Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
After a year of blackmailing, fasting, marches, missions and yatras , the government finally introduced the anti-corruption bill in the Parliament on the 22nd of December 2011. A debate and vote on the bill is likely to be held post the Christmas holidays from the 27th till the 29th of December. Activist Anna Hazare and the opposition parties have rejected the bill claiming that the Government willfully kept the Central Bureau of Investigation out of the Lokpal with Hazare being forced to return on his stomping ground of a hunger strike from 27th December onwards.It is to be noted that the all party meet held on the 14th of December was nothing but a waste of public funds and was just another event glorifying Hazare and the clout he has created for himself.
The Bhartiya Janata Party and Trinamol Congress have committed to their ‘harsh opposition’ with the Rashtriya Janata Dal , Shivsena and Samajwadi Party rejecting the very idea of the bill.Issues of reservation and the inclusion of the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal coupled with the relationship of the CBI with the same are the flash-points of dispute between the government and the activists. The government has refused to cede administrative control of the CBI to the Lokpal with critics claiming the governments intent to influence investigations thus, limiting the autonomy of the CBI. Another flaw pointed by Hazare and his team is that the Ombudsman has no investigative wing i.e. it will refer the complaints to the CBI and will only receive the updates from them. The question flaming the already heated argument is ‘what kind of an investigative body will the Lokpal be if it has no investigative wing of its own?’
However, the lack of consensus in the Government’s Lokpal appears to be a blessing in disguise as it not only ensures the extended stay of Mr. P. Chidambaram in the cabinet but also saves the noses of many other undetected partners in crime. It is ironical that the formulation of the Lokpal is left at the mercy of those crooks against whom it is supposed to be formulated. With BJP playing politics in the name of Lokpal, the role of the opposition is being played by Anna Hazare,other social activists and the people themselves. It is difficult to figure out whether it is a moment of pride considering the number of people participating in the formulation of the bill or an issue of national shame -where one man is challenging and blackmailing the whole parliamentary system thus reducing the concept of Democracy to nothing.
Thus to conclude, the fight over Lokpal can be compared to a never-ending argument between a couple into which their unfortunate kids are dragged because of the sheer helplessness of the situation. In this case, the citizens can be juxtaposed with the children and our future is yet to be decided upon.All that we can do is wait, or maybe join Anna in his ‘Jail Bharo’ agitation as the new year commences to see another Gandhi-esque revolution go down in history.
Taking a cue from a speech at a recent event by the man himself : ”I don’t have any money in the bank but I have taken six cabinet wickets. Government has nothing to fear from me, it should only fear the public”