By Kimberly Rowe : The word Lokpal means a Legal Representative in India. The word has been derived from the Sanskrit words “loka” (people) and “pala” (protector). So, the word Lokpal means ‘protector of people’. The Lokpal Bill is a draft anti-corruption bill drawn up by prominent civil society activists seeking the appointment of a Jan Lokpal, an independent body that would investigate corruption cases at all levels in the prevailing Indian polity. The duties assigned would be to judge the cases and make jurisdictions against corruption cases, to decide whether a case is legal or whether a fake complaint has been made and to impose fines on a fake complaint, if the case is not proved to be legally true. The question being, should India get the Lokpal Bill? Recently, the youth of India were questioned whether and why we should get the Lokpal Bill? Here are some of the answers given. Vishal Raju said “Definitely, i think India should get it. Looking at the current amount of corruption taking place, it will surely be of great effect to our country.” Aaqib Latif Mizyan too felt the same. He immediately reacted by saying “Yes, India should get it! The common man can approach the Lokpal if some of his work related to the government is not done. Lokpal will then be responsible for getting it done and the guilty will be punished.” Vanessa Rowe however questioned it by stating “I don’t think that it’s a wise move to get the Lokpal Bill- It may sound good as an idea, but in practice it may turn up to be just like any other political panel. How can we be sure that the panel members will be totally honest?”
The latest development being Anna Hazare, a Gandhian rights activist, had started a fast unto death at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi demanding the passing of the bill. He called off his hunger strike on 9th April, 2011 thus ending his 98 hour protest as the government issued a gazette notification constituting a 10 member joint committee of government ministers and civil society activists, including Hazare, to draft a bill, to create an effective Lokpal. All over India, thousands of people, especially the youth, supported Anna Hazare by candle light marches and online campaigns. It seems like the same might be happening on coming August 16, 2011 at Jantar Mantar and this time it won’t just be Hazare’s protest but the entire country’s due to recent changes being brought about.