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xx Sir Anna Hazare movement for INDIA now or never
« Thread started on: Apr 6th, 2011, 2:05pm »

http://deshgujarat.com/2011/04/06/why-corrupt-upa-regime-should-be-afraid-of-anna-hazare-video/
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Why corrupt UPA regime should be afraid of Anna Hazare?


Why corrupt UPA regim should be afraid of Anna Hazare?

That is because Anna Hazare has no price tag.

He is a man of conviction.

He is highly motivated.

He has no fear of death.

He has no Godfather, no son, no wife, no bank balance, no house, no property.

Presented above is video of Anna Hazare’s speech at New Delhi’s Ramlila ground(must watch).

Core part of Anna’s speech would touch your heart.

It clearly shows that Hazare’s core strength is his ideology and principals.

Following is Anna Hazare’s story.

Anna is from a small village named Ralegan Sidhi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. He joined Indian Army as a driver and was on duty during Indo-Pak war in 1965.

One day Naik Hazare was driving Army vehicle under intense attack of fighter aircrafts of Pakistan Air Force. The attack continued for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the attack was over, Nk Anna Hazare got up from the road side deep pit a shelter which he had taken to save himself, visited other vehicles and found that all other drivers and co-drivers had been killed due to Pakistan Air Force air strafing and he was the sole survivor. Anna was deeply shaken and questioned him as to why only his life had been spared among all his colleagues, however, he got no answer. As the Indo-Pak war came to an end, Anna Hazare requested for some leave .While moving back the question as to why only he survived never left his psyche. At Pathankot railway station he purchased one book on life of Swami Vivekananda which he read and re -read throughout his journey back home. One particular thought in the book really hit his mind hard that was, Swami Vivekananda propagated that we human being are meant to live for others not for themselves as most of the humans are doing presently which is next to animal behavior.

On reaching his village whose economic status and social status was very low. The whole village had no cultivable land, they had only 20 odd cattle’s for milking, there was no source of drinkable water and the general area around the village was devoid of trees. His village was located in rain shadow area which was draught stricken. The villagers were very poor and their only source of income was sale of locally brewed illicit liquor. There was not even one concrete house in the village and all were living under thatched huts. There was no school in nearby areas up to 20 kms. Drinking water used to come once in a week in water trailers sent by the Collector from Ahmednagar 60 km away. In general, villagers were living under very poor and pathetic conditions. Anna Hazare decided to do something for his village and at that stage he did not know as what he will do; nevertheless he decided to do something. He took premature discharge from the Army and came and settled in his village.

Anna only received Rs 25000/- from the Army as lump-sum payment for pension which he pooled in and jumped in to improve the village. There was one temple in the village Anna improved the temple and started living there. He vowed to remain unmarried and dedicate his life for the up liftment of the villagers. He motivated some young persons of the village and first undertook the task of watershed management for the village. Prior to the rainy season they made bunds so that water did not flow away. They planted trees, ensuring cleanliness in the village and organized classes in a make shift classroom at the temple. The village had almost 2500 acres of land out of which only few acres was cultivable. Through sustained efforts of Anna and his team, the water table started rising, land bank of cultivable land increased, children started learning, and people purchased few buffalos and cows.

Today Anna Hazare’s village displays a different story. All 2000 acres of land is being cultivated, village has 3000 cattle, all houses in the village are pucka and per capita income of villagers has gone up by many folds. There is one school which is of international standard. This school apart from taking students of the area also admits students who have been dropouts or failures. The School is being run like military schools and it produces very good results. All areas around 40 kms of Ralegan Sidhi have green cover, water table has come up and water is being conserved through water shed management techniques. He accomplished all this through “Sharam Daan”, motivating villagers to work on the rolling landscape of the area around his village. He developed a very innovative bunds and small reservoirs along the contours which were designed to hold almost every drop of whatever scanty rainfall the parched land received. Soon the subsoil water reserves reached a level sufficient to cater to the agricultural and drinking needs of the village even if it did not rain for two consecutive years. There is one institute come up in the village being supervised by Shri Anna Hazare which conducts classes for students and farmers from all over the globe. They come to learn techniques of rural development and watershed management. Today Anna has been asked by the Maharashtra Government to bring up 300 villages of the state on model village like Ralegan Sidhi. Shri Anna is on advisory in agriculture and rural development of five states and has got 45 awards to his credit out of which 30 are international awards.

