Tag Archives: corruption

Ramdev ends nine-day-old fast: Sri Sri Ravishankar

12 Jun

Yoga guru Ramdev today broke his nine-day-old fast even as doctors said he will be discharged from hospital in two-three days though his condition is “stable”.

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, who met the 46-year-old yoga exponent for the third day at a Dehradun hospital, said, “Ramdev has broken his fast by taking juice. He ended the fast in the presence of various religious and spiritual leaders”.

Ramdev, who went on his hunger strike to protest against corruption and black money issues, was admitted to the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences here on Friday after his condition deteriorated at his Patanjali Yogapeeth ashram in Haridwar.

Vijay Dhasmana, the hospital director, said, “I am thankful to everyone who came here and helped Ramdev to break his fast. His health is not such that he can be discharged today.

“It will take two-three days for him to be out of this hospital. By evening he will be shifted to a deluxe general ward. His condition is stable and he has broken his fast,” he said.

The yoga exponent”s close associate Balakrishna, who also ended his fast at the hospital, said, “Ramdev has considered the request of hundreds of his followers and people from the saints” fraternity”.

He said, “He (Ramdev) will take this satyagraha forward till his last breath.

“The protest will continue till our last breath. Ramdev wants black money to be declared as national wealth constitutionally. We appeal to all our followers and other people to break their fast as well,” Balakrishna said, adding “I also thank the media for helping us in spreading the message against corruption to the masses”.

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Baba Ramdev not mature enough to lead: Anna Hazare

11 Jun

A day after he declared his campaign would have no truck with Ramdev’s call to arms, social crusader Anna Hazare on Friday said the yoga guru was “not mature enough to lead a social movement as he does not have expertise other than yoga”. 

In an interview, Hazare said: “To get involved in social work, one needs to be alert about many things and Baba is yet to learn it. Baba has the habit of taking decisions unilaterally.”

After news came in that Ramdev, who has been on an indefinite fast at Haridwar, was shifted to hospital, Hazare urged the government to open a dialogue with him on “humanitarian grounds”. Hazare said Ramdev had a right to protest against the government as it was a legitimate right of an individual in a democracy. 

Hazare who is pressing the union government for enacting the Jan Lokpal Bill before August 15, explained why he distancing himself from Ramdev. “In our agitation, we discuss the developments with other activists, share ideas, welcome suggestions before taking a decision. This is the way to run any campaign or agitation. Baba’s thought process is not like us, hence there are some shortcomings in his way of protest which has benefited the government.” But he acknowledged their target was the same.

Meanwhile, a group of Ramdev’s followers from Pune visited Ralegan Siddhi on Friday morning to extend their support to Hazare’s campaign. The followers said that though Baba was their spiritual guru, they did not agree with his call to arms in the fight against corruption and they would join Hazare’s protest.

Tender Hearts International School kids join Anna Hazare’s campaign

8 Jun

Tender Hearts School students joined the nation-wide campaign launched by social activists Anna Hazare for a strong Lokpal Bill, in Patna.


Don’t malign our mission, rein in colleagues: Anna Hazare to Sonia Gandhi

19 Apr

Social activist Anna Hazare on Monday wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi on the “smear” campaign launched against civil society members of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill and asked her to advise her “colleagues” not to try to derail the process of drafting of law.

 In a two-page letter to Gandhi, he complained against a party General Secretary, apparently Digvijay Singh who has been attacking his campaign, of making many statements which were “factually wrong” and asked her whether she approved them.

 He also refereed to an unnamed minister, who is part of the the ten-member joint committee on the bill, and charged him with making false statements that the civil society representatives have “succumbed” to government’s pressure and “diluted” the law.

 As the war over the alleged fake CD involving eminent lawyer and panel co-chair Shanti Bhushan intensified, he said “the developments of the last few days have been a cause for concern.

“It seems that the corrupt forces in the country have united to derail the process of drafting an effective anti-corruption law through the joint committee. Together we have to defeat their designs,” Hazare said.

 He said one of their strategies is to “smear the reputations” of civil society members in the committee.

