Anna is open for dialogue and correction. Finally, Parliament must effectively debate the Bill – and pass the Bill – preferably by consensus or at least 2/3rds majority and no one can take away that power from Parliament. Let no one use the terminology which reflects the taking away of Parliamentary Power through mass support. It is now known that the Jan Lok Pal Draft has undergone several corrections to reflect the suggestions received. Let this democratic process continue.
Ø MISSING OPPORTUNITIES : In psychology, there is a behavior called “Playing Games with each other” which is indulged in by some people while not dealing logically and straight forwardly with the other persons. Now – all parties to this fight against corruption must examine themselves frankly and honestly and stop playing Games. Honesty and transparency of purpose must be seen in every one’s actions.
Ø MISSING OPPORTUNITIES : Team Anna understands the use of fasting and demonstration to show its displeasure. It is doing that, for now. But, Government has a more simple and straight forward direction to follow. Look at your Lok Pal Bill critically. Look at Jan Lok Pal Bill also critically. Discuss with opposition parties also frankly. Find the best provisions of each bill that meets expectations of people , of opposition, of the supreme court and of course, of you, the main ruling party and its coalition partners. Go by consensus. If no consensus, go by at least 2/3rds majority opinion. Government cannot hide behind existing legalities in this. It must make a fresh law – to meet India’s new, emerging needs.
Ø MISSED / MISSING OPPORTUNITIES : This blog had suggested, in an earlier Post, inclusion of opposition Party members also in the Lok Pal Bill drafting committee. Had this been done, the wrangling in the committee might have been more – but a consensus or a majority opinion would have clearly emerged in the committee itself. Now – the alternative at this stage is – to include the opposition leaders at all important stages in the discussion, formulation of Bill, negotiations with team Anna and passing of the Bill and so on.
Ø OPPORTUNITIES NOT TO BE MISSED : In regard to Judiciary, if it is proposed to bring them under lok Pal (as sought by team Anna – but not really favoured by many, including this blog) – it is necessary to forward that portion of the Bill (or the whole Bill) to the supreme court for their opinion. Else, the Bill, even if passed, can get struck down.
Ø EUPHORIA : Is the Euphoria on the streets over the Bill / over Anna’s fast necessary and good? Yes. It is. Our Politicians failed to bring people together for any noble cause. If a large number of people can come together emotionally on such a noble cause and rally behind Anna Hazare – I would say – it is necessary and good by itself.
Ø OPPORTUNITY : But, India must find a way – to build public opinion on all such national issues from time to time. Let me say that – many state level political Parties also indulge in corruption – and it is extremely difficult to protest against their Political corruption in those states - because, the corrupt are also usually highly violent and like centre, they would also train their guns against the fighters against corruption and injustice in a devious way, using state machinery. India must find a way to protest against state injustice wherever it happens fearlessly without any reprisals at individual level against the protestors. This democratic spirit must come in the centre and state Governments. Team Anna must institutionalize the present euphoria and the people - into building recognized institutions to fight against social / Governmental injustices of the future.
Ø MISSED OPPORTUNITY : It is necessary to protect the fighters against corruption / injustice. If the fighter against corruption / injustice does not exist, the fight also does not exist. Each fighter must vow to raise his voice promptly and fearlessly against every injustice – especially injustice against fighters against injustice. Remember – there is no fight, if there is no fighter. It is as simple as that. For instance, has any body demanded any justice or compensation for Ms.Rajbala (or her family) who was an innocent, peaceful protester against corruption and Black money – like anybody behind Anna today? Today, she is lying in deep coma / illness for no fault of her except raising her voice in support of this just fight. State is responsible for her condition and state must regret such actions unreservedly and pay the family sufficient compensation – accepting responsibility for her condition. Similarly, every whistle blower, every complainant must be protected by the state – as otherwise, the state will never know the cases of corruption and injustice.
Ø OPPORTUNITY NOT TO BE MISSED : All political parties must forget the past right up to this moment; must come together, must discuss and frame a good, strong Lok Pal Bill, so that this nation and all other nations will be proud of the Indian Parliament – which is undoubtedly the ultimate authority for making Laws for this country.
* * * JAI HIND * * *