Readers' take on Anna: 'Govt's intention unclear'
Rediff.com had asked its readers to suggest ways to end the impasse between the government and Team Anna over the Lokpal Bill draft.
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Here we publish the second round of readers' suggestions out of hundreds of responses we have received so far:
Also Read: 'Withdraw the Govt version of the Bill'
Name: Anil Sood
Suggestion: Government should give in to demands of Anna & pass the bill in toto. What is wrong if the corrupt person is taken to task as per Lokpal will?
The useless apprehensions on part of Congress does not hold the ground as there is 11 member jury to decide the pros & cons of a case & majority decision would be implemented to go ahead with prosecution of any official.
So chances of manipulation are minimum. Actually, government's intentions are not clear.
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Image: Anna Hazare waves the tricolour at Ramlila grounds in New Delhi
'Govt must withdraw the namesake Lokpal Bill'
Name: Alok Verma
Suggestion: # Govt must take back the namesake Lokpal Bill it has introduced. Govt has lost credibility because of that bill. People are suspicious of the intentions and motives of the govt because of that bill.
# Govt should next table along with Jan Lokpal Bill and all other private members Bills, including Aruna Roy's Bill, as a starting point of discussions and debate.
# Since so much awareness has been created in the country on the Lokpal issue, two panels should be created: i) a balanced panel (not exceeding six to eight persons) of very eminent people from the society that include no more than two persons from the same field (like lawyers, judges, bureaucrats, parliamentarians etc.) and ii) a second panel of persons who were instrumental in drafting the private member bills introduced in Parliament (see step 2) consisting of the Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejarival, Justice Hegde, Aruna Roy and her team, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Congress MP Aron, Varun Gandhi etc.
# A two to three days debate should be held between the two panels where the first panel takes up points one-by-one from the private member bills and the members of the second panel explains the rational behind putting up those points, answers queries, give clarifications, if any, to satisfy the first panel. Necessary adition , deletion, modification should be carried out to the satisfaction of both the panels. At the end of the dabte/discussions/delibration the first panel with the help of the second panel should come up with a Joint Lokpal Bill draft.
# This draft should be tabled in the parliament for debate and discussions for two days going through the normal parliamentary procedures.
Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare shout slogans from a vehicle after being detained during a protest outside the residence of PM in New Delhi
'Team Anna should talk to the standing committee'
Suggestion: First and foremost Mr Hazare and team should stop the entire protests and talk to the standing committee.
The standing committee should come forward without any bias and explain their logic on why they are unable to accept the recommendations from Team Anna.
If Team Anna and the parliament standing committed feels that national interest is paramount, personal egos attitude should be shunned and a Gandhian like Shri Anna Hazare should also display "tolerance and patience" which our father of the nation preached.
There can no emotional responses for this long term issue--- let all concerned sit together, discuss and resolve the issue.
Name: R C Bora
Suggestion: One of the major bone of condensing is that whatever Shri Anna is asking for in Jan Lokpal bill, the administrative machinery required for execution is huge and it requires large number of persons with absolute honesty.
So to get things going, Anna's team must start with middle path solution. Establish the smooth working, demonstrate that these demands are feasible and govt should expand the scope in the time bound manner. Otherwise it may become too much to chew at a time.
Name: Priyabrata Tripathy
Suggestion: In first place, whether there is a stand-off or not is a matter of debate. The govt is entitled to pre-legislative consultations, which they do with this particular group.
They come up with certain bill with some agreement and a lot of disagreement. Then the bill was sent to parliament where certain political parties showed their displeasure about the current shape of the bill. That is encouraging.
So, govt had to take it to standing committee; the committee which issued 150 amendments to govt's RTI draft. So, there is a healthy history of the standing committee.
The bill is now there where all the citizens can have their say through their representation. This is another salute to democracy at work. More view and more input from diverse section of society, that will strengthen the bill, which is perceived weak.
After that it will come to parliament for discussion and the political parties can incorporate even more changes. So in essence, there is no stand off. It is the Anna brigade which stops the democracy to function and bars other voices to be heard.
