Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Editorial, 'INDIA 64' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 August 2011 issue, Vol. 7, Part 2, No. 15

has not brought any special cheers to the common man with ever-rising prices, intense deprivations and, above all, the all-enveloping scourge of corruption eating into the very vitals of the society. The Prime Minister has rightly identified the problem of corruption as a major obstacle to the progress of democracy in our country but the caustic criticism of Anna Hazare and umpteen honest and dedicated social activists accuses the very Prime Minister and his government of diluting the fight against corruption by placing a weak and useless Jan Lok Pal bill before the parliament. And they have gone on agitation with Anna Hazare embarking on his indefinite fast. But we have already once pointed out in an editorial that ‘ati sarvatrena varjyat’ and perhaps the Anna team is stretching too far, especially when the bill is in the court of the parliament. Even the Swedish Riksdagens ombudsman (parliamentary ombudsman), a pioneer in this field in the entire world it seems, is strictly limited in jurisdiction to ‘a public authority or an official employed by the civil service or local government and specifically excludes ‘the actions of members of the Swedish Riksdag (Parliament), the government or individual members of the cabinet, the Minster of Justice or members of county or municipal councils. Nor do newspapers, radio and television broadcasts, trade unions, banks, insurance companies, doctors in private practice, lawyers et al. come within the ambit of the Ombudsmen’. In contrast, the bill introduced here covers even ministers except the premier and if there are defects, we also say there are, that should be corrected by the force of public protest and through parliament. As such we feel the matters are better left to the Parliament and peaceful protests for now, but what worries us more is the plight of millions of the poor and helpless who don’t even receive the wages of their hard toil properly, or at all, and are grossly neglected by all the wings of the state. The feudal/capitalist crooks, who commit such atrocities, degrading/destroying the lives of the people, are to be promptly jailed and strictly punished. We will be glad only if and when such a stringent law and practice rule the roost in our country §§§