Anna sahib spearheaded “Bharastachar Nirman Andolan”, a movement aimed at cleansing the society of the malaise of corruption in public life. Anna Hazare was the person who initiated the Right to Information act first time in Maharashtra. He had to agitate for a very long time to get this act through in Maharashtra against all the opposition from the politicians and beuaurecrats; thereafter he agitated to get it through at National level. He was the force behind getting Telgi Stamp scam unearthed and later investigated in which number of ministers had to resign and many Babu,s were suspended.

One fine day one contingent of police led by one inspector reported to him at his residence at Ralegan. Anna very politely asked inspector purpose of his visit. The inspector informed Anna that Chief Minister had detailed him with 20 Sepoys saying that Anna was under threat in view of his role in unearthing Telgi Scam. Anna very politely told the inspector that he had died long back while serving in Army during 1965 Indo Pak War and if anyone wants to pump some bullets into a dead body let them. He asked the inspector to go back and inform the CM that he needs no protection.

« Last Edit: Apr 6th, 2011, 6:21pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Sir Anna Hazare
« Reply #1 on: Apr 6th, 2011, 2:26pm »

« Last Edit: Apr 6th, 2011, 6:20pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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« Reply #2 on: Apr 8th, 2011, 4:39pm »



« Last Edit: Apr 8th, 2011, 4:52pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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« Reply #3 on: Apr 8th, 2011, 4:44pm »

People win anti-graft crusade, Hazare to end fast on Saturday
PTI | Apr 8, 2011, 10.03pm IST
Anna Hazare to break fast tomorrow

NEW DELHI: Government on Friday night blinked in the battle of attrition with Anna Hazare by agreeing to issue a formal order to set up a joint committee for drafting an effective Lokpal Bill and the Gandhian will end his indefinite fast on Saturday.

The announcement of an agreement came from both sides late in the night on the fourth day of Hazare's last-unto-death that triggered a nationwide support for his anti-corruption campaign.

"Government has accepted all our demands and I will end my fast tomorrow at 10:30AM. This is a victory for the entire nation," Hazare said.

Union minister Kapil Sibal, who led the government team of negotiators, welcomed Hazare's announcement and thanked him for it.

"This is a victory for democracy," he said adding it was for the government now to issue an appropriate order constituting the committee that will include representatives of civil society and government.

However, Hazare's emissaries Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh made it clear that the protest fast will not be ended till the government issues the order.

The denouement came after his emissaries met ministers for a round of talks, third in two days and after some hiccups.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will be the chairman of the committee that will also include law minister Veerappa Moily, telecom minister Sibal, home minister P Chidambaram and water resources minister Salman Khurshid as members.

Besides Hazare, those representing the civil society in the joint committee will be eminent lawyers Shanti Bhushan, Prasant Bhushan, retired Supreme Court Judge Santosh Hege and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal. Shanti Bhushan will be the co-Chairman.


Jay Ho. Thanks to World wide support of Hazare and his movement people have won! Government has agreed to issue a formal order to set up a joint committee for drafting an effective Lokpal Bill and the Gandhian will end his indefinite fast on Saturday. Let us stay informed and make sure the new body appointed has enough teeth to curb the crooked politicians.

First we win the world cup and next we win the Andolan for Jan Lok Pal Bill (Two major victories in one week). It only happens in INDIA! Proud to be an Indian. ~Vijay Mehta


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Victory-for-anti-graft-crusade-Hazare-to-end-fast-on-Saturday/articleshow/7916949.cms
« Last Edit: Apr 8th, 2011, 4:59pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Arresting Anna would not stop the movement
« Reply #4 on: Aug 16th, 2011, 06:30am »

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-08-16/india-anti-graft-campaigner-jailed-as-protests-spread-nationwide.html

India Anti-Graft Campaigner Jailed as Protests Spread Nationwide
August 16, 2011, 7:58 AM EDT

By Bibhudatta Pradhan and Malavika Sharma
Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The leader of a campaign against corruption in India was today sent to jail for a week after being arrested at a house in New Delhi hours ahead of a planned hunger strike in the capital that police had banned.

