Thus have I heard.
The representatives of the sheep were granted an audience with the public-relations head of the gang of wolves. The complaint was that the wolves are starving the sheep — which is unacceptable since while wolves eating sheep was consistent with the law of the jungle, starving them was not only cruel and unnatural, it was a short-sighted policy since in the end, the wolves would have to eat tough skinny meat.
The PR head of the gang of wolves — named the Main Misdirector of Sheep, or MMS for short — deeply sympathized with the demands of the sheep representatives. MMS had been appointed PR head by the leader of the wolf pack for his unique qualities. He appears pathetic and a pitiably sad specimen of wolf. A look at him and you cannot but feel sorry for him.
MMS protests that he personally has never starved a sheep, leave alone eat any. He only eats gruel. To prove his point, he opens his mouth and the sheep notice that he’s been defanged by the leader of his pack. He says he is powerless to do anything. They find that admission of his credible as, aside from the lack of fangs, he appears to lack a spine and guts as well.
The excuses come thick and heavy out of the sorry excuse of a wolf. But the sheep will not be deterred. They threaten to go on a hunger strike. MMS says that he’ll take the matter up with his boss and will appoint a committee. The committee will determine if there is cause for an empowered group of wolves to investigate the environmental effects of any policy change regarding the alleged starvation of sheep. If that committee recommends such an empowered committee, perhaps the matter will be settled in about 12 years or so.
The sheep tell MMS that the empowered committee must have sheep represented on it. MMS flatly refuses to even consider that.
This story does not have a happy ending, unfortunately. The sheep representatives will continue to meet with MMS. The wolves will continue to eat the sheep. The killings will continue. Until the sheep organize, there’s no hope. But sheep organizing to overthrow the wolves is against the natural order. C’est la vie.
In other news, Indians Against Corruption (a group of well-meaning citizens led by social activist and Magsaysay award winner Arvind Kejriwal) and others finally got a meeting with the appointed prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Thus have I heard.
The meeting yesterday evening between IAC representatives (Anna Hazare, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Swami Agnivesh, Archbishop Vincent, Dr Kuldip Chikara (Bharat Swabhimaan Nyasa), Darshak Hathi (Art of Living) and PV Rajagopal) and the PM and Law Minister, Veerapan Moily was not very encouraging.
The PM said that the govt has no time to consider the issue of corruption till the 13th May due to the ongoing parliament session and the impeding elections in five states. The IAC representatives requested to take immediate action because the country was seething with anger and bleeding with corruption.
After great persuasion, he agreed to bring a Lokpal bill in the monsoon session of parliament. How would the bill be drafted and which bill would it be? He was informed that the govt bill was extremely badly drafted. The PM suggested that a subcommittee of “Group of Ministers (GOM)” will be constituted which will have two meetings with representatives of IAC after the 13th of May. The GOM will draft the bill accordingly after the interaction. When he was told that we were not willing to wait so long, he offered to have one symbolic meeting after 25th march when parliament session ends.
When he was requested to set up a joint committee consisting of half members from IAC and half from the government’s side to prepare the draft Lokpal Bill by the 13th May when the elections end, the govt simply refused.
In effect, we stand where we were before the meeting. The meeting served no purpose except made the intention of the government clear. Annaji has decided that the whole country desperately needs to act immediately on corruption. He said that it was unfortunate that the govt does not have time to address this burning issue and therefore the movement would continue and intensify. His decision to go on fast on the 5th April stands as it is.
Annaji will write a letter to the PM today which will be shared with all of you.