Hazards and Hazare . . .

Anna Hazare is a rockstar. A 74 year old man has the entire nation at his nimble fingertips. Though he ceases to speak after a continuous fast of 8 days(running), he has managed to stir a nation awake from it’s 64 year old slumber.

I was abroad the Spice Jet flight recently when it passed over the Marina beach, and I could see the sea down below. But, it was not just the plain blue sea that I saw. There was something more. Infact a lot more. I could see a sea of people flocked together, waving the tricolor, chanting and shouting slogans and though I could not hear them, I could sense their passion and patriotism flow through my veins and from way above the clouds I felt the hair raising sensation of being an Indian.

Contentious though is the Jan Lokpal Bill. Let me try to understand what the government wants and what the country needs. First and foremost, I hated the way Anna Hazare threw a fast without any sense of logic whatsoever. I mean, I might get brickbats for saying this…but, we can’t throw a fast and expect a bill to be passed. I understand all the crap about democracy and the freedom of expression talk..! So, if you want a bill passed then gather a group of people, threaten a fast, fast till the doctors pronounce you to be on the verge of death, get the government flummoxed and sweating and blackmail them to pass a bill ? Atrocious. Imagine if tomorrow any youngster takes his cue and makes a big fasting fuss to create publicity ? Freedom of expression must ofcourse be curbed. You can’t expect everyone to walk down the street naked just because we are a democratic country.

The ideal way ofcourse was to talk it out, sit down like gentlemen and speak. Ofcourse. It never would have been so easy. But, then who else had to rule the country than the UPA government ? From the frying pan of scams and corruption into the fire of anti-corruption act ! They will all curse Allah and Shiva and Jesus for the soup they are swimming in. So, citing differences with Anna Hazare, they introduce the famous “JokePal” bill that was an overwhelming superhit(notice the tongue in my cheek).

As I see it, the Jan Lokpal and the JokePal have several contentious issues. I disagree with the Prime Minister not coming into the umbrella of the Lokpal wing. Though I understand the logic behind the government thinking that the the PM will have several weighty issues of taking care of the nation than answering to the public scrutiny while in office, including them in the Lokpal purview will make them realise that they are answerable to the 1.2 billion heartbeats of the nation. When taken in the right view and with no hidden agendas whatsoever, it will surely transform the PM into the greatest leader of our beloved country. The leader has to lead by example. He/She has to be the first one to say that they are ready to be scrutinized. If anyone is accountable to the debacles of our motherland, it has to be the PM.

The minimum punishment under the Jan Lokpal is ten years !! So, that means that if a policeman gets 50 rupees for letting you off without imposing a fine, he gets ten years of imprisonment ? Wow ! That’s something. The JokePal is more worthy here, it has a window of six months to life imprisonment. If the Lokpal is an independent body without any intervention from the Supreme court, then there will be two parallel bodies of justice in the country. Though it may seem to be the way out, it will lead to more confusions. Lokpal will be an independent body not answerable to any of the judicial courts of justice. Which will mean two High Courts in each state, and two Supreme Courts in the country ?!! Preposterous !!

The government also came up with something along the same lines saying that the CBI and the Lokpal will be independent of each other. That’s funny. Who will take care of corruption then ? The CBI or the Lokpal ?? The two anti-corruption bodies must be allowed to merge and work together on common issues.

Anna Hazare also stated that the Jan Lokpal will involve and undertake all complaints against corruption !! So, if a layman gets cheated of 2 rupees while buying a cool drink, he will get the same body to take care of his charges as will a 1.76 lakh crore scam. Imagine the manpower required and the amount of complaints that may come in !! 1.2 billion people…! If just half of the population have just one grievance each…that makes it 60 million !! 60 million grievances to be solved within a one year duration ?? 1.64 lakhs of grievances per day !! Now, it seems gigantic doesn’t it ?! And, am only taking HALF the population of our country.

The issue where he undoes himself is the NGOs not coming under the purview of the Lokpal. Everyone of us know how many money laundering NGOs have come under critical review in recent times. Case in point, Satya Sai Baba, Nithyanda, Baba Ramdev’s unaccounted millions. If the PM is under the Lokpal umbrella, everyone MUST be under it too. It’s ALL or NONE. You can’t have two bites of the same apple.

The best way out is to bring the Lokpal into the parliament for discussion and for Anna Hazare to stop his fast. It may all be well and good for us to shout slogans and sings praises of him, which he thoroughly deserves, but, fasting is never the way out of any situation(imagine tomorrow’s world…everybody mind end up fasting to pass a bill..) !! Understand me perfectly. Am not against Anna Hazare. Am not supporting the government. I feel proud that the nation is rising against corruption. But, I urge the government to sort the issue out soon. Let’s put our thinking caps on and remove our hearts from our sleeves and do something substantial for the future of our country. Jai Hind !!

(I know I will get a lot of brickbats for my view, but then it’s the freedom of expression… 😀 !! Comments welcome !!)

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