Gobar Times
Open Forum

How free are we?

lokpal So India has been Independent for 64 years. Our government, our laws, our financial systems, our society and most importantly our mindsets have had these many years to evolve and mature. And they have. How else can we account for this vibrant democratic system that we live in?

But like every big and populous nation, India, too, is fraught with contradictions. Never since we sent the colonial rulers packing have our Constitutional Rights been so intensely debated upon. Do we have the Right over the land we own? Do we have the Right to demand quality education? Do we have the Right to kick out the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who don’t do their job? We have new and extremely progressive laws which claim that we DO indeed. But do we really?

GT decided that it is time to get a little more familiar with the law-in-the-making which can resolve all these doubts and queries once and for all — the Lokpal Bill.

We’re all witnessing the blazing demand that the government's Lokpal Bill be replaced by the Jan Lokpal Bill, drafted by the team led by Anna Hazare. So what’s the difference? image

Prominent features:

  1. Setting up of an institution called Lokpal at the centre and Lokayukta in each state. The Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
  2. Independent of governments — just like the Supreme Court and Election Commission.
  3. The corrupt person will have to be sent to jail within two years of the complaint being lodged. Investigations have to be completed in one year and trial in the next.
  4. The 3 existing Cs of corruption —Central Vigilance Corruption (CVC), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) will all be merged into the Lokpal.

By the time you read this, some decision is bound to have been taken. But what we all need to realise is the fact that our democracy gives us the flexibility to demand for amendments. We need to give it a chance.

Democracy is a process of evolution, not revolution.