Has the Anna Hazare campaign triggered off the process of bringing “peoples issues” at the center of national consciousness?
For years, civil society has been campaigning on livelihood, health and education and issues concerning women and tribals.
Pending legislations, which directly impact the masses include the food security and land acquisition bills, besides the judicial accountability bills.
However, none of these bills have generated the media hype that has been associated with the Lokpal campaign. Frustrations of civil society has also related to the fact that people-related legislation that have been passed are either toothless or have not been effectively implemented “or both”.
“The forest rights bill has been passed, but the administrative, financial or institutional mechanisms to implement the act have not been put in place”, pointed out Annie Raja of the National Federation of Indian Women.
“The underlying dimension of the Lokpal agitation is public focus has been riveted to the fact that superficial laws are made and these are badly implemented as well. To that extent, we do foresee a situation when limelight will be brought upon other people-related issues”, said Jagdeep Chooker, founding member of the Association of Democratic Reforms.
“Corruption is an all-encompassing issue. So we do expect that Hazare’s campaign will have a domino-effect of sorts”, Chooker added.
“The Lokpal issue has taken center-stage for now, but other people-related issues will catch up. The media’s role in highlighting the issue has been immens”, said Kavita Srivastava of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. “But he does seem to have set off a trend”, Hindi writer Rajendra Yadav said.