It is quite natural for the people of the country to remain skeptical about the present system which has witnessed big-ticket corruption cases like- huge irregularities in Commonwealth games, 2G spectrum and coal mines allocation scams. It seems that the people have begun to lose their patience due to eruption of such malpractices and their skepticism has snowballed into outrage. It was the public rage which had been expressed in the form of the movement led by noted Gandhian Anna Hazare who had launched agitation in support of a strong and effective Lokpal. However, the movement failed to attain its goal, but the people of the country began to realize that it is corruption which is impeding the progress of the nation. The profound irony is that political parties are not ready to check such acts. The movement had created a storm in the entire political circle and eventually they assured passing Lokpal which was demanded by Anna Hazare. But owing to the lackadaisical attitude of the political parties, the issue was kept on the backburner, raising fresh questions on their commitment of rooting out corruption.

The slipshodness of political class compelled one of the prominent activists of the India Against Corruption- Arvind Kejriwal- to take a plunge into politics with a view to changing the system. Though, Anna Hazare and many of the activists who have been fighting for a strong anti-corruption ombudsman law displayed their disagreement with Kejriwal’s political foray, a section of people still sees his moves as a positive development. Kejriwal started working as a social activist after resigning from Indian Revenue Services. First, he earned his popularity as a valiant Right to Information (RTI) Activist and then became popular across the country after joining the Jan Lokpal movement led by Anna Hazare. Now, he is going through the process of making of a politician. Kejriwal is well aware of the flaws in the present system and he also has a strong view on how to introduce necessary changes in it. He has launched a movement against faulty electric bills in Delhi after announcing his political move in order to connect himself with the masses. He is expressing his protest over the issue of faulty electric bills slapped to the people of Delhi by reconnecting electric wires to their homes. His method of protest is not proper. As a political party, Kejriwal and his associates should remember that they cannot take law in their hands. They are setting a wrong precedence. They are required to widen their hold on the masses without violating the laws.

Just after joining politics, Kejriwal launched an attack on the Gandhi family. He raised questions on the business deals of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Given the high connections of Vadra, the allegations against him immediately grabbed media attentions, but his is not the lone case of sudden and unprecedented rise of an individual. Such cases are rampant. The recent example is Jaganmohan Reddy. Due to the direct attack on the Gandhi family by Kejriwal and his aides, it is quite natural that the Congress is upset. The Congress leaders across spectrum are rallying behind Vadra to his rescue, only because of his relationship with the Gandhi family. It will be very tough for Kejriwal and his associates to prove their charges against Vadra if the case is taken up to the court of law, however, it will be quite interesting to see if any probe would be ordered against Vadra.

The asset of Robert Vadra is reported to have immensely soared up in the recent years. Team Kejriwal alleges that DLF helped Vadra extensively, but it is not very surprising as such things are very common these days. Normally, everybody likes to help an influential person. Now here in this case, the nation wants to known about the undue benefits offered to the DLF in lieu of helping Vadra. Vadra deserves all rights to run his business as an individual and he should not be targeted on the ground that he is son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, but it does not mean that the misgivings of the Congress should not be replied.

Speaking recently at a conference of CBI and anti-corruption agencies, the Prime Minister conceded that high economic growth has promoted corruption in the system. He also talked about curbing corruption in the corporate sector, but this thing should have started much earlier. There has been a general notion that the politicians and bureaucrats are indulged in corruption. But the corruption cases unearthed in recent days show that even some corporate executives are involved in malpractices besides corrupt officials and bureaucrats.

The issue of need for amendment in the Prevention of Corruption Act came up for discussion umpteenth times during both the UAP I and UPA II regimes, but no step has so far been taken in this direction. It is well evident to the common people how some of the politicians, bureaucrats and corporate officials are indulged in making unaccounted property that has made the people distraught and they have extended their full support to the movements led by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. Now the corruption charges made by Kejriwal and his associates, who have recently made their foray into politics, has strengthened the general belief that influential people indulged in ill-practices get safe passage. This notion may not be fully right, but it cannot be deemed as baseless. It is the need of hour to frame a strong and effective law to combat corruption and make the functioning of government and corporate sector transparent. Dillydallying in this regard will not only enhance doubt on the intentions but it will also encourage the people like Kejriwal. It is also difficult to belief that Kejriwal will be able to give a political alternative to the people, though his movement will definitely increase law and order problems.     

(An original copy of the article published in Hindi on October 14, 2012 translated by the English Editorial. The author is Group Editor of Dainik Jagran)