Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Being Democratic

A youth member’s take on Corruption and the Current Political scenario.

The current political scenario has finally got me to a vantage point. Years ago, during the Emergency my dad as a youngster wrote an article entitled, ‘The Rape of Judiciary’ sensing the urgency of the situation. Today as I watch the Parliament proceedings and the current political scenario I feel a sense of Emergency and hence this blog...

I am a member of the Youth Community who is silently witnessing a Protest that is being termed as a ‘Second- Freedom Struggle.’ This Struggle is against Corruption. Now, before any of you readers get the wrong impression that I am supporting any one faction, I am not. What I am doing is adding a little Reason to both sides. A humble request to all those who read this blog: Please keep your mind free from any clout or bias to understand what I have written. I respect your point of view, I hope you do too.

To begin with…..

Who are Members of Parliament?

Constitutionally, a Member of Parliament is an elected representative of the people representing the hopes and aspirations as well as the miseries and the problems of the people.

What have I witnessed in the last few days and months?

All that has happened in the last few weeks is that Members of Parliament are being Insulted, Abused and De- graded and for what? For ‘Representing’ us! I agree, you are frustrated and at a near breaking point but, abusing the Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Finance Minister on public forums is not the solution. I have heard the nastiest things being talked about these distinguished members of society. They are international figures who have been applauded for their efforts at National and International levels. Just for starters, apart from many other things, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Dr. Salman Khurshid, Mr. Praful Patel, Mr.P.Chidambaram, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Mr. Manish Tewary or for that matter the Opposition leaders like Arun Jaitley are in this Parliament not as opportunists but they are there to get a substantial amount of work done. They have a passion to serve society.Now, this may bring out the cynic in you and you may now come up with a list of names of corrupt politicians, but do we sacrifice every pristine politician at the same altar as those who are tainted? Each of them and many others (It would take couple of pages just naming all of them) is trying to make your voice heard too. You and I can sit in the luxury of our homes and tweet and rave and rant about the ‘Corruption’ in society or we can show our solidarity by firstly respecting the Members of Parliament who are trying to make sure we don’t face problems and not allowing these corrupt elements to thrive in society.

So, what is the Lokpal?

It was decided by the Members of Parliament that in the greater interest of the Society certain measures were needed to be taken to curb the corruption and it was to ensure that common man would be able to report the malfunctioning of various government bodies and various government officials so that this wanton bribery and corruption could be curbed effectively. The problems arose when the Lokpal was branded as ineffective and incompetent to serve the aforesaid purpose.

The Lokpal Debate:

When the Parliament decided to table the Lokpal bill, there was a huge uproar. A slim petite figure, a former war veteran realised that he had to stop this supposedly 'weak' bill. Backed by a few other prominent members of society and a belligerent media, a parallel bill was instituted to serve the purpose. Differences arose in both factions and this soul called Mr. Anna Hazare is on a fast unto death that has today entered its second week. This group of early risers against corruption christened itself as the ‘Civil Society’. They represented the aspirations of the people. The question then arose, “Why do we elect Members of Parliament?”

What I Support:

Like you, I believe that we DEFINITELY require a strong Anti- Corruption law that will address all aspects of this growing cancer. It is necessary that we all come together and have a good law. No one appreciates a well drafted law more than a student of Law. The intention of Mr. Hazare is much appreciated and so are the Government’s efforts towards the same.

What I am against:

I am against those who are ‘Losing faith’ in the Supreme Legislating body. Most of the people I had this discussion with said, “No, the Parliament is taking too long to pass the Bill, stringent action must be taken.” If you think rationally, every aspect and every clause of a Bill in the Parliament needs to be carefully deliberated upon before it becomes a law. After all even Jefferson said, Delay is preferable to error. I still recall the golden words of an eminent legal personality of our country Mr. Ram Jethmalani who said, “Justice hurried, is Justice buried.” If the law is made in haste, we are sure to pick out more lacunas once this bill is passed. Time is of the essence, but sometimes we need cynicism to take a backseat and allow the Parliament to make decisions for us. After all it’s a simple analogy; you elected the Member of Parliament, now show some faith! If you trusted them all this while why not a few more weeks? One person can be wrong two, even three but a Parliament of 552 Lok Sabha members + 250 members of the Rajya Sabha cannot be corrupt, wrong and unworthy of office! At the same time, this does not discount the fact that like you, I am also against the Parliament being adjourned three times a day with no substantive work getting done.

There’s always room at the top if we all put our minds together rather than obstinately stand against each other, because of foolish pride.

Protests by screaming slogans that are against the Government are never going to do any good.

But, I am a student, Protest is the best I can do:

Wrong! You can do a lot more than shout out in the middle of the square that you are against Corruption. You are up in arms against the unknown devil. You need to treat your country with dignity. Will sacrificing a day at college bring corruption to an end? No! If you feel so passionately about this problem, do what the country expects of you today. Study hard, get into the services and ensure that you do not encourage bribery or any other form of corruption. You will have done your bit for your nation. Stop paying that extra buck, start becoming an aware citizen, spread the awareness and make sure you get heard. If your still unhappy make sure you chose rightly the next time around. Hurting yourself or hurting another fellow Indian’s reputation and dignity is no answer to this grave issue.

I appreciate every citizen’s need for a Corruption- free society but lets’ not have Opportunists blowing things out of proportion. Each one of us has faced and is facing various effects of an unethical part of society. Let’s not delve into the minor and trivialise such an important issue. Let us all stand against corruption without holding our Democracy at ransom. Let us show some faith in those whom we elected to make the right decision. Let us all be a little more Reasonable.

Having said that, I rest my case!


*Views and Opinions expressed by the writer are personal.