Make The Jan Lokpal Movement More Inclusive
By Feroze Mithiborwala & Kishore Jagtap
24 June, 2011
Dear Anna Hazare, Prashant Bhushan, Avind Kejriwal, Swami Agnivesh & Kiran Bedi.
Make the Jan Lokpal movement more inclusive & the Lokpal body should ensure representation from all sections of society.
The only way to ensure the same is that, the "Principle of Reservation enshrined in our Constitution" be extended to the appointments in the Lokpal as well.
That they should be spotless & clean is our demand as well we are sure that we will find the right people.
We are in total agreement of the fundamental need & tenets of the Jan Lokpal Bill.
As of now though, the premise of the movement is very narrow & draws its strenght from the middle & upper-middle classes & the upper castes.
As discussed with you, we are engaing the Dalit,OBC & Muslim organizations in this debate.
As far as the Muslims are concerned, they overwhelmingly support the cause, but we have been unable to integrate them thus far, but we are making a lot of headway in Bombay.
As far as the Dalits, Adivasis & OBC's are concerned, they are keeping away & that is not a good sign at all. They believe that this is a subversion of the Ambedkarite Constitution & this fear needs to be allayed & undoubtedly at that.
Again in Bombay we organized a meeting with the Dalit-OBC intellectuals & activists & we have made excellent progress.
And we also have a recommendation on the Jan Lokpal - As it is clearly going to be a very strong system of vigilance, we need to ensure that it is not manipulated in ways that it targets a rising Dalit-Adivasi-OBC leadership.
Our contention is that all those who are corrupt should face the necessary investigation & legal procedures. But our systems & media have a way of targetting Laloo Prasad Yadav, KG Balakrishnan (there have been upper caste. or rather Brahmin Chief Justices that have got away with far more, as you very well know), Mayawati, D Raja & Madhu Koda - as these are the names that appear everyday, whilst others are imprisoned, but later go scotfree, with files & witnesses who disappear. And yet Manmohan Singh is referred to as Mr. Clean - though he is by far the most corrupt PM we have ever had. And the role of Sonia in ensuring these crimes of omission & corruption is not even discussed publicly.
How do we ensure that the Jan Lokpal does not become an instrument of destroying the Bahujan movement is our worry & it needs to be addressed.
One way is to ensure that the priciple of Reservation enshrined in our Constitution is extended to the appointments in the Lokpal as well, rather that is the only way. That they should be spotless & clean is our demand as well.
It is our hope that our demand will be considered with the seriousness thus so desired & hoped for.
Once this demand is part of our larger framework, the participation of the Bahujan movements into the larger struggle against corruption will be far more easier than it is thus far.
We salute you all & especially Anna Hazare for your resolve & committment & for the fact that you have truly raised the awareness & the political conciousness across the length & breadth of the country.
We are with you in this national struggle to weed out corruption.
In Solidarity with the Constitution & the People of India
Feroze Mithiborwala & Kishore Jagtap
Bharat Bachao Andolan
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