India Anna Hazare's Fast Against Corruption Strikes Huge Chord



New Delhi: In two hundred cities across India on Tuesday, thousands of college students, young executives and housewives joined a campaign that asks the government to enact an important new law to fight corruption. (Watch: Huge crowds in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad)

At the centre of the movement is respected social activist Anna Hazare who has begun a hunger strike that he says will not end till the government proves its commitment to the Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen's Ombudsman Bill). What the government has proposed in its draft, he and other activists say on the website,, is "complete eyewash". Rather than strengthen anti-corruption systems, it demolishes whatever exists in the name of anti-corruption systems today. It seeks to completely insulate politicians from any kind of action against them."

Unless civil society plays a role in drafting the law, Mr Hazare believes, it will change nothing.

Mr Hazare visited Mahatma Gandhi's memorial at Rajghat on Tuesday morning in Delhi. He then drove in an open jeep to India Gate, accompanied by hundreds of supporters. As he marched to Jantar Mantar, schoolchildren could be seen waving the national flag. Online, Mr Hazare has received the support of five lakh Indians. (See Pictures | Comment: What should India do to fight corruption?)

If Mr Hazare is commanding the attention of the average Indian, it is not just because of his considerable reputation as a crusader for basic rights for the aam admi or average Indian. Since autumn, the country has confronted an epidemic of corruption within the government. The Commonwealth Games, a massive telecom scandal, and the appropriation by politicians and bureaucrats of a high-rise in Mumbai meant to house war widows and veterans have provoked public outrage. The government has been tested in Parliament by a reinvigorated Opposition. It will now face the people's verdict -five key states including Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala vote this month.

Mr Hazare and activists who have joined forces with him hope that the Jan Lokpal Bill will serve as the antidote to systematic and governmental corruption. They have challenged the government over its version of the bill - which they say gives politicians over-riding powers to decide who should be investigated and by whom. Listing objections on, the group says, "Lokpal has been proposed to be an advisory body. Lokpal, after enquiry in any case, will forward its report to the competent authority. The competent authority will have final powers to decide whether to take action on Lokpal's report or not. In the case of cabinet ministers, the competent authority is Prime Minister. In the case of PM and MPs the competent authority is Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, as the case may be. In the coalition era when the government of the day depends upon the support of its political partners, it will be impossible for the PM to act against any of his cabinet ministers on the basis of Lokpal's report." The selection committee for the Lokpal will be made up largely of politicians - so there is a conflict of interest. (Read: Why Hazare, Others oppose Lokpal Bill 2010)

Instead, the Lokpal Bill - Mr Hazare and his supporters state - must grant "an institution called Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in each state. Like the Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations. Its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process." (Read: What is the Janlokpal Bill, why it's important)

Mr Hazare wants civil society representatives to be included in the committee that drafts the bill. The government says that while it is willing to incorporate suggestions, legislation is the business of Parliament alone. Mr Hazare disagrees. "I will observe fast-unto-death till the government agrees to form a joint committee comprising 50 per cent officials and the remaining citizens and intellectuals to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill," he has said.


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I am sure someone will buy him-off soon to end the 'movement', if there was any.

No offense, but British did not label Indians (Hindus as a demographic state without any religious notions) as 'Thieves' without a reason! Corruption has been bred into Indian psyche over a period of centuries under slavery.... first at the hands of deceptive Brahmins and then tyrannic moughals and then the treacherous British... and sequence goes on and on... Corruption, deception, treachery, malice, greed have become just like a second nature to a common Indian, after all "We Give Back to Others, What We get from Them..." :motherlylove:
This is a good effort by ANNA HAZARE Ji .But the wall of corruption is very thick.Only time will tell whether this has been dented or not.
I certainly wish for some thing positive to take place ,may be a step towards this goal.
I pray for the good health of Shri ANNa HAZARE Ji.


I am sure someone will buy him-off soon to end the 'movement', if there was any.

