14 May, 2021

Thus Spake Hammurabi

As the Lokpal Bill gets mired in a tortuous birthing, the debate shifts to who exactly has the right to pass a law

Jitender Gupta
Thus Spake Hammurabi

Why Politicians Hate Civil Society

  • Unelected activists stealing Parliament’s right to make laws, undercutting role of parliamentarians
  • Demands like an all-powerful Lokpal directly impact political-bureaucratic class and the status quo
  • Rigid deadlines, fasts unto death to press home issues are akin to holding government to ransom
  • Streetcorner populism of activists runs counter to both the demands of realpolitik and tenets of democracy


Sparring Points

Besides Lokpal Bill, politicians have sparred with civil society on four key pieces of legislation

  • RTI Act: Various arms of government first block it, now place conditions designed to strangle transparency
  • Right to Food: The Planning Commission differs with activists on what percentage of poor should be covered
  • ...

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