It will mobilise people on a host of issues with a demand for effective legislation
The andolan formerly known as India Against Corruption will henceforth be organised under the banner of Jantantra Morcha, veteran activist Anna Hazare said on Wednesday.
Addressing a gathering at Gandhi Maidan here, he said the morcha would mobilise people on a host of issues with a demand for effective legislation to fortify the democratic processes.
Transparency in administrative systems; strengthening the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Vigilance Commission; making the village an administrative unit; more rights to gram sabhas, employment generation, creating marketing units at the village, block and district levels; linking agriculture and business; land and farmers’ rights; free cooking gas for the poor; enlisting participation of former Army personnel; framing a new health, education, employment, tax and youth policy; bringing back black money; life term for adulteration, and lowering inflation and oil prices are some of the areas in which the morcha will call for stronger legislation and policies.
Mr. Hazare said while Parliament had the authority to frame laws, civil society participation at the drafting stage was essential. “Those in power only fear losing it. If people unite and show that they have the power to topple the government, then the government will have to frame laws [as per the will of the people],” he said.
“As long as power is not vested in the people, we are not a Republic,” he said.
When the coal scam was exposed, both “[Congress leader] Sonia Gandhi and the BJP said they would go to the people. That means the people’s Parliament is above the Delhi Parliament,” he said.
On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary, he administered a pledge to his supporters to create “a new Bharat and a true democracy.” An exhibit of mud, stained with Gandhiji’s blood, was displayed on the stage. Mr. Hazare and the audience took an oath upon it to cherish “Bapu’s legacy.”
Exhorting youth to devote their energies to the “second freedom struggle,” he stressed non-violence as a potent weapon for revolution. He called for the participation of Dalits, Adivasis, the landless poor, Muslims, fisherfolk and other marginalised communities.
The former IPS officer, Kiran Bedi, said the andolan would demand the passing of the Lokpal Bill in the coming budget session.
The former Army Chief General V.K. Singh (Retd.) said the struggle for bringing about a “fundamental change” in the country had begun from Bihar. In the next six months if there was no response from the government, “there will be an unprecedented andolan.”
At the rally, Mr. Hazare released a book, Uprising 2011, authored by Ms. Bedi and Pawan Choudhary. It is a chronicle of the anti-corruption movement and comprises photographs and press clippings.