The detention of veteran social activist Anna Hazare sparked nationwide demonstrations by flag-waving supporters. In the capital, up to 1,400 people were detained during protests, the city’s police chief, B.K. Gupta, said at a press briefing. Opposition parties forced adjournments in both houses of parliament.

“This is a struggle for change,” Hazare said in a message broadcast by television channels that was recorded before his detention. “We should continue the movement through the path of non-violence.”

A hunger strike by Hazare in April tapped nationwide anger over graft cases, including allegations linked to a sale of mobile-phone licenses in 2008 and last year’s Commonwealth Games. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose government has been weakened by months of protests, used his Independence Day address yesterday to the nation to urge Hazare to take his grievances to parliament not the street.

“Public opinion is strongly with the demands made by Anna Hazare and his team,” said G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, managing director of New Delhi-based Development & Research Services. “The public mood has decisively turned against the government on corruption issues, which will corner it further.”

Police Restrictions

Hazare was sent by a magistrate to New Delhi’s Tihar Jail for seven days, police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said in a phone interview. The septuagenarian was scheduled to begin an indefinite fast to push demands for tougher laws to fight corruption. Senior members of his movement were also detained.

Hazare’s supporters yesterday rejected police restrictions on the proposed hunger strike that would have limited it to three days and curbed the number of people who could attend to about 5,000, Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said at a press conference today. All those wishing to protest have to accept conditions imposed on them to protect society, he said.

Television channels broadcast images of protests by Hazare’s supporters in several cities, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

The rally in the capital attracted thousands of people who milled in streets around the police station where Hazare, who dresses in the simple white shirt and cap of India’s independence movement, was being held.

‘Sad Day’

Arun Jaitley, a senior leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, said the arrest of Hazare marked a “very sad day for Indian democracy.”

After consultations with Hazare and leading backers, the government this month presented to parliament a bill to fight corruption that excludes oversight of a serving prime minister, judges, parliament and most bureaucrats. The legislation has been referred to a panel of lawmakers for scrutiny. Critics, including Hazare, say the proposals in the so-called Lokpal, or Ombudsman Bill, lack teeth.

“We want a strong Lokpal to prevent corruption in high places,” Singh said yesterday. “Now, only parliament can decide what type of Lokpal legislation should be enacted.”

Singh, in the third year of a five-year term, has seen his legislative agenda stall amid the corruption claims. Two ministers have resigned over the sale of permits to run mobile- phone services, which the country’s auditor says may have cost the exchequer $31 billion.

Yoga Guru

One of them, former telecommunications minister Andimuthu Raja, is in Tihar jail while his trial continues. A federal lawmaker and business executives have also been imprisoned.

Police in June use teargas and batons to break up a protest camp in New Delhi and forcefully evict yoga guru Swami Ramdev, who had joined the anti-graft movement.

While Hazare’s first fast forced the government to invite him and his supporters to join a panel tasked with drafting the anti-corruption bill, the two sides couldn’t agree on key features, such as bringing the prime minister under its ambit.

“Those who don’t agree with this bill can put forward their views to parliament, political parties and even the press,” Singh said yesterday. “They should not resort to hunger strikes and fast unto death.”

Corruption poses a risk to sustaining economic growth near 9 percent and winning overseas investment, auditing and consulting company KPMG said in March. India first introduced anti-corruption legislation in parliament four decades ago.

“The country will not accept” the way the government is acting against the anti-corruption protesters, said Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer in the Supreme Court and civil-rights activist, terming Hazare’s detention “undemocratic.” Hazare’s team called for renewed countrywide protests tomorrow.

