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An introductory Tutorial on Anna Hazare and Lokpal Bill

The dream of India as a strong nation will not be realized without self-reliant, self-
sufficient villages, this can be achieved only through social commitment & involvement of
the common man."
- Anna Hazare

Q. Who is Anna Hazare?


Kisan Baburao Hazare, popularly known as Anna Hazare, born on 15 January 1940 at Ralegaon
Siddhi, a small village in Maharashtra, was an ex-army man and during his 15-year tenure as a
soldier, he was posted to several states like Sikkim, Bhutan, Jammu-Kashmir, Assam, Mizoram,
Leh and Ladakh and braved challenging weathers. Joined with Indian army in 1963, just after the
Indo-China war (1962), he has also fought 1965 Indo-Pak War.

Q. What is so special about him?


He has built a model village called Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahamad Nagar district, Maharashtra. This
village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar
power, bio-fuel 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 & harmonic village.

More about Anna…


Anna Hazare has been awarded Padma Bhushan, Padmashree and a lot more awards and is a
known figure for his social activities.

Q. What is he fighting for?


He is supporting a cause, the amendment of a law to curb corruption in India.

Q. How that can be possible?


He is advocating for a Bill, The Lokpal Bill (The Citizen Ombudsman Bill) that will form an
autonomous authority who will make politicians, beurocrats accountable for their deeds.

Q. What is this Lokpal Bill all about?


Lokpal bills were introduced in 1968, 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in
2008, and yet All the eight versions have been very weak and Even these weak versions have not
been passed so far because Lokpal Bill seeks to investigate politicians.. After a fast by veteran
social activist Anna Hazare and widespread protests by citizens across India the Government of
India constituted a 10-member Joint Committee of ministers and civil society activists to draft an
effective Jan Lokpal Bill.

Q. What are the Salient Feature of Jan Lok Pal Bill


 An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up

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 Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the
governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.
 Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any
case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so
that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.
 The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of
conviction.
 How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time
in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will
be given as compensation to the complainant.
 So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made
or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed
time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of
corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or
panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year,
trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.
 But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That
won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional
authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.
 What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/
Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall
be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.
 What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and
anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers
and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
 It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for
raising their voice against corruption.

Q. Who are the present members of the drafting committee of this Lokpal Bill?
Eight days after Gandhian Anna Hazare called off his fast demanding a stronger Lokpal law, the
joint committee to draft the bill met on Saturday for the first time amid a controversy over a CD
allegedly involving eminent lawyer and panel co-chairman Shanti Bhushan. The meeting of the
10 member Lokpal Bill committee - of five ministers and five civil society representatives
including Anna Hazare - was held on Saturday.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is the chairman of the committee while social reformer
Anna Hazare, who went on a 97-hour fast here to demand a stronger Lokpal (ombudsman) Bill
to tackle corruption, is one of the five members from the civil society.
Law Minister Veerappa Moily, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Human Resource Development
(HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal and Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed are the other
ministerial members.

Former law minister Shanti Bhushan, representing the civil society, is the co-chairman.
Besides Hazare and Shanti Bhushan, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, Right To Information (RTI)
activist Arvind Kejriwal and former Supreme Court judge N. Santosh Hegde are also on the
committee.

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the bill will be introduced in the monsoon session
of parliament in July.

Q. What will happen when this bill is passed?


A Lokpal will be appointed at the centre. He will have an autonomous charge; say like the
Election Commission of India. In each and every state, Lokayukta will be appointed. The job is
to bring all alleged party to trial in case of corruptions within 1 year. Within 2 years, the guilty
will be punished. Not like Bofors scam or Bhopal Gas Tragedy case that has been going for last
25 years without any result.

Q. Who else is there in the fight with Anna Hazare?


Baba Ramdev, Ex. IPS Kiran Bedi, Social Activist Swami Agnivesh, RTI activist Arvind
Kejriwal and many more. A prominent personality like Aamir Khan is supporting his cause.

Q. What can/should we do?


 At least we can spread the message. How?
 Putting status message, links, video, changing profile pics.
 At least we can support Anna Hazare and the cause for uprooting corruption from India.
 At least we can hope that his Hunger Strike does not go in vain.
 At least we can pray for his good health.
 My humble request to all is to do the same and spread the word.

To Be Continued…

LET’S JOIN HANDS WITH ANNA HAZARE!!!

Prepared by:

Prof. Suvendu Kumar Pratihari


Institute of Management and Information Science (IMIS)
Bhubaneswar
www.imis.ac.in
spratihari@imis.ac.in
suvendupratihari@gmail.com

Reference Links:
http://www.annahazare.org/biography.html
http://www.annahazare.org/ralegan-siddhi.html
http://www.annahazare.org/awards.html
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-04-16/india/29425174_1_lokpal-bill-law-minister-lok-pal-bill
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/first-lokpal-bill-draft-meeting-audio-recorded/149369-3.html
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1701380.ece
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-04-15/news/29422060_1_lokpal-bill-civil-society-monsoon-session
http://statetimes.in/news/index.php/2011/04/08/senior-citizens-march-in-support-to-anna-hazare/