John F Kennedy said, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate…” It’s a speech and some idealism is expected to make a mark. But the sentiments are not entirely convincing. Yes, we should not “Fear to Negotiate”. But do we really “Negotiate without Fear”!

Fear gradient is intermixed in all negotiations. Either one or the other has to be fearful to negotiate. There will be someone “calling the shots” and there will be others “getting shot”. The power See-Saw will stabilize when contending parties realize the necessity for give and take. Self-preservation is inherent in humans and negotiations are an instrument to achieve that aim.

There are fear-factors to force negotiations. No one is a fool to negotiate for fun. People are expert pretenders. They won’t listen unless you spot their greed and curb or destroy it. Invitation for negotiations are never posted but bombed. This creates “Room for Negotiations”. Survivors recognize this virtual “room” and capitalize to live another day.

We are not talking of bloody wars. Nor are bombs been dropped from the skies. No one is dying. But the killing is on. It’s a war of contending powers where bombs of allegations and litigations are hurled to maneuver and make space for negotiations.

Creating Lokpal is like reclaiming land in the middle of an ocean – The Ocean of Corruption. No matter how solid they erect the dyke of anti-corruption, political water is an immense force and will attempt to gush in. And if it cannot enter, it will create eddies threatening to drown the Lokpalies. Actually, Lokpalies have found themselves cornered between the political devil and the tumultuous sea of cesspool.

Lokpalies are up against Tendulkars of Indian Politics. These Tendulkars are fast bowlers delivering beamers of graft, exposes and accusations. And they are not bowling on the stumps. The ball is either wide or over the head. And it’s all intentional. Politicians don’t want Lokpalies to be out. They want them to occupy the crease. But make no runs.

Lokpalies too, cannot hit their wicket and walk back to the pavilion. Politicians have stacked enough litigation against them that Lokpalies won’t need toilet paper for the rest of their lives. So the Lokpalies have to stay on and play. They have to draft the bill which expresses the legitimate aspirations of our minority politicians. 

Politicians Negotiate to Live. What are the chances that the Lokpalies would Live to Negotiate. But negotiate they must. So the bill will be drafted with escape routes built into the language and vocabulary. No Fort is built without tunnels. The bill will finally evolve as a living embodiment of a rigid equilibrium – a Tie, and we would keep on bowling Super Overs!