Anna Hazare and his fast unto death at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi has attracted the attention of Indians all over the world. Almost every friend of mine in Australia has heard about it. The messages of support to this cause have been spread by Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and emails. Social media has again proven to be a powerful tool.
Anna Hazare was not alone in this protest. Shanti Bhushan, Retd Supreme court Justice, Santosh Hegde, Swami Agnivesh, Baba Ram Dev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Mallika Sarabhai, Kiran Bedi and RTI activist, Arvind Kejriwal were all with him. Millions of Indians were supporting him and numbers were growing by the minute. India media also supported him in this fight against corruption.
As we all know, corruption has become a menace and a massive problem. You might recall Rajiv Gandhi saying famously that only 19 Paise out of the 100 Paise from the Govt money was reaching those who the money was meant for and rest was gobbled by the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. It was 19 Paise in 1980s and I am afraid it might not even be 10 Paise now. Something had to be done!
Our great social activist, Anna Hazare, and the whole India have achieved a massive win. They have forced a backdown from the Govt of India which has agreed to introduce a “Lok Pal Bill” in the Parliament by 30th June, 2011. This Bill/Act will have significant powers to combat corruption in India. Govt’s initial Bill was not good enough and was therefore rejected by Anna Hazare and the Indian people. http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/why-hazare-others-oppose-govt-s-lokpal-bill-2010-96609
The Bill will be drafted by a 10 member committee, to be chaired by Minister Pranab Mukerjee and co-chaired by Mr Shanti Bhushan, a very reputed Jurist. Mr Bhushan, one may recall, is the same Barrister who fought a case against Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi in the High Court, Allahabad, which led to the judgement that her election was invalid.
The Lok Pal Bill will spare no one from corruption and will include the provision of an outcome within a period of 12 months. Prime Minister, Ministers, MPs, bureaucrats and parties are all covered. http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/what-is-the-jan-lokpal-bill-why-its-important-96600
Lok Pal insitution will be chaired by people who are selected on merits and without political favour. It will be totally independent.
I am hoping that it will be more or less like ICAC [Independent Commission agaist Corruption] in NSW. http://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/
I am very happy that Indian Govt was compelled to listen to the demands of the Indian People without use of force or bullets.
That democracy is thriving in India is beyond doubt.
What has been achieved is nothing but a milestone in the history of India!
Having said that, there is a word of caution which we must not ignore. Some concerns have been raised about the accountability of the so-called “civil society”. “Who are they responsible and accountable to” has been asked. We need to remember what Edmund Burke, a famous member of the House of Comons, had said before. ” This cynicism about politics and, by extension, Parliament only makes you think ill of that very institution which, do what you will, you must religiously preserve, or you must give over all thoughts of being a free people”.
In our system, we must not try to create an alternatives to the Parliament. Indian Parliament [SANSAD] must remain the ultimate source of power. It can’t be bullied or undermined by anyone. Parliament must remain supreme but must be able to listen to people, gauge their mood and deliver things which the country needs. It will undoubtedly have more chance to do so if our Parliamentarians are of superior quality-morally, intellectually and spiritually. That brings us to the issue of the process of election to the Parliament. This process needs to be reformed, improved and protected from corrupting influence of casteism, communalism and money-ism.
India had witnessed a successful reform movement which has been termed a mini-revolution today but we need many more revolutions to get to a stage when we all can say “Mera Bharat Mahan or My India is great!” with utmost joy, satisfaction and pride.
Corruption in India must be eradicated or at least controlled. The first stage has been successful but it would require a long and hard struggle to reach the final result.
Lok Pal will be a giant step in getting the result.
Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/09th April, 2011
- Government concedes Anna Hazare’s demands (hindu.com)
- Anna Hazare refuses to bend, Govt refuses to blink – Hindustan Times (news.google.com)
it is shame that we are selecting those selfish leaders, representing for the legislative and parliament. since people are on demand then why should those members have to debate on it. our country has been looting by some people and we are just watching the news and taking all the burdens. at least the anti corruption bill has come up and we all should support and take action to make it as a law and behave accordingly.
Let’s fight corruption. It’s not all that difficult…
Did someone ask you for a bribe today? Do something new: Report it in an anonymous and safe fashion. Measurement and publicity about corruption will help reduce it.
Lets count to counter corruption: http://www.corruptometer.com
Dear Dr Yadu,
I am thankful to you to put the progress made by our democracy to the world around us. Just to inform how significant this movement is being that many people like me who kept away from facebook and tweeter have to change their thinking about these very powerful E-tools. We all can atleast send our support and hope that we can do something that will make us feel of contributing force to this wonderful development back home.
I would appreciate if you could keep all posted about how we can help further to ensure it takes this movement forward to make real contribution and to reach the goal of cleaning the menace of corruption.
Looking forward to know the way to contribute.
Many thanks once again.
Was there no corruption during Ram-Rajya days? Or wasn’t recorded well…?
It’s a long way to go.. Corruption is deepest rooted ‘casteism’ cutting across all ‘ jaathis’ in India since ages… What one has to do is to offer education and eradicating poverty in food as well as in ‘mind’. Interestingly the internet revolution, SMS at finger tips, cell phone( let’s ignore the 176K crore issue on that 2G.. but that made a billion people more knowledgeable! and that’s the positive side we must look into it!) all have contributed excellent info exchange and co-ordination for a message like this to spread across the entire nation and globe to tick into right minds. It’s a happy occasion that a ‘spark’ has been ignited.. and as told once by the great Tamil poet Subrahmanya Bharathi poetically that there’s no ‘Junior’ or ‘Senior’ in a fire spark.. and once placed…it burnt the whole forest.. Let this spark be that one..
yes that’s fine. Hope it has sufficient ‘ teeth’, to bring the polis and ‘ babus’ in line. Only then we can say ‘ india-wins’, and that will happen on a very gigantic scale. If it comes to fruition, india will be the richest nation, ensuing ‘ Ram-Rajya’-ram.
Good to notice that you modified your blog…
Any bill (especially one that no one understands) can be implemented at all without the first step. I actually feel that we have let down ourselves through this blackmail. The JP movement was different. it changed governments and put an end to emergency. Any comparison is out of place. We only saw opportunists who thought that their “USP” was being usurped emerging on the stage… including the likes of Ramdev and Sri Sri who either rushed themselves to not lose out on the corruption plank or send in their messangers. I also fail to understand Kiran Bedi who used the state-quota for her daughter’s Medical admission while being posted in Mizoram… Anna too has been used by one and all. We are eager to see a revolution of our own and we created this one… Now on to IPL. Good timing indeed.
And one more thing. If you develop fear of law in the minds of people then it is not democracy, its anarchy.
its a great effort by the people of India but victory? I am sorry to say that victory is still miles away.Unless we change our education system no victory is complete Remember, its the people who are corrupt, who always look for short cuts or get things done at pistol point. Through moral education we can change that. Corruption is in the psyche of the people and we need to change that and no law or act change that. This is not to undermine Mr. Hazare’s efforts, he has done a great job but to follow the rules is upto the people who have no courage to face or pay for their misdeeds. Only a proper education system can bring about the change. We need a cultural revolution and that’s the need of the hour. Thanks
Dr Yadu, it does appear to be a major development. However I do believe that the real challenge is now. What will be the final bill and even when passed, how will it be implemented.
You listed the various prominent people involved with the organizing of the protest but missed out on Kiran Bedi.