It's been a year of nationwide protests, massive public support, political controversies, physical assaults, Parliament censure and loss of credibility but the Lokpal Bill is still waiting to see light of the day. We conducted a poll to get a sense of public mood before round two of battle for the anti-corruption bill in the Rajya Sabha.
When asked, is it time for Team Anna to woo politicians and cooperate with them for the Lokpal Bill, 72.24% said no, they must be pressured and challenged into passing the bill. A major chunk of the public believes, politicians are blocking Lokpal Bill as the bill would be like a sword hanging on their heads constantly.
However, 24.20 % of the respondents believe that Team Anna must cooperate with the government as only politicians can ensure a powerful Lokpal Bill. 3.56% could not decide.
The government on it's part claims that differences on the Lokpal bill have been narrowed down, and that it is trying to build consensus on major issues ahead of bringing the bill before Parliament again. Amendments to the Lokpal Bill received post-facto approval of the government last month. The bill is likely to be presented in the Rajya Sabha in the budget session.
The Bill was presented in both houses of the Parliament in December 2011, but could not be passed in Rajya Sabha after RJD MP Rajniti Prasad tore the bill.
Anna Hazare and his team members - RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, former top cop Kiran Bedi, father-son lawyer duo Shanti Bhushan and Prasant Bhushan and social activist Manish Sisodia have so far kept the flame burning and the masses have stuck to the cause.
Here are some quotable quotes from Team Anna members that made sure, people remember the battle for Lokpal Bill.
PM is honest
but run by remote control." (On PM Manmohan Singh)
"When the home minister of a country plans such schemes, where will the country go? Had the Jan Lokpal been there, Chidambaram would have been in jail now". (While accusing home minister P Chidambaram of being responsible for the "conspiracy" to foil his Lokpal stir in 2011)
"I was happy with the manner in which he conducted examinations to select his candidates," (In praise of Raj Thackeray for conducting both written exams and interviews of all candidates who wished to contest the municipal polls)
"Who is responsible for this? People are the masters of this country and they have sent their servants to Parliament. When servants don't make laws, then masters have the right to ask why Jan Lokpal Bill was not passed." (In his blog)
"When a man's power of tolerance runs out, then whoever is in front of you, if a slap is given, then the brain is put back in place. That is the only road open now". (While talking to reporters in Ralegan Siddhi)
"The 550 people were giving their own suggestions. Nobody asked the people. So we need another law. Assemblies and Lok Sabha think that they are above gram sabhas. But gram sabhas are above you. We need a new law which gives such a power to gram sabhas." (Hazare in a video message)
"Bas ek hi mara?" ( On being told that agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was slapped by a man in public)
"All types of elements have entered Parliament, including robbers, murderers and rapists . Parliament has become the biggest problem of the country." (While addressing a voters' awareness summit in Greater Noida )
“Parliament and assemblies are temples of democracy and they watch blue films in temples, tear Bills and throw chairs. This Parliament has 15 MPs facing murder charges, 23 attempt to murder, 11 cheating section 420, 13 face kidnap charges. India has been dictatorship of party high command. Time to make it truly by, of and for the people.” (In his tweet)
When Anna Hazare was fasting at Ramlila Maidan in August last year, his close aide and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi took the stage and entertained the audience with her antics while mocking the MPs. Bedi stayed defiant and refused to apologise. "Sorry no apology for being demonstratively a voice of public anguish. Prepared for any punishment," she had tweeted.
"A plebiscite should be held in Kashmir" (On being asked for his views on Kashmir issue)
Though Anna Hazare and his team are still popular with the masses, there are some voice from the same that speak in a different tone.
Anna's maha yatra is without team anna. Even medha patkar is not there. Does anna want to prove that he can do it all alone?— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) May 1, 2012
We must support anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare and Ramdev, otherwise one day even our savings may be... fb.me/1BBV1CHJF— AMIE Study Circle (@amiestudycircle) April 26, 2012
Does Kiran Bedi really think that the 11th President of India is a layperson who'll speculate anything w/o studyin d damn bill? Come-on!— Nitish Bhardwaj (@nitish9bhardwaj) May 2, 2012