Team Anna Hazare’s Crusade Against Corruption !

R.D. Bhardwaj 

Delhi Police’s action taken in arresting Anna Hazare even before he had started his fast, cannot be justified under any circumstances prevailing these days. Not only that, a long list of conditions to hold protest fast at the JP Park, also smacks of the tyrannical methods of the Govt. to muzzle the voice of dissent, from whichever quarter of society or group of people it emanates. Even, the British Rulers did not lay down such conditions on Mahatma Gandhi when he started his famous Dandi March on 12th March, 1930 against imposition of salt tax. After all, Anna Hazare and his associates were just going to lodge a protest against a wrong bill introduced by Govt. in Parliament. They had also promised that their agitation shall be peaceful, democratic and within the framework of the Constitution of India. Earlier also, it was Delhi Police who resorted to lathi charge on the followers of Swami Ramdev (protesting against black money stashed in Swiss Banks) at Ramlila Maidan on June 4 and that too, at the dead of the night, when his supporters were sleeping.

All this only proves that the Govt. is hell-bent on quelling and crushing any voice against the wrong and anti-people polices of the government, irrespective of the fact whether the protestors raise their voice on black money or bringing in a strong Jan Lokpal, who should be powerful enough to punish the guilty, not just a recommending authority – whose recommendations in such cases are generally thrown out of the window. We have seen it happening in the case of a minister in Delhi Govt. and also in case of Shungloo Committee report on CWG scam.

Thirdly, when the Police does not put any conditions on the number of people coming to attend a political rally organised by political parties, then why the limit of 5000 was fixed on Anna Hazare’s agitations? This fascist attitude and behaviour of the Govt. is not going to serve any purpose, as the subject over which Team Anna is agitating concerns all the 121 crore people of India. Congress people often take pride in saying that Dr. Manmohan Singh is an honest man and economist Prime Minister, but we should not forget that the maximum number of scams have taken place during his tenure and people are also being crushed under the impact of sky-rocketing inflation during his rule. And still, instead of dealing with the situation sternly, our dear Prime Minister expresses his helplessness by saying that he does not have any “magic wand” to provide some solution to the problems afflicting the society. Prime Minister’s talking in this manner only belittles the high and powerful office he is holding. Moreover, people are also aware that in CWG Scam and 2G Spectrum Scam, the Govt. did not take any action on the accused scamsters on its own, rather on the contrary, he had to swing into action only after lot of people across the country and constantly vigilant electronic and print media made a lot of hue and cry on these scams.

And now coming back to the current situation, some of the ministers in UPA Govt. often assert that it is the prerogative of the Parliament to enact any law, how can an outside agency or a group of people bring some bill and ask the government to pass the same? Yes, it is true, the Parliament is supreme in making laws, but we should not forget that it is the same Parliament where this bill is lingering on for the last 43 years. Successive Govts. at Centre from time to time did not bother to pass it, as they do not seem to be interested to make the institution of Lokpal a strong one and powerful enough to nail the guilty of financial bunglings and irregularities and thereby stealing huge public money for their illegal gratification. The political will and intension of the parliamentarians is simply doubtful to pass the said bill. Had the Government brought a really effective bill and discussed it thread bare without leaving any escape route to the scamsters daring to steal public money, where was the need for the members of civil society too interfere ? When the elected representatives of the people miserably fail in their onerous duty to make good laws to ensure good governance and striving at to make the lives of people worth living, someone from the civil society has to come forward and take the lead and set the right in right order. And that is what Team Anna is trying to do and their actions reflect the will and anguish of the masses reeling under the impact of cancer of corruption and black money.

It is very painful and strange to note that whereas, very serious efforts are being made to scuttle making a strong Lokpal, but when the question of passing the bill relating to increasing the salaries, perks and allowances of the MPs comes, it get passed within ten minutes by thumping of the tables. And it is also heard that many MPs have now written to the Govt. to provide them cars with beacon lights fixed on them, without realising its ramifications and judging their own accountability towards people on whose money they are getting all these facilities.

And the lastly, it is still high time that the Govt. releases Anna Hazare and his associates immediately from jails without any conditions and starts working on a legislation ensuring a strong Jan Lokpal, bringing Prime Minister, all the judges, MPs and big bureaucrats as well, under the ambit of this proposed institution, so that no guilty person could go scot free. The Govt. should also realise that corruption and black money are two big monsters who are eating into the vitals of our economy and it is the common man who suffers most due to its negative impact, and Anna Hazare is just trying to take care of the interests of the ordinary people. The sooner the Govt. realises the gravity of situation over this matter, the better it would be for all of us.

One more thing which needs a mention – it would be better if the Govt. and the Congress party puts some restrain and caution on their spokesmen not to malign the social activists who echo people’s will and concern over such matters; as more than 90% of the people across the country are very much disenchanted with the present day governance. Moreover, everybody is not corrupt like most of accused in similar situations. There are still some honest people and India needs to multiply their tribe by segregating them from those who make money by illegal gratification.