The treadmill is on but as usual nothing is going to happen than another session of the Parliament somehow passed and some more fodder to the airwaves for writing and airing on the riddle that we all know has lost all the mystery.
For months it is being speculated that the Lokpal Bill is to be tabled in the upcoming session of the Parliament (the present one or the Budget Session). For months, the anti-proponents are saying the government is going to stall it further by sending it to the Select Committee or the Joint Committee of both the houses.
Anyway, does it really matter now, after a toothless Bill prepared by the Standing Committee (with no stands on its own) to be further watered down with some 185 amendments proposed by the political parties?
The country (if we mean the ‘country’ for the political ‘elite’ of this otherwise poor country) had stood a silent victim to the drama that unfolded in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house, in December 2011? After a marathon debate, the session was abruptly terminated sine die at midnight of December 29, 2011.
If the Lokpal Bill draft or the Jan Lokpal Bill as proposed by the people behind the anti-corruption movement last year was too rigid to be accepted, what the government proposed and what the 185 amendments sought was outrightly condemnable. If the Jan Lokpal Bill was not a practical version, the government’s Lokpal Bill is not even theoretical one for the needs of the Indian democracy.
After the anti-corruption movement fizzled out due to the clique around Anna Hazare, the word Lokpal has again become the football with no goal-posts drawn. It cannot be said if it is going to be presented tomorrow or the day-after in the Parliament or even if presented, going to see the voting.
For us, the Indian on the street, this bedraggled game of political skullduggery is nothing but the meaner games our politicians have been playing with us. Even if the Lokpal is institutionalized the way the political parties (and just not the government) are proposing, it doesn’t mean anything except a burden on us, the taxpayers, to carry the burden of yet another administrative while elephant.
Yet another while elephant being speculated to arrive on the scene in the House is the White Paper on Black Money. The political parties in their ‘finer spirit’ have been criticizing the government for not doing enough to bring the black money back in the country. And so our dear finance minister would take the pain to make his fellow parliamentarians aware of the so-called ‘five-pronged’ strategy adopted by the government to bring back the billions stashed in foreign banks.
In the recent times, any parliament session has not been much productive for the interests of the common man as indicated by the different analytical reports that say almost half of the time of parliament sittings were wasted owning to disruptions or walk-outs.
This Budget Session or any other is the similar stories. They don’t mean anything for the common man except the spectacle of unorganized and misdirected flow of verbose eloquence and empty promises and also some more waste of taxpayers’ money. A report said 23 days of 2010 Winter Session cost Rs. 150 crore with most wasted while another reports says every day wasted (or to say spend in irrelevant discussions like the NCERT cartoons) in Parliament costs Rs. 2 crore.
Expect the high-pitched drama weaved around the cocktail of while elephants – Lokpal and White Paper on Black Money – pushed to nowhere zone by the veiled camaraderie of our dear lords sitting in the temple of the democracy.
A PTI report headlines, “While the cost of running Parliament has gone up phenomenally down the years, so has the time lost in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha due to the `frayed tempers' of the legislators.”
So, what is your take?