Citizens' Issues
Anti-corruption crusade: 15,000 Puneites congregate at Shaniwar Wada in support of Anna. What a moment!

Last evening in Pune was historic! It was probably only the third time that the city has witnessed such euphoria after the Samyukta Maharashtra movement and the JP movement all those years ago

The imposing ramparts of Shaniwar Wada were witness to an electrifying moment in history, as more than 15,000 Puneites turned out on Friday evening in support of the campaign led by Anna Hazare against corruption in the country. The candle-light march, which was more than two kilometers long, began from Bal Gandharva and culminated at Shaniwar Wada. Candles in hand, the protestors marched in triumph-the young and the old, the feeble and the physically challenged, all joined in with a missionary zeal. The shouts were predictable: 'Anna Hazare aage bado, hum tumhare saath hain' and 'Hum honge kaamayab ek din'. But the passion was unexpected and quite unbelievable.

The mobilisation from the morning was by word of mouth, and through emails and SMSs. It spread like wild fire. By 6pm there were already more than 5,000 Puneites lined up on Jangli Maharaj Road, opposite Bal Gandharva. With every minute the crowd began to swell, all with the singular determination to eradicate corruption.

It's a long time since Pune witnessed any such euphoria. Mangesh Tendulkar rightly said, "The first time was during the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. The second was during the JP movement. This is the third in support of Anna Hazare's fast.''

Through the day, streams of people visited the pandal outside the Pune Municipal Corporation, where we undertook a day-long fast. Teenagers and youngsters joined in a 'skip a meal' campaign that required citizens not to eat any one meal of the day, whether it is breakfast, tea, lunch or dinner.

Youngsters made passionate speeches about how they were fed up with the corruption in everyday life that was even affecting their education. They talked about joining the fight because they wanted to have a better life in the country and not run away because of the daily inconveniences.

Representatives from IT companies told us that at least 500 techies had joined in the candle march. Around 85 NGOs pledged their support to the cause. And passersby stopped to inquire and lend their support too.

All described the common agony: Corruption that has reached mind-boggling levels and how high-profile politicians and bureaucrats who were guilty of this were getting away easily. They were angry and did not know how to express their anger-till now, that is. The untainted figure of Anna Hazare on a hunger protest at Jantar Mantar helped draw them together, like iron filings to a magnet.

It's the biggest victory of a people's movement since Independence. The nation has indeed arrived! Corrupt politicians are realising that they will not be able to take people for granted! It has been a triumph of the people's collective resolution and sacrifice. It's the beginning of the end of the corrupt scoundrels who rolled in wealth and luxury with the people's money!

Thank you for your support.

User

COMMENTS

nagesh kini

6 years ago

Mumbaikars thank you Punekars for their massive support for the Lok Pal Bill Rally. We do appreciate the efforts of Anna and Arun Bhatia for all their efforts.

Valerian Texeira

6 years ago

All the anti corruption legislations put forward by Anna Hazare and his team including the Jan Lokpal Bill cannot control most of the corruptions in India in any significant way mainly because majority of corruptions leave no concrete evidence or its foot print records to prosecute them under the court of law however stringent may be the punishment “IF convicted”! Therefore it becomes almost impossible to convict and punish the majority 90% (if not 99%) of its perpetrators even when charged they are mostly set free by the courts for lack of concrete corruption evidences. Also they have lots of corruption money to buy expensive lawyers or appeal to the higher courts. If you fight against corruption without the concrete evidence you will loose if you accept corruption you will hugely gain and make more money. The common man knows this too well therefore forced to choose the second option by submitting or accepting the corruption as the way of life!

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO DETER THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE FORM ENGAGING IN CORRUPTION, FIRST OF ALL YOU SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT THE CONCRETE EVIDENCE OF EVERY CORRUPTION CRIME (BASICALLY ILLICIT MONEY TRANSACTION) GETS RECORDED EVERY TIME AND EVERYWHERE WHEN IT HAPPENS. If anyone wants to know more about this search for my blog in the <.blogspot.com>

Pradeep

6 years ago

Thanks anna, you have come as ray of hope for all. I also stay in pune but feel sad to miss the rally. I am trying to do what I can to be part of Anna's struggle so should every indian be. Thanks Anna you are another bagat singh for us

Jyoti

6 years ago

Pune is the cultural capital of the country and it is no wonder that large number of people participated.Except Kapil Dev no other cricketer expressed their views.Perhaps most of them are CORRUPT.

