Whether he is a crusader against corruption or a crank would depend on what Team Anna and our TV channels make of Dr Leo Rebello , of Kandivili East Mumbai. Must confess I hadn’t heard of him till this morning, when I happened by in my Inbox a chain-mail that I had neglected to delete the night before.
I notice that among other recipients of the mail , addressed to the chief election commissioner, were the President, PM, the chief justice of India, the law minister, and the cabinet secretary.
Subject matter: voters right to reject candidates, and recall elected representatives. Something that is close to Anna’s heart.
I wonder if, and when, Team Anna gets re-constituted Dr Rebello would find a place in it. After all, he is as much a constituent of civil society as Ms Kiran Bedi and Mr Arvind Kejriwal are. I am sure Mr Anna Hazare wouldn’t reject Dr Rebello merely because he happens to have a mind of his own (however disagreeable) on the right-to-recall issue ; and because, he thinks that its enforcement would be a costly and meaningless exercise. But as crusader against corruption Dr Rebello’s credentials appear indisputable. He has a combat record spanning over two decades. His turf, like that of Anna Hazare, has been Maharashtra.
Anna, I reckon, could use all voices that he can mobilize, in getting the govt. turn their hearing ear (as distinct from the deaf ear) to the plea for enactment of a Lokpal Bill. As for his crusade against corruption Dr.Rebello’s reputation is best summed up in Outlook (Oct.2, 2000) – The corrupt might Have the run of the town until they catch his eye. It might be of particular interest for RTI activist Kejriwal and his Public Cause Research Foundation to learn that Dr Rebello made effective use of MRTP Act to bring to book a gas distribution agent who gave LPG connection only to those who bought accessories from him.
Dr Rebello’s current concern is to counter Anna on the right-to-recall issue. In his e-mail Dr Rebello seeks an invite to make a power-point presentation before ECI and an all-party conference on electoral reforms. I guess it takes much, very much, more than a chain-mail circulated through ‘SBIcitizen’ Yahoo Group to mobilize public support for Dr Rebello’s plea. I don’t know how photogenic he is, but he can be given a try at a TV talk-show. With help from Arnab, Rahul, Rajdeep and their likes, Dr Rebello too can become the flavour of drawing-room chats, as Ms Bedi and Mr Kejriwal have.