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India's best brains suggest ways to curb menace of corruption
Report dated 21/08/2011 @ 11:13 PM
TSR Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary: The Lokpal is not a single-point solution. We need strong local level systems that work under the supervision of the state Lokayukta and ensure faster decisions, simultaneously having a system to eliminate political interference at every level.
Harish Salve, Senior Counsel: India needs electoral reforms to eliminate the corrupt and criminals. De-link PSUs from ministries and run them by professionals. Downsize government and pay realistic salaries.
Ram Jethmalani, MP Rajya Sabha: The Prime Minister must be directly elected by the people and be accountable for corruption in his council of ministers. Purify the judiciary and eliminate advocates with political leanings becoming judges. Improve the character and efficiency of investigating.
Prakash Singh, Former DG, UP police and BSF: Depoliticise and rejuvenate state police anti-corruption and vigilance departments. Reinvent the CBI and free it from governmental control. Audit the government's funding and social funding in a transparent manner.
Venu Srinivasan, Managing Director, TVS: Ensure fair, open and transparent awarding of contracts for infrastructure projects or mining or land acquisition for industry. Rethink liberalisation, cut back over-regulation. Proper enforcement of laws is a must.
Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto, MP, Rajya Sabha: Enact a strong Lokpal Bill but not as that demanded by the civil society through the Jan Lokpal bill. Electoral reforms should include holding elections to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies every five years with no mid-term polls.
Bimal Jalan, Former RBI Governor: Reduce economic incentives for politics. Restore the pre-2003 procedure of elections to the Rajya Sabha.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Spokