Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday invoked the vision of ‘total revolution’ of the JP movement in the fight against corruption.
“Jayaprakash Narayan gave a call for total revolution, but his dream remained unfulfilled. We have resolved to fulfil the vision of Jayaprakash Narayan and Gandhiji and work towards it till the last breath. We have to bring about a complete transformation in the system. We are beginning our struggle to change this system,” he said.
Mr. Hazare dismissed a letter written to him by Congress president Sonia Gandhi assuring him of passage of the Lokpal Bill in the budget session. “We have been getting these assurances for the past two years. Does it take two years to pass the Bill? The government is only betraying us with empty promises. The fact that they have taken two years indicates that they have no real intention or political will to create a corruption-free India,” he said.
Asked if he had more faith in Rahul Gandhi, he said: “They are all the same.”
Beginning a nation-wide yatra from Gandhi Maidan here on Wednesday, Mr. Hazare will mobilise people on various issues, besides corruption.
The rally would also take up demands such as decentralisation of power to the gram and mohalla sabhas and the ‘right to reject’ option in elections.
“There are 120 crore Indians. I am hopeful that at least six crore could be mobilised to put pressure on the government. The issue is not limited to corruption. Today, justice eludes the poor. Some live to eat and some eat to live, society is caste-ridden, law and order is a concern in many places and inequality between the rich and the poor is rising. What we have today is not democracy. Now, the issue is bringing about a total change in the system. We have to strike at the root of corruption,” he said. This “change” was more important that a mere change in the power structure, he added.
Asked if the anti-corruption movement lacked lustre in the absence of the former ‘Team Anna’ member, Arvind Kejriwal, Mr. Hazare said, “Do not try to start a fight between us.”
Mr. Hazare said he would hold four sabhas in four States in February and tour every other State in March. The former Army Chief, General V.K. Singh, who is associated with Mr. Hazare’s movement, accompanied the activist.
Gen. Singh said an exhibit of mud, stained with Gandhiji’s blood, which was auctioned in the U.K. and purchased by an Indian citizen, would be brought to the rally on Wednesday.