Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lokpal Bill: Alternate View Point

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Anahd organized a press meet at the Press club to put forward the alternative view point on the lokpal bill. Currently, what is branded as ‘Team Anna’ is insistent that the draft prepared by them should be made into a bill within next few days. This is totally arrogant on the part of any social action group. No group can claim to be the sole representative of different, diverse sections of society. Team Anna’ draft should be regarded as one amongst different suggestions and the final draft should be evolved through a dialogue for which the Government has shown willingness. In these circumstances to carry on with indefinite fast is like a black mail and an attempt to hold the parliamentary system to the ransom.

We do need to go through the parliamentary procedures and undermining them is tantamount to undermining our Constitution. If there is some deficiency in the present functioning, it should be overcome by making the system more effective, not by bypassing it. Also Corruption while a severe malady is a mere symptom of the deeper disease of the social political system. The problems relate to the gross inequality in the social economic levels, lack of transparency of the system and the absence of accountability of our elected representatives and the officials. While dealing with the symptom of corruption we do need to look at the deeper issues, lack of transparency, lack of accountability and gross social-economic inequalities of various shades.

The core of present upsurge around Anna movement is constituted by a privileged middle class, many of whom have been opposed to the concept of social justice and affirmative action. We saw that the whole upsurge has been brought up for political goals, the use of symbols like Bharat mata, Vande Matram and the involvement of RSS-BJP workers acting as the solid support for the spontaneous looking protest is a matter of concern. Anna himself has been appreciative of people like Modi and Raj Thackeray, though he later he retracted it, but it show his mind set. The institution of Jan Lokpal as conceptualized by team Anna gives infinite powers to the Lokpal, and such unchecked powers may itself be a source of severe problems in a democratic society.

Noted Film Maker and activist, Mahesh Bhatt, activist Shabnam Hashmi, Vice Chair of Minority Commission Abraham Mathai, writer activist Prof Ram Puniyani, noted writer Dr. Anand Teltumde, activist Amir Rizvi, activist Waqar Kazi amongst others spoke on the occasion. There was lively question answer seaaion following the talks.


Shabnam Hashmi

Managing Trustee, Anhad

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