No offense, but British did not label Indians (Hindus as a demographic state without any religious notions) as 'Thieves' without a reason! Corruption has been bred into Indian psyche over a period of centuries under slavery.... first at the hands of deceptive Brahmins and then tyrannic moughals and then the treacherous British... and sequence goes on and on... Corruption, deception, treachery, malice, greed have become just like a second nature to a common Indian, after all "We Give Back to Others, What We get from Them..." :motherlylove:

Instead of not doing anything he has decided to do something.No one knows the future but still he is much better than common man who just talk about corruption yet even forget to cast his/her vote,who prefer to break red light on any signal if there is no policeman instead of waiting for 15 seconds and if caught prefer to give 100 rupees note ,and list goes on and on


1947-2014 (Archived)
I myself do not know how this can be pulled off. But in 2 days Hazare has caused significant uproar within the public. The latest almost,

Centre Says It Is Ready for Talks with Anna Hazare
by Sandeep Joshi

With more members of civil society and various political parties lending support for Anna Hazare's fast, which entered the second day on Wednesday, the Centre said it was ready for a dialogue with the anti-corruption crusader and was open to suggestions on the Lokpal Bill.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Hazare wrote to the Prime Minister stating that he was pained that the government, rather than addressing the issue of corruption, was trying to allege conspiracies where there was none. “At a time when the country has witnessed scams of an unprecedented scale, the impatience of the entire country is justified. And we call upon you not to look for precedents but show courage to take unprecedented steps,” the social activist said in his letter.

Speaking to journalists here, Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said: “The government was ready for a constructive dialogue on the issue. His [Mr. Hazare's] demand is fair… we also want the Lokpal Bill with teeth. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi are also committed to this cause.”

Mr. Sibal, who is also part of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on corruption, said the government should be given “reasonable time” to find a way out. “They want to be part of the drafting committee for the Bill… we have conveyed this to the Prime Minister. The government should be given reasonable time… they cannot bind the government,” he added.

Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily said the government was open to suggestions even though it was anxious to introduce the Bill in the next session of Parliament. “Even on their demand for a joint committee [for drafting the Bill], we said we were open to the idea. In principle, we did not say no,” Mr. Moily added.

On the other hand, the Congress said the Prime Minister had already initiated a mechanism to consider suggestions from civil society activists for the Lokpal Bill. Describing Mr. Hazare's fast as “premature,” party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said the Bill had been discussed in the party and by the Sonia Gandhi-headed National Advisory Council (NAC), which was drafting an alternative bill.

Meanwhile, support continues to pour in for Mr. Hazare, who is observing fast at Jantar Mantar here. The BJP and the CPI(M) as well as organisations and popular Bollywood stars are rallying behind the activist. Actor Aamir Khan wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to “pay heed to the voice of Mr. Anna Hazare.


Background of the Movement

The movement started due to the resentment because of the serious differences between the draft Lokpal Bill 2010 prepared by the government and the Jan Lokpal Bill prepared by the members of this movement,[30] which has received significant public support:

Draft Lokpal Bill 2010 Jan Lokpal Bill
Lokpal will have no power to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. It can only probe complaints forwarded by LS Speaker or RS Chairman.Lokpal will only be an Advisory Body. Its part is only limited to forwarding its report to the "Competent Authority
Lokpal will not have any police powers. It can not register FIRs or proceed with criminal investigations.CBI and Lokpal will have no connection with each other.Punishment for corruption will be minimum 6 months and maximum up-to 7 years.

Jan Lokpal Bill
Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public
Lokpal will be much more than an Advisory Body. It should be granted powers to initiate Prosecution against anyone found guilty.
Lokpal will have police powers. To say that it will be able to register FIRs.
Lokpal and anti corruption wing of CBI will be one Independent body.
The punishment should be minimum 7 years and maximum up-to life imprisonment.
Lokpal will not be a monopoly for particular area.


India wins again, Anna Hazare calls off fast

NEW DELHI: Veteran social activist Anna Hazare on Saturday broke his fast after over 90 hours of spearheading the campaign against corruption

After a last-minute twist almost derailed a peace deal between Anna Hazare and the government, the Gandhian on Friday announced that he would call off his fast on Saturday morning with official negotiators accepting all his conditions.

