Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Anna Hazare i am legend 
Dr.Kisan Baburao Hazare, Marathi "किसान बाबुराव हजारे "popularly known as Anna Hazare (b. June 15, 1938), is an Indian social activist who is especially recognized for his contribution to the development of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India and his efforts for establishing it as a model village, for which he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by Govt. of India, in 1992. On April 5, 2011, he has started a fast unto death to make a pressure on union government to enact Lokpal Bill a law on Lokpal that deals with corruption in public offices.

Arrest [1]

Anna Hazare was arrested in 1998 during Shiv Sena-BJP rule in Maharashtra when a defamation suit was filed against him by then Maharashtra Social Welfare minister Babanrao Golap of Shiv Sena. He was released following public uproar.

Lokpal Bill movement

The movement attracted attention very quickly through various media. It has been reported that thousands of people joined to support Mr. Hazare's effort. Almost 150 people are reported to join Mr. Hazare in his fast.[2]He said that he would not allow any politician to sit with him in this movement. Many social activists including Medha Patkar, Arvind Kejriwal and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi have lent their support to Hazare's hunger strike and anti-corruption campaign.

Fast until death (5th April 2011)

Anna Hazare started his "Fast until Death" at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, stating "I will fast until Jan Lokpal Bill is passed"
Activists - Swami Ramdeo Baba, Swami Agnivesh with him in support.
Day 2 Response - Saharad Pawar offered to quit GoM reviewing the Janlokpal bill.

Difference between Govt. Proposal and Anna Hazare Version

Govt. Proposal

1. Lokpal will have no power to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. It can only probe complaints forwarded by LS Speaker or RS Chairman.
2. Lokpal will only be an Advisory Body. Its part is only limited to forwarding its report to the "Competent Authority"
3. Lokpal will not have any police powers. It can not register FIRs or proceed with criminal investigations.
4. CBI and Lokpal will act have no connection with each other.
5. Punishment for corruption will be minimum 6 months and maximum up-to 7 years.

Hazare Version

1. Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public.
2. Lokpal will be much more than an Advisory Body. It should be granted powers to initiate Prosecution against anyone found guilty.
3. Lokpal will have police powers. To say that it will be able to register FIRs.
4. Lokpal and anti corruption wing of CBI will be one Independent body.
5. The punishment should be minimum 5 years and maximum up-to life imprisonment.
This movement has also been joined by many people providing their suppport in Internet social media such as twitter and facebook. Many celebrities like Shekhar Kapur, Siddharth Narayan, Anupam Kher, Madhur Bhandarkar, Pritish Nandy, Prakash Raj, Aamir Khan showed their public support through twitter. [3]


  • Padmashree award by government of India in the year 1990
  • Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra award, by government of India on November 19, 1986 from the hands of Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi.
  • Krishi Bhushana award by Maharashtra government in 1989.
  • Felicitation by Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation 15 January 1987
  • Felicitation by Pune Municipal Corporation.
  • On April 15, 2008, Kisan Baburao Hazare received the World Bank's 2008 Jit Gill Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service: "Hazare created a thriving model village in Ralegan Siddhi, in the impoverished Ahmednagar region of Maharashtra state, and championed the right to information and the fight against corruption."[4]

Jan Lokpal Bill

The Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen's ombudsman Bill) is a draft anti-corruption bill that would pave the way for a Jan Lokpal, an independent body like the Election Commission, which would have the power to prosecute politicians and bureaucrats without government permission.[1]
The bill has been drafted by Shanti Bhushan, former IPS Kiran Bedi, Justice N. Santosh Hegde, renowned advocate Prashant Bhushan, former chief election commissioner J. M. Lyngdoh in consultation with the leaders of the India Against Corruption movement and the civil society. The bill proposes institution of the office of Lokpal (Ombudsman) at center and Lok Ayukta at state level. Jan Lokpal Bill is designed to create an effective anti-corruption and grievance redressal systems at centre and to assure that effective deterrent is created against corruption and to provide effective protection to whistleblowers.[2][3]
The Lokpal Bill drafted by the government is pending to be passed in the Rajya Sabha since 42 years.[4] The first Lokpal Bill was passed in the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969 but could not get through in Rajya Sabha, subsequently, Lokpal bills were introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008, yet they were never passed and its pending. [5]


The current lack of laws to curb corruption have made the need for Jan Lokpal Bill.

The Lokpal

The Jan Lokpal Bill proposes the Lokpal to be instituted as a ten member body along with its officers and the employees. The bill provides for appointment of the Chairperson and members of the Lokpal within six months of enacting the bill. Predictable vacancies in Lokpal are to be filled in advance at least before three months of such vacancy. Unpredictable vacancies are to be filled within one month of such vacancy.