--Editors: Mark Williams, Abhay Singh

To contact the reporters on this story: Bibhudatta Pradhan in New Delhi at bpradhan@bloomberg.net; Malavika Sharma in New Delhi at msharma52@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Hari Govind at hgovind@bloomberg.net; Frank Longid at flongid@bloomberg.net
« Last Edit: Aug 16th, 2011, 06:44am by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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« Reply #5 on: Aug 16th, 2011, 4:52pm »

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xx Re: Sir Anna Hazare movement for INDIA now or neve
« Reply #6 on: Aug 17th, 2011, 08:49am »

http://www.thehindu.com/news/article2363212.ece

Krishna Iyer urges Chief Justice to intervene

The retired Supreme Court judge, V.R. Krishna Iyer, has appealed to the Chief Justice of India to intervene in the ‘Anna Hazare issue' and strike a balance using his judicial wisdom. “Our independence, dignity, autonomy are in peril; the fight is between Indian billions versus authoritarian executive.”

In the appeal, titled “The Beginning of the End,” Mr. Iyer wrote:

“I am informed that Anna Hazare has been arrested today [on Tuesday]. Every speech is in chase. Corruption is free. India is in custody. As a free Indian I demand your Excellency the Chief Justice of India to liberate Bharat and make fundamental freedom truly free and not at the mercy of the High Executive.

Anna Hazare, a free soul wanted to express his protest against the chronic malaise of corruption by fasting unto death in a peaceful manner. But this Gandhian attempt was sought to be prevented by a conditional order of the authority demanding specific conditions to be satisfied as a pre-condition, which to my mind appear unreasonable and unjust in a country of Gandhian vintage. The duty of every hon'ble citizen in India today is to protest against the action of the Government/executive. Everyone who stands for the fundamental rights of the Constitution, who has a backbone to uphold the value of the Constitution and the Father of the Nation; must desiderate the Executive, the Legislative and Judicative instrumentalities, to release those arrested forthwith and vindicate every citizen's right to oppose in all conscience against executive command lest the people of this county lose what was won through do or die struggle from the oppression of unconscionable imperialism.

“Anna Hazare and his team members who are under arrest today are symbolic of Bharat behind bars. India is one here. We, the People of India the socialist, secular democratic Republic on the one side, and an under fall of arrogance of the South and North blocks who pro tem hold the nation in custody and terror.

“Dear Hon'ble Chief Justice of India, act now! Every hour is late. Every moment is late. Anna Hazare, I speak for Indian humanity in the divinity that everyone harbours in his inner being. India is in prison until the voice of one who speaks for the country is unfree and in servitude. I know if everyone protests against every authority there will be chaos but you must intervene and strike a balance using your judicial wisdom…..”

Mr. Iyer said he was sending out this appeal at the request of a local advocate in Kochi and a human rights activist.
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xx Re: Sir Anna Hazare movement for INDIA now or neve
« Reply #7 on: Aug 17th, 2011, 11:04am »

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/article2362951.ece

Corrupt, repressive and stupid

A corrupt government devoid of moral authority is ill equipped to deal rationally with legitimate public anger. By ordering the illegitimate detention of Anna Hazare before he began his fast in support of stronger anti-corruption provisions in the Lokpal Bill and the arrest of a large number of peaceful protesters in the national capital, the United Progressive Alliance government revealed its ugly, repressive face. No representative government in a democracy can deny citizens their fundamental right to dissent and peaceful protest. Insisting on unreasonable, inequitable, and suspiciously contrived conditions that everyone knows the protesters cannot accept is tantamount to denial of the democratic right. Instead of honestly dealing with the issues raised by successive corruption scandals, the UPA government chose to cover up. When that became unsustainable, it resorted to slurs and dirty tricks, and incrementally raised the level of repression to smother voices demanding accountability and corrective institutional measures. It is no wonder that from time to time such a government gets into panic mode, miscalculates, and commits acts that everyone outside the regime recognises as politically stupid.

