Friday, August 19, 2011
ANNA HAZARE : CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
A SHORT BIO
Kisan Baburao Hazare was born on June 15th, 1937 in Bhingar, Maharashtra in a poor family. He could study upto 7th standard only and he had to sell flowers to the tourists to eke out a living during that childhood period. Hazare joined army at the age of 25 as a driver.
He was working in the Army during the indo-Pak war in 1965. and on the fateful day of 12th November 1965 he was driving the Army truck full of soldiers to the war front when a Bomb exploded nearby the truck in which all the soldiers were killed and he could just save himself by ducking from a splinter. The incident turned out to be a moment of revelation for him. He found life fleeting and meaningless and later came across a book by Vivekananda calling Youths to participate in the nation building.
He took voluntary retirement from the army in 1978 and went back to his village. The tragic experiences of war and his own rendezvous with death had chastened his mind and the outlook on life. He decided to work for the people selflessly for the rest of his life. He chose his own village, Ralegan Sidhi, for it.
He started his work in the village by first starting to repair a dilapidated temple in the village with the retirement benefits of 20 thousand rupees he got from the Army. In the process of its work he got in touch with the villagers and once they realized that he was working selflessly for them they cooperated with him in his ventures. Hazare found that gaining confidence of people is important for the success of a social worker. And he also found out that selfless, honest work was the only way to go into the hearts of people.
ON A NATIONAL PLATFORM
As said above the corruption cases were making Headlines in Newspapers every day and Anna thought it was his duty to do his mite against the growing corruption which made him change his venue to the capital from his village in last April. He started fast against corruption.
A Lok Pal bill ( people's protection bill ) aimed at reducing corruption was with the Government since a long time back. The bill could not be passed in the Parliament mainly due to the apathy of the Government and Members of Parliament despite the fact that the original bill had no biting clauses to check corruption or to pose a threat to the M.Ps. It proved how politicians are afraid of even a toothless bill.
The Jana Lok Pal Bill, the one prepared by Hazare team, envisages the Government to work in tandem with the peoples' reps to examine complaints of corruption against all public servants, from the Prime Minister to the Peon. It would not only reduce the Power of Ministers and officers in high positions but also make them vulnerable to complaints and its consequential court actions. The Government Jobs would no longer be a bed of roses once the Jana Lok Pal bill becomes law.
The political parties were suspicious of Hazare movement from the very beginning. A power center outside the Parliament and Government had never gone down well with them and it was also the first time in India to have formed a center of power outside political parties. The Government at first thought that such a move should not be allowed to grow and be nipped in the bud. Thus the Government took up a position against Hazare and his Lok Pal bill pointing out the supremacy of Parliament and its elected representatives.
The fact about Parliament is that it goes the way the party big bosses leads it as a Member of Parliament has to obey the party whip and party stand is determined by its leader. Thus the parliament reduces to the decisions of a bunch of leaders.
In December 2011 Anna made a 2nd come back for fast while the Parliament was debating on the Bill. This time the venue had changed to Bombay. The people’s participation in the movement was significantly marginal and Anna could not continue the fast sufficiently long to inspire people due to his ill health. In Parliament they discussed on the bill and pending passage in Rajya Sabha the bill was left in limbo and session ended.
The people of India still love & respect Anna.Anna took long months debating with the Government on the bill. There were problems with the people who lead him. They could not prove themselves above suspicion and what they said or acted affected the image of Anna too.
The pan India is a huge canvas and it is not like fasting before a Municipal office. Then Anna should have chosen persons with sterling characters for his company and guidance. It did not happen. There was a time when the Government and Anna were close to an agreement except on one or two points and the opportunity should have been used to get the bill passed in both houses on a give and take basis. Then at least the bill would have come in to being.
Images from Google