Democracy needs to fight back

The Jan Lok Pal Bill has copious support but what intrigues the unbiased observer is the inconvenience caused to the common man that these protagonists claim to be a part of. Despite regular claims by Anna Hazare and his kin, day to day life in parts where protests took place was heavily disrupted.

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Traffic jams, mass bunks and shut down of educational institutions were the most visible effects of the Jan Lok Pal movement. India Gate the epicenter of New Delhi was marred by heavy blockages in traffic kinesis, Ishan Raina, resident of Patparganj was stuck in hours long traffic jams whilst returning from Chanakyapuri.
Similar situations arose at Civil Lines, Ekta Handa, a student at IP College for women had to rush back home via the metro due to the oncoming crowds in the locality. Areas where the peaceful march was to take place resulted in disrupted chores and traffic jams.
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In Lucknow, groups of students from KKC, National College and activists from Vyapar Mandal and India against Corruption Lucknow chapter amongst others carried out a protest march from Old city to Jhule lal Park.

According to a Press release issued by India Against Corruption, Lucknow University colleges faced mass shutdown due to teachers opting for a mass leave to support Anna Hazare’s movement.

Students in Arunachal Pradesh stalled traffic movement on the vital NH 52-A in the North East. Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Patna, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar and Ranchi faced similar crisis.

This was just a whiff of civilians disturbed by the ‘Peaceful Protest’ by team Hazare. Further universities and colleges faced mass bunks or forced shut downs with students in large numbers refusing to attend any educational institutions due to the mass SMS and social networking campaign promulgated by Team Hazare.

It was interesting to find that a majority of the protesters were in support of eliminating corruption. But it was hard to find an individual who had ideally studied the Jan Lok Pal Bill. Slogans demanding immediate release of Anna Hazare and elimination of corruption roared across the streets but it was hard to find an individual who would elucidate the intricacies of the bill.

Intriguing was the fact that a majority of college going students were unaware of the bill they were adamantly vouching for.

They were unable to answer simple questions pertaining to the selection process of the Lok Pal. Amusingly, a slight discussion on any chances of the Lok Pal or members of the committee failing due to corruption resulted in sentiments flaring and claims of someone doing something for us being used as excuses.

Interestingly the Lok Pal and Lok Aayukts will be elected by a Lok Pal Committee, which in turn will be a group comprised of members appointed by judges, Indian Administrative Service officers with a clean record, private citizens and constitutional authorities through a transparent and participatory process.

But who would decide the eligibility of these individuals is an enigma. The Jan Lok Pal Bill in its’ current form would ridicule the constitution. Residing in a democratic state has given us the liberty to choose our legislators and legal education to create bright and efficient lawyers and judges. Giving an unelected individual supreme authority over an elected candidate seems indigestible from a rational overview. 
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Putting the Prime Minister and Supreme Court Judges under the ambit of the Lok Pal can result in an autocratic state. Further, it would result in a form of government that would be at the whims of individuals who won’t be answerable to the populace and hence would defeat the purpose of democracy itself. The government cannot be blackmailed into submitting to specious demands.

15 thoughts on “Democracy needs to fight back

  1. absolutely. actually most of us are so frustrated with the corruption that the very word anti corruption is enough to flare sentiments. while the intentions of the activists are noble, few of them are boteered with facts. and of course, our local media does much to fuel the issue

  2. As usual you have played very well with ur words….

    But in any way i dnt think this bill will undermine the democratic setup of the country…..

    The whole body which is being demanded in this bill is only investigating body……

  3. I think corruption can not be fixed or reduced till each one of us willingly takes a strict stance and says no to bribery (amongst other things) & a simple act such as jumping the traffic signal.

  4. Panditji Pagla gaye hain app ……ek kaam karo Mantar phook ke maar do anna aur unki team ko ….. padhe likhe gawar lagte ho app

  5. I wish you had studied the draft and then written this blog….shame on you Mr. And you are worried abt traffic jams???dude…they are just temporary but once the law is enforced the result is permenant..and if u aren't clear about how the Lokpal is elected..please study “Lokayukta” of Karnataka…..the head will be a retired Chief-Justice of the Supreme court….do your research before you right…or may be copy paste.