Despite several opportunities to reach a consensus with Team Anna and other sections of civil society for the framing of an effective Lokpal Bill, the Manmohan Singh government attempted to push through a farce of a Bill. That it misread the national public mood was obvious. Anna Hazare might have given the cause a face, but the anti-corruption movement that is now in a rapid phase of expansion across India does not depend on one man or his team. The real force that is shaking the UPA government — which is widely perceived as the most corrupt in the history of independent India — is made up of hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens who are fed up with a system they believe is opaque, corrupt, and driven by greed. In the words of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India who has scrupulously kept himself above partisan politics, the recent events and findings have highlighted “the single biggest hindrance to India's growth — that is the corruption and degrading moral turpitude which is engulfing the nation like cancer.” What after all has made Team Anna the force it has become? It is the feeling among ordinary people across the land — a feeling strengthened by intense media coverage — that here is a rare opportunity to put in place a potent mechanism to end high-level corruption. If the UPA does not recognise the public anger against corruption, respect the ideals and values of democracy, and take steps to create a Lokpal that inspires confidence, there will be a political price to pay — perhaps well before the next general election.

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« Reply #8 on: Aug 18th, 2011, 08:50am »

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9647751.cms
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 18th, 2011, 08:55am »

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646552.cms


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646546.cms


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646542.cms


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646517.cms


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646512.cms


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9647681.cms


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646503.cms


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646466.cms


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646417.cms
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 18th, 2011, 09:01am »

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646399.cms
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 18th, 2011, 09:02am »

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/9646370.cms
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xx Re: Sir Anna Hazare movement for INDIA now or neve
« Reply #12 on: Aug 18th, 2011, 12:37pm »

http://ibnlive.in.com/conversations/thread/200987.html

Is Anna's agitation going to win the war against corruption?

Posted by rajeshjk at 04:54 PM, Aug 18, 2011

I have read both the drafts of Lokpal Bill. After reading the Govt.’s version I found that that bill would be hardly effective in curbing corruption but making one more white elephant as the case with many govt.’s institutions to appoint their cronies.

The major faults of govt. bill are


1. Lokpal will have to create their own investigative wing and till they have such a wing lokpal would appropriate officers from other department. Effect: officers from other department would come with their legacy of corruption and they would make the lokpal a urinal which is what I think the govt. wanted to happen. By the time Lokpal recruits its own team it would take many years and this recruitment process itself can be cleverly delayed with some pretext by the govt. Finally some such new team comes lokpal would be a dead horse.

2. Lokpal after investigations found a babu or minister guilty it has only the option of recommending prosecution to govt. Govt, can sit eternally on it without giving its consent as is happening in many cbi cases now.[b] Effect[/b]: no one will have fear of lokpal because they already know lokpal did not have authority to prosecute even after framing charges. In 2g case cbi filed an FIR in oct 2009 but thereafter they simply slept till supreme court taken over the case. i.e. after a year, somewhere in November 2010 only cbi started sincere investigation and rest is known to all. Lokauktha, Delhi found a minister in sheila’s govt involved in corruption and recommended action to governor and president. NO action. Because both of them are indebted to the ruling party for their position. So can we expect such corrupted governments would give its consent for prosecution of corrupt people on a recommendation of lokpal. I think this is the biggest folly of govt. lokpal.

3. The selection committee to select lokpal’s members would be a body consisting majority of members nominated by govt. Therefore, it would be the govt. who will decide who all would be the members of lokpal. Effect: We will have people like Kalmadi as Lokpal members because similar was his appointment to the organising committee of CWG that was cleared by none other than the ‘honest’ Indian PM.

4. After preliminary investigation Lokpal would summon the allegedly corrupt and inform him of Lokpal’s findings against him and give opportunity to defend him. This concept on paper appears to be good. But in reality it would be best way to scuttle the whole process of investigation. Effect; The accused get or rather given sufficient time and data to destroy/hide all evidence and even find out and influence the complainant. Once N.Vittal former CVC said that ‘all corrupt are very intelligent (of course wickedly) and they know how to cleverly indulge in corruption’. Speed and Secrecy are the cornerstone of a successful and sincere investigation which would be beautifully defeated if govt. lokpal becomes a reality.

