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The timeline of a civil society crusade

Government's draft Lokpal Bill leaked. Activists find it weak. Prompts group of activists to come up with stronger version, Jan Lokpal. Nivedita Khandekar writes.

delhi Updated: Aug 28, 2011 12:15 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times

October 2010
Government's draft Lokpal bill leaked. Activists find it weak. Prompts group of activists to come up with stronger version, Jan Lokpal.

Three-pronged strategy: Arvind Kejriwal and his team brainstorm and handle documentation, technical and legal issues; Baba Ramdev to bring in supporters and Anna Hazare's weapon was indefinite fast.

November 14, 2010
Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare, Swami Agnivesh, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Archbishop of Delhi Vincent M Concessao, Maulana Mehmood Madani and others attend meeting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Seek to register public complaint at Parliament Street in connection with Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam. Police take down complaint but no FIR registered. Matter now pending at the Delhi High Court.

December 1, 2010
Bedi, Prashant Bhushan, Justice Santosh Hegde, National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) led by Aruna Roy, Kejriwal, JM lyngdoh and others draft strong anti-corruption law - Jan Lokpal-seek to plug loopholes and create independent empowered agency called Lokpal at centre and Lokayukta in states. Draft sent to Centre on December 1, 2010.

Soon after CWG scam, series of scams surface, including 2G scam, adarsh housing scam, etc. Nation-wide India Against Corruption (IAC) movement launched by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev, Swami Agnivesh, Archbishop Concessao, Bedi, Kejriwal, Hazare, Devinder Sharma, Mallika Sarabhai and others. Ramdev feels he is being sidelined. Remains an IAC member, but drifts away before January 30 rally.

January 30, 2011
IAC organises rally at Ramlila Maidan at Delhi. Agnivesh, Kejriwal, Bedi, Maulana Madani, Archbishop Concessao, Fali S Nariman, Shanti Bhushan, Rajinder Sachar and others address the gathering. Hazare absent but his support is announced. Ramdev conspicuously absent.

Preparations for rally started keeping in mind crowd of about 2,000 people. Event put on social networking site Facebook, to attract youngsters. In Delhi, followers of Art of Living foundation, Bharat Swabhiman Trust, Gurudwara Prabhandhak committees, church organisations and Muslim organisations join hands. Supporters swell over 25,000. Similar rallies held across India.

Mid February 2011
Government's Lokpal bill, out in January, is criticised widely. Government sets up committee of secretaries to strengthen the draft.

February 17, 2011
Ramdev organises rally at Ramlila maidan. Main issue: black money stashed in Swiss banks.

February 23, 2011
With no reply to draft bill sent in December 2010, IAC campaigners bring in Anna Hazare. Hazare writes to the Prime Minister demanding enactment of Jan Lokpal bill. IAC warns the government: If PM does not act decisively by March end, Hazare would undertake indefinite fast from April 5.

March 2011
IAC members use new media such as Twitter, SMSes and Facebook to garner support. Several other websites sprout in support. IAC launches 'give a missed call' help line for supporters to call and receive SMS updates.

April 4, 2011
With no positive response, IAC decides to proceed with Hazare's fast unto death. People are exhorted to join in to fast for a day.

April 5, 2011
Jantar Mantar: IAC members pay tribute to Gandhi at Rajghat. Hazare reaches Jantar Mantar. Hundreds pour in for support. By April 10, government agrees on joint drafting panel for Lokpal Bill.

April 10, 2011 - August 15, 2011
IAC core committee meet to discuss Lokpal Bill. Through April to June, discussion revolves around provisions of Lokpal bill. Agitations to enter phase two on August 16. Discussion and disagreements about 'methodology' start surfacing. Most of IAC core team want fast to go on till Lokpal bill is passed. Few want flexible approach.

August 16, 2011
Hazare begins fast, detained early morning and sent to seven-day judicial custody to Tihar jail. Government decides to set him free late night. He refuses.

August 17, 2011
Hazare refuses to leave Tihar Jail till a solution is reached on fast venue. Supporters gather outside prison, Hazare continues fast from jail. Permitted to fast at Ramlila Maidan.

August 18, 2011
Hazare leaves Tihar Jail, continues fast at Ramlila Maidan.

August 23, 2011
Government invites Team Anna for talks.

August 24, 2011
Second round of talks, all-party meeting held. No breakthrough in impasse.

August 25, 2011
After meetings with political parties and Team Anna, government agrees to debate all versions of Lokpal bill in parliament.

August 27, 2011
Both houses of parliament debate Lokpal bill, adjourn after adopting 'sense of the house' and agreeing to Hazare's three demands that will be sent to standing committee on Lokpal bill.

August 28, 2011
Anna breaks fast on 13th day.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Aug 27, 2011 22:01 IST