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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anna Hazare ends his fast - Happy moments are here again !


August 28th 2011 is a red lettered day in the History of Independent India – a golden moment for the democracy in the Country.  Gandhian Anna Hazare stands tall, he has shown to the World once again that non-violence will still triumph.  At 10.00 am today, after 12 days, he finally called off his fast much to the cheer of the whole Nation. 

Anna, his Gandhian method, his attire, his methods, the term Lokpal have all become household names.  People across the Nation carried the spirit of patriotism alive in their hearts and displayed it at Public Forums and street corners.  The venue chosen by him – the Ramlila grounds remained abuzz with people as crowds thronged in his support. 

The resultant ‘Jan Lokpla Bill’ is citizen’s ombudsman bill – a proposed independent anti-corruption law in India.   It is an offshoot of the Lokpal bill first introduced by Shanti Bhushan in 1968,  passed by the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969.  Subsequent versions were re-introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008 – none of them have seen the light and finally the crusader has ensured there would be on in 2011 at least !!
The word ‘Lokpal’ seemingly has a lengthier history than the ‘Lokpal bill’ which is 42 years old.  The word Lokpal was coined in 1963 by L.M.Singhvi, a Member of Parliament during a debate in Parliament about grievance redressal mechanisms. The prefix  ‘Jan’   was added much later  to signify the fact that these improvements include input provided by "ordinary citizens" through an activist-driven, non-governmental public consultation.  L. M. Singhvi born in Jodhpur (1931 – 2007) was an eminent Indian jurist, parliamentarian, constitutional expert, scholar, distinguished diplomat. He was the longest-serving High Commissioner for India in the United Kingdom He was conferred Padma Bhushan in 1998.  
LM Singhvi  was a member of the Third Lok Sabha from 1962-67 from Jodhpur as an Independent .  He was elected to Rajya Sabha (1998–2004) as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).  A linguist and a prolific author, Singhvi was also a well acknowledged scholar of Jain history and culture, remained president of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. He spearheaded the Indian delegation to the United Nations conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993.  There are reports now that he had moored the idea of the Lokpal bill way back in the 1960s based on his study on the Ombudsman's role in the Scandinavian countries.

Going into the history of Lokpal, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley of BJP  on Saturday (27/8/11)  recalled that it was the then independent MP L M Singhvi, who had coined the term Lokpalway back in 1963.   TOI reports that Jaitley got a phone call soon after his speech from the late L M Singhvi's wife, "who was moved to tears" as Jaitley put it, saying, how she appreciated her late husband's mention on this historic day.

The son of LM Singhvi,  now heads the Standing Committee of Parliament which is entrusted with the job of looking into the Lokpal Bill against corruption. It is  Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi.    He represents Congress party and is presently a Member of the Parliament of India representing Rajasthan in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament and also  the spokesperson of the Congress party.

An articulate spokesperson, he was  embroiled in controversy when he had offered legal advice in his professional capacity as a lawyer to Dow Chemicals(parent of Union Carbide) on whether it would be held accountable for the Bhopal gas tragedy in any way post its acquisition of Union Carbide.  Singhvi recently was again bogged down in controversy when, after being criticized for "talking only in generalities and legalese jargon without any specific solutions", he was unable to answer any question on the topic of Anna Hazare's fast and the Jan Lokpal bill. Upon being confronted by some difficult questions, he abused the questioner himself and arrogantly walked out of the debate on live national television.

Success will have many fathers and recently former election commissioner GVG Krishnamurthy said that the Country's first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was interested in setting up an independent body to check corruption.  He has stated that the issue of creating an ombudsman to fight graft had come up for discussions at 3rd All India Law Conference at instance of Nehru in 1962.

Welcome to Jan Lokpal Bill;  many thanks to Team Anna Hazare; Long Live Democracy and Jai Hind.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

9 comments:

  1. Long Live Anna, Kiran Bedi, Kejriwal and the group of troopers - Desai

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  2. After a long time we are seeing such a large mobilisation. Would have been much more happier a) if private corporations and media were included into the ambit of the (Jan) Lokpal Bill (b) the team is more repesentative of the various sections. -kannan

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  3. Anna has gone mad... he is a shrewd politician. All corrupt people like Kejriwal, Bedi and Bhushan are in his team and he is fighting against corruption... what a contradiction. He is like a gunda who threatens the govt now and then even before the dead line he has kept arrives. Wake up India... Its not Anna that we need, we need our own transformation. All those who are shouting against corruption, first they have to check their lives. Remember what Jesus said when people came to stone the sinner lady? He said, one who is sinless may stone her first. You who are shouting against corruption, are you not corrupted in one or the other thing? Let us first change ourselves then talk about changing the nation!!!

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