Hasare first helped supporters break their fast before ending it himself. Thousands were waiting for Anna Hazare to break his fast. The 72-year-old took a few sips of juice offered to him by a little girl. Loud cheers erupted and the strains of Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn "Raghupati Raghava Raja" filled the air.

Hazare, who began his fast Tuesday morning, congratulated the people for the success of the movement that saw Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issue a statement promising that the Lokpal (ombudsman) Bill, with more teeth to effectively counter corruption in public life, would be introduced this July.

Terming the movement a second freedom struggle, he said the system had to be changed. "We have got a lot of strength from the people," the former soldier said, adding that there would be further revolutions on other issues confronting India.

"We have to keep our unity intact," he said. He said what was significant was that this movement had no religion. The youth were at the forefront of this campaign, he said.

For civil society protesters who had laid siege to Jantar Mantar, where Hazare had been on fast for the last four days, it was a decisive victory. After holding out over a formal notification of a joint committee of activists and ministers, the Centre on Friday agreed to issue a government order that was accepted by activists. Besides a joint panel with a 50:50 ministerial-activist composition, the Centre accepted Hazare's offer of the committee being co-chaired. This is the only compromise the activists agreed to after the Centre said it would concede the chair to Hazare's group but no minister would be on it. Hazare said the co-chair formula was a middle path as he was keen that ministers be on the panel. "Ministers will give the panel more weight, it will make the government more receptive to agreeing to the draft the committee draws up," Hazare explained.

But it was not all smooth sailing. Before Hazare told his supporters, "You will be happy with what the government has agreed janata ki badi jeet hui (this is a big victory for the people)," there were a few missteps. The deal that looked so tantalizingly close seemed to slip away. After the 6 pm meeting on Friday with HRD minister Kapil Sibal, minority affairs minister Salman Khursheed and law minister Veerappa Moily, Swami Agnivesh said an announcement would be made at Jantar Mantar by the Gandhian.

"You will be happy," he said. But at ground zero, backstage discussions seemed to stretch on forever before Hazare surprised the crowd by saying that he was still on fast and awaiting a draft.

Official sources said the draft agreement had been cleared by Hazare. But there were divisions in his camp, preventing him from calling off his fast. "The government has accepted all the conditions. It agreed that an official notification would be issued once he said his fast was over," a source said.

A Hazare group leader saw things the other way around. The Gandhian's breaking his fast, he said, was contingent on a satisfactory government order being issued. He said once the activists were satisfied that the terms agreed to had been honoured, the agitation would be over. Some activists in the Hazare camp have been insistent on a notification.

From the government side, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to be the co-chair, with other members likely to include Sibal and Moily. Defence minister A K Antony is also being considered as a member, while Moily will be the convener. The panel could finish its work by June 30.

But after the thrills and some near spills, the surging crowd at Jantar Mantar and India Gate left no doubt about how the match had gone. Civil society had won hands down. It looked like an innings defeat for the government which had only on Monday frostily expressed its "disappointment" at Hazare's decision to fast and dismissed the stir as saffron inspired.

Hazare's handsome victory seems a significant political milestone, marking the impact of popular opinion in a media-influenced age. It is the culmination of a string of corruption scams that placed graft at the political centrestage. It saw the ruling party worrying about a "JP-type" stir that turned tables on Indira Gandhi in the 70s.

As has been the case in the past, the turning point came with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's intervention on Thursday and her backing the demand for a strong anti-corruption law. On Friday, the peace moves gathered momentum after a meeting at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence attended by Sonia. Soon, it was evident that the government was preparing to cut its losses and "stoop to conquer", as an official source put it. This saw Sibal telling the media that the government and civil society were on the same page and "this is a happy day for us. I express my gratitude to Annaji".

The official announcement is expected on Saturday as Hazare reacted to urgent messages assuring him that the government was hardly likely to go back on a deal it had arrived at after considerable heartburn. When the government's draft reached Hazare and his group, modifications were demanded. The activists also wanted a clarification that the government side should comprise ministers. After the evening meeting, Sibal and his colleagues went to meet the PM and civil society representatives conferred with Hazare.