 “Whereas I am of the view that the people working for public must be subjected to public scrutiny, however, when blatantly false accusations are made, fabricated CDs are planted, then one feels that the purpose is not an honest public scrutiny but to tarnish reputations.

“They have not even spared me, even though I have lived a simple life following on the path of truth. However, I am happy that despite all their efforts, the vested interests could not dig out anything of substance. This has only raised the reputations of civil society members in the eyes of public,” he said.

 The Gandhian said smear campaign of vested interests seemed to be back firing and people could see through what was happening.

 He warned that the country was in “no mood” to wait any longer to have a strong anti-corruption law and expressed fears about the consequences if the process was “derailed” as people were “very agitated”.

 Hazare wondered what would be the outcome if the government nominees in the committee were subjected to “similar scrutiny or witch hunt”.


Rahul working towards ending corruption: Anna Hazare

17 Apr

Social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday (April 16) reacted to Rahul Gandhi’s comment on how the AICC General Secretary was silently and continuously working to rid the system of corruption. 

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi Anna said, “I feel that the youth should work towards the progress of our country. I do not feel that Rahul would have pointed towards me while making that statement. It is good that he is working towards ending corruption.” 

Acknowledging the menace of corruption, the Gandhi scion had said that he has continuously been working against corruption. Rahul said that he has been trying to improve the rotten system rather than just complaining about it and shifting the onus on officials. 

Rahul Gandhi said, “I spend a lot of my waking hours thinking and working to improve what I see as a rotten system. The difference is that I cannot get away simply with writing letters and complaining as you can. I am faced with reality of changing things which requires much more than the periodic release of emotion.

Anna’s appeal to the Nation

14 Apr

My dear fellow citizens,

 

I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to each one of you for your overwhelming support for the Jan Lokpal movement,  making the Tantra (the System) appreciate the power of the Lok (the People) as is befitting the world’s largest and greatest Loktantra (democracy).

 

Our victory so far over corruption, falsehood, injustice, and oppression is indisputable and unprecedented. But it is also clearly evident that there is handful of people who are already active trying to create schisms in this great coming together of all sections of our society to fight for a corruption-free future. This handful of people wants to break up our collective power and try to create discord.

 

One way for them to try to break up our collective power is to spread disinformation and rake up issues that will distract attention from the fight against corruption towards individuals and extraneous matters.

 

It is important that we are able to see through their designs. We need to not only frustrate their plans but also keep our collective enthusiasm at a level that must keep rising.

 

Our victory so far bears out that we have chosen the right and noble way forward for our country, but our destination is way ahead. We cannot afford to dissipate our energies on arguing over non-issues and quarreling with disinformation campaigns undertaken by the people who see an effective Lokpal as a grave threat to their interests.

 

I consider myself, Anna Hazare, a non-entity. In the history of a great nation and civilization, many Anna Hazares come and go. However, some of the crucial junctures of the history demand that we live up to our national values and ideals; not living up to those values and ideals is like a living death. That’s what I have learnt from the father of our great nation.

 

My indefinite fast was not aimed at getting the government or an individual to fulfill a wayward and irresponsible demand; it was meant to be a Satyagraha of the people of India to liberate ourselves from a monstrously corrupt system of governance.

 

The youth who are devoting some of the most beautiful phase of their lives on this movement for corruption-free India are our force.  The mothers and sisters who lit candles at public places are our light. The sweating foot soldiers of this movement who throw their hands skywards and shout the inspiring slogans are our energy. The Indians who have seen a ray of hope in this movement for a better future will also be the dreamers who will envision a fairer and nobler India.

 

The handful of people who have allowed themselves to be led astray by corruption and injustice will find the right path. That’s our hope.

I appeal to each Indian to keep our unity in this fight against corruption. Each one of us makes up the India, the entire India. So each one of us matter in this struggle to make our government clean and serve our collective interests.

 

I am hopeful that this movement will help clean up and strengthen all our democratic institutions.

 

I appeal to you not to pay attention to disinformation and distractive campaigns.

