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'Need repeated shocks to rid India of corruption'

Last updated on: September 2, 2011 20:46 IST

'Need repeated shocks to rid India of corruption'

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Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Friday lashed out at the United Progressive Alliance government for arresting him before his fast and asked people not to allow the torch of the second "battle of independence" to be extinguished as more "repeated shocks" only can ensure a corruption-free India.

"This government consists of a mob of 'labaad' (cunning) people. They did not allow me to fast and issued prohibitory orders at all the maidans in Delhi. When they gave permission for the J P Park, there were a lot of pre-conditions," Hazare told the gram sabha of his village at a public felicitation.

The success of his recent agitation, he said, proved that the government had to bowed down to people's wishes.

"We have to give such repeated shocks to ensure there is a corruption-free India," he said.

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Image: Anna Hazare speaks to villagers at a 'gramsabha' in Ralegan Siddhi
Photographs: Sahil Salvi
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'What have we achieved after 64 years of independence?'

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Hazare urged the people, especially the youth not to allow the torch of second "battle of independence" to be extinguished. "After 64 years of independence from the British rule, nothing has changed in this country. The whites have been replaced by black. Loot, corruption and terrorism are rampant. What have we achieved?," he asked.

"I was picked up by Delhi police from the house I was staying in. When I asked the reason for my arrest, I was told that I may breach public peace. However, in two hours, I was told that I am being released. Two hours ago, the police feared I may spoil the peace in the society. The police said they had orders from above," Hazare said and described Union Home Minister P Chidambaram as a "khodsal" (mischievous) person.

"What happened in two hours," Hazare asked. He said he refused to leave Tihar jail and stayed in the deputy inspector general's office for three days.

"The police told me that I could seek bail, which I refused," he said and compared the UPA government to a "grocery store".

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Image: Villagers at Ralegan Siddhi
Photographs: Sahil Salvi
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'Government had to bow down to people's wishes'

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He said the government was not serious about bringing in a strong Lokpal (ombudsman) and accused it of betrayal. The success of his recent agitation, he said, proved that the government had to bowed down to people's wishes.

"We have to give such repeated shocks to ensure there is a corruption-free India," Hazare said.

Decentralisation of power, strong legislations to protect farmers and labourers, social empowerment, curbing commercialisation of education were some of the issues that needed urgent attention, the 74-year-old crusader said.

He thanked the villagers as well as people from all over the country who participated in the agitation and supported his 12-day fast.

"This is just a beginning and we have a long way to go. It will take another 10 to 15 years before we eradicate corruption from the system for which we should be prepared to go to jail," he said.

Referring to "I am Anna" caps worn by his supporters, Hazare said, "Merely donning such caps will not make you Anna. Protect your character, have clean thoughts and learn to sacrifice."


Image: File photo of a university student, who fasted alongside Hazare to show his support, in Chandigarh
Photographs: Reuters
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