It was amusing to hear water resources minister Salman Khursheed last week draw solace from the fact that the government’s battle with a section of civil society over the Lokpal Bill will be broad-based when Parliament takes it up to formulate an appropriate legislation.
It is a tacit admission by the government that it has failed to politically deal with the vexing issue of dissent from civil society against lack of probity in public life. Now, it is hoping to fire from the shoulder of Parliament. From the beginning, the UPA has misread the situation: treating Ramdev like they should have dealt with Anna Hazare. As a result, they have only themselves to blame for the current predicament.
At another level, it is yet another instance of the UPA attempting to outsource governance. A government’s primary job is to govern. Failure to do so undermines its legitimacy, and strengthens the hands of activists—hardly desirable.