Lokpal Bill is being debated in Indian Parliament for three days from 27-29 December, 11, which is an extended session, otherwise, the Parliament would have been dissolved after the winter session by now. This special privilege has been given to the so called civil society agitation movement under Anna Hazare.
The nation thanks the civil society agitation, as it gave a much awaited momentum for the govt. to speed up the process of bringing the Lokpal Bill in the current session itself. This was after the first widely acclaimed fast by Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar that lasted for about 13 days, which made the UPA govt. to come up with this Bill now.
The Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid, through his article Â â€œA Question of Balanceâ€ (TOI 27 Dec 2011), has given enough reasoning for not agitating only against the non-inclusion of the CBI in the ambit of the Lokpal Bill, as, he argues ,in that case, not only the CBI but the entire gamut of army, police, Para-military organizations, nuclear command/control facility et.al should be under its ambit. No govt. can function credibly under such a watchdog. After all, it is a parliamentary democracy and here only the supremacy of the people of the country as a whole is vested with such authority to challenge a constitutionally elected govt. and not an individual or a few disgruntled individuals with the support of certain other groups or anti-govt. organizations.
The question of reservation in the 9 member body of Lokpal too is a matter that creates problem for parties that traditionally oppose such reservation. But, the country after having experienced the dominance of the high and mighty, the literates and the higher echelons, for centuries, pre-independence vis-a-vis two or three decades post independence , cannot just avoid or overlook the representation to every sections of the society in a high powered anti-corruption set up like the Lokpal at this critical juncture. The biggest anti-reservation agitation was against the reservation to the OBC community and that too was finally accepted and assimilated in the Indian system with suitable alteration/modification like the creamy layer etc. Therefore, the sentiments of the nation as a whole need to be taken care of when a new set up to look on a monstrous dragon like the corruption that has taken this country to abysmal depth amongst the comity of nations.
No political party in India is clean and can claim they are washed in milk in so far as the corruption issue is concerned. Therefore, the need of bringing a strong Lokpal is felt sine long and now we are discussing it in Parliament for three days. There are reportedly several demands for changes in the Bill of which the strong ones are like â€œinclude CBIâ€ and â€œScrap reservationâ€ (by BJP), amendments like â€œcreation of a separate investigative wingâ€ under the Lokpal and also inclusion of â€œCorporate Crimesâ€ to be investigated under Lokpal etc. (by the CPM). All these aspects will be discussed threadbare by representatives of political parties who will be given time in proportionate representation basis. The debate will run throughout in Parliament while Anna Hazare and his team will be on fast at Mumbai and Delhi respectively. Hazareâ€™s latest move to sit on a dayâ€™s fast at Sonia Gandhiâ€™s residence is also quite disturbing. But, the main disturbing question that agitates the minds of every sensible Indian citizen is : whether Anna Hazare & his team of couple of individuals represents a whole nation to browbeat and bring down a duly elected govt.?