`Don`t push Lokpal Bill too hard`
New Delhi: With the Anna Hazare-led civil society toughening its stand on the Lokpal Bill, a group of freedom fighters have said they will write to the Gandhian leader asking him not to "push too hard" on the bill by threatening to go on another fast for enacting the legislation.
They also view "businessman" Ramdev`s self-coined `Satyagraha` to bring back black money stashed abroad as an "absurd" episode similar to a "Bollywood movie" in which he wanted to create a show and not agitate against corruption.
The freedom fighters were among the first to sit on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar demanding setting up of a strong Lokpal before the now-famous fast-unto-death protest by Hazare in April.
"We are writing to Hazare that his threat to sit on a hunger strike from August 16 if the Lokpal Bill is not passed could prove counter-productive. This is not the way to press hard with your own calendar, when even the draft is not ready. One must live to fight," Shambhu Dutta, general secretary of the Gandhian Seva and Satyagraha Brigade, said.
93-year-old Dutta, who along with his five colleagues, was the first to sit on fast-unto-death on January 30 on the Lokpal issue, said, "Fissures have appeared in the joint drafting committee. We have given our full support to Hazare but the civil society seems to be pushing the matter too hard.”
"They have demanded so many things to be put within the jurisdiction or ambit of Lokpal that no government probably can agree," Dutta, an ex-Army officer, said.
He was of the view that the bill should be allowed to pass as amendments can be made in the coming year or two. "It is wrong to be adamant over the provisions of Jan Lokpal
Bill," he said.
The group also feels that it is "disingenuous" to call for the inclusion of the higher judiciary under the ambit of Lokpal but was in favour of bringing the prime minister under it.
"When they (Lokpal) will give their findings and they are not acted upon then it will come to the higher judiciary. There have to be checks and balances on the Lokpal himself. If corruption can be alleged in the judiciary it can be alleged within the Lokpal that is created," Dutta said.
Terming Ramdev`s method of protest as "fascist", 84-year-old freedom fighter Kumari RS Devi said it was "funny that he evaded arrest by disguising as a woman. He wanted to create a show and not agitate against corruption."
Slamming Ramdev`s anti-corruption agitation as an "absurdity not to be indulged in", Dutta said the spirit of Satyagraha is "not to runaway but to sacrifice and surrender”.
"A Satyagrahi would not disguise himself as a woman and run away. Ramdev`s protest is an absurdity that people must not indulge in since no government will tolerate it," he said.
KP Sahu, author of the book `Religious Quest` and a retired teacher from Rourkela, feared Ramdev was getting close to groups like RSS which will harm the cause.
"Satyagraha, in the true sense, supplements the democratic process by lending teeth to the structure. He should have compromised with the government," he said.
However, Dutta demanded debarring corrupt politicians from contesting elections and confiscating illegally acquired property. He now plans to start a protest soon till a time-frame is given by the government to act on these matters.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Analysis of how Indian women's success in Olympics changed mindset of our society
- DNA: Analysis of how Indian women's success in Olympics changed mindset of our society- Part II
- DNA: Analysis of loss caused by floods in India
- DNA: Arunachal Pradesh gets gift of 2000km strategic road
- DNA: Arunachal Pradesh gets gift of 2000 km strategic road - Part II
- Status of political parties to be reviewed every 10 years
- WOAH! BJP MP Paresh Rawal launches fierce attack on India's Rio Olympics officials
- 30% to vote for SP, BJP+ 27%, BSP 26% in next UP Assembly elections: Survey
- Article 370 will be dealt later, peace in Valley a priority: Ahir
- Banwarilal Purohit sworn in as Assam Governor