Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Lokpal deadline

Where there is will there is a way. If Congress wants to pass a strong Lokpal Bill it can do. If it does not want to pass a strong Lokpal Bill it finds ways avoid it. In that case the passing of Lokpal Bill depends on how strong is the will of people who want a strong Lokpal Bill. If their will is stronger than that of Congress they will succeed. Anna Hazare Group wants Lokpal Bill passed in the winter session of Parliament which gets over on 22/12/2011. Otherwise he will start his indefinite fast on 27/12/2011 and has asked people to fill jails and sit in front of houses of MPs from 1 January 2012 onwards. This time the fast is to be from Azad Maidan where his previous fasts were successful.

Various excuses are given against the passing of Lokpal Bill. Some say Anna Hazare is inflexible. Anna Hazare has been flexible. He wanted Lokpal Bill passed by 15/8/2011. He went on fast on 16/8/2011. He withdrew the fast after the promise to pass it in winter session. The government must keep its promise.

Some say Lokpal Bill should not be passed in a hurry. Lokpal Bill has come and gone for the past 43 years and no hurry means it will be discussed for the next 43 years by which time most of those who are MPs now will be dead.

One funny argument is that if winter session is extended it will clash with Christmas and will trample upon the feelings of Christians. Passing a bill does not take even a minute. Once 17 bills were passed in 12 minutes. Lokpal Bill can be passed by 22/12/2011 and if necessary winter session can be extended by two days. This year Christmas comes on Sunday and not even a day will be lost because of Christmas. If more discussion is needed the session can continue till 31/12/2011 when winter session should come to an end because after that it is another year and a first session of a year should begin with President’s address. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam violated that constitutional provision in 2004 under advice from NDA government. At least one Governor has similarly violated the constitution.

Some say Anna Hazare is holding the country to ransom. When terrorists abduct a minister’s daughter or hijack an aeroplane and demand the release of prisoners they hold the country to ransom. Anna Hazare has not done that.

Some say Anna Hazare should not dictate terms to the government. If industrialists dictate terms to government as to who should be telecom minister or who should not be petroleum minister it is fine with the government.

Someone said Congress is sincere about Lokpal Bill. If Congress says it does not want a strong Lokpal and will not bring a strong Lokpal Bill and acts according then also it is sincere.

1 Comment

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  1. Anna Hazare, Congress, someone…
    It makes no difference. India has its own way of going about – just going – by cheating ourselves. And that seems to be the only way.

    Is Anna Hazare any better than Sonia Gandhi, for example?

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