Civil society’s battle against corruption acquired its sharpest edge ever on Tuesday as veteran social activist Anna Hazare began a fast unto death at the capital’s landmark Jantar Mantar demanding greater public role in the Anti-Corruption Bill (Lokpal Bill), which has now been considered and put aside by successive regimes for the last 42 years.
Hazare wants the Lokpal’s office to subsume the CVC so that both political leaders and officials come under its ambit as well as the judiciary. He also wants the Lokpal to have police powers — that is, to not just be a recommendatory body but an effective office that can file FIRs, chargesheet the accused and file cases. Hazare and other activists have been demanding for the Prime Minister’s Office to come within the ambit of the Lokpal.
Thousands of people, including students, teachers, artistes, retired government officers and activists, joined Anna at Jantar Mantar to lend him support. On the Net, support for Anna is already a viral movement. Unless the government concedes to the demand, this support is only likely to grow.
The Jan Lokpal bill aims at making decisions of the state and Central Lokayuktas binding and final. The Lokpal is envisaged to have powers to dismiss corrupt officials, including judges and politicians. Many in the government feel the Lokpal should be limited to making recommendations.
Cutting across the political divide, thousands came out to support Hazare’s fast and the Jan Lokpal Bill. Students, farmers and social activists waved the Indian flag and held up placards in support of the bill at the protest site.
Scams like 2G and Commonwealth Games, people have lost faith in the state. “Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and other freedom fighters sacrificed their lives for the country’s independence. But power-hungry and corrupt politicians continue to exploit us. The RTI Act has given us a tool to get information hitherto not available but to punish those involved in such massive corruption a tough law is required which is not tailor-made to suit the needs of politicians.
It is a pity that an asset of the country — Anna Hazare — has to die for our criminal politicians and their vested interests. Prime Minister should not turn a blind eye towards corruption in his government and should muster the courage to not succumb to the pressures of coalition politics. Click here for scams after independence in India and see how many has been done under the Congress Party’s governance in past.
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Click to see the cities where the Fast is going to held 5th April onwoards