1949My perspective on the Lokpal Drafting process and subsequent developments
- Apr 25, 2011
My stance against some of the members of the Drafting Committee has generated much heat and I have been accused and chided in various ways. I know it is quite unpopular a stand because the general public mood is in its favour. Thus, while many people appreciated and thanked me for my protest against Bhushans at Jantar mantar, there were others who openly criticized me as well.
I have different views on the Lokpal Bill and the way its Drafting Committee has been formed. In my opinion the process has huge long-term negative tendencies attached.
I explain my point here-
Today the issue was that of Corruption. Everyone wants to get rid of it. Anna and people sat at Jantar Mantar though the issue had been raised by many others including all the rest of u for very long time in ur own way. Anna asked for a Lokpal and the Government acceded to it. So far so good. But the related Q is- Will the govt accede in this manner in all the cases? Why in this particular case? Aren't there many other equally important issues involved? Is poverty, population explosion, Kashmir, Terrorism, North east, Naxalism etc. less important an issue? At this stage the Q will arise- which issue is more important. Does it not depend on the concerned person as well- the really affected person? Thus we need to evolve a policy of uniformity as regards the response of the Government to the various issues.
If there is no such uniformity, it gives rise to discrepancies and abruptness which has their own long-term ill-effects, including dangerous consequences. Hence, uniformity and transparency of action is a must.
Again, when the Drafting Committee was formed (against the provisions of law), why were they from a particular group? What message was given by saying -"Anna Hazare's nominees"? Are we living in a feudal world? Do we forget every happening in the name of "fight against corruption"? Shall the long-term concepts, legal conceptualizations be all ignored for some hypothetical goal like-"Lokpal comes and corruption goes"?
Sorry, I completely disagree with such simple generalizations and many people of the society also saying the same. The euphoria and the frenzy created by overdose of mass media are now over and people are critically evaluating and analysing each of these issues separately.
Yes, people are desperate to end corruption, to devise means for that. But they are also watching the clamour for sticking to posts, even if they are of temporary nature. I have nothing personal against anyone of these "Fighters against corruption" but what I am finding really humiliating is the way their words and their conduct are completely against each other. While they talk of ruling out and eliminating corruption, the members of this so-called team are getting together to form a Cartel of self-interest. When accusations are coming, each one should have reacted by saying that these accusations be immediately enquired. But what was the reaction- "We are being framed. This is a sleaze campaign. We stand united" and so on. So how r these people different from any other political leadership which always try to save each other's skin?
Thus, I personally not only differ from the way the entire process was conducted and also feel really bad about how top people people associated with this campaign are losing their credibility by behaving as a gang of self-seeking persons.
Hence, I shall go on speaking my mind about each of these issues in whatever little way I can, whether I am shouted at or called names. This is because I find it my duty to speak up my mind when I think I must.
I sum it up as such-
1. Yes, there is a great need to fight corruption
2. Yes, Anna Hazare and his men helped bring corruption at center stage
3. But, there are many more people who have fought and are fighting this cause, including each one of you and hence I don't accept this fight as any person's monopoly
4. I think creation of Drafting Committee against Constitutional and legal procedures are wrong, dangerous and have great long-term consequences
5. The use of words "nominees of Anna" are dictatorial and incorrect
6. Worst, the subsequent behaviour of this group against accusations made on certain members has already given very bad signals
7. Fight against corruption is not a one-day affair or a short-cut process, as easy to be achieved by one legislature or one Act as these people are trying to portray. This is almost like cheating the minds of the people whose desperation for corruption free society is being taken advantage of.
8. We must get out of this hypnotic sleep that coming of Lokpal is end of corruption because this mindset will have very adverse impact in future when such a thing does not really happen
9. Let us not start believing that this is a fight between people for corruption and people against corruption. This is a very simplistic assumption by people who want to get into power structure through parallel channels
I have given my point of view and would always welcome others point because all these issues are of great National importance.
Dr Nutan Thakur,
Convener, National RTI Forum/
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