Thursday, September 01, 2011

It was Anna, not Janlokpal Bill

Arvind Kejriwal, one of the activists behind the Janlokpal Bill, in his interview to The Hindu said, “People wanted the JLB”. 

That is a patently wrong assumption to derive from the popular anti-corruption movement that we witnessed in India over the last few weeks.   Most people who showed up at the Anna Hazare Movement gatherings in various cities of India have not read Janlokpal Bill created by these activists.  They do not know that these activists are bent on pushing their version of the bill onto Indians riding the popular mood than sitting down to discuss and debate the issue with others.  Many Indians came to show their support to Anna Hazare who, according to them, is fighting the corruption in India.   These people wanted to express their solidarity with any anti-corruption campaign, not necessarily the Janlokpal Bill.   Kejriwal himself admits in the interview:

When we conducted referendums on the JLB, we used to try and explain its contents to people. But they said they did not want to understand the details. They just wanted to put a mohar [stamp] on Anna.

Kejriwal and his gang of activists are using Anna Hazare to promote their version of the bill which is not very different from the bill proposed by the Government, except that these activists want sweeping powers to one single body without any accountability.  If people were to read various versions of the bill, they would get confused because they all look very similar, except that the devil is in the details.  Looking at the bill proposed by the government, it seems as though Government of India is as keen as these activists to root out the corruption; so why all this hullabaloo and tamasha, one may ask?