News / Asia

Indian Government Concedes Some Demands of Anti-Corruption Protestors

Indian social activist Anna Hazare, right, looks on during his hunger strike against corruption, in New Delhi, India, April 7, 2011
Indian social activist Anna Hazare, right, looks on during his hunger strike against corruption, in New Delhi, India, April 7, 2011
Anjana Pasricha

As the Indian government comes under pressure from a massive nationwide movement against corruption, it conceded to some demands of a veteran social activist who is on a hunger strike to demand a tough new anti-corruption law.  But his campaign against graft continues as protestors say they will not settle for half-way measures by the
government.

On the third day of a hunger strike by 72-year-old activist Anna Hazare, the government sounded a conciliatory note as his anti-corruption crusade snowballed into a nationwide movement.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal said that the government will agree to fifty per cent representation by citizens on a joint committee which will be established to draw up new anti-corruption legislation. This was one of the major demands put forth by Hazare.

"Our attempt is all of us are together. We want to deal with corruption, we want to get rid of corruption, we want civil society to participate in this effort, we have no problems with that, and we want Anna Hazare to give up his fast," said Sibal.

Despite the partial victory, the civil activist did not heed the government’s call to end his campaign, as his supporters pressed the government to name him to head the committee which will draft the new bill. The government has not agreed to this demand.

The government has already drafted an anti-corruption law or Lokpal Bill. But Anna Hazare and his supporters say the proposed legislation is "toothless" and would be ineffective in tackling graft. They want the legislation redrafted to allow wider powers for prosecution and
make it free from political influence.

Arvind Kejriwal, a civil activist who is involved in negotiations with the government, says corruption has reached unprecedented levels. He says if it has to be rooted out, an individual with credibility such as Hazare is needed to lead the fight.

Talks with the government will continue on Friday.

The popular anti-graft movement is putting pressure on the government as it reflects the growing anger against a political and administrative system where corruption is seen to be pervasive. The spotlight on graft follows a spate of corruption scandals. The biggest
involved the selling of telecom licenses at below-market rates, allegedly causing a loss of $35 billion to the government.

On Thursday, hundreds of citizens, including school children, housewives and professionals continued to gather at the Central Delhi venue where Hazare is holding his protest fast. He is drinking water during the fast. Similar gatherings to express solidarity with the anti-corruption campaign were witnessed in other cities.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid