anna hazare6676 300x200 Lokpal Still In A Quagmire

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By Sunil Kumar

It is a year since we have witnessed the great Lokpal debate. Today, 23rd March 2012 and the latest news: No consensus on Lokpal after an all-party meet.

The Prime Minister and his entourage plan to create a national anti-graft agency to pacify the nerves of a frayed population sick and tired of scams in governance, education, the workplace and every walk of life. So, what do we see instead in the divided states of India.

A national soap opera with gurus, political parties, lawyers and the media indulging in a daily circus. Witness heated debates, national demonstrations and the great joke of democracy being played out on live television screens and our streets. Still, there is no other country on earth that I admire more than my own.

Here are some facts on this big media debate

What is the Lokpal?: For my great Indian readers and the global reading public, it is a national agency of nine members, selected by a committee that includes the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition. It will examine corruption cases against every government servant. State branches are Lokayuktas, like Karnataka, where a great mining scam collectively robbed the national exchequer. With so many similar episodes, it is strange to see how our country functions, or as famously put, we are a functioning anarchy.

But we still manage to go on with our journalists, the public and the world living in a collective frenzy of hope.

Regional parties such as the DMK and Mamata Banerjee manage to arm-twist the government. Notice the vote on Sri Lanka or this year’s railway budget.

Although I have no specific opinion on either issue, it is strange to notice how our collective system works to successively dampen spirits, subjugate hope and make ideas pointless pointers to toothless bodies.

The opposition right-wing BJP, the Left, the incumbent party or any political ideology in this country manages to complain and institute a simple caveat: Save Your Own Skin. There is endemic corruption everywhere.

The selection of the Lokpal is also a matter of intense political debate. According to the opposition, giving the government too much power amounts to a skewed Lokpal.

There is a cat-and-mouse game here, where people are attempting to score political brownie points. But, in my opinion, every rule as mentioned by civil rights bodies should be put into practice, including the Prime Minister being brought under the ambit of the Lokpal as well as a Lokayukta in every state so that they can control every regional entity.

In fifteen years, we shall have a different, probably still resurgent India. Instituting anti-corruption laws is mandatory to establish faith in our political parties, judiciary and the media in the people. Also, I need to have faith in my organizations and this country.

( A Patriotic Citizen)

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