  6. well written! glad to know there are still people who don't have their heads muddled by the hullabaloo and see the situation as it should be seen ,fact to fact not emotions !

  7. Nicely written….
    Bt a few points are stil in ma mind…If u don’t mind…
    U mentioned that there was not a single individual who studied the lokpal bill… I guess its an emotional statement rather than radical…. I don’t know where u undergone ur research, because, I at the other hand, met hundreds of lawyers, judges and professionals including those practicing in authorities of high court and ministries. Even the information officer of India was there at protest. It was not tough to locate them, as they were in large numbers educating young ones every here and there… as much I came to know communicating wid them… They had much more knowledge and experience than kids like us do….
    Even u were not aware of how to remove a lokpal while I discussed it wid u(in class, u remember)… U made a point that he can’t be removed at all…It doesn’t mean that u don’t know anything at all. But it certainly meant that even people who r standing on the other side of Janlokpal are not completely drenched with pros and cons of lokpal… we share things that are in out little knowledge….! Poeple mostly go by the spirit of the ideology… not its exact wording everytime.

    one more thing… I don’t know how to clear the point but, who said Lokpal won’t be accountable… It is there in the draft that lokpal would be dirctly accountable to citizens via privilege of supreme court.
    And as far as bringing pm and supreme court under ambit of lokpal is concerned… It is beyond my scope of justification, bt I feel…
    Isn’t supreme court powerful to handle a case against parliamentarians and even Prime minister. Aren’t prime minister involved in deciding salaries and compensations of supreme court judges… so which do u think is a more powerful authority…
    The question itself is ridiculous… Actually, for judiciary, supreme court is supreme, while for executive, pm is most powerful… so will be the lokpal, as a supreme investigative body.

    1. Mr Dwivedi,

      This article was written and published on 18th August, I am glad that it still garners attention.
      I usually avoid responding to blog posts but a comment of such magnitude commands a response.

      I had explicitly mentioned “hard to find an individual who had ideally studied the Jan Lok Pal Bill” I would emphasize on the terms “hard to find” and “ideally”. Thereby negating your 1st argument where you declared my write up as an emotional outburst.

      You may have visited the main protest area to have found hordes of intellectuals educating the masses but can your ensure that in every protest there were ample wise guiders?

      My article emphasized on the disruptions caused due to the ‘peaceful protests’ something which you have blatantly overlooked.

      Again I would like to quote my write up, I never mentioned that he cannot be removed at all.

      If referred to our discussion in class I would insist that you go by the ‘spirit of the ideology’ and understand that it is this very Lok Pal committee insisted on bringing Supreme Court judges under the ambit of the Jan Lok Pal. If their will had prevailed then how would it have been possible to remove the Lok Pal?

      Is there any method of ensuring that the Lok Pal would not be corrupt?
      How would you decide the Jan Lok Pal committee if you assume that supreme court judges and bureaucrats are corrupt?
      What is the need of a parallel institution? Wouldn’t it be better to ensure electing better candidates?

      How will you ensure that there will be no misuse of the powers of the Lok Pal?

      If all the investigating bodies are corrupt then how is it possible that sitting ministers in the government are removed and sent to Tihar jail?

      Why didn’t Anna Hazare clear his stance prior to the anshan fiasco?
      Was it a fight against the Congress party or was it against corruption?

      Why was the Gandhi family openly hunted down?

      Why is Anna Hazare capitalizing on his anshan popularity to affect the vote banks in the upcoming elections?

  8. it is really not an emotional outburst…. i personally feel that 85% of the people including those students who bunked there colleges to join the protest and those who were there at ramlila maidan …..have no idea about what jan lokpal bill mishra i would like to appreciate you for such a nice job

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