Monday, August 29, 2011

Jan-Lokpal Bill - Everyone has won

The strength of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement can be truly classified as a victory for democracy. The government, the parliament, the constitution, Team Anna and mainly the common man - everybody won.

Yesterday's rejoicing at India Gate in the evening. The crowd that had gathered, showed the level of involvement of the common man with the issue. Just the knowledge that the government has agreed to include the points raised by the Jan-Lokpal Bill in its final bill was enough to bring the people out on the streets.

The Signal
The mass gathering at India Gate and reports of rejoicing from other parts of the country on 28-August-2011 is a clear signal of how dear this issue is to the common.

It is clear signal to the politicians that this is a golden opportunity for them to ensure their seat in the next parliament. They will have to come all out in the open and maintain a consistent and visible pressure on the government to speed up the process underway at the Standing Committee and pass the bill at the earliest.

Swami Agnivesh
Where everyone has won, there is one face that has lost credibility.

A revealing video shown on several news channels where Swami Agnivesh is seen talking someone named Kapil. He appears to be referring to Team Anna as a mad elephant. The content of the discussion was enough to brand him a traitor.

Now, Swami Agnivesh can give all the justification he wants and the accusation may not stand in the court of law, but the common man does not need any more proof.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Anna Hazare agitation

The anti-graft agitation led by Anna Hazare has reached a crucial stage. The fast of the 74-year ex-Army man has entered into its 12th day. According to the doctors overseeing his health he is weakening by the hour. He could be declared critically ill if he his fast is not broken soon.

Looking into the gravity of the situation the government has brought the topic for discussion in the parliament and members of parliament have started discussing the points raised in both the houses - Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha - and they seem to agree (some conditionally) on all the issues raised by Anna Hazare and his team.

Now, it is the afternoon of 27th August 2008 and by the looks of the way things are moving in Parliament, if there is voting and the parliament votes in line with Annaji's expectations, today could be the last day of his fast, though the agitation is likely to continue until the bill is actually enacted.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why the government is not approving the Jan-Lokpal Bill?

What is Jan-Lokpal Bill?
Jan Lokpal - Anna Hazare and his team claims that this will the strongest deterrent so far for anyone indulging in corruption in India.

In fact, Manmohan Singh's UPA led government at Delhi appears to be ready to risk its rule in Delhi to ensure that Jan-Lokpal bill does not see the light of day. One wonders why, I asked this question to many of my acquaintances, and below is the answer I liked best, and I quote.....

How can anybody be accepted to approve a bill
that can send him to prison?
and I feel this chap is right.

It is a common belief most politicians in our country are corrupt. How else can they afford to spend crores on their election campaign for each election after election? Most of the politicians who are being asked to pass the jan-lokpal bill in parliament will be prime candidates for investigation.

In other words, an effective Lokpal Bill will mean a prison sentence for most of our politicians - and this is one thing they are not going to approve.

So once again... what is Jan-Lokpal Bill?
Jan Lokpal - A bill that the UPA led government is his trying hard to derail.
Jan Lokpal - A bill that even the opposition parties are not willing to support in its present form.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hats of to the team of Anna Hazare

The team of Anna Hazare that has planned the hunger strike campaign deserves a mention.

Hats of to them. I would certainly like to know more about them.
Anna's team has been several steps ahead of the government, so far.

The check-up by Dr. Trehan by the Team of Anna on the night of 17 August 2011 was brilliant strategy. The health of Anna Hazare, was the major factor that the government could have used to deploy force against the campaign. This has been beautifully countered by Team Anna by getting their own doctor to check him up before the government doctors could get to him. The doctor brought in to do this job - Dr. Trehan - is a highly reputed one and someone his government counterparts won't counter very easily.

The government that was basking in the success they enjoyed in crushing the Baba Ramdeo anti-corruption protest has been completely humbled by the Anna Hazare and his team.

Senior Ministers in the Central Government and veteran politicians from the Congress party, Kapil Sibal, P. Chidambaram, Ambika Soni and Manish Tiwari, who have been the face of the government in its attempt to crush Anna's campaign, have repeatedly put the government to shame during the last 3 days, with their statements and arrogance.

Well it is not their mistake, up to now they just had not faced a true crusader who has no personal political ambitions.

When people like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Kisan Baburao Hazare raise their voices the nation listens - it is about time our politicians understand this.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh let me down!

I was elated when Dr. Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister of India. He had entered the high office with a reputation of integrity and honesty. I had felt that he will do something to address the core problems of the country. I really had very high expectations.

But, today I am disappointed. He has failed the nation - and failed badly.

Here are some his main failures - as I see them.
  • The size of the financial irregularities (scams) in the government just makes the common man dizzy - and what does the government do - it tries to defend the accused. The scams of the present government are in thousands of crores. 
  • Smaller scams to the tune of 10/20 crores have stopped surprising us.
  • It took the Supreme Courts intervention to make the government do something in the Hasan Ali, 2G and CWG scams. No action has yet been taken against Sheila Dixit who has been named in the latest CAG report.
  • The government has done nothing to find out the names of the account holders in Swiss Bank. One wonders what is the hidden motive for this inaction. I think the government will act after a year or so - once some significant people have withdrawn all their monies and closed their accounts. 
  • He and his government have done little, almost nothing, to fight the menace of corruption. In fact, it supported corruption by taking stern action against those who have raised their voices against it. 
  • The midnight by the police against Baba Ramdeo and his followers, which include women and children - is a shameful example of the extent to which the government can go.
  • The most recent example is the action against the peaceful protest by Anna Hazare. The crusader against corruption is not being allowed to exercise his right to protest in the manner permitted by the constitution.
  • To top it all, Dr. Manmohan Singh stood up in parliament on 17 August 2011 and tried to justify the arrest of social activist Anna Hazare. Is he so naive to believe that the common man will accept his argument.
  • Dr. Manmohan Singh and his team has failed even on his home turf - economics. The top economist of the country has not been able to control inflation - the cost of living for the common man has gone up multifold during the regime of the current government. 
  • He and his government talk of food for all, but in reality, but are they serious? If yes, then why is so much foodgrains not being distributed instead of being kept in the open to rot. 
  • In the regime of the current goverment, the rich have become richer and the poor are getting all the freebies and facilities. 
  • The common man has become the biggest sufferer.
It is not surprising that the common man has taken to the streets behind Anna Hazare. Anna has become the new symbol of hope.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Anna Hazare - the crusade against corruption

Rallies, hunger strikes and other forms of peaceful protest against government policies is the constitutional right of every Indian. These along with non-cooperation were the very weapons that Mahatma Gandhi had used successfully against the Britishers.

Is it not the government's job to ensure a good and corruption-free administration for the betterment of its citizens? But, strangely  the Government of India is using its power to stop those who are fighting against corruption.

Now, it has arrested Anna Hazare for wanting to sit on hunger strike in protest against the government's attitude on the Lokpal Bill issue. Earlier, it swooped on Baba Ramdeo's hunger strike in the middle of the night, where the peaceful demonstrators were sleeping. Television news channels have shown the cops using force - lathi charge and tear gas - to evict the protesters.

Does it not appear that the government is using its might to protect the corrupt?