Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jan Lokpal Movement showing muscles

Today was the biggest day so far in the Jan Lokpal Movement. People have come to the streets in all the big cities of India. There was no parallel for the crowds that turned up in Delhi and Mumbai. Over half a million people were on streets in Delhi and similar numbers in Mumbai that conducted 'Maharallies' (Grand Rallies). The procession of the people from India Gate to Ramlila Maidan was well timed and well disciplined. The streets were covered with a carpet of people. The day was a feast for photographers who took fabulous pictures of this huge movement.

Today was the sixth day of Anna's fast. In the evening he gave his half an hour long speech. Anna proved his mettle that he is determined to achieve what he is striving for. It would be the most foolish mistake to take Anna lightly by the way he speaks. Though he uses simple colloquial words, but the actions for this words have proved fatal for the government. I would like to highlight his two statements which have devastated all the legal technical arguments by the government.

a) The citizens of India became the owner of the country on 26th January 1950. The politicians are the servants who are chosen by the citizens. How can politicians dictate on their masters?

b) If police stop me from protesting then I get myself arrested. If they deport me to some other place, then I will again come back to protest. This cycle will go on endlessly till my demands are met.

The first statement by itself destroys all the legal technicalities that government uses as a shield to protect themselves. It states that according to the Constitution, the citizens are supreme. First comes the citizens and everything follows them.

In the second statement, Anna destroyed all the whims of the use of force by the Government. Indirectly, Anna said, I don't fear arrest and I don't fear a lathi (baton). The Government committed the biggest blunder by not understanding his inherent message.

Today Anna made his demand concrete. He said to the government to pass the Jan Lokpal bill by 30th August or leave the office. It is a straight demand which has serious implications. First of all, no political party will ever pass the Jan Lokpal Bill as it directly hits them to the place where it hurts the most, that is punishment for corruption. The present government headed by Congress will try its best to find a middle path, i.e. a bill which is not strict but somehow creates a nominal institution of Lokpal. However, according to the turnout of the people today, I don't think Anna should compromise anything less than the Jan Lokpal Bill. People on the streets show that they are with him. No political party can ever overlook a huge public outburst.

The other very subtle aspect of today's call is the demand to leave the office in case of failure to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill. If the UPA falls, then they will be forced to resign fresh elections will be conducted. But are we sure that the next government will pass the Jan Lokpal bill ? History suggests that after the fall of Congress in 1977, the new government couldn't bring any fundamental change in the governance. Practically, the fresh elections will delay the implementation of the Lokpal Bill by atleast 4 months. Even then, there is no guarantee that the new government would pass the Bill. However, one must not forget that the Jan Lokpal Movement is an 'apolitical'. Definitely it will prompt the parties to show their willingness to introduce a strong law when they go to people asking for their vote. I hope it will bring new equations in political game of India.

Also read:
Lokpal movement as of Aug 20, 2011

Why Lokpal movement is a must for youths …

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