Gopalkrishna Gandhi expects stir over Lokpal again

Gopalkrishna Gandhi has expressed hope that a "highly respected and credible" anti-corruption watchdog will be created but not before another wave of `popular` agitation.

Last Updated: Dec 04, 2011, 13:12 PM IST

Chennai: As the government grapples with
enactment of a strong Lokpal Bill, former West Bengal Governor
Gopalkrishna Gandhi has expressed hope that a "highly
respected and credible" anti-corruption watchdog will be
created but not before another wave of `popular` agitation.

"It is my hope that in coming days and weeks, the nation
will see a popular public agitation and popularly elected
representatives coming together to create a highly respected
and credible Lokpal," he said while delivering the third
`Rajendra Prasad Memorial Lecture` here at the Russian Centre
on Sunday evening.

Recalling that the country`s youth hearkened to
Jayaprakash Narain in millions, he said, "on Sunday , the Anna
Hazare movement has drawn them magnetically."

Hazare, who staged two rounds of agitation this year
pressing for a strong Lokpal, has threatened to go on a fast
from December 27 if the Bill is not passed in the ongoing
winter session of Parliament.

Gandhi expressed hope that thorny issues like inclusion
of the Prime Minister under Lokpal ambit would be sorted out
with the spirit of `mutual respect and trust`.

Voicing concern over the state of affairs in the country,
the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi said the nation was facing
multiple crises, the prime among them being `crisis of
visvasam (trust)`.

Observing that no one trusts anyone anymore, the former
governor said, "The opposition does not trust the government
to be frank and the government too does not trust the
opposition to be fair. Neither trusts the media to be frank or
fair. And the media trusts absolutely no one at all. It can
hardly be blamed."

"The states do not repose old-style faith in the Centre,
the Centre is not confident of states` support in federal
undertakings and initiatives. Some MPs do not trust the Public
Accounts Committee, some other MPs even harbour doubts about
the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General."

Restoration of trust was a monumentally difficult task,
he said but believed it could be done.

Noting that people`s trust in many politicians had been
shaken, he said they, however, still had trust in the Election
Commission and Judiciary, two major organs of national
architecture. People hope that these two would help restore
the nation`s trust in its own political systems, Gandhi said.

He recalled the contributions made by the country`s
first President Dr Rajendra Prasad, describing him as an ideal
President and a referential marker in the evolution of
Constitutional experience.

"Nations need the leadership of the authorised. And the
guidance of the authoritative. The two together make for good
governance. One without the other is either hollow, or
academic," he said.

PTI