Thursday, August 18, 2011

10 things to know about Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill

Did you know Anna introduced solar panels and wind mills in his village 25 years ago? Read on...

Copied and pasted from Danish Aftab’s post on the India Against Corruption Facebook Site.
1.      Who is Anna Hazare? An ex-army man. Fought in the 1965 Indo-Pak War.
2.      What's so special about him? He built a village Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahmadnagar district, Maharashtra
3.      So what? This village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar power, biofuel and wind mills. In 1975, it used to be a poverty clad village. Now it is one of the richest villages in India. It has become a model for self-sustained, eco-friendly practices.  
4.      And...? This guy, Anna Hazare was awarded the “Padma Bhushan” and is a known figure for his social activities.
5.      Really? What is he fighting for? He is supporting a cause, the amendment of a law to curb corruption in India. How can that be possible? He is advocating for a Bill, The Jan Lokpal Bill (The Citizen Ombudsman’s Bill), that will form an autonomous authority who will make politicians (ministers), bureaucrats (IAS/IPS) accountable for their deeds. It's an entirely new thing, right..? In 1972, the bill was proposed by the then Law minister Mr. Shanti Bhushan. Since then it has been neglected by the politicians and some are trying to change the bill to suit their theft (corruption).
6.      Oh.. he is going on a hunger strike for the passing of a Bill ! How can that be possible in such a short span of time? The first thing he is asking for is: the government should come forward and announce that the bill is going to be passed.
7.      Next, they should make a joint committee to DRAFT the JAN LOKPAL BILL. 50% goverment participation and 50% public participation - because one can’t trust the government to independently create a bill that doesn’t suit them.
8.      Fine, What will happen when this bill is passed? A LokPal – a committee will be appointed at the centre. It will have autonomous charge, say like the Election Commission of India. In each and every state, a similar committee – the Lokayukta, will be appointed. The job of the Lokpal at the centre and the Lokayukta at the state levels will be to bring all individuals in the government accused of corruption, to trial within 1 year. Within 2 years, the guilty will be punished. Not like the Bofors scam or the Bhopal Gas Tragedy cases, that have been going on for the last 25 years without any result.
9.       Is he alone? Who else is there in the fight with Anna Hazare? Ex. IPS Kiran Bedi, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwalm, and just about every ordinary person. Prominent personalities like Aamir Khan and Shekhar Kapoor are supporting his cause too.  
10.   Ok, got it. What can we do? We can help spread his message.  How? By joining his website and facebook sites, by actively commenting, sharing status messages, links, video, by believing in his cause and spreading the message and by understanding the flaws in the government's weak anti-corruption bill. He is fasting from 16th August 2011 for a week. We are welcome to join the fast in a public place at any time (and stop at anytime). But he won’t stop until the government agrees to introduce the Jan Lokpal – a strong anti-corruption bill and not their weaker version which allows them to be the exceptions who do not come under the ambit of the bill.

(For a comparision of the government Lokpal Bill and the IAC's Jan Lokpal bills see
The government jailed Anna before he could begin his fast but with a public outcry from his followers and others who called the government move unconstitutional, they were forced to relent and free him.

Let us support Anna Hazare and the cause for uprooting corruption from India. Let us hope that his Hunger Strike does not go in vain. Let us hope that he remains safe and well. Power to the people.

Here's what the BBC says about Anna


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