You can jail a Revolutionary, but you can’t jail the Revolution. – Huey Newton
This is a continuation of yesterday’s post countering the arguments and claims that are being made against the movement led by Sri Anna Hazare and other members of the India Against Corruption movement for the establishment of a strong Lokpal institution in the country.
For Part I, Read Is Anna Hazare Blackmailing the Government?
Claim: In India Parliament is the Supreme Authority
Totally wrong. India is NOT UK. In India Constitution is Supreme and is above Parliament. In India, a new law is first introduced in the parliament in the form of a Bill, and then Parliament will debate, discuss and then vote on the Bill, and if Parliament approves the Bill then the Bill is sent to the President of India to be enacted as a law. Once the President of India gives his/her assent to the Bill, only then it becomes a law.
In UK the Supreme Court does not have the power to strike down a law passed by the Parliament. However, Courts in India have the authority to strike down laws passed by the parliament if the judiciary feels that the law goes against the basic principles of the Constitution of India.
So Parliament is NOT Supreme in India. It is the Constitution of India which is Supreme and judiciary is established to ensure that both executive and legislative function without violating the principles of the Constitution. As one of the country’s Top jurist Fali Nariman has said
“WE THE PEOPLE” comes before ”PARLIAMENT” in the Constitution of India
Claim: Referendum is not allowed in the Constitution of India
There were some suggestions made that if the government feels that only a handful of people are supporting the movement against corruption and the introduction of Jan Lokpal Bill in the Parliament, then let the government hold a public referendum across the country and see what the people actually want. The government can hold a public referendum and ask the voters if they want Jan Lokpal Bill from Anna’s team to be presented in the Parliament or do they want government’s version of the Lokpal Bill.
Some experts(?) claim that referendum is not allowed in the Constitution of India?
Really? What about the referendum held in Goa on Jan 16, 1967 where the people of Goa voted about whether they wanted Goa to be an independent union territory or wanted Goa to merge with the state of Maharashtra. Was this referendum Unconstitutional then?
If not, why cannot there be a public referendum today about the Lokpal Bill? It is perfectly legal under the constitution of India. Public referendums are actually an integral part of any real democracy. After all, governments should do only what the people of the country want it to do. This is democracy, not some royal family rule.
Claim: UPA Government has collectively decided to keep Prime Minister out of Lokpal’s jurisdiction
At an All India Conference of of Lokayuktas in 2004 at Dehradun, the current prime minister Manmohan Singh had on record stated that he wants the Prime Minister, MPs, Ministers to come within the purview of Lokpal institution. So it is either Mr. Manmohan Singh has changed his stance since OR the decision to keep Prime Minister out of Lokpal’s purview is NOT a collective cabinet decision.
Also, please note that the current government’s draft on Lokpal Bill keeps the MPs and Ministers out of Lokpal’s purview. So if the government’s version becomes law, then Lokpal will not be able to prosecute members of the parliament and ministers. Remember the Cash For Votes scam? - the scandal that took place under the present government’s rule where MPs were allegedly bribed to vote in favor of the government.
Claim: The anti-corruption movement is supported by the elements like RSS
Are members of RSS not the citizens of India? Will the government decide who can and who cannot support a movement? Is Corruption not affecting the lives of the members of RSS? Are they immune to corruption in this society?
Every Indian has the right to support the anti-corruption movement. Here is a classic quote by Chetan Bhagat on this
Whether a Sadhvi supports Anna or an item girl supports him I dont care
Claim: The movement against corruption is ruining the image of India internationally
From when did a movement for a just cause start ruining the image of a society or a country? People who claim this should watch foreign news channels once, and read foreign newspapers.
As if, the multiple multi crore scams being unearthed every month in the country are making the Indian image shine at the international forums.
Claim: The movement against corruption is a foreign conspiracy to destabilize the government and economy in India
This allegation was done by none other than the Congress party itself! The Party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said this said on behalf of his party that,
It needs to be considered whether there is any power which is supporting this movement which wants to destabilise not only the governmnet but the country
There are many forces that would not like to see India realize its true place in the comity of nations. We must not play into their hand.
So Mr. Prime Minister are we going to realize our true place in the comity of nations by NOT raising our voice against corruption in the country? India is already one of the most corrupt nations on this planet. According to Transparency International, India currently stands at position 87 in terms of nations from least corrupt to most corrupt. China at position 78 is less corrupt than India!
While the rampant Corruption in India itself is more than enough to destabilize our economy and growth, do we really need a foreign hand to destabilize it? How on earth can movement against corruption destabilize an economy? Did foreign government agents come and motivate all those millions of people to come out on the streets across the country? Are they the paid and hired crowd of some political party?
Long back the same Congress Party had also accused the JP movement of playing into foreign hands. When Sri Jayaprakash Narayan started a movement against Congress government led by Indira Gandhi, Congress had accused JP of being a CIA agent! So history repeats again.
We have also seen how Congress earlier tried to malign Anna himself as Corrupt. The Congress Spokesperson Manish Tiwari had earlier said that
Anna himself is involved in several cases of corruption.
and that the Team Anna consists of
armchair fascists, overground Maoists, closet anarchists … lurking behind forces of right reaction and funded by invisible donors whose links may go back a long way abroad
Now that the entire country is behind Anna Hazare and hence is Team Anna, will the Congress dare to say that the people of this country are fascists, Maoists and anarchists?
What I am really worried about is – these people who don’t even have the basic commonsense what to talk about and how to act about, how really are they running this country? In the morning they arrest Anna without any reason, and then send him to 7 days judicial custody, and in the evening they want to backtrack and release him. First they arrest him denying permission to fast, and say it is illegal to go against their orders, and then they break their own orders and give in and give permission to fast. What is all this? Is this how they are running the government too?
Look at the way the party and government spokespersons are handling the PR. Nobody in the government or Congress have said anything that reflects the sentiments of the common man. Everything they have said and done is against the public mood. If they cannot understand the pulse of the people, if they are not smart enough to realize that the people of India are wise enough not to fall to such tactics of making childish allegations and claims – I just pray and hope that this is not how they are dealing with International communications and governance in general.
Or probably a couple of years from now another wikileaks will reveal that too