Govt issues notification on committee to draft Lokpal Bill

Apart from the terms of what the committee would do, the notification contains the names of those on the 10-member panel headed by the finance minister

New Delhi: Giving in to the demands from anti-corruption activists, the government today issued a gazette notification on the formation of a joint committee headed by senior minister Pranab Mukherjee to draft an effective Lokpal Bill, reports PTI.

The notification, one of the key demands of the anti-corruption campaign launched by Gandhian Anna Hazare, has been signed by VK Bhasin, secretary, Legislative Department of the law ministry.

The notification was proudly displayed at the site of Mr Hazare's fast at Jantar Mantar by Kiran Bedi to the loud cheering of the assembled gathering there.

Apart from the terms of what the committee would do, the notification contains the names of those on the 10-member panel headed by the finance minister.

The committee will also include law minister Veerappa Moily, telecom minister Kapil Sibal, home minister P Chidambaram and water resources minister Salman Khurshid as members.

Besides Mr Hazare himself, those representing the civil society in the joint committee will be eminent lawyers Shanti Bhushan, Prasant Bhushan, retired Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal. Shanti Bhushan will be the co-chairman.

"We had demanded a government order (GO) in this regard.

The government went a step ahead and issued a notification," said social activist Swami Agnivesh.

User

Anti-corruption crusade: Government miscalculated the ground realities

Getting Baba Ramdev in on Day 4 was brilliant, and timed with the statements by the Bajajs and Munjals added value which nobody could have predicted. The government totally miscalculated the rapid growth of the protests, not just in Delhi, but in the rest of the country. It could impact the forthcoming elections in various states, too

I was among a group of the Defence Colony Welfare Association Residents' Welfare Association-a mixed group of retired services personnel, professionals, home-makers and business-people-who joined in the protest against corruption, spearheaded by Anna Hazare, at Jantar Mantar, on Friday. The atmosphere there was vastly changed from what it was the previous day; not just because of the support from Baba Ramdev and Bollywood personalities like Farah Khan, Tom Alter and some others, in as much as there was a feeling that the government is on the back foot.

(Click here to see Kareena Kapoor and Mallika Sarabhai pledging support to Anna Hazare Courtesy: ANI, Sify.com)

If anything, the contingent of plain-clothes people, probably from an assortment of intelligence services, appeared even more worried, probably for having miscalculated the ground realities, as well as the strategic moves by the organizers. Getting Baba Ramdev in on Day 4 was brilliant, and timed co-terminus with the statements by the Bajajs and Munjals added value which nobody could have predicted. One particular gent, with whom I have developed a nodding acquaintanceship over the last few days, told me that they had totally miscalculated the rapid growth of the protests, not just in Delhi, but in the rest of the country. How it was likely to impact the forthcoming elections, too, in various states. And, how now not just the foreign press, but also diplomats were walking around openly.
 
The uniformed police and fire service personnel, on the other hand, looked even more relaxed and part of the milling crowds-it almost looked as though everybody had already figured out that these are our people, about each other. People were following instructions given by the local police and fire service and their ambulance services were parked strategically. Even the much-reviled Municipal Corporation of Delhi and New Delhi Municipal Corporation did their part-the mobile public toilets are an example in cleanliness, with some sanitation workers on duty explaining that this was one duty they were going to make sure was impeccable. And for the first time we saw what looked like off-duty armed forces people in fatigues walking around, without any of that uniformed self-consciousness that sometimes accompanies such events.
 
This has on one side grown into a nation-wide people's movement, that's not so much about a Lokpal Bill which people do not understand, or a man variously being referred to as hazaar, hazaara, hazaroo, hazra or something similar, but more about people now wanting an end to corruption across all levels. On the other side, the rumour mills were working overtime, with all sorts of stories about such and such leader having run away abroad, or the government planning stern reprisal, and then what happens next. Some were even asking why Shobhaa De, for example, has not been seen of or heard from lately!

A couple of major questions on the minds of protestors were 'how do we go about courting arrest' and 'what other methods will we use to make sure this is a success too'. Some volunteers on the fourth day of their fast were taken away to hospital; others appeared as resolute as before. The percentage of women in the crowd seemed to have gone up, and so too the visible number of wealthier and upper middle-class people. Also, people appeared to have reacted with disappointment to the statement by Mohandas Pai of Infosys that he did not want to say anything about corruption in India. Bajaj and Munjal, on the other hand, were cheered through some hand-written posters.
 
It is encouraging to see the number of people present going up multiples, this despite the cricket frenzy that has not ebbed. The whole of Jantar Mantar, from the Ashoka Road end to Tolstoy Marg end, is barricaded and converted into a walking-only zone. This is a stretch of 1.5 km, a change from the 50 metres space that was initially alloted on one side of Jantar Mantar Road. The special space I had on top of the South Indian Snack Centre is now totally occupied by many others who have discovered the place. Barring the few people sitting in front, at Jantar Mantar, the rest of the area is "standing room only".

My advice to those who want to go to Jantar Mantar is to head there early in the morning. Make your presence felt. Get counted, now. Where the movement will eventually lead may not be entirely clear yet, but it cannot get any worse than what the government has already brought matters to-now, things can only improve.

User

COMMENTS

RNandakumar

6 years ago

Anna Hazare and his group could only give guidance. But he cannot afford to be everywhere. Some basic acts by the people would help these noble efforts to bear fruit. We all must insist on registering the houses on its true value of payment without undervaluing it for saving registration cost. We should insist on bill for all the purchases we make. Small shops little amount purchase excuses should be avoided. Decipline ourselves to wait for our turn be it a que for your ticket or the latest model diesel car. Politicians exploit our inability to cope with the rules and we are the reason why and how he thrives. Our soeciety should first inculcate the habit of following rules. Then under the anti corruption and RTI acts we can hook the politicians.

Vinay Isloorkar

6 years ago

12.4.11
What is that subtle jab about Shoba De? Pl educate.

Vinay isloorkar

REPLY

malq

In Reply to Vinay Isloorkar 6 years ago

Thank you for writing in. For a short while the rumour mills in Delhi were working overtime about how certain people were moving out of India with their money - and that it was largely the page-3 set doing so . . . for some reason the High Priestess of Blah's name came into the running.

Vinay Isloorkar

In Reply to malq 6 years ago

12.4.11

Hi Priestess of Blah! Chuckle! Chuckle! She has competition from La Tavleen.

nagesh kini

6 years ago

The powers that be grossly underestimated the Peoples' Power.

That the Aam Admi, having lost his patience, calling enough is enough simply joined into to give the clarion call that corruption by any name ghoos, chai pani, graft, speed money or facilitation fees will not be countenanced and immediate enactment of demanded the the long lost Lok Pal Bill that shoved in the Parliament's cold storage for 42 long years and enacted in consultation with Civil Society to cover the high and mighty like the PM, big babus and judiciary..

Roopsingh

6 years ago

To me the root cause of corrupt politicians and beaurocrats is the huge amount of money collected by govt in various names which simply is TAX-this taxed or KHANDNI (LOOTED )has grown exponential in recent years-and people are paying for no proper use of it-the actual use of this taxed or looted money is used to GHAR BHARO of these corrupt people-
so i would ask people and Mr Anna Hazare to start a movement asking people not to give tax to these corrupt govt-once this agitation starts and people start asking fro proper accounting for their hard earned money-corruption will dramatically reduce-
so presently i HATE to pay taxes -and i advice people not to pay their hard earned money if possible-evade the taxes-
because it is fuelling the coruption.

