Anna Hazare is innocent of all wrongdoing. But in the murky world of politics it can be dangerous to be too innocent. The innocent sometimes can be unwittingly exploited by crafty and unscrupulous politicians.
Is Anna Hazare a victim of Congress chicanery?
By his movement he has given a huge boost to the issue of corruption across the whole nation. But corruption was already an issue. By starting his struggle he has provided hope of ending it. That has really galvanized the nation.
Paradoxically this may not dismay the government. This may actually please the government. Here is why.
|Reforming the system institutionally is only half the battle. Should not Anna Hazare also deal with the present to take the battle to its logical end by exercising a tight leash on the government? Presently the government is neck deep in scandalous corruption.
How will Hazare end corruption?
He will compel the government to create an appropriately empowered Lokpal. The public led by the media is hugely excited at the prospect. The proposed Lokpal is seen as the magic potion to end all corruption. Hazare has confronted the government with his demand to create a proper inclusive drafting committee to prepare the Lokpal Bill. That is the struggle right now. If the government blinks and Hazare has his way on how the committee should be composed it will be hailed by the public as a great victory in the fight against corruption.
Next, the draft of the Bill itself will be prepared after wrangling and nitpicking. Let us assume that Hazare will again have his way and the final Bill will be satisfactory. That will be hailed by the public as another great victory against corruption.
Then the Bill will be debated in Parliament and after all kinds of objections and arguments it will be finally passed to become an Act. That will be hailed by the public as yet another great victory in the fight against corruption.
Finally the new law will enable the government to appoint the Lokpal to end all corruption. We do not know as yet who will appoint the Lokpal and indeed who will be first incumbent. But the occasion will be the final victory in the great fight against corruption and the followers of Hazare’s movement will doubtless be ecstatic. This entire process may well take a full year. Anna Hazare has said: “I shall keep the government on a leash.” He spoke of the future.
Reforming the system institutionally is only half the battle. Should not Anna Hazare also deal with the present to take the battle to its logical end by exercising a tight leash on the government? Presently the government is neck deep in scandalous corruption. Concurrently investigation and court cases are proceeding on the Hasan Ali money laundering case, on the 2G Spectrum corruption case, on the Commonwealth Games corruption case, on the Black money in foreign bank accounts case, and several other corruption cases. Without any Lokpal the present laws and agencies are adequate to deal with all these cases. Some people, including judges, are valiantly attempting to keep the government on a tight leash and perform its duty. If Anna Hazare could lend his weight progress might speed up.
The government has lied to the public about black money abroad by invoking the Double Taxation Treaty. It seeks to equate money deposited abroad by criminals with tax evaders. The government has lied to the public by claiming that the Prime Minister and the cabinet were not informed about the actions of former Telecom minister A. Raja in the 2G Spectrum case. The government deceived the court by providing only a partial list of illegal foreign bank account holders in Lichtenstein. The government has brazenly ignored its responsibility by refusing to question Suresh Kalmadi why he flaunted an allegedly forged letter by Raju Sebastian to justify contracts signed with AM Films and AM Cars in London. The government is repeatedly lying and its lies are being exposed. The public is disgusted with corruption and the government’s lies.
However, now the public has hope because Anna Hazare has started his fight against corruption. Alas, that fight until now is focusing solely on a future Lokpal. That should not divert public fury away from the scandalous scams currently created by the government. If the fight against corruption remains limited to the Lokpal Bill the government will not be displeased by the diversion. Anna Hazare should exercise his tight leash on the government on current corruption cases and ensure that all guilty politicians are sent to jail. That will give the youth of the country not only hope of victory, but the actual taste of victory.
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