Let the process of parliament play its full course, we will definitely reach there where we want to reach. Govt should not think that the agitation as a hindrance for doing its duty. Let Anna go to hospital and be treated as Irorm Sharmila.
Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare burn an effigy representing corruption during a protest rally in Ahmedabad
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
'Amend the Constitution'
Name: Justin Philip Roswan
Suggestion: The govt can appraise all concerned through weekly media briefing about status of bill drafting stage reached at standing committee. They can inform where the bills has reached, what is proposedly left out, what is the expected time for completion, what is problems they face -- politically & procedural, what are the remedies/ alternatives.
This will give clear cut idea about seriousness of govt as well as all political parties to the Bill and its real status.
Suggestion: Is it undemocratic to change the Constitution that will reflect the will of the people? I am to understand the govt's helplessness, while it is reluctant to change the parliament's rudimentary traditional working.
Here is my 2 cents worth understanding. a) Can the private member bill be introduced in parliament that allows to table both the draft versions of bill? b) All politico meting with the debate engaged on a public forum to discuss (read enhancement needed) the contentious issues in the bill. c) Amend the Constitution that favour a democratic way of working for the benefit of people. Peaceful protests against govt should be accommodated so as the right to question a govt functionary, even if he/she has secured the will of the public to run in office.
Name: Vikas Sharma
Location: New Delhi
Suggestion: # PM should be answerable to Lokpal.
# There should be two different bodies to handle corruption, below officers or class 'A' officers should be answerable to CVC. By this burden of work can be shared and also CVC should get some powers.
# Lokpal and CVC are investigating bodies but decision is only taken by court, so we need different courts or fast track courts for any level of corruption.
# Judiciary is above all, even PM, but it is also affected by corruption, mass level of corruption you can find or see in this also. But the level and effectiveness of this corruption is really high, so we need different bodies for which judiciary should be answerable and also we need that punishment should be strong (even death sentence) because it's really affects our life in every way.
# We don't want that Janl Lokpal bill challenges our Constitution, we want that Jan Lokpal should help Constitution by making tough decisions and not allowing any corrupt man in the system.
Image: Anna Hazare and his supporters burn copies of the government version of Lokpal Bill
'Try to define corruption'
Name: Dr D K Mishra, PMP
Suggestion: The economist PM cannot become a great personality and specially a good prime minister, because he is not the peoples' representative but Soniaji's representative, hence unable to understand the peoples' voice.
He has already lost his credential of being an honest person but have an opportunity to retain some pride instead of being called the most weak PM leading the most corrupt govt. I have five suggestions for him, 1) call all sections including politicians and explain his compulsions, invite suggestions, discuss them and come out with a really strong bill, leave aside the procedures and show some strong commitment against corruption.
2) Try to define corruption, because the things being discussed presently target very small section whereas all of us are responsible for the cause find ways
3) Make it very clear to all, to give up all malpractices with immediate effect and show the door to all those are under scanner or doubtful immediately so that the message is clear to express his commitments
4) The level at which corruption has reached in India is difficult to control immediately but the future of this country can be saved by introducing the concept of moral, values and pride for the nation since early child hood because everybody (majority) is concerned about self and even parents/ teachers say to see your own interest
5) Despite his wish to get PM covered under Lokpal he couldn't do that hence helplessness can't do good any more and get rid of the obligation to Sonia.
Name: Vrushal Revdandekar
Suggestion: # Govt should take back their Version of LokPal
# Anna and his team should apologise for the statement that all politicians are corrupt. If they really mean it they have no moral right to say that we will discuss with Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi or for that matter anybody else in the political system. If they think that all politicians are corrupt than they should change their demand from Lokpal to military rule and say good bye to democracy.
# Form a Team say 10 persons jointly agreed upon by Team Anna, Government and Opposition parties. Nobody from the govt, Opposition or from Team Anna to be in this team. The likes of Narayan Murthy, Abdul Kalam, etc. can be on this team.
# All the concerned Team Anna, Govt and the Opposition make a joint statement to the nation that the version presented by this team will be accepted as the Jan Lokpal Bill.
