In a rare moment of bi-partisanship, the entire Indian Parliament joined hands to condemn Team Anna for its attack on the political class. Interestingly, Sushma Swaraj of the BJP, unwittingly highlighted the irony of the predicament when she said, “If MPs were looters, corrupt and rapists, then why did Team Anna send three of its demands to be incorporated in a resolution passed by Parliament.” The answer to this question says it all. The civil society has no other option but to “beg and plead” before an institution which is home to many who have serious cases against them and would be directly affected should Lokpal become a reality.
Arguing about the “who said what” and whether it was appropriate would be case of not seeing the forest for the tress. Clearly, this Parliament vs. Team Anna struggle has wider implications for India’s future. If you disregard for a moment the individual players in this struggle, their motivations and their allegiances, it does raise some very important issues that warrant significant public debate. Over the last sixteen months, the anti-corruption movement has been a major part of the public’s pre-occupation and a primary cause for an overall sense of dissatisfaction. Despite this, thanks to coalition politics, lack of leadership, and political will, virtually nothing has been accomplished to address these legitimate concerns of the people. Sadly, cases of corruption continue to be unearthed, the most recent being the one involving our Army. On the law and order front, RTI activists have been routinely killed over the years and most recently, Narendra Singh, an IPS officer, was crushed to death supposedly by the mining mafia in MP. Our Parliament has little to show in terms of concrete action on any of these fronts.