It was indeed a moment of satisfaction for Anna Hazare, and millions of his supporters, when the Lokpal bill was finally passed in both the houses of Parliament on 18th Dec. 2013. More than being a personal victory for Anna Hazare and a means for the Congress and BJP to better their chances at forming a central government this March, it is a sign of hope for the Indian Citizens. Especially, since in the movements and hunger strikes in the recent years, the bill had been projected as if it was that ultimate tool which will fix the entire political system. However, we’re not even close!
If you ask the question,
Is the Lokpal Bill capable of keeping the politicians in check?
Whether or not it will work, we want to believe it will. Because, sitting at a distance, that seems the most convenient thing to do. The Lokpal Bill may empower an independent body to take action against corrupt politicians, which may make a politician think twice before he/she commits a ‘corrupt’ act. But as long as we continue to vote or support them in one way or other, a ‘corrupt’ politician will always have the licence to do whatever he/she wishes to.
The solution, then, will be completely viable only when we make ourselves aware and responsible enough to not support someone who has indulged in ‘corrupt’ acts. The intended result will be seen only when we respond by not voting for them in elections, when we ensure they are punished in the court of law, when we ensure that they are ashamed enough to not even think of something ‘corrupt’ ever again.
The Lokpal Bill is merely a tool. Its real power will come into effect when we as citizens ensure that every politician keeps a check on himself, his thoughts and deeds with fear in his mind — a healthy fear of the public, not necessarily the Lokpal.
How powerful do you feel is the Lokpal bill in demonstrating its might?
( A part of this article was also featured in the On-Campus section of Hindu Business Line on 22-Dec-13 )