5. Lokpal can also investigate any organisation that receives donation from public. Effct; This provision would be used by vested interests and govt’s agents or political parties to file complaint against any organisation that lodge complaint against them or expose their corrupt activities. This would be a Damocles Sword hanging over any organisation working in the public interests. This provision could be used against orgnisations like the Art of Living or Missioneries of Charity who are working for noble causes and charity. It is surprising the inclusion of NGOs as there was no demand from anyone, also Indian people’s money as we know was always siphoned off always by our own ministers, elected representatives and babus.

6. Any false or frivolous complaints lodged with lokpal would result in imprisonment and huge fine. There is no definition what is frivolous. A lokpal filled with govt’s people can use this provision wrongly against those who complain against the ruling party or its government or their blue eyed babus. AS we all know it is not easily possible to collect 100% accurate data against corrupt people, their corrupt activities and their illgoten wealth. Even after enactment of RTI act ordinary people are either not being given adequate information or sometimes information are simply denied citing some flimsy reasons. Even investigative agencies like CBI fails in some cases to gather enough evidence against corrupt but intelligent people. In such a situation how can ordinary people, particularly the poor majority of Indians could file absolutely correct information in their complaint? It is for the Lokpal to investigate and find out the truth and not put the onus on the complainant. Latest example of how govt agencies could misinterpret even a word ‘Reasonable’ against people is the Delhi Police’s ‘reasonable’ conditions (of course at the behest of the Govt.) to Anna for permitting Satyagraha.

Therefore, Govt.’s Lokpal Bill in its current form is passed in Parliament, it would be yet another marvellous success of this government said to be the most corrupt since independence in strongly protecting and promoting corruption and punishing the complainants ��\" sufferers of corruption in our country. Can patriotic Indians allow to happen such a Tragedy?

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« Reply #13 on: Aug 21st, 2011, 8:10pm »

$1.4 Trillion India’s Black Money Stashed in Swiss Banks

According to the data provided by the Swiss bank, India has more black money than rest of the world combined. India topping the list with almost $1500 Billion black money in swiss banks, followed by Russia $470 Billion, UK $390 Billion, Ukraine $100 Billion and China with $96 Billion.

It’s embarrassing for any country to top the list of black money holders. The money which belongs to the nation and it’s citizens, is stashed in the illegal personal accounts of corrupt politicians, IRS, IPS officers and industrialists. An amount which is 13 times larger than the nations foreign debt. Every year this amount is increasing at a rapid speed but the Indian government seem to be silent over this matter from a very long time. The total black money accounts for 40% of GDP of India, if all the money comes back to India then that could result in huge growth burst for India.

A nation where more than 450 million live below the poverty line, which means they make less than $1.25/day and could probably use an easy cash advances from somebody. By bringing back the black money back to the country there is so much which can be done for the development of the nation and the people who live below poverty line. India will also be able to clear all their foreign debts in 24Hrs. Even if all the taxes are abolished, the government can maintain the country easily for 30 years.

It’s been found that about 80 thousand people travel to Switzerland every year of whom around 25 thousand travel frequently. Those travelling on regular basis must be doing it for some reason.

The Indian government needs to take some serious steps to get the money back to India which is stashed in Swiss banks. They should work to find out the names of account holders in Swiss banks and also pressurize Swiss bank to get the black money back to the country. This has also become a matter of pride of nation and if the government still keeps silence about this issue then they will only be making themselves a laughing stock for the entire world.
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xx Re: Anna Hazare return to the "anshan-andolan"
« Reply #14 on: Dec 11th, 2011, 4:42pm »

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/UPA-isolated-as-key-opposition-parties-flock-to-Anna-Hazare-meet/articleshow/11074925.cms

UPA isolated as key opposition parties flock to Anna Hazare meet

NEW DELHI: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare made an impactful return to the "anshan-andolan (fasting-protest)" arena on Sunday, drawing an enthusiastic and youthful crowd to Jantar Mantar and rallying major non-Congress parties to his cause.

