Corruption in India – 12 day hunger strike forces change

Corruption in India ….12 day hunger strike forces change

AUGUST 28, 2011 | BY KNEWS |

In a remarkable feat of patriotism and bravery, Anna Hazare’s fight for the wellbeing of his beloved India has come to a triumphant close.

Last night, the Indian Parliament in New Delhi unanimously passed a resolution accepting Hazare’s demands on the Jan Lokpal Bill and incorporating elements from it in a new draft. Supporters around the nation went into an uproar as the news spread across the airwaves after Parliament conceded to the Hazare’s demands.    

Hazare began his hunger strike demanding a strong anti-corruption legislation on Aug 16 and spent three nights in jail after being briefly arrested and then bargaining his way out to take his protest to the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi, where it drew thousands of supporters over the week.

Faced with an outpouring of public resentment, the government, which has been battered in recent months with scores of corruption scam exposures, first made attempts at a direct negotiation with Hazare’s aides only after the protests entered their second week.

Hazare put forward three major points for a resolution in the House, acceptance of which would have seen him break his fast. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with a statement in the Lok Sabha initiated the debate. Mukherjee urged Hazare to break his fast. He said there is agreement on 20 of 40 basic principles put forward by government and the civil society. He urged the lawmakers to give their responses on the issues of Lokpal within the framework of the Constitution.

“We are at a crossroads. I am not exaggerating. The entire nation is watching. The world’s largest  democracy is at a very crucial stage,” Mukherjee said.

Later speaking on the bill, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the government Lokpal lacked teeth and so the people got agitated. She said people are so fed up with the scams that they joined the popular protest.

Sushma demanded that the Prime Minister should be under the Lokpal as well and argued that if he can be under the Indian Penal Code and existing anti-corruption law, why he cannot be under an ombudsman to fight
graft. Earlier, Anna Hazare yesterday morning said he would continue to fast until his last, since he was emboldened and energized by the people who joined him spontaneously.

Anna has placed before the government three key demands for a strong Lokpal institution.
His group is sticking to the demand of appointments of Lokayuktas in every state, a citizen charter and inclusion of lower bureaucracy under the anti-corruption agency. He on Friday wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to bring a resolution in Parliament that calls for these three major demands to fight corruption nationwide.

The area near the Balgandharva Rangamandir at Rani Laxmibai Chowk, Shivajinagar, which was the hub of the people’s agitation in support of Hazare’s indefinite fast in New Delhi, became the focal point of the celebrations. Young activists burst crackers, waved the tricolour and raised slogans hailing Hazare.

The slogan ‘Anna Hazare zindabad’ rent the air. A number of people said Anna Hazare had created history with his 12-day-long fast and now the government would be required to take care that he would not be required to go on a fast again.

A more elaborate celebration will be held on Sunday when people gather in various locations to celebrate the historic achievement.

Also read this earlier article re Anna Hazare’s militancy:

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