Lok Satta

Friday, 08 April 2011 12:17

Let us get a strong Lokpal but don’t delegitimatize politics and elections : Dr. JP

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Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today appealed to people not to demonize politics and politicians in the wake of the groundswell of support to social activist Anna Hazare’s indefinite fast seeking constitution of an independent and powerful Lok Pal.

 

In a media statement, Dr. JP expressed confidence that the Union Government would bow to public opinion and bring forward strong legislation to curb corruption. Anna Hazare succeeded in galvanizing a large section of people who have remained indifferent to the day-to-day functioning of democracy, corruption, banality and decadence in public life. He hoped that the Government would involve all stakeholders in the drafting of the law. In fact, such a sensible and consensual approach marked the enactment of the Right to Information law.

 

People, however, should realize that that there are no quick fixes or a panacea for combating corruption. Strong legislation is no doubt necessary but not sufficient. Many people who pinned their hopes on the RTI Act transforming governance were disappointed, not because it was a bad law but because of their unrealistic expectations. Do not expect a piece of legislation or a novel institution to undo all the damage done to democracy over decades.

 

Dr. JP also warned people against vilifying politics, politicians and political institutions. The crux of democracy lies in people’s mandate expressed through free and fair elections. Deriding politics amounts to deriding Mahama Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. Many politicians including those in traditional parties are known for their integrity and commitment to the country. Dubbing people in politics as bad by definition and those outside as good is both fallacious and anti-democratic.

 

Dr. JP said that it is time young people shed their cynicism and indifference, accepted the burden of leadership and took part in politics. The media, said Dr. JP, has played a fantastic role in promoting public awareness about corruption. It should continue to play a constructive role by becoming a platform between people and elected representatives and help create institutions with checks and balances to fight corruption and promote good governance.