Three months after his epic 13-day fast at Ramlila Maidan, the response to Anna's seven-hour protest is proof that the Gandhian has not lost traction with popular sentiment despite his now familiar anti-government announcements. He also succeeded in splitting the ruling Congress from BJP, Left and several regional parties.

Congress leaders remained the target of the agitationists while UPA partners like Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee were questioned over their silence on Lokpal in contrast to vocal opposition to foreign investment in retail.

If government managers were hoping that Hazare's appeal would have become stale, their task seems to have become more challenging with the Gandhian's demand for a strong and independent Lokpal being backed by political leaders including BJP's Arun Jaitley, CPM's Brinda Karat and Shiromani Akali Dal's S S Dhindsa.

Leaders, including CPI's A B Bardhan, however drew a line, saying civil society should not arrogate to itself the power to create a parallel Parliament. He did not mince words when he warned Team Anna against branding as "corrupt" all those who disagreed with them. But the mood of the leaders was one of concurrence as anti-Congress parties backed Team Anna.

Jaitley agreed the nitty-gritty of the law be left to Parliament. He said there was wide political consensus over key demands of Team Anna. "We all agree that there should be a strong and effective Lokpal and we will do our best to make it happen. But details on specific issues should be left to Parliament for discussion," he said.

The reluctance to be drawn into debating details of some of Hazare's demands that are problematic to implement could have stemmed from an estimated 18,000-strong crowd that had little patience for politicians putting forward nuanced arguments beyond the Jan Lokpal script.

The Sunday show is a precursor to an eight-day fast Hazare is planning from December 27. It comes ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh consulting allies and meeting all political parties this week. It can add to the pressure on government to make more concessions on the Lokpal bill while opposition is not going to give the Centre an easy passage.

The successful return of the Gandhian to the Capital was embellished by the presence of Left and Samajwadi Party, who have "secular" sensitivities, and this seems to have rejected the theory that Hazare's campaign was remote controlled by RSS. Congress and other UPA allies kept away from the political debate saying it was too premature to discuss the bill.

But with other political parties assuring Hazare of their support in Parliament, the government's attempt to create a Team Anna vs Parliament divide appears to have failed. Most of the leaders concurred with Hazare's demands for inclusion of prime minister, lower bureaucracy and CBI's anti-corruption wing under Lokpal but they did not favour bringing higher judiciary under the ombudsman and argued for a separate mechanism to check corruption in it.

The popular sentiment that CBI is misused for political gains was echoed by Jaitley and Karat while JD(U)'s Sharad Yadav went a step further to admit that the NDA government too had used the investigating agency to score political points.

Besides Jaitley, Yadav, Bardhan and Karat, others who spoke in support were CPI's D Raja, TDP's K Yerran Naidu, Pinaki Mishra (BJD), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) and S S Dhindsa (Akali Dal). INLD also sent a nominee with a letter of support.

Jaitley said not including the lower bureaucracy and citizens' charter would be a betrayal of a resolution adopted by Parliament while Karat wanted big corporate houses to be brought under Lokpal. "They (private companies) will have to be brought under Lokpal. The corporates are looting the country and they should be under the body."

The day-long fast saw a familiar round of Congress bashing with leaders like Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh, home minister P Chidambaram and HRD minister Kapil Sibal being familiar targets.

The tongue lashing, however, continued to be met with resounding applause and cheers, indicating that Team Anna's sheen had not dulled. Hazare targeted the PM, saying he was "not able to take decisions" and there were "three-four people" who thought they were prime ministers, but did not take any name.

He also attacked Rahul, saying "spending one day in a hut is just not enough" for him to aspire to be prime minister.

Hazare urged the opposition to join his agitation for a strong Lokpal if they did not have the numbers to correct the government in Parliament. "If government hesitates in passing a strong Lokpal bill or rejects your suggestions and if you (opposition) fall short of numbers, we can do one thing. The people are here with us," Hazare said.

"You can join us with all your parties and partymen and come to the streets for a larger campaign. Let us see how the government does not do it. We will ensure that no jail in the country remains empty, such will be our campaign," Hazare said after political leaders put their views on the issue.
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