Thursday, December 19, 2013

Finally - Indian Parliament passes Lokpal Bill

Finally! Yes finally - almost four decades - Indian Parliament finally clears the Lokpal Bill.

The demand for an ombudsman to investigate and punish errant public servants was first raised by Jaiprakash Narayan in the seventies. Jayprakash Narayan popularly referred to as JP had launched a movement to fight against corruption and misrule is 1974.

The demand for Lokpal once again picked up steam in 2010 when Shanti Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and others came together under the stewardship of Kisan Baburao (Anna) Hazare of Nanded.

Anna has overall sat on hunger strike 18 times out of which the last four fasts have been for getting the Jan Lokpal Bill passed by parliament.

Anna's Fasts for Lokpal

April 2011 -Anna fasted for 5 day at New Delhi.

August 2011 - Anna fasted for 13 days again at New Delhi. This proved to be a turning point in Indian politics. People came to the streets in all parts of the country in support of Anna Hazare and Lokpal. Prime Minister and the whole parliament came together and promised Anna that the Lokpal would be passed at the earliest.

December 2011 - At Mumbai - Anna fasted for 2 days.

December 2013 - Probably the last fast by Anna for Lokpal Bill. This was Anna's 18th fast in all and lasted for 9 days. This time the government bowed and the Lokpal Bill as passed by both houses of parliament.

But by this time, Arvind Kejriwal who had been a key person in Anna's Lokpal campaign had left his side. Kejriwal had formed his own political party. His party had contested in the Delhi State Polls - an election in which the Congress Party was miserably trounced.

The Bill

Although the Bill passed by parliament is not exactly what Anna Hazare had set out for, yet Anna has accepted the Bill in its current form with the confidence that coming parliamentarians will introduce modifications based the experiences gathered.

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