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Updated: July 16, 2011 13:09 IST

It is misleading to say we are shunning dialogue: Hazare

Jiby Kattakayam
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Fasting anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare with social activist Swami Agnivesh in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
Fasting anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare with social activist Swami Agnivesh in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Bolstered by growing support from citizens, who are turning up in large numbers at Jantar Mantar here, anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare, on the second day of his fast, stuck to his demand for a joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill.

While stressing that he was not averse to talking to the UPA government, Mr. Hazare, in a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said on Wednesday: “Tell me a single meeting you called and we did not come? We believe in dialogue and engagement. Kindly do not mislead the country by saying that we are shunning dialogue.”

Responding to a charge by some Congress leaders that he was an “RSS agent,” Mr. Hazare said, “Those who wear coloured glasses see everything in one colour.”

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Hazare said: “Kindly stop finding faults and suspecting conspiracies in our movement. Even if there were, it does not absolve you of your responsibilities to stop corruption.”

Asking what had stopped the country from creating an effective anti-corruption system in the past 60 years, the veteran social activist ridiculed the “process initiated” by the government for the Lokpal Bill. He said some of the members of the Group of Ministers vetting the Bill “would have been behind bars” had there been a strong anti-corruption Bill in place.

Mr. Hazare took exception to Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily's office reportedly losing a copy of the Jan Lokpal Bill his representatives had given. “This is the seriousness with which the government has dealt with the Jan Lokpal Bill.”

Meanwhile, over 150 people including Gandhians, students, retired citizens and social activists have joined Mr. Hazare in his hunger strike. A team comprising a doctor and paramedical staff is present at the venue full time. On the second day of the fast, a few persons had to be administered intravenous fluids after they collapsed.

On seeing the former Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala gheraoed and hounded back to his car with shouts of “Go back, Go back,” the social activist counselled the agitated youth to follow Gandhian methods. Exhorting them to control their anger, Mr. Hazare said there was much strength in “ahimsa.”

Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh and the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Uma Bharti, were also turned away.

“This is the next struggle for our independence. Even though the British have left, only the colour of the rulers' skin has changed, nothing else has,” said Mr. Hazare, who also drew parallels between his struggle and Jayaprakash Narayan's call for a “Total Revolution” in the 1970s. He urged people to shed their political loyalties and join the anti-corruption campaign.

Responding to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's willingness to quit the Sub-Committee of the GoM drafting the anti-corruption Bill, Mr. Hazare said changing a Minister would not change anything. “In the present dispensation another like him will replace him. It is the system that has to change.”

Responding to the Congress offer to table the Bill during the monsoon session of Parliament, Mr. Hazare said he had no objection to it: “But then what will be the content of the Bill?” He emphasised that if a joint committee was formed to draft the Bill, it should also have UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi as a member to ensure its effectiveness.

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It's heartening to know that many eminent personalities like Kiran Bedi, Baba Ramdev, Swami Agnivesh, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, Amitabh Bachan, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Mallika Sarabhai, General Malhotra and millions of our countrymen has taken the lead in coming out to support Anna Hazare in his fight aginst corruption. It's high time a respected personality like Anna Hazare took up this fight on behalf of our nation, fast sinking in the cesspool of corruption which has slowly but surely been eating away at the very fabric of our nations existence.
Enough is enough, our nation has long been looted and fooled by misleading promises and assurances doled out by the ruling party which managed to hold on to power for a major part of our nations existence on the basis of its role in the freedom struggle though the present lot of crooks, thieves,criminals and rapists who make up this party can hardly be compared in stature or character to leaders of the pre independance time. Hope this movement will gain momentum strong enough to sweep aside the present system of governance and bring about a change which will truly reflect the hopes and aspirations of the common man.

from:  M.Murli
Posted on: Apr 9, 2011 at 00:49 IST

Anna Ji is fighting for the people like us. In this state we should not remain in our respective home or in office and reading or watching only news rather we should take leave or Off to support Anna Ji by reaching there. He has been fasting continously from the last three days and in such condition if we remain silent and feeding our stomach or indulge in our daily activies then it will be like no less than we are doing 'sin'. So, it is my humble request from every Indian to take step, join their respective hands to suppost Anna Ji.

from:  Pramod Kumar
Posted on: Apr 8, 2011 at 11:21 IST

Many more patriots will have to sacrifice their time and even lives to clean up the illness that is throttling the nation without any let up. Most of us living abroad hesitate to donate our hard earned and tax paid money to any Indian charities especially govt operated ones because of the lingering suspicion that it may not reach the needy. Lawmakers should be constantly reminded that they are not immune to prosecution thus making politics financially less financially rewarding. When it is madee clear that the guilty will be caught. THe man in his last leg of life journey will serve a great inspiration to all.

