Bhushan likens anti-graft movement to Wall Street protests
Comparing Anna Hazare's anti-graft movement to the occupy Wall Street movement, Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan highlighted the connection between rampant corruption and the social conflicts that have emerged in India.world Updated: Oct 24, 2011 23:35 IST
Comparing Anna Hazare's anti-graft movement to the occupy Wall Street movement, Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan highlighted the connection between rampant corruption and the social conflicts that have emerged in India.
At two talks delivered, Bhushan said there was a need to understand the connection between corruption and the state of Indian society where a vast majority of people is still living on the margins and farmer suicides are a common feature.
"We need to understand the depth of corruption... see the connection between corruption and state of Indian society," Bhushan told the audience consisting largely of students and some Indians at the Roosevelt University on Saturday.
He also compared the India Against Corruption movement to the Occupy Wall Street Movement against corporate greed that started in New York and saw resonance in several parts of the world.
Bhushan said he wanted India to move from a representative democracy to a system where stakeholders have a say in decisions that are going to affect them.
"Our attempt so far is to take the message far and wide," Bhushan said. "Public mobilisation is not damaging to the movement," he added.
At another talk at the Loyola University, Bhushan, an eminent lawyer, also advocated judicial reforms like setting up of an independent Judicial Conduct Commission, speeding up the process of justice, simplifying court procedures, increasing number of courts and introducing technology.
"Since High Court and Supreme Court are not accountable they have become corrupt so nobody can hold them accountable. They can control lower judiciary," he explained.
Bhushan said since the voice of NRIs is influential and will be heard collectively, the diaspora should understand the state of the country, scratch the surface and see what lies beneath it, particularly the state of people living in the rural areas.
"The picture that we find is on one hand wide majority of the country are still living in grinding poverty - 78% of India's population is surviving on Rs 20 a day, cannot buy two square meals a day let alone housing, transportation etc. Farmers have committed suicide due to economic distress," he added.
On allegations of links between Team Anna members and international bodies like the World Bank and Ford Foundation, Bhushan said some of them might be receiving money from foreign funding agencies but that does not mean they are being influenced by those agencies in pushing for their agenda.
"After all, they are pushing for an anti-corruption institution," Bhushan said.
Bhushan said NRIs should conduct study tours of India to note the reality of the country.
He said social conflicts have emerged in the country and pointed out how armed insurgencies like the Maoist movement are demanding a total economic revolution and restructuring of economic policies.
Bhushan said NRIs should understand the connection between these problems and corruption as he cited the case studies of mining of mineral resources, many in tribal areas.
He said after the economic liberalisation programme of 1991, natural resources, water distribution and management of airports were all handed over to private corporations who have engaged in exploitation of these resources.
"The Jan Lokpal Bill we have proposed enjoys 80% support," he claimed.
He said NRIs can also help streamline IAC offices.