The fact that the first meeting of joint draft committee on Lokpal Bill was held in an amicable manner, despite differences between the two sides, has sent out positive signals. It mirrors the path, treading on which, would help both the sides attain the ultimate goal of establishing the office of a strong Lokpal. It hardly matters if some of the provisions of the Bill are tinkered with. A toothless office of Lokpal would not serve any purpose. Now it would be interesting to watch if the camaraderie between the representatives of Civil Society and the government carries forward into the next round of talks. It becomes extremely important in the wake of the continuous charges and counter charges being hurled by both the sides. Congress leader Digvijay Singh has been firing salvos against Anna Hazare and other representatives of the Civil Society on the 10-member panel. It’s beyond comprehension that a member of the same party, whose government has taken an unprecedented step on Lokpal Bill, has been left unchecked in discounting the entire exercise. Digvijay Singh, it seems, has been awarded the contract to discredit the historical step.

Everybody has the right to air his/her views. But that does not mean that one would take advantage of that right and come up with logics which do not hold waters. Unfortunately, Digvijay is treading the same path. It’s amply clear that there is nobody to check him and he continues with his fireworks against Anna Hazare and his team unabated. Having difference of opinion on a particular issue is a different thing than launching a tirade against it. Both the Congress and the government led by it must not forget that Anna’s movement would not have received the kind of response it did from common man had the Manmohan Singh government not given an impression that it’s not at all serious in fighting corruption. Had it acted even a bit, it was not desirable on part of Anna Hazare to do what he did. It’s also disheartening to see that a section of the Civil Society is also targeting the movement. They opine there are several laws already in place in the country to check corruption and an all-powerful office of Lokpal would emerge to be a monster that would subvert the democratic institutions within the country. By that logic, it’s difficult to understand about what are they aiming at? Are they trying to say that nothing needs to be done against corruption? And if that is not the case why don’t they restrict themselves to logical questions? Questions are also being raised over the idea of allowing participation of Civil Society in framing laws. Members of the Society are not outsiders, and they had to take to the streets just because the government failed to deliver.