Appointment of the Chairperson and the Members of Lokpal

The draft bill provides that at least four members of the Lokpal must have legal background. In order to assure people of integrity are appointed as members of the Lokpal, the bill bars appointment of any person who has been charge-sheeted under Prevention of Corruption Act or under Indian Penal Code.

Selection Committee

The bill provides for the setting up a selection committee comprising of
  1. The Chairpersons of both Houses of Parliament
  2. Two senior most judges of Supreme Court
  3. Two senior most Chief Justices of High Courts.
  4. All Nobel Laureates of Indian Origin
  5. Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission
  6. Last two Magsaysay Award winners of Indian origin
  7. Comptroller and Auditor General of India
  8. Chief Election Commissioner
  9. Bharat Ratna Award winners
  10. After the first set of selection process, the outgoing members and Chairperson of Lokpal.
The senior most Justice of Supreme Court shall act as chairperson of the selection committee.

Selection Procedure

  • Recommendations shall be invited through open advertisements in prescribed format.
  • Each person recommending shall be expected to justify the selection of his candidate giving examples from the past achievements of the candidate.
  • The list of candidates along with their recommendations received in the format mentioned above shall be displayed on a website.
  • Each member of the selection committee, on the basis of the above material, shall recommend such number of names as there are vacancies.
  • A priority list shall be prepared with the candidate receiving recommendations from maximum number of members of selection committee at the top. The candidates recommended by same number of members shall be treated at par.
  • This priority list shall be displayed on the website.
  • Around three times the names as there are vacancies, shall be shortlisted from the top.
  • Public feedback shall be invited on the shortlisted names by putting these names on the website.
  • The selection committee may decide to use any means to collect more information about the background and past achievements of the shortlisted candidates.
  • Selection committee shall invite shortlisted candidates for discussions, video recordings of which shall be made public.
  • All the material obtained so far about the candidates shall be made available to each member of the selection committee in advance. The members shall make their own assessment of each candidate.
  • The selection committee shall meet and discuss the material so received about each candidate. The final selections for the Chairperson and members shall be made preferably through consensus. Provided that if three or more members, for reasons to be recorded in writing, object to the selection of any member, he shall not be selected.
  • All meetings of selection committee shall be video recorded and shall be made public
The Prime Minister shall recommend the names finalized by the selection committee to the President immediately, who shall order such appointments within a month of receipt of the same.

Powers and Functions of Lokpal

The bill proposes Lokpal to receive complains under Prevention of Corruption Act, complaints of misconduct, grievances and complaints from whistle-blowers. The Lokpal shall also provide protection to whistle blowers.

Timeline of events in support of the bill

December 2010 (2010-12)
The bill is drafted and sent to government.
March 13, 2011 (2011-03-13)
A group of Delhi residents dressed in white shirts and t-shirts took a four-hour drive around the city to drum up campaign against corruption and support the Jan Lokpal Bill.[6]
April 4, 2011 (2011-04-04)
Anna Hazare, the anti corruption activist leader announces fast unto death till Jan Lokpal Bill enacted[7]
April 5, 2011 (2011-04-05)
Around 6,000 Mumbai residents joined Anna Hazare for a one-day fast to support the demand for implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill.[8]
April 12, 2011 (2011-04-12)
Hazare have announced to begin Jail Bharo Andolan on April 12, 2011 if Bill is not passed.

Prominent Non Political Supporters

  • Kapil Dev - former Indian cricketer and captain

Political support

The protests are non political in nature. The political parties are being discouraged to take advantage of the issue.[9]
The response of prominent political parties and leaders is:
  • Bhartya Janta Party have extended support to the bill.[10] The principal opposition demanded that the Centre convene an all-party meeting to discuss the ‘Jan Lokpal Bill’ issue. [11]
  • Uma Bharti and Chautala tried to visit the Jantar Manter.

Public support

Anna Hazare states that they have received six crore (60 million) SMSes in its support. [12] He is further supported by a large no of Internet activists, similar to Egypt [13]

Government response

The government have stated that it has not received the proposed bill copy and it doesn't seem in a hurry to acknowledge the issue. After the ‘fast unto death’ was announced by Anna Hazare, he was invited for talks by the PM, but the response was bad as the PM said the government has no time for corruption till May 13. [14] To dissuade the veteran Gandhian Anna Hazare from going on an indefinite fast, the Prime Minister's Office have directed the ministries of personnel and law to examine how the views of civil society activists can be included in the lokpal bill.[15]
The National advisory Council is against the government on the Lokpal bill. The NAC today rejected the present Lokpal bill draft that was given.[16]

Status of bill

The government is again thinking of introducing a Lokpal Bill in parliament this year, and the National Advisory Council (NAC) chaired by Sonia Gandhi is considering it. But as it stands today, the bill is riddled with loopholes, defeating its very purpose.

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