It is late Thursday afternoon, pregnant with possibilities, as I try and make sense which way the wind is blowing. Are we on the cusp of a violent storm or a cool breeze? I am neither brave nor foolish enough to make predictions.
No publication has supported or celebrated NGO power more than Outlook. Derisively, our critics call us the jholawala magazine. It is a jhola we wear proudly. Therefore, it pains me to see the divide and the acrimony in the NGO community. I am an admirer and friend of Arvind Kejriwal/Prashant Bhushan. I am also an admirer and friend of Aruna Roy/Nikhil Dey. These two groups bring great lustre and enormous respect to our civil society. Together and separately they have fought for the Lokpal bill with singular distinction. They stand on the verge of a grand victory. Victory for the people and victory against the much-hated system. To throw it away after all the hard work has been done would be a national tragedy.
Why can't Aruna Roy and Prashant Bhushan sit across a table and hammer out a single draft of their respective bills? These versions have so much in common that a consensus could be reached in a couple of hours. I urge both sides to take the first step for arriving at a joint bill.
Compromise is a dirty word in our lexicon currently. One could argue that the mess we find ourselves in is because, in the past, compromise has been the rule rather than the exception. Happily, what is being sought here is not the c-word. The final civil society bill will be strengthened if it passes through parliamentary scrutiny. The Anna Hazare team is, rightfully, suspicious of "procedures" as another name for delaying tactics. I see no reason why the final bill, after being debated by the standing committee and Parliament, cannot be passed in four weeks.
The last fortnight has been nerve-wracking for the country. We have come close to anarchy in our search for a "second independence". The danger is not yet over. However, we have an opportunity to deepen and enrich our democracy through genuine people's participation as a continuous process instead of a once-in-five-years exercise. Seize the moment.
|ALSO IN THIS STORY|
AUTHORS: VINOD MEHTA
PEOPLE: ANNA HAZARE | ARUNA ROY | PRASHANT BHUSHAN | ARVIND KEJRIWAL
TAGS: CORRUPTION | LOKAYUKTA & LOKPAL | CIVIL SOCIETY
AUG 27, 2011 06:01 PM
People are fed up with hearing that their hard earned money is being LOOTED by a bunch of white-collar criminals.
Thanks to the vigilante media ( thats about 40% of it ), we are now at least hearing about these unpunishable crimes.
Does VM expect us to swallow it without even a struggle?
AUG 27, 2011 05:57 PM
Threecheers to You Mr.Vinod Mehta.
AUG 27, 2011 05:06 PM
I have not read a more useless editorial in any magazine or newspaper. It says absolutely nothing and takes no stand beyond homilies. Editorials should stand for something.
AUG 27, 2011 04:57 PM
I ask very simple question can Jan lokpal bill finish the corruption ?There is anti corruption bill allready existed but implication of bill not working properly. because those who implicating they try to make some loopholes ,criminals with help of lawyer easily escape .This can happen with lokpal bill also..Indian corruption is unique.People of India not think themselves guilty breaking the government. law.Great thinker of Maharashtra LOKHITWADI wrote in19Th century=" Indians afraid to break the law of Dharma and caste but donot afraid to break the government law." There are psychological, social and economical barriers which are increasing corruption.When we reduce these barriers than only we can reduce corruption.Bringing new and new law only increase the corruption
AUG 27, 2011 04:40 PM
The whole problem points to the severe failure of MMS. He failed to lead and discilpline his cabinet. Even now he is being lead.
It is obvious from various scams that he was deeply involved in the decision making.