Battle of the Bills…Understanding the Lokpal Bills
As the two armies march into the plain fields of Ramlila grounds, the faceoff has just began. One armed with an election mandate of a few million, the other with the anguish of a frustrated billion. Close kin fighting a common enemy, fighting to decide the right armoury. Can there be more irony into this entire tragedy, while we fight and live in misery,enemy goes scot free. …………………………………..Sunil Varma
The two Lokpal bills, drafted by the government and the Civil society, have been receiving some strong reactions from all corners of the country. Everyone seems to be fascinated with the coming of age of Indian public and their fight against corruption. Facebook, twitter and the entire social media are trending; with no one else to fill the empty space of a national leadership, Anna is our new DE-facto leader. But before I take sides I want to know what is prize of the battle, so this is an amateur analysis of the two Lokpal bills.
This is an analysis of the bills not the movement itself. An attempt to understand, if the Anna’s suicide attempt is worth the cause or is it another of tamashas that we Indians are so found of. To make the post short, I have taken the key points of differences between the two parties and tabulated it with comments. ( I just hope in my zeal to keep the post concise I have not made it unreadable)
Now that the moral ground to kill clearly in the favor the Jan-Lokpal bill, it is also clear why the Govt is opposing it. Their situation is akin to asking a carceral soul to pick his garroter’s hatchet. I am convinced if left to the GOVT (any one in Power) this bill will never see the light of the day. Even if the bill is passed, Lokpal as an institution will be another govt agency relegated to the caves of bureaucratic Moria.
Even though I like the Jan Lokpal Bill better, I am not sure if I agree with Anna Hazare tactics of coercing the govt into accepting what the movement wants. This will set a new precedent of having a Jana-bills, for every bill that will be introduced in the parliament. The need of time demands one of the parties take it up into the Parliament, and debate it like mature people and pass a bill that can fight corruption. But knowing the level of intellect in our parliament, I know it is pipe dream and would rather have an Anna do that for us.
It is corruption that we are fighting against, in a society where it is part of our daily chore. We bribe everyone and envy the govt officer and his not so legal perks. We can afford to ride without a license, marry at the local park, sell a house at half the legal value, get our kids to the school and colleges and avoid our taxes because of our ability to corrupt people. We are the ones who look for a jack, a push or a pull to get anything done and feel proud that we are able to do it with our so called connections.
But we are the same people who in an alien country are exemplary citizens. We keep the city clean in Singapore, go thru the 10 tests to get a license in UK, do not drink and drive in Dubai, stand in queues everywhere. Reason: We are scared of the law, where as in our own country we know we can bribe our way through. So it is the law… clear, enforceable and incorruptible that will make a difference. So a strong anti corruption Law and a competent enforcing agency is paramount for us to win this WAR! and that is what this is all about. I vote for the Jan-Lokpal Bill or it closest equivalent that has been evaluated, checked and rechecked by a competent group of people with the objective of fighting corruption, even if it not supported by Anna and his billions.