By Pushkal Shivam:
Award winning social activist and civil society member Arvind Kejriwal urged the youth of Chennai to shut down the city for one week to galvanize the government into passing the civil society version of the Lokpal bill. “They can impose section 144 on Jantar Mantar, they cannot impose curfew on entire country”, he said during his speech at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Kejriwal also alleged that the ministers are threatening to “crush Anna the way they crushed Baba Ramdev”. He repudiated the bill drafted by the government. “Just like the CBI Lokpal will be a puppet in the hands of central government”, he said.
Responding to the sharp criticism of the “Jan Lokpal” bill by the Congress party he said, “An impression is being given that anything which is not in the control of government is a parallel government. That is not right.”
On the question of the Prime Minister being brought under the purview of Lokpal he said, “I dread if tomorrow Madhu Koda becomes the Prime Minister of this country.” He also added that keeping PM outside the ambit of Lokpal would be constitutionally untenable.
Kejriwal blamed the government for depicting Lokpal as a “Frankenstein monster and a threat to democracy”. The reason, he said, the MPs are not willing to consider civil society version of Lokpal is that “half of them would be in jail” if the legislation is passed.
The Right to Information trailblazer also extolled the common sense of villagers where as chided the intellectuals who “are very confused set of people because they read too much.”
Pushkin Shivam is a student of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT-M. He has reported on a wide range of issues including CWG games fiasco, India-US youth dialogue, protests against corruption in India, Sadhvi Pragya in prison, Mumbai bomb blasts. He briefly interviewed the Dalai Lama, gained access to a prison to show how five year old children are forced to live there.