IAC members launched their political party on Gandhi Jayanti at Constitution Club. They will announce the name of the party on 26 November, Constitution Day. I wondered it may have to do with 26/11. The party could have done without white caps with words â€œI am common manâ€ and â€œI want Jan Lokpalâ€ as its symbol. White caps belong to a bygone era. Not many politicians use them.
Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal have parted ways. The issue was political formation. Many in IAC wanted to form a political party to fight corruption. Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and some others were opposed to it. The meeting on 19/9/2012 lasted nine hours. Yogendra Yadav was the moderator. Anna Hazare said those who want to form a political party can go ahead with it but should not use his name or photograph. Arvind Kejriwal said Anna Hazareâ€™s decision was shocking, unbelievable and sad.
Baba Ramdev and some other people wanted a split between Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. Arvind Kejriwal was opposed to all political parties. Kiran Bedi was in favour of BJP. Arvind Kejriwal did not want to join with Baba Ramdev as there were tax evasion cases against him. RSS people wanted to use IAC against Congress. Industrialist Sitaram Jindal had a role in arranging meetings of Anna Hazare with people opposed to Arvind Kejriwal.
In India project costs go up and the final figure is many times of that of original figure. The original figure for Commonwealth Games 2010 was around 160 crore rupees. It went up and up and final figure was around 1,02,000 crore rupees. Shunglu committee reports were suppressed. Nobody was punished for swindling. In Olympics 2008 China won 51 gold and many silver and bronze medals, India won one gold and two bronze. The gold medal was largely due to private effort. The medals India wins in any Olympics can be counted on fingers of one hand.
There is a conspiracy of silence about money lost to the people of India due to corporate debt restructuring (CDR). TV channels donâ€™t talk about CDR. Companies borrow crores of rupees from banks and financial institutions and when they say they are unable to pay the loan they are referred to CDR cell. Over the years more and more companies have defaulted on payments.
In F. Y. 2009-10, 256 companies defaulted on payment of 1,15,990 crores rupees, 215 of them got CDR for 1,04,299 crores rupees. In F. Y. 2010-11, 305 companies defaulted on payment of 1,41,158 crores rupees, 242 of them got CDR for 1,10,914 crores rupees. In F. Y. 2011-12, 389 companies defaulted on payment of 2,05,692 crores rupees, 286 of them got CDR for 1,50,286 crores rupees. CDR cell rejected requests of 56 companies for CDR of 19,589 crores rupees and decisions on requests of 47 companies for CDR of 35,878 crores rupees are pending. For three years CDR amount is 3,65,438 crore rupees which may go up to 4,01,316 crores rupees.
IAC wants FIRs against 14 ministers. The ministers are P. Chidambaram, Ajit Singh, Farooq Abdullah, G. K. Vasan, Kamal Nath, Kapil Sibal, Sharad Pawar, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Sushilkumar Shinde, Vilasrao Deshmukh, M. K. Alagiri, Virbhadra Singh, S. M. Krishna and Praful Patel.
Kapil Sibal reduced fine on Reliance from 650 crore rupees to 5 crore rupees resulting in a loss of 645 crore rupees to the country. He should reverse his decision or pay 645 crore rupees.
India Against Corruption seems to have lost direction and momentum in fight against corruption. IAC wanted a Lokpal Bill. That did not happen. They wanted right to reject and right to recall. Both are unlikely to happen soon. Anna Hazare seems unable or unwilling to lead the agitation. Other members should resume the fight against corruption.
IAC members need not go on indefinite fast. They can go on chain hunger strike. Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan can fast for some hours every day. Then Shazia Ilmi, Gaurav Bakshi and Manish Sisodia can take their turn. Then some other people fast. Every day the cycle is repeated. The fight for Lokpal should be separate from fight for Lokayuktas.
The fast by activists led by Anna Hazare has elicited different responses from different people. While there is agreement on the need to fight corruption, some have criticized the method.
Their objections are as below:
1) In a parliamentary democracy parliament is supreme. Parliament can not be pressurized by fasting.
2) Self-appointed people can not make law. It is for elected representatives to make law.
3) The agitators have contempt for politics and democracy.
4) The agitation amounts to blackmail.
5) The agitation is fascist.
Let us examine the objections.
1) People are supreme in a democracy. Parliament represents people. MPs are elected to do the will of the people and not as they want. Fasting is a legitimate way to put pressure on parliament. MPs forget they are representatives of people and not lords and masters. The constitution begins with the words â€œWe the peopleâ€.