Strategy and Action Plan for the Jan Lokpal Bill by Dr. Gopal Singh SignUp
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Analysis Share This Page
Strategy and Action Plan
for the Jan Lokpal Bill
by Dr. Gopal Singh Bookmark and Share
 
The first meeting of the joint committee to draft an effective Lokpal Bill has already taken place. Both sides expressed optimism that such a bill can be drafted and passed by the Parliament.
While all this is nice & good, the stark reality is something different. The bill faces a series of hurdles that would either dilute it beyond recognition or kill it altogether. Already well orchestrated attack by UPA is underway. A host of other parties and bureaucrats whose free rein for corrupt practices is now in danger are waiting on the sidelines to lend momentum to any efforts to kill it.
The attack by UPA is well planned. Typically this is how it is done:  
  • First, research intensively to dig out any dirt that can be thrown on the Civil Society Committee members. Fabricate new allegations if at all possible.
  • Spice them up. Allow latitude to exaggerate liberally.
  • Put mid-level (expendable) spokespersons to bark out the criticism in any forum they can muster. If they exceed the limit of decency, the party seniors would “discipline” them not to do so. Then privately turn around and let them lose.
  • The party seniors would appear to maintain calm and appeal everyone to stay calm. This lends them “credibility”.
  • Systematically erode the public confidence in the Civil Society Committee and the proposed bill so that an outpour of public support as during April 5-9 period would not reoccur.
  • Emboldened by the results of these efforts, the panel of ministers in the Committee starts demanding major concessions to effectively keep the politicians and the bureaucrats off the hook from any future Lokpal.
The Civil Society Committee members cannot put themselves in the defensive mode. That would play in the hands of the politicians and be disastrous to the Civil Society efforts. Instead they have to proactively plan, strategize and implement their own counter plan between now and late August (supposedly the deadline to have the bill passed by the Parliament)

Here are some of my suggestions:
 
  • Do not directly engage with the mudslingers in the public forum. You have nothing to gain and they have nothing to lose in terms of credibility.
  • Do not ignore any charges made against you. Rationally think through the response, factually back it up and release it in the media. Do not be tolerant to the criticism or pull any punches in your response. However, state only what you can back up with galley proofs. Your credibility is what separates you from the politicians. That is your greatest asset. Hang on to it dearly. This is why the public loves you.
  • Create a group of volunteers well informed on the latest version of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Have them visit all public institutions possible to educate the public on the history of the Lokpal Bill, the Governments Lokpal Bill 2010 or 2001 and your own Jan Lokpal Bill. Highlight the salient features of the Jan Lokpal Bill, how it differs from the Government’s version and why. I understand such an effort is already taking place in Maharastra. It needs to be done in other states as well.
  • Certain members of the organization India Against Corruption, such as Annaji, Kejriwal, Bedi and others should make well publicized public appearances in major cities and speak on the Jan Lokpal Bill as well as any potential impasse with the Government on major issues. Annaji is already appearing in Lucknow on May 1.  More such appearances are desperately needed.
  • Induct major Bollywood personalities such as Sabana Azmi, Amir Khan, Anupam Kher, Rajinikant and others to make public appearances to speak in favor of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Most of them are more than eager to do it.
  • Do not yield an inch on major points during the negotiations. Keep reminding them that you have the option to go back to the people if they do not agree. This is not a blackmail to present your viewpoint to the people and ask for their support. This is the freedom and the right that each one of us has as a citizen. If our call is just, the people will rise again and again.
  • Remember, the public pressure is the only motive force that will compel the politicians to agree and approve an effective Jan Lokpal Bill.
All these efforts will require more funding for the movement. There is a provision to make contributions for this movement at the following URL: http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org/donate.html

I urge you to follow your conscience and support this effort in every possible way.
 
View the larger size of the cartoon
18-Apr-2011
More by :  Dr. Gopal Singh
 
Views: 3896
Article Comment Dineshji,

First thing I should point out is that there are actually honest, non-corrupt, patriotic and well meaning politicians. They do exist just like the people in the civil society. They exist in UPA, NDA and other parties as well. However, they are a small minority and are in no position to take on the whole establishment and speak out against corruption. Hence they remain quiet and look the other way and therefore have limited value for the country. They must be justifying their behavior as pragmatists left with the only alternative to make quiet contribution in the service of the country. Either that or they must be living wth turbulent internal conflicts on a daily basis. This is unlikely since these are intellectually bright people and they can choose from many careers to make happy living.

Most successful politicians are intellectually gifted people driven with great desire to exercise power to make things happen. They work tirelessly to reach in key positions. Most of these positions provide them with tremendous latitude in controlling and manipulating financial and people resources. Keep in mind that their extraordinary talent and drive are combined with towering ego and desire to exercise power. When you put all these conditions together, you have an unstable, volatile, highly explosive environment capable to combust into what is called Corruption. Very few individuals have the rare extra ability to rise above this and keep all these explosive ingredients under control and harness them for the benefit of the people. For the rest of them, you need systemic restraints to keep the atmosphere from getting supercharged and explode.

Now back to your original question about NDA - mainly BJP. As we all know they are no more nor less corrupt than UPA. They really have no real interest in seeing this Jan Lokpal Bill enacted. History bears proof to it. But as smart politicians their number one and immediate agenda is to dislodge UPA from power and gain control themselves. They will even support the Jan Lokpal Bill to reach this objective. Once they are in power, they can always introduce amendments to the Lokpal Bill and make it virtually ineffective. The "civil society" has to be vigilant forever to keep the institution of Lokpal alive and effective. This is the price we all pay for choosing and living in democracy.
drgopalsingh
04/19/2011
Article Comment Dear Sir,

Could you please also list down the possible thought process in the camp of opposition - mainly BJP .....

They seems to be in a fix too - an effective Lokpal is certainly going to put UPA out of power in next Loksabha elections or even before. At the same time, it's probably going to ruin career of some prominent personalities in NDA camp and going to ruin all hope to make big business in future for many potential politicians who had less opportunity to make big money during NDA rule.
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
04/18/2011
 
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