Parliament will not deliver... people must

On March 25, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his team members will lead another fast at Jantar Mantar in support of their long standing demand for a law providing for protection to whistleblowers. The immediate trigger for the protest, of course, is the brutal murder of young IPS officer Narendra Kumar Singh, allegedly by the sand mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh. Families of 15 officers or civilians similarly done to death for fighting corruption, and many others who were victimised or brutally attacked but survived, will also participate in the fast to spread the message that it is the people who must rise against corruption. Parliament, with its many tainted members cannot, and will not, deliver, asserts Team Anna member and former IAS officer Arvind Kejriwal, who quit the civil service to take up social activism full-time.

Kejriwal spoke on the need for a huge people’s movement against corruption and the corrupt political system feeding it. Excerpts of an interaction:

“In all the murders of whistleblowers taking place, there is a huge collusion of criminals and corrupt people. These attacks are getting so aggressive that the message being sent from corrupt people is that we will indulge in corruption and if you raise your voice, you will be eliminated.

In any case of victimisation or murder of whistleblowers you will see three things in common:

First: In all the issues of corruption raised in the last ten years, not a single case has been honestly investigated; take the case of Satyendra Dubey, who blew the whistle on corruption in the national highways project, Manjunath, who exposed oil adulteration, Niyamat Ansari who exposed the NREGA scam in Jharkhand and Yashwant Sonawane who took on the oil adulteration mafia.

Second: Murders of whistleblowers take place, the crime itself is investigated honestly, but nothing happens to the murderers. No one is caught, and even if they are, some small fry is punished just for the record. The real masterminds are let off.
Third: Whistleblowers murdered or victimised have complained to several authorities that their life is in danger. Dubey complained to the Prime Minister himself. Yet, they were not given protection in time.

We have 163 people with criminal background in Parliament;  several others with criminal taint are ministers in the cabinet. Then how can we expect a law against corruption from these very partners in crime. Where is the hope of redemption or redressal.
In the Jan Lokpal Bill advocated by us, there is a demand for a strong law to protect whistleblowers. Will they (corrupt political class) ever pass such a bill against themselves. If they do, then many of them like Praful Patel, Sharad Pawar, P Chidambaram  and others will be in jail. So, it is the people who should find a solution. There is no choice but to hit the streets and tell people the enormity of the problem; there is need for a huge people’s movement. Parliament can never deliver as there is a huge conflict of interest.
One law, or one protest cannot solve the problem. A democracy is committed to non-violent forms of protests. All put together will provide the solution.
Regarding Jan Lokpal Bill, we will wait and see what the government does; people’s anger will grow even more if the Bill is scuttled.”

As told to Gayathri Nivas


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