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16 November 2011

For my own voice in Parliament

Written by Shri Jayant Chaudhary (M.P)

Jayant ChaudharyFor my own voice in Parliament

On August 27, the nation bore witness as parliament grappled with an issue that has found resonance in the hearts and minds of everyone. For many who claim that televising proceedings of parliament has increased.

The shrillness and histrionics in parliamentary debates, this debate showed otherwise. Make no mistake, everyone was watching. I spoke on the issue and have received emails from all over India and also as far as Singapore. Villagers from my constituency came up and told me that they saw my intervention. The pressure of the people watching, for a change, had a positive impact, and there were no major disruptions.

The issue at hand was not something new; 1968 onwards, legislation on the lokpal has been introduced nine times. But to my memory, the situation was unprecedented. It is undeniable that Anna Hazare is a simple man who with his self-belief and devotion to a pure cause has rallied the masses. It is also known that corruption singlehandedly impairs our efforts to bridge the developmental gaps in our society.

Corruption is, in fact, increasing the inequality. It adds to the information asymmetry and puts up the barriers to entry that constrict the upward mobility of our middle classes and poorer sections. In June 2008, a report by Transparency International India and the Centre for Media Studies pointed out that one-third of BPL households across the 31 states covered by the survey paid bribes to access one or more of 11 public services.

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