 

I pray to the Almighty God to give us strength to keep our unity and integrity.

 

May God bless us all!

 

Yours affectionately,

 

Anna Hazare

13th April 2011

 

Rajinikanth wants to join Hazare’s!

13 Apr

Rajinikanth says corruption is the biggest issue facing Tamil Nadu politics today!

While all eyes are on the battle between the DMK and the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, superstar Rajinikanth has voted for Anna Hazare.

The actor expressed his desire to work for the anti-corruption crusader’s campaign as he cast his vote on Wednesday, sayingcorruption is the biggest issue facing Tamil Nadu politics.

“I want to work with Anna Hazare to remove corruption,” the actor said, adding, “Corruption is the biggest issue facing the state today.”

Emphasising the need for special attention to be paid to farmers for their betterment, Rajinikanth said, “Whoever comes to power will need to work for the welfare of poor people and farmers.”

Tamil Nadu went to elect its new assembly on Wednesday. The ruling-DMK led front is battling serious odds with the AIADMK-combine launching an all out offensive to dislodge Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, veteran of many a successful electoral battle in his seven decades of public life.

Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement: Time-line

9 Apr

Anti-graft crusaders, led by veteran Gandhian Anna Hazare, called off their fast Saturday after 96 hours after the government agreed to their demand to introduce a more stringent Lokpal Bill to fight corruption. A look at the time-line of the crusade:

Jan 30: People take out march against corruption in over 60 cities to demand an effective anti-graft Lokpal bill. Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh and lawyer Prashant Bhushan were among the key participants in the rally in Delhi.

Feb 26: Anna Hazare calls press conference, announces that he would go on fast unto death from April 5 if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not take a decision on including civil society in drafting the Lokpal Bill. Expresses frustration on several letters written to PMO on the issue being ignored.

Feb 27: Rally taken out from Jantar Mantar to Ramlila ground under banner of Bharat Swabhiman, for stringent Lokpal Bill and to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks.

March 3: Prime minister writes to Anna Hazare, invites him for discussion.

March 7: Anna Hazare meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with Kiran Bedi, Swami Aginvesh, Prashant Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan.

March 8: Prime minister sets up sub-committee to look into the Lokpal Bill, members include ministers A.K. Antony, M. Veerappa Moily, Kapil Sibal and Sharad Pawar.

March 28: Activists meeting with sub-committee remains inconclusive, Anna Hazare says he will go on fast as scheduled.

April 4: Anna Hazare confirms fast from April 5, calls upon the nation to join in. Prime minister expresses his ‘deep disappointment’ at the decision.

April 5: Anna Hazare, along with supporters pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, marches from India Gate to Jantar Mantar where he starts fast. Supporters join the protest from 400 cities, more than 5,000 gather at Jantar Mantar. Main opposition BJP extends support, Congress calls it premature.

April 6: Fast enters second day, government members say they are not adverse to civil society’s suggestion. Sharad Pawar withdraws from a sub-committee following verbal attack from the activists.

April 7: Fast enters third day; activists meet sub-committee members, meeting remains inconclusive. Movement gathers momentum, film personalities, politicians extend support. Candle light march taken out in Delhi.

April 8: Anna Hazare announces he will end fast Saturday morning after government agrees to notify formation of a panel, with 50 percent civil society members, to draft the anti-corruption law and introduce it in the monsoon session of parliament.

April 9: Anna Hazare ends fast around 11 a.m. after government issues notification. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says the Lokpal Bill will be introduced in the monsoon session of parliament.

India wins again, Anna Hazare to call off fast today

9 Apr

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 at 10am on Saturday with official negotiators accepting all his conditions.

Civil society protesters laying siege to Jantar Mantar, where Hazare has been on fast for the last four days, won a decisive battle. After holding out over a formal notification of a joint committee of activists and ministers, the Centre 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 to…ye 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 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 will be issued once he says his fast is 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.

Sources – (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-wins-again-Anna-Hazare-to-call-off-fast-today/articleshow/7921304.cms)

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