Tag Archives: jantar mantar

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.


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Team Anna doubts govt’s intention on Jan Lokpal Bill

6 Jun

Civil society activists led by Anna Hazare Monday boycotted the meeting of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal bill saying government’s intentions raised serious doubts about having a strong anti-corruption watchdog and protesting against the police crackdown on Ramdev. 

The activists have also sought rescheduling of the next meeting of the JDC on June 10 to some other date because of some prior engagements of Hazare. 

After a meeting of the activists, Prashant Bhushan, one of the non-official members wrote a letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Chairman of JDC, saying the government desires to practically leave everyone out of Lokpal’s ambit–Prime Minister, horse trading of MPs, middle and lower bureaucracy judiciary. 

He said there was divergence even on the vision of Lokpal and if the government’s stand is accepted, Lokpal would be left to investigate the corruption of only 300-odd officers and ministers. 

“This is government’s vision for Lokpal,” the letter said. 

The letter criticised the “casual and frivolous” manner in which the government had prepared the questionnaire to the chief ministers and the political parties which has been commented upon by them also. 

Referring to the mid-night crackdown on Baba Ramdev and his followers and other issues, Bhushan said “all these developments have raised doubts in our mind whether the government was at all interested in containing corruption and having a strong Lokpal bill. 

“However, what happened on Saturday night in Ramlila Maidan have strengthened our doubts. All these developments have raised doubts about government’s intention and so we are not attending today’s meeting.” 

The next meeting is scheduled on June 10. Hazare has prior engagements from June 9-11. “So we request rescheduling of that meeting,” Bhushan said. 

While waiting for government’s response, he cautioned that time was running out and the committee was yet to finalise the basic principles behind the bill.

Bhushan said developments so far do not inspire confidence that this law would be drafted by June 30. 

In the letter, he said the civil society was told that the manner in which views of political parties and state governments would be sought would be decided in consultation with them but it did not happen. 

“We wonder whether in the history of parliamentary democracy, such an objective type questionnaire (to tick mark the right answer from the choices of a, b, c) was ever sent to the Chief Ministers and political parties before drafting any law,” he said. 

He said they were insisting from the first meeting to have serious consultations with various stakeholders, not to seek their opinion in the form of a survey questionnaire, but to do collective brainstorming with them to seek more ideas and opinions. 

“The government seems to be shying away from any kind of public debate,” he said. 

“Recent events since our last meeting don’t inspire any confidence that the government is serious enough about the Lokpal bill. Further, what happened in the Ramlila ground strengthened our doubts,” Bhushan told reporters. 

Another panel member Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the government appeared not serious on the issue and were giving “frivolous” reasons when issues were raised. 

“When we asked why they were against including judiciary under the ambit of Lokpal panel, the government side told us that two former Chief Justices J S Verma and M Venkitachellaih had written articles saying it should not be done, so we will not do,” he said. 

Asked whether there could be a middle-path to resolve the stalemate, Kejriwal said many people were asking whether the civil society would compromise. 

“We will compromise if the public says so. If the public does not want the Lokpal to investigate charges of a Prime Minister’s corruption, we are ready to drop it. If the public does not want an investigation by Lokpal the charge of a bribe given to judge, then we are ready for a compromise,” he said. 

Queried whether it was proper for the ministers of the joint panel to go ahead with the meeting when they were boycotting it, Kejriwal did not find fault with it saying the ministers can go ahead with the meeting. 

“They can go ahead with the meeting. There is nothing wrong in it. We also have sent a letter today only. They can meet,” he said. 

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.

A MUST READ FOR ALL INDIANS – LETTER TO Mrs. Sonia Gandhi

12 Apr

Dear Mrs. Sonia Gandhi,

 

Hello from typical mouse from Mumbai. After Mumbai attack I had written a letter to Mr. Manmohan Singh, with the hope that at least once in life time he will behave like Sardar who were always in forefront of protecting the nation, but he has turn out to be worse than a mouse. I realize you are the king maker, hence I am addressing this letter to you.

