It is a simple yes or no question any more. There is a Jan Lokpal, that Anna makes it mandatory to all of us. Since even Arundhati Roy has chosen to write about the Lokpal, I said why not me? 🙂
Frankly I liked Arundhati, the novelist of “God of Small Things”. What a nice novel it was. Since people do not stick around doing what they can do best they go here and and they go there. There goes Arundhati:
I read the article for old times’ (novel) sake. So let me deal with what I went through.
Arundhati on Anna: The title of her article is honest -she writes about the man and not the issue. On the issue of corruption she has nothing really to offer. So she insinuates about Anna’s track record. She rants about the State and somehow aligns Anna with the repressive state. Give me a break. All thunder, no light.
Coming back to the dilemma: Now some MP’s think that even “Jan” Lokpal is not “Jan” enough, so they want ‘weaker’ sections to be represented. Give it to us Indians, how not to think of public good but make sure that (their) private good is taken care.
I had said I support Anna (on the need for Lokpal). The reason was a step, even a baby step is needed to bring a lot of powerful people under some kind of check. I decided that my problems about his lack of any overarching vision should be kept aside. Someone else, aspiring to lead the nation, should provide that vision.
I have no problem if Anna forces the government to do something. The Supreme Court does it in many areas. There is a lot of sophistry going around, by people like Kapil Sibal, P Chimbaram, Shekhar Gupta (Indian Express), and now joined by Arundhati about the rights and the wrongs of the methods of Anna. The fact is that this ‘democratically’ elected and ‘constitutionally’ constituted government has been doing everything it can do to stall the wheels of justice, helped in no small measure by the laws and the constitution which require ‘permission’ to prosecute a public servant. This permission is to be given by a governor or a president who is ‘bound’ to follow ‘recommendations’ of the ‘democratically’ elected government of which a public servant is a part. Talk about neater arrangements than this.
That’s why Subramaniam Swamy had to go to SC to get the permission to prosecute Raja in the 2G case. Only when the court started hearing the case this ‘democratic’ government was forced to remove Raja.
Therefore something was needed to be done immediately to remove this ‘Catch 22’ in the working of justice. Remember that the ‘supreme’ parliament sat on the Lokpal issue for decades.
After all, whichever Lokpal bill comes, will come through an act of the parliament. So what’s the fuss about the methods of Anna?
As far as the more substantial issues of corruption and it’s prevention are concerned, I will return to them separately.