The Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill yesterday paving the way for its implementation. Implementation – that is the big, another complicated battle lying next.
Passage of a ‘compromised’ bill with some good and some ‘can and to be manipulated’ features is just half the battle won.
And the day comes after 45 years if we begin with 1968 when a related legislation was tried for the first time in the Indian Parliament or it may be after 50 years if we take the first discussion on an anti-corruption ombudsman in 1963 in the Indian Parliament as the point to begin.
And see the brazenness of the political class who kept delaying it for so long, for five decades, is now singing paeans of its efforts, of being the anti-corruption champions.
Now who is going to tell them again that we are not fools? Okay, we, as electors, have acted and act erratically and foolishly every now and then, but many of us are not fools.
Yes, we didn’t have options. All in the political lot were similar. So many of us didn’t vote or if voted, we went for the best of the available, even if we were not satisfied.
We needed option. NOTA is now one. Yes, we cannot say the Aam Aadmi Party way is an option but its remarkable electoral show in Delhi tells us and everyone in clear terms that anti-corruption is the central poll plank and is going to play big in the upcoming general elections scheduled for next April-May.
The AAP show tells the politicians about centrality of corruption as ‘the’ poll plank and to ‘look’ sincere on anti-corruption measures. And this centrality forced the mainstream political parties to go into a huddle, to form an ‘alliance’ to pass the Lokpal Bill, and that too, in 10 days flat.
Yes, 10 days, since December 8, when the assembly election results of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were announced, results that gave AAP, the one-year old political debutant, 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly making it the second largest party after BJP’s 31 seats. And AAP’s success has its origin in the hugely successful anti-corruption movement of 2011 for Lokpal led by Anna Hazare the epicenter of which was Delhi.
The aspect that is to be seen here is how the politicians came back to their tricks of delaying the Bill once the anti-corruption movement got derailed in 2012. In spite of passing a lame and inefficient bill in Lok Sabha in December 2011, they were not sincere to pass even this diluted version, and they did not present it, debated it or pass it, until the assembly election results of December 8, when they were slapped hard by the electorate on the issue of corruption.
Before this, their arrogance was dismissing the corruption plank, the anti-corruption movement was being seen as long dead and they were back to treat the Indian masses having short memory believing they would forget the acts of political corruption soon.
Had it been for a poor show by AAP in Delhi, even Anna Hazare’s ongoing fast would not have ensured such a ‘lightening fast’ passage of the Lokpal Bill by the Indian Parliament.
But the Delhi public had an option this time that was ‘unlike’ the others in the political fraternity and though yet to be proven, it went for them.
And that forced the mainstream political class to scramble to ‘at least look sincere’ on coming down heavily on corruption and this forced-necessity pushed them to pass the ‘compromised’ Lokpal Bill, the many provisions of which can still be killer for the corrupt politicians and officials, in a hurry, because there is no time left in the big political battle, the Lok Sabha polls.
Their scare and not their commitment that the centrality of corruption as the poll issue may reflect across the country in the 2014 general elections made them pass the bill in such haste.
And dear political folks, we realise it.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/