The Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill yesterday paving the way for its
implementation. Implementation – that is the big, another complicated battle
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
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.