If anyone there had a faint hope that the Government of the day was going to listen to the people of India, the Prince Charming has conveyed that such hopes are misplaced. Rahul Gandhi, after several days when the nation had come on the streets and on a day when a resolution committing the Government to three things: A people’s charter in the Lokpal, inclusion of the lower bureaucracy under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas in the States, the most important leader of the ruling party, only because he happened to be born in the Nehru family, has rendered a solution to the deadlock a difficult proposition.
For all the talk, in all these days, that Parliamentary supremacy shall not be denuded, the sight on TV screens, was one where Parliament was sought to be reduced to a stage where the Prince Charming had his say and nothing else. It is strange that one man, whose only credential seems that he happened to be Sonia Gandhi’s son, was given the chance to simply rubbish a Government’s Bill, now before the Standing Committee. This he did when he said that a mere statutory authority called the Lokpal will not do and that we need a Constitutional body. Well. It may be true that we need the Lokpal as a Constitutional body. But Rahul must have conveyed this to such great luminaries as Pranab Mukherjee, P.Chidambaram, Veerappa Moily, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khrusheed whose draft was accepted by the Union Cabinet and moved as the Government’s Bill to set up a Lokpal. He failed to do so then and wisdom dawned late, only at a time when a simpler solution was in sight.
That he chose the Zero Hour to prescribe what the Government should do is stupid. For, Zero Hour is when members raise issues and do not expect an immediate response. And since it happened to come from the Prince Charming, it is futile to expect those in Government to revert back to what they had committed before; to move a resolution, incorporating measures suggested by Team Anna and pass that over to the Standing Committee. Well. It is possible that the Prince Charming’s idea of a Constitutional body in the Lokpal, which will call for a simple Constitutional amendment, is also incorporated in the resolution. It seems remote at this stage for we also saw the most important leader of the Congress party driving away after he preached from the pulpit. And the Congressmen who shouted down anyone and everyone who rose against Rahul Gandhi will now be rest assured that let the people do whatever they wanted as long as Rahul Gandhi did not speak a word on how to bring the crisis to a resolution.
The message is very clear. The Congressmen will shout that Parliament is supreme. But that will not apply to the Prince Charming. And will wait for another day when the Prince Charming speaks out and takes another line. Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, who had promised only 24 hours before Rahul Gandhi screamed, will slide back and take another position. This, certainly, is NOT democracy.
Remember that infamous statement: If they do not have bread, let them eat cake. That is what Rahul Gandhi seems to be telling us now.