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Peoples’ March Against Corruption
In Silchar, Assam At 4pm , on 1 May 2011
Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) and other 20 odd grassroots organizations working in Barak valley in Assam invite the citizens of India residing in Barak valley to join a Peoples’ March Against Corruption to be started approximately at 4 pm on 1 May 2011 from below the statue of Shaheed Khudiram at Dakbangla, Silchar, Assam. The march will end at below the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at Rangirkhari, Silchar covering about 4 km. The march is organized to show support and solidarity with the movement launched and led by India Against Corruption for an effective legislation to constitute a Lokpal (Ombudsman) at the centre to fight against corruption. It is also to express peoples’ denunciation to the smear campaign launched by corrupt forces against the senior advocate Mr. Prashant Bhushan and his father former law minister Mr. Shanti Bhushan, who are the members of the joint committee to draft a Lokpal Bill constituted by the government, and other members of the committee. The recent outpouring of public outrage at corruption and support to the campaign for a strong Lokpal Bill appears to have made some sections of politicians, the media and the business interests that control both, afraid and desperate. They are trying to weaken the movement, and particularly, to discredit the joint committee by indulging in personal attacks on the civil society members. Instead of debating the details of the proposed Lokpal Bill, and deliberating ways of making it more effective and people friendly and invention of other measures of curbing corruption, they are focused on character assassination of members of the Committee.
In Assam there is already a Lukayukta (State Ombudsman) in existence since 1989 constituted under the Assam Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act, 1985. However, its existence is only in papers. Legally it is ineffective and practically dysfunctional. Corruption in Assam is, by no means, lesser in amount of money involved or its effect in defeating the rule of law and justice than what is happening in the rest of the country. Assam needs to amend its Lokayukta Act in line with the Jan Lokpal Bill, as it will be shaped in its final version, to make it effective. Moreover, corruption needs to be fought in other fronts also. A strong and effective Lokpal can only provide deterrence and disincentives for corruption by investigating and prosecuting the corrupt officials and politicians. Thus, it can only check the supply side of corruption. There is a huge demand of corruption from giant corporations that came into existence due to the privatization of essential services and natural resources under the name of liberalization. It is not possible to curb corruption without changing the government policies. Mass organizations and masses of Barak valley will march to draw the attention of leadership of the movement to these issues and to the fact that they don’t need to be distracted by the diversionary tactics as people from the remotest of the corners of the country are with them. Convener Organisations: 1. Asom Majuri Shramik Union Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 2. Barak Human Rights Protection Committee Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 3. Krishan Bikash Samiti Banskandi, Cachar, Assam.
4. Centre for Integrated Rural Development (CIRD) Srikona, Cachar, Assam. 5. Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti Silchar, Cacahr, Assam. 6. Cachar Jamiot Ulema Hind Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 7. Ever green Society Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 8. Nari Mukti Sangta Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 9. Srikona Club Srikona Club, Cachar, Assam 10. Chours, Drama Organisations Silchar, Cachar, Assam 11. SC, ST Student Development Forum Assam University, Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 12. Tarapur G.P. Bachao Committee Tarapur, Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 13. Student Democratic Forum
Assam University, Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 14. Manipuri Diaspora Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 15. Mukta Sena (Club) Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 16. Swabhiman Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 17. Minority Student Forum Assam University, Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 18. COPE (NGO) Silchar, Cachar, Assam. 19. Gono Bikash Sangtha, Assam Silchar, Cachar.
Link at the BHRPC website: http://bhrpc.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/peoples%e2%80%99-march-against-corruption/