from:  Sunanda
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 18:46 IST

Mr.Hazare has taken a nice initiative and we all are with him and the time has come for common people to initiate a fight against curruption and first we should take a pledge to never even think about bribe.

from:  Aman
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 17:39 IST

We fully support Anna Hazare, He is the only hope to fight against corrupt politicians .

from:  kuldeep singh
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 17:08 IST

Anna Hazare's step of fast-unto-death is highly commendable in the wake of the rising number of scams in the country. As he enters the second day of his fast and the students and the other people joining him in his campaign the government seems worried.But he is adamant and is critical of the government of not doing anything demanding in the past 60 years for uprooting corruption from society and the nation as a whole.It is a sheer dereliction of duty.And now it is needed that the government submit to his demand of a joint committee to draft a lokpal bill.

from:  Sarika Choudhary
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 11:04 IST

Quoting from the article above "Mr. Hazare, who also drew parallels between his struggle and Jayaprakash Narayan's call for a 'Total Revolution' in the 1970s." I fear like the 'total revolution' , this will not be subdued, causing a premature death to this movement. We should take steps to make sure a proper, effective and satisfactory result and outcome of this revolutoin.
The biggest perpetrators of the corruption are we, the educated, over-ambitious middle class people. We should not just be whimsical and impulsive on the issue. It should be properly planned , each step by step like the great Gandhiji.. The middle class people should rise above self interest and support it till its meaningful culmination.

from:  Amarendra Sahoo
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 09:20 IST

Very commendable steps by Hazare, and we should all support this by (1) taking an oath never to take or receive consideration that even remotely smells like a bribe, (2) morally back the cause he has espoused on our behalf, (3) financially help this to grow (he should let us know where contributions may be sent), and lastly, (4) speak out more vigorously every day against this virulent cancer in our homes, to our children, and to friends and colleagues. Can we do that? That will be a firm step in the right direction. If we have a GDP growth rate of circa 8% with this cancer in our body politic, we will achieve 12%+ if we reduce corruption by 20%. Our poor will get 40 paise in the Rupee of financial aid rather than 18 paise now. The benefits are huge, and the pain is slight. Do it, people. If only for the good of your children and descendents.

from:  Ramgopal Dass
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 08:52 IST

The UPA Govt shall have to pay well if its leaders do not stop commenting on Anna Hazare in the conventional political style. Whosoever has some information on Anna Hazare can never accept any comment against him. It is high time that the National newspapers should publish reports on the life of Anna Hazare for the information of the nation. Anna Hazare was always above politics.

from:  P.K.Purohit
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 07:29 IST

We are with you Anna and all team for I request you all follow Indian to support in whatever way you can. Join in your city for fast or at least go there and support others who are seating there for fast. Post Link, news, Poster, Pics etc on your Social Network like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, via email to your friends, talk to people in your office. Please do you bit. This is time for second independence movement from corrupt politician. First was for Swaraj and this is for Suraj (Clean Government).

from:  Prashant
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 02:40 IST

Subverting the 'will of the people' by protecting blatant corruption has led the Government to the present crisis. I appreciate Hazare for taking up an issue pending since 1969. Thanks to the internet and fast communication world that we are living in, people get united to fight against unjust. A welcome day from the time of Independence struggle when national leaders would struggle to publish even a newspaper. The souls of the freedom fighters would be happy to see the spirit among Indian people to fight against Government on a such a sensitive issue.

from:  Amit Kumar
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 02:32 IST

We fully support Anna Hazare. It is time that corrupt politicians are shown door. Every one should support Anna.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 02:12 IST

This is overwhelming and I still cannot believe that this campaign against corruption is taking place. We Indians are believed to be most tolerant but the momentum and the pace it has gathered within short time of its launch shows how much these ordinary citizens were fed up with this menace of corruption and corrupt government. The lava was stirring inside of people for some time, it was somebody like Anna Hazare to take a lead and make a move and the support has gathered not just within the India but from among those Indians living outside. I hope the government judges the mood of the nation correctly and takes appropriate action without being shy or cover any politicians before this little spark turn into a raging fire and burnt down whole corrupt government like one in Egypt. JAI HIND.

from:  Hemendra
Posted on: Apr 7, 2011 at 01:51 IST
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