Harish Jharia

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24 April 2011

India, the largest democracy and contender for UN Security Council seat display low grade crude politics against civil society in Jan Lokpal Bill Drafting Committee

Anna Hazare: The crusader against rampant corruption in India

A joint drafting committee for Jan Lokpal Bill has been constituted through a Government of India Gazette Notification. There are 5 members of congress (Cabinet Ministers) and five members from the civil society (Social activists and legal experts) have been officially nominated. 

Leader of the ruling coalition Sonia Gandhi has supported the formation of this committee and the Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh has also expressed faith in the philosophy of Lokpal and promised the country that the Anticorruption bill will be passed in the monsoon cession. 

In spite of all the positive statements of the topmost congress leaders in the government and the gazette notification published by the union government, a parallel negative campaign of senior congress party office bearers has created a state of uncertainty about the whole issue. Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh has been the most vocal critic of a couple of members of the civil society. 

In addition to the above there have been reports of similar negative outbursts of frustration by leaders of the opposition parties also. These politicians have gone to the extent of questioning as to how Anna Hazare can call all the Indian politicians as corrupt. They said that Anna Hazare has exploited the Gandhian system of protest of nonviolence (Satyagrah) via a fast unto death. 

They accused Anna of supporting communal forces because he appreciated the rural development brought by Narendra Modi the Chief Minister of Gujarat and Nitish Kumar the Chief Minister of Bihar. This arrogant reaction obviously appears to have been aired for the simple reason that both of the chief ministers belong to non-congress parties. 

Politicians, crossing party lines, have joined hands in maligning the images of the civil society members of Jan Lokpal bill drafting committee. They are also targeting the leaders who are extending support to the civil society members. These Indian politicians have even raised doubts against the basic structure of the committee. There has been a demand from a non-congress chief minister that the Joint Drafting Committee should have a member from dalit community.  

There is an obvious unrest among Indian politicians and some business houses due to the revolutionary progress in the direction of bringing the anticorruption Jan Lokpal Bill to reality. Now the mammoth question today is whether these politicians will let the bill passed in the Indian Parliament


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