# Make a Constitutional amendment that fat unto death be termed as attempt to suicide and cannot be considered as a way of peaceful protest as anyways its not peaceful one is killing himself. So as in future such blackmails to our democracy system don't happen.
Name: Debasish Pathak
Suggestion: Step 1. Annaji should be immediately force fed and saved. He is the most valuable leader of our times and we must protect him.
Step 2. The govt has complete majority in parliament and it is playing tough because the general elections are far away (2014). Anna's health is of out most importance for our country and if he is unable to lead this movement the govt will try to crush the agitation by all means, as it did with Baba Ramdev.
Step 3. Team Anna should continue and intensify the movement before the next general elections in 2014. The UPA govt will be left with very little option then and would accept the Jan Lokpal Bill without any fuss.
Step 4. In the mean time the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill may be tweaked to perfection with more public debates with the govt.
Step 5. The Anna team should continue with agitating with the MPs of all parties and get written assurances from them. The names of the candidates supporting the Jan Lokpal Bill should be published by the Anna team for each constituency before the general elections and the public will do the needful.
Step 6. Team Anna should publish the statements of Manish Tiwary and other politicians who spoke rubbish during this agitation. The public memory should be refreshed before the next general elections to ensure that they get what they deserve.
Image: Anna Hazare shouts slogans as he addresses his supporters on the tenth day of his fasting at Ramlila grounds in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
'Take all the 3 versions of the Lokpal bill and present it to a neutral committee'
Name: Pratap K Baba
Suggestion: I just do not see any reasons, with so many eminent people in this vast country, that a solution cannot be found to an issue which effects each and everyone. I can imagine if it is an issue involving a particular relegion, community or for that matter a political party which is against their ideology.
In my opinion if the govt/opposition parties have the will to do it, leaving aside their egos, it is definitely possible to get out of this impasse and to make the people feel happy.
Therefore, 1) take all the 3 bills (Govt -Jan Lokpal- Aruna Roy's bill) present it to a committee consisting of one leader from main oppn parties BJP (a person of good integrity-not some one who is again involved in some case or other), two from civil society, two nuetral members like Abdul Kalam, one from judiciary.
2) Members will go through and recommend in 10 days.
3) The draft will go to standing committee (again not people like Lalu and Amar Singh whose integrity is questionable) who will give their recommendations in a weeks time.
4) Then a special session of parliament will be called immediately to debate and pass the bill. Now let not all those people talking that it is not possible to do it in this quick time make a fuss. Let the govt work overtime if required to resolve this burning issue. Nothing has happened for the last 42 yrs. be fair to the people and find a solution. Otherwise, Govt will pay heavily and will not have any answers or scope for any further justification.
Name: Sanjay Krishnan
Suggestion: 1) Table both the Jan Lokpal Bill & the Version prepared by the Government.
2) Ensure that the decision making process involves parlimentarians with clean image. Can also look at having independent people apart from the elected representatives in the decision making committee.
3)Make the discussions to formulate the bill transparent to the nation.
4) Pass the bill within a month's time
5) Bill should include all critical provisions which have been identified in the Jan lokpal bill as these are essential for our country.
Name: S Das
Location: Rourkela, Odisha.
Suggestion: It is to be kept in mind that this movement is not linked to any team. It is the people's movement for a good cause. It is not proper to say "Anna Team" rather it is the team of People of India. However, to resolve the present stand-off following is suggested:
(1) PM to take lead first and should show his political will for fighting against corruption. He should say so in a televised broadcast to the nation.
(2) PM to ensure introduction of Jan Lokpal bill in the Parliament immediately.
(3) He should remove corrupt/ alleged corrupt ministers as well as Delhi CM immediately. Moreover, he should remove roudy ministers of his cabinet and keep such ministers who talk less and work more and listens to People. This action will prove his sincerity to fight against corruption.
(4) He should meet Anna in person and request him to break his fast and assure the nation from Ramlila Maidan that the Jan Lokpal bill will be passed within one month and implement it in true spirit., keeping the basic structure intact and incorporating the good points of others.
(5) PM should announce that the present session of Parliament is extended and bill is passed in the present session itself.
Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare protest outside Tihar Jail
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
'Govt should agree to put bureaucracy under Lokpal'
Name: Aniruddha Joshi
Suggestion: What is happening here is a clear demonstration of the reality that people are fed up with the system. They no longer trust politicians, bureaucrats, judges, media to deliver what they are expected to. Anna appeals to the desire to see a new mechanism to treat systemic problems. If we understand that this is not about corruption but about a wider loss of faith in the system then the solutions become clearer. Here are my 5 suggestions:
1. The govt. should agree to include the entire bureaucracy under Lokpal. In turn Team Anna should be willing to give up PM and Supreme Court.
2. Direct election of PM and CMs should happen so that the PM and CMs have a people's mandate.
3. Giving bribe should not be a crime only taking bribe should be.
4. We should build a movement that at each and every step exposes demands for bribes. For example when bribe is asked in Talthi's office all people should gather and beat up the Talathi.
5. Income tax should become a state subject. The central govt. should rely on the charity of state govts.
Name: Nirav V
Suggestion: It is shocking to see a mischievous and sinister bill prepared by the UPA government. Instead of punishing corrupt babus, UPA protecting Corrupts. NGOs have been targeted and complainants have been given punishment. Hence government bill stands totally rejected.
# Now PM must come under Lokpal; Judiciary should also be under Lokpal to curb on their activities; all class I officials should come under Lokpal. Withdraw the Govt version of the Bill immediately it's useless.
# Appoint a committee of all political, civil society and experts from various fields (industry, administration, NGO, legal etc) to debate in camera the points - majority to be civil society and then experts. There should be a transparency for the cases under Lokpal.
Name: Anil Kulkarni
Suggestion: 1. Withdraw the Lokpal Bill unconditionally.
2. Discuss with the Team Anna and other intellectuals including the opposition political parties the merits of Both Lok Pal and Jan Lokpal bills without any prejudice and ego.
3. Integrate the merits of both the bills into one bill.
4. Follow the legislative process in Parliament omitting whatever steps constitutionally and legally possible to pass the said bill drafted with consensus without wasting any further time in meetings and meetings and meetings. If required extend the present session of Parliament or call a separate session for this purpose only.
5. Once the bill is passed into a law by Parliament take immediate steps to frame the rules thereunder and bring the law into force without any delay by the executive.
Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare sign a thumb-impression with blood to show solidatity with his cause
'For the time being, judiciary can be kept out'
Name: R Balasubramanian
Suggestion: Annaji's Jan Lokpal draft is very fair compared to the government's which is beneficial only to politicians and government servants.
As a compromise, Judiciary can be, for the moment, kept away from the Jan Lokpal and the rest has to be accepted by the parliament which is just and people friendly.
By not tabling Annaji's draft of Jan Lokpal, the government has conceded that it encourages corruption at all levels. The present scenario of the country is, everyone in the country are corrupt and the politicians have taken for granted the people mandate to involve freely in looting.
Jan Lokpal has to be placed in the parliament and let the house discuss on it. Government Lokpal draft has to be removed from discussion as it is ment to be thrown to the trash.
Name: Yogender Singh
Suggestion: 1. Put up all the points raised by Anna's team, govt, other civil society groups, to Parliament for debate . There are not many points, (though important ones), where there is disagreement. So should not take much time.
2. Telecast the debate live.
3. Finalise the Lokpal draft and get parliament approval.
4. If consensus can not be reached on some points, let majority rule prevail only for those points and keep a provision for review after a definite time period.
Name: M V Ramachandran
Suggestion: 1. Form a small committee of 4 senior Parliamentarians and 2 from Team Anna
2. Prepare a proper bill incorporating the Jan Lokpal bill to cover all government officers, MPs, etc. and make it as strong as possible
3. Form a separate Judicial Accountability Bill. All these activities including introduction of modified Lokpal Bill and Judicial Accountability Bill should be introduced and passed before 15th September, 2011. I think this can be achieved. Immediately on announcement of the above measures, Anna Hazare Ji should break the fast and people should disperse peacefully.
Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare at Ramlila Ground
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com