Social activist Anna Hazare has embarked upon a fast-unto-death as part of the mass movement - India Against Corruption - and is demanding a stringent anti-corruption legislation. Claiming that the government-proposed draft is weak, the activists now want people's participation in drafting what they have termed a 'Jan Lokpal Bill'.
Atleast seven laws in Maharashtra were drafted by public participation and accepted by the state government. We still have scams like the Adarsh Housing Society scam. How will public participation in the Jan Lokpal bill help?
The cases would not go on endlessly. The Lokpal or the Lokayukta will have powers to prosecute the guilty in a time-bound manner. They can also confiscate the unaccounted-for wealth amassed by the corrupt. They will work independently and that's
Why we believe that corruption will be brought down by almost 90%? There are ample existing laws with stringent provisions but they are hardly implemented properly. So, how will your proposed Lokpal Bill help in tackling corruption?
The cases would not go on endlessly. The Lokpal or the Lokayukta will have powers to prosecute the guilty in a time-bound manner. They can also confiscate the unaccounted-for wealth amassed by the corrupt. They will work independently and that's why we believe that corruption will be brought down by almost 90%.
How will the Jan Lokpal bill help the common man directly?
Not just politicians and bureaucrats, every single public servant would be accountable under this legislation. For instance, you go to a police station to file a complaint. If the person on duty refuses to file the FIR, he can be held guilty. If a common man goes to a government department to lodge a complaint/request, it will be fed into the computerised system. Technology has evolved so much, that he will be able to monitor the progress of his application from home. If there is something wrong, the official concerned would be arrested.
You are fighting against the government. Have you sought the support of political parties?
No, we have not asked for any political party's support. If they want, if they are keen on weeding out corruption, they should do so on their own. They should not join this bandwagon.
What is your message to the scores of people supporting you?
People should increase pressure on the government. The government fears only one thing: public outrage. This can pull down an elected government. However, people should join the movement and agitate in a totally non-violent manner. There should be no damage to public property. Also, the man on the street should not suffer (on account of the agitation).