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    At last everyone can take a sigh of relief; democracy is safe, at least for now. The much debated Lokpal Bill has been literally, in fact actually torn up in the Indian Parliament! The Lokpal Bill was put to sleep at midnight.

    Despite all the flak she is taking for her seemingly flip flop attitude to her coalition partnership of the UPA government, Mamta Banerjee, the maverick of Indian politics, must be credited with saving democracy in India this time around.

    The Lokpal Bill is a piece of Indian Legislation, which no one in the right thinking mind ever wanted  though it has been mooted forty years back as an antidote to corruption in India. Though the resistance to the Lokpal had more to do with the prevailing corrupt political process in the past, for the modern Indian politicians, much evolved, an idea of a super cop to look over the democratic institutions rang the danger bell, just in time.

    The process of Lokpal, which went on for the best part of the year stalling important policy decision making by the government and progress of the country, smacked of an Indian merry go around with:

    Team Anna putting a gun on Man Mohan Singh’s government insisting a bill be passed before the end of the year,
    The government desperately trying to get the parties on board and enact the Lokpal Bill
    The politicians pulling the carpet under the feet of Anna Hazare, who they fear to confront directly, by raising objections and hurdles for passing the Lokpal  legislation.

    What broke the fun was the objection Mamta Banerjee raised to a clause permitting the central government to enact anti corruption laws for the states, a promise extracted by Anna Hazare from a parliament under duress which it has no power to deliver.

    In reality the real corruption Anna Hazare is fighting against happen in the domain of the states over which the central government has no control. The reasons for corruption is the lack of infrastructure and equal opportunities for education, healthcare and housing, amplified in the cities by huge difference in the wages of private and public sector caused by massive foreign money inflow. The rural India comprising of 90 % of Indians don't even know who Anna Hazare is and don't care.

    Though the attempt to pass a bill in the Indian parliament failed eight times before and the recent episode appeared more chaotic than ever, in fact it has proved the strength of the democratic process yet again and why democracy has survived in India when it failed in the neighbouring countries.

    The Lokpal, a totally unworkable idea which went against all the checks and balances enshrined in the Indian constitution, was born out of the frustrations of an upward moving urban society and imposed totally under pressure on a government which believe more in accommodation and inclusive politics than confrontation.

    While the wind of democracy was sweeping dictatorships around the world, no where democracy was being thrown away for dictatorship like in India by candles and text messages by a generation, pampered by massive inflow of easy foreign investment, which has no idea of the struggle of their grant parents to win the freedom they have taken for granted.

    What the people of India should ask themselves is why, after 60 yrs of Independence, they vote based on caste, religion and every other stupid and selfish interest other than honesty, ability and progress of the country. Don't blame the government which can’t control the representatives you vote for.

    Article irst published in Technorati.com as http://technorati.com/politics/article/is-the-death-of-the-lokpal/










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