 

Today you requested Mr. Anna Hazare to end his fast. For last one month Mr. Hazare had been writing to you and PM, none of you even bothered to reply. Suddenly you realize that every Indian is with him, and that is the reason you decided to request Mr. Anna Hazare to end his fast.

 

Let me ask you few simple questions.

 

Why one of the best presidents that is Dr. Abdul Kalam was removed? Isn’t it because he had objected to your becoming Prime minster? In the disguise of giving gift of woman president you selected Mr. Pratibha Patil, her only qualification is that she used to do dishes for Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Royalty to Gandhi family never goes unrewarded. If you were concerned with welfare of Indian people you would have selected person like Ms. Kiran Bedi, but you wanted a perfect rubber stamp just like Dr. Manmohan Singh.

 

 

Coming back to issue of corruption.

 

Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh has destroyed Mumbai. In the disguise of giving house to homeless he kept on increasing FSI to help builders, so that all the money can be sent to Delhi & Congress can fight election. In last eight year prices of flats has increased three times and now AAM ADAMI cannot even dream of having his own house. Same Vilasrao Deshmukh was fined Rs 10 laks by Supreme Court for helping money lender who was charging poor farmer interest of 10% per month that is 120% per year! Instead of taking action against Mr. Vilasrao  Deshmukh he was made rural minister. Funds allotted for rural development is Rs 4 Lakh crore and who could have better person than Mr. Deshmukh to divert the fund to Delhi?

 

More than a year has passed. Since Suresh Kalmadhi ‘s role in CWG scam has been exposed. Till today he is roaming free. How long this drama of CBI interrogations will go on?

 

Then there is Mr. Rane, minister from Maharashtra. Mumbai high court has passed severe stricture against him for snatching land from poorest of poor and giving it to industrial house. Even Mrs. Indira Gandhi who was never known for her honesty did take action against a former chief minister when he was indicted by high court for corruption, but you who advocate zero corruption did not utter a single word and Mr. Rane continues to be honorable minister.

 

There were truck load of corruption charges against Ms. Mayawati, they were dropped when she supported your party during no confidence motion. If you call this helplessness of coalition government, then what about helplessness of a poor person who steals bread for his children, what’s about helplessness of government servant who takes bribe so he can send his children to good school, what’s about helplessness of an officer who cannot afford to buy house in south Mumbai so he indulge in act of corruption?

 

Hasan Ali is highest income tax evader not only in history of India but the whole word. Till today he has not been even charged. He has given name of three chief ministers who has helped him. So far no action is being taken against them. We keep on reading that he as support of senior minister from Maharashtra. Why you are silent on this issue?

 

In 2G scam besides losing huge money, just think of opportunity lost by our young and brilliant scientist & engineers to be at par with the world. We are second to none in this world, but this cancer of corruption has ruined our body, our mind & our soul.

 

Last but not least , what’s about crores & crores of rupees with Swiss bank. How long your finance minister will keep on fooling us? Just with help of a simple SMS sent by Swiss bank, American government could force Swiss bank to reveal the name of account holder, why Indian government cannot do anything. Reason is very simple, if anybody is punished he will reveal the name of all politicians and bureaucrats involved. There is proverb in Hindi “Teri bhi Chup, meri bhi Chup” meaning you keep quiet and I will also keep quiet.

 

There is not even iota of resemblance between your word and your action. I will rather trust a prostitute who tells that she is a virgin, rather than trusting your word about zero corruption.

 

So much I love India and love my people. I wish my best of best luck to Mr. Anna Hazare. I hope every Indian writes on every currency note that “WE SUPPORT ANNA HAZARE”. If not the voice of people at least these currency notes will reach your corrupt ministers and the parties who are supporting your government.

 

Anna Hazare’s Best Video Ever Seen!

9 Apr

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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