Valerian Texeira

6 years ago

the anti corruption legislations put forward by Anna Hazare and his team including the Jan Lokpal Bill cannot control most of the corruptions in India in any significant way mainly because majority of corruptions leave no concrete evidences or its foot print records to prosecute them under the law court however stringent may be the punishment “IF convicted”! Therefore it becomes almost impossible to convict and punish the majority 90% (if not 99%) of its perpetrators even when charged they are mostly set free by the courts for lack of concrete corruption evidences. Also they have lots of corruption money to buy expensive lawyers or appeal to the higher courts. If you fight against corruption without the concrete evidence you will loose if you accept corruption you will hugely gain and make more money. The common man knows this too well therefore forced to choose the second option by submitting or accepting the corruption as the way of life!

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO DETER THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE FORM ENGAGING IN CORRUPTION, FIRST OF ALL YOU SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT THE CONCRETE EVIDENCE OF EVERY CORRUPTION CRIME (BASICALLY ILLICIT MONEY TRANSACTION) GETS RECORDED EVERY TIME AND EVERYWHERE WHEN IT HAPPENS. If anyone wants to know more about this search for my blog in the <.blogspot.com>

REPLY

malq

In Reply to Valerian Texeira 6 years ago

Thank you for writing in. I think many of us believe that it is the little drops that add up. Many routes, same destination. Please stay in touch with the IAC movement.

B Rajaram

6 years ago

Practically every corrupt guy would sign sign such pledge and join the bandwagon so that this uncalled for public attention to their day tot day peaceful profitable business of administering governance, is taken care of and boxed in.

10 Janpath also supported. so DMRC also supports. The DMK too supports and with Congress BJP and every party supporting who is opposing?

Anaa goes home and will struggle with thousands of papers putting a comma and afull stop and the bill will not see the day of light so long as some teeth are suspected to be present to hurt the corrupt.

A murderer is innocent till proven. Many murderers may escape under law but one innocent man should not be punished.

Similalrly this law in implementation will see that many a corrupt may escape with honour but one suspected innocent shall be protected.

Poor goodman Anna will have to agree.

One thing Government will not do is web based transparent open governance in real time making the last three steps prior to deciding available in public domain.

We are fooled once gain.

REPLY

malq

In Reply to B Rajaram 6 years ago

Thank you for writing in. Let us all be positive and hope for better days. You can do your part, too.

Jyoti

6 years ago

Two NGO's viz.Art of Living of Sri Sri Ravishankar and Bharat Swabhiman of Baba Ramdev played very important role in mobilizing YOUTHS of the country .Social networking sites were also used in innovative way, so due to pressure 24 X 7 news channels were left with no option but to cover this event extensively.At the end of the day these factors were responsible for its success at the end of the day. In the coming days all this factors will be debated.

REPLY

malq

In Reply to Jyoti 6 years ago

Thank you for writing in. We need to do more than debate. Please do your bit NOW.

Mumbai Indian

6 years ago

I beg to differ from your conclusion. This kind of movements have stopped to influence elections since the Emergency. Remember, after 26/11, there was big hue and cry in Mumbai. Lakhs of people were there on the streets, candle marches etc and everybody was thinking that this would affect the election outcome. What happned? NOTHING. Only 44% people voted in that election. This is the reason why all politicians have become so thick skinned. And they are the only candidates who can even think about contesting and winning any election. Common people can't. In today's situation, even to lose an election, one needs at least 5 crore rupees.

REPLY

Java

In Reply to Mumbai Indian 6 years ago

The Jan Lokpal Bill is the first of many planned steps already articulated by Anna Hazare and his team. Electoral reforms is one of these, Anna Hazare specifically talked about the right to vote for "None of these candidates", which, if selected by a majority, would result in declaring the election void and make all those candidates ineligible for the re-poll that would have to be held. He also talked about the right to recall elected representatives and the devolution of power to the local bodies.

Bhavesh Damania

In Reply to Java 6 years ago

Hi Jaya,
Can you explain the point in detail pls..you seems to have brought differnt dimnesion to the activity which masses are not aware of.

CommonAadmi

In Reply to Bhavesh Damania 6 years ago

Dear Bhavesh, If you are really interested please listen to a 2 hour speech given in October 2010. The link is: http:// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW-zTVhTbRk
This is lengthy I know, and ignore the first ten minutes of this speech but this is whole plan from the Horse's mouth for going forward. Thats all I can say.

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