1968, the year that marks the beginning of the arduous journey that has just embarked upon its second leg of tasks this Friday. The bill that brought scores of Indians all over, out on the streets in support of it, an exhibit of the frustration of the citizens of India, has finally been passed. The Jan Lokpal bill which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and subsequently by the Lok Sabha on Thursday has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. The bill had been put forth consecutively time and again, yet it never saw the day of light.
The avid advocate of the bill and the chairman of the civil society as well as the head of the India Against Corruption Movement Anna Hazaare broke his fast post its passing in the Rajya Sabha. This bill took the spotlight in 2011 when Anna Hazare declared a fast unto death to get the government to see the severity with which they took their demands for a Lokpal bill. The protagonists in this original campaign accompanying him were Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan, Santosh Hegde and Prashant Bhushan. Arvind Kejriwal was also a part of their team before he renegaded to form a political party for the common man, the “Aam Aadmi Party”. Their combined efforts eventually led to the much anticipated Lokpal Bill. This bill aims at eradicating corruption by appointing a Lokayukta to look into matters relating to disregard of the bill. This bill is planned to be implemented within 365 days of its passing.
In retrospect a lot has happened over the past decade and that has piled up on the reason why people protested against the bill in large numbers leading to multitudes of arrests of innocent people only because they thought that they needed a system in place to keep constant vigilance over the rampant corruption in our country. This onus was supposed to be on the ones we chose to maintain tranquillity in society and to uplift each and every one of us, but when even they fail, who do we turn to? Who helps us to break free of the imperialism within our own country, the unjust treatment of our countrymen and the desolation that is creeping up on us every passing moment? Corruption as a deed does not stop at two people, or at money not reaching its designated destination, but has more far reaching implications than that. Corruption ends up stealing peoples lifestyles from them and leaving them devastated, it atrophies’s the country’s economic situation and debilitates the country from within.
When Shaina Paul of Jesus and Mary College was asked what she thought about the Lokpal Bill and its recent passing, she said, “It has taken 46 years for the Lokpal Bill to come up for a serious debate in Rajya Sabha and finally passed. It is in fact ironic to see that political parties which did not want to touch the bill, clamoured for credit to approve and pass the bill. According to me, it is important that we provide for an effective Lokpal legislation in order to restore faith in public life and create an effective mechanism to deal with corruption.”
The passing of this bill has given immense relief to all of us. This bill more than being a bill was a symbol for many of us to come together and vent out the pent up melange of emotions of the rut of our life. This bill gave us the necessary nudge to take the burden for bringing about a change in this country on ourselves. And what’s more, we learnt that change is inevitable, the only fact is, we have to be the ones to bring it.
(image credits- webblogdaily.com)