The irony of all things – Lokpal

Obviously there has been uproar.

The morning of June 5, found me bleary eyed and wrapped in a cushy blanket with the full blast of air conditioner aimed at my general direction. A fairly regular morning, as far as vacations go. This was until I switched the television on.

The media was having a field day broadcasting the “government attack” on the forces of Baba Ramdev, undertaking an indefinite fast against corruption , in Ram Lila maidan, New Delhi The infinite loop of images that “apparently” shook the foundations of our country’s democracy had me seething, like any Indian citizen worth their salt.

Obviously, there has been uproar

Thousands of pages have been filled saluting the “heroic” efforts of Anna hazare, Ramdev and in the civil society in general by the fired young blood of India.

The government has been cursed, accused and belittled in ways that leaves little to imagination.

However, I beg to differ The Jan Lokpal Bill that is drafted by the sweat and blood of my countrymen, fuelled by their patriotism and hope…for a better and beautiful tomorrow,
lacks intelligence.

In an ideal world the Jan Lokpal would probably have been the best proposed document after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world.
The Jan Lokpal aims to eliminate corruption by setting up an independent body above the claws of political influence, whose members will be elected by the civil society through a transparent and democratic process. It will investigate acts against democracy and will dole out justice within two years. The compensation will loosely comprise of monetary aid, directed from the guilty party to the innocent one.

The loopholes, in such a scheme of things, are painfully obvious.

The citizens who have emotionally allied themselves with the forces of the Jan Lokpal bill fail to notice that the government of India is elected exactly by the same “transparent” and “democratic” process they wish to employ.

It can be said with a reasonable amount of accuracy that the members of the Jan elected Lokpal in the coming years will not be clones of Anna hazare-the epitome of honesty (unless of course the government permits cloning) because influencing the voters isn’t exactly rocket science.

The Lokpal will be an opportunity to exploit the supreme powers vested in it by my starving brothers and sisters. A possibility of a united corrupted front within the lokpal is the scariest threat to our democracy. Not only are we encouraging the formulation of a body that can rival and quash the government and silence honest officials at its will, but  are also giving birth to ideas that are capable of brutally slapping the idealism of the Lokpal bill on its face in the long run.

The Jan Lokpal with all its powers is a lethal missile, potentially effective to combat corruption. It is also capable of a 180 degree rotation from its target and shattering the foundations of over 60 years of democracy. The sad part is, if implemented, it probably will.

So, everyone who bypassed their evening nutrition for the better future of our country…I think it is time to move towards a new idea…and dinner.

Pallavi Srivastava