The stumbling LOKPAL crusade


It’s been 8 months since it first came up, a man on indefinite hunger strike, filling weight into the idea of a Jan Lokpal Bill, cradling what has now become an unprecedented expansion of opinions and beliefs, the Indian Anti-Corruption Movement. It was not that the thought was whimsical, for the agitations favoring this generic vision had been; but reaction and support at this hour were more comforting, prevailing like an adamant uprising, and so, the bubble of structured corruption stacked in present unstructured social knowhow, popped, for everyone to throw stones upon.


The present scenario is a catastrophe, not for what has been achieved but for what must be achieved. The Indian Government, and Activists are two sides, fighting to introduce their own version of Lokpal, whilst a citizen in commotion wonders if at all an ideal Lokpal is a possibility, and if it is, what Lokpal might that be, and to further add to the confusion, a bunch of political parties with opinions ranging from personal profiteering, opportunism to public goodwill, tip toe with their collateral, assuring maximum purchase with conversational gambits. A smart move by most citizens has been to support Activists in their efforts to reduce monopoly enjoyed by political front, however if it is smart or lethargy on part of common man, opens up yet another latent territory. It is no denying that Lokpal is essential, and as far as accomplishment of goals is concerned, there will be a Lokpal. The support has been widespread, and every move on the issue is aired like a freebie, almost instantly. The result being, mentions of Anna Hazare and Lokpal Bill in most Facebook status updates, an overwhelming social media conversance, although on another account, Sibal has indeed done well to take some of people’s time to his reckoning.

It is a celebratory bill and one cannot help but applaud and cheer, for the initiative was well adhered to by IAC, but in times of mud-slinging, a mud-slinger does not stay clean for long. Such is the case with the current instigation, where the two sides believe that cooperation is far fetched, and a win of one would mean loss of other. But one wonders what common does an activist and a government have, and the thought of public welfare that should have come as an epiphany, slides past as if it never was a concern, as the battle now concerns self-righteousness of the two corridors that shall never succumb to formulation of a common Lokpal. But then again, as is every single time, voters, the breed that is not asked much, just told, eventually revering to it’s own intellectual might, will have to make a decision to end the insane non-cooperation movement between the two sides, and to their dismay, there is no third.

One of the most asked questions to IAC are in regards to their means, and whether they are in alignment with the democratic form which India is affiliated to, and if at all they are Gandhian. It is indeed not a pretty sight when anyone opposing a clause of People’s Lokpal draft is perceived as corrupt, and it cannot be taken for granted that People’s Lokpal draft is an ideal Lokpal, for the best form must not be most advantageous to citizens but most proficient in functioning. But whilst IAC has been keen on exploiting differed clauses on Government’s draft, the Govt. has not been able to explain their stand, other than repeating what is already the talk of town. If the Govt. were able to answer the former, they would not have to face the wrath of common people. This whole issue, yet again brings to court, the Ambedkar-Gandhi debate, where the two protagonists of their tale, one being constitutional and other adhering to Satyagraha share a difference in opinion as to how the inevitable “Swaraj” came to being and whether it was democratic. Anna Hazare with his fast-unto-death strategy has been deemed undemocratic by the Govt. where it ain’t the righteousness of Lokpal but the fear of proximity to death bed, that is adding to acceptance of demand. To a certain extent they do sound correct in advocating such a statement, and referring to Ambedkar who would have deemed it unfit, for if one shares democratic values and support of a million people, a peaceful protest would have sufficed unlike the ticking clock of Anna’s life. On one condition alone does it justify Anna’s discretion, which being Government’s non-appreciation, untrustworthy, corruption laden tactics. To some extent, attributed to malign maneuvers of Govt., it might be hard for IAC to trust Government, but may be like their other practices of transparency and citizen involvement, a public vote on whether fast is the right way, a democratic way, must be determined in lieu of mere justification. And again, people have to understand, if they would support a movement that gets results, or the movement that gets them, though slow but in the right manner. The debate once again rages onto constitution.

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