We are facing challenge to our democracy. Apparently it is from blood less revolt by civil society now and by other groups like Naxals before; but it is not a case. Our democracy is facing long standing challenges of credibility from its most visible face, our political representatives and their way of functioning.
Our political system lost its reliability when; When liquor were start flowing in election parties, when polling booths were captured by political goons, when election candidates were killed, when vote – bank opened when false results were declared, when criminals were declared as party candidates, when criminal were ‘got’ elected, when principal less politics started, when representatives lost their sights, when icon – worshiping started, when our representatives walk – out important debates for some false pretext, when bills were pending for discussion and houses completed terms, when bills were passed without debates, when law were enacted to favour few vested interests, when questions were asked for payments, when houses never re – visited enacted laws, when colonial laws were allowed to be continue, when draconian laws were enacted for being misused, when houses handovers numerous powers of subordinate legislation to executive, when houses failed to control numerous discretionary powers of executives, when representatives got corrupted, when privilege motions were moved to protect fellow representative facing criminal charges, when houses fails to divided into Government vs. Opposition but classified as Present Government vs. Future government, when citizen asked who is leader of house or who is opposition leader, when houses were failed to take note of comments from judiciary, when houses fails to discuss Comptroller and Auditor General’s Report, When houses fails to take strong action against culprit on the basis of CAG Reports, when houses fails to point out wrongs of government or executives, when houses fail to take action against wide – spread corruption, when houses fails to debate about themselves, When sessions could not finished schedule work and fails to be extended, when houses fail to be house of commons (masses), When citizen lost interest in representatives, when citizen lost interest in representative democracy, when citizens called for participatory democracy, when citizen fails to find a leader in thousands of elected representatives, when citizens find leader in a social activist, when citizen marginalised elected government and opposition, when representative surrendered before masses in favour of not – so – politically – correct civil – society suggested Lokpal bill, when representatives called for restoration of Parliamentary Supremacy, When citizen are thinking fight as vested – political – interests vs. beneficial – for -common – men.
There are several revelation against this rotten system which results in several so – called law and order problems. Actually, these were created by our representative along with inefficient executive. Our representative either woke up late or not keen to handle people’s grievances on real time basis. Sadly, all anti – social elements and many times anti – national interests gain benefits from the situation and uses angered – young –men. They generally treated these problems like law and order problem and enacted harsh and harsher laws but grossly failed to improve situation. In recent years, our representatives and their executive were successful to handle dacoits of Chambal and Mizo separatist; happily without any harsh law. But root causes remain there in system. Indian educated and democratic youth of main stream are also angered with present rotten system. They grossly see wide – spread corruption as mother of all Indian diseases and demand a police – judge combine called Lokpal.
Popular demand for strong Lokpal is not a diseases but a symptom thereof. Our constitution has all check and balances but we fail to honour our constitution politically. These days citizen thinks that collective wishes of a gang collectively called political leaders are above the constitution. We have seen many amendments in constitute for political benefit, even preamble of our constitution was changed for no proper logic. Now peoples ask why constitution could be amended for establishment of Lokpal.
Proper question is not, “whether Lokpal should be there?” Question is, “Why citizens are asking for Lokpal?
Currently, we are living in an era where our representatives give ‘Police State’ as answer to any problem like protest against government (Sedition law), to terrorism. Citizen looks for same simplified answer, ‘Police Lokpal’. It is not that this idea is new or something which could not get constitutional authority. Even though, there may be many question of practical implication of proposal submitted by civil society, people support them not in favour of these provisions but against corruption and our rotten democratic system.
Even plain reading of UN Convention against Corruption support Lokpal like institution in member states.
Many criticism against the proposed Jan Lokpal is not against idea of Lokpal but its selection process, its unrestricted authorities which has inbuilt inherent problem common with our present governance system, too much discretionary powers. Many of them clearly seem to be there for negotiation purpose not to be there in final law. However, I think, draft proposed by civil society must be more honest and acceptable then its present form.
My idea of lokpal is not same as of government “Jokepal bill” and civil society’s “junkpal bill” but a balance one. Hope, they merged both bill to a properly working draft, it will be true “Lokpal bill”.
Presently, corruption is a disease like cancer, and Lokpal is like its allopathic treatment. It is must immediately to provide life to our rotten system but it is not a proper, final and long term relief. As any allopathic treatment it also has its dangerous side effects. Soon, we cure all causes of disease, we may develop healthy democracy and governance system.