N. Santosh Hegde, former Lokayukta, on Sunday said, “After Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), India Against Corruption (IAC) was pushed to the background.” He was speaking about his reluctance to join politics and dissociation from Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement here.

“We were criticising political parties, blaming them for corruption. I couldn’t really join a political party after that. While Arvind Kejriwal says we need to change that (perception of political parties), I think there also needs to be someone to keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t change themselves,” he said, stressing the need for a watchdog for political parties.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Karnataka chapter of the All India Patriotic Forum (AIPF), Mr. Hegde conceded that the AAP was a “good challenge” to other political parties.

Earlier, he, and the former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah, launched the event. The forum, with the motto, “Awake, Arise, Act”, aims at reawakening the spirit of patriotism and inspiring the youth to realise their responsibilities towards the nation. Effective mass education through improvement of educational infrastructure is another point on the AIPF’s agenda.

Subhashini Vasanth, president of AIPF’s Karnataka chapter, said that the forum was started as a platform to connect with the youth and to redefine patriotism. “Patriotism doesn’t restrict itself to soldiers fighting wars; it goes beyond that and is as simple as serving the people of your country,” she said.

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