Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Anna Hazare: Sonia Gandhi's civilian coup d’état? Sandhya Jain - Vijayvaani.com



Anna Hazare: Sonia Gandhi's civilian coup d’état? 

Sandhya Jain

The Hazare saga has ended; but the real fate of the draft and legislation lies ahead because what was attempted was a palace coup to destabilize Dr Manmohan Singh. It was a calibrated urban relay-revolution tapping into the Facebook-Twitter crowd’s quest for a ‘worthy cause’ to espouse, with prime time TV playing ball with the patrons of the draft. But there are limits to the attention span of Twitter-walas, and as IPL 4 grabbed eyeballs on 8 April, the Hazare camp began cracking under pressure as many owed their prestige to government patronage and could not afford scrutiny; a compromise was quickly sewn up to retreat from Jantar Mantar.


It does not take a rocket scientist to see that as there is an overlap in membership of the Jan Lokpal draftees and Sonia Gandhi’s publicly-funded National Advisory Committee, both the draft bill and the agitation to inflict it upon the nation draw strength from the NAC.


Interestingly, the claim that the Jan Lokpal draft compares with the powers of the Hong Kong ombudsman is untrue. The Hong Kong ombudsman has no powers of prosecution; he merely submits a report to the Chief Executive; and is appointed by politicians. Actually, no country in the world permits civil society nominees to initiate prosecution against citizens, and judge and punish them. It decapitates the constitutional separation of powers. Sonia Gandhi must explain why she wants such powers for a band of moral pretenders owing allegiance to her.

As Lokpal bill activists derive their clout from involvement with the Right to Information legislation, this writer hereby submits an open RTI application on behalf of the nation. We demand that all prominent persons supporting civil (read a chosen faction) participation in drafting a new Lokpal Bill, make full disclosure of all personal assets and monies held by them, their spouses, and minor children.


Disclosures must cover assets and monies of NGOs they run directly or are associated with, complete with details of projects, funding and utilization, diversification of funds (if any). The institutional revelations must extend to trustees / board members of these NGOs, to reveal links with current or retired civil servants and / or politicians. And since prominent NGOs tend to corner a disproportionate share of government funding, they should henceforth submit to the scrutiny of the Comptroller & Auditor General.


The draft bill is nothing more than an Uber Ordinance trying to force Parliament to enact it into an Uber Law in order to make the NAC the de jure power of the nation. With such totalitarian powers at its command – equivalent to wielding Emergency style powers without invoking an Emergency and without needing Parliamentary endorsement for any action – Ms Sonia Gandhi and her coterie will elevate themselves into the ranks of awesome leaders like Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and her own native Benito Mussolini.


One admires the breathtaking audacity. The only institution they dared not touch (in the first instance) is the Armed Forces. One shudders to think of our fate should they ever acquire powers to meddle with national security …



The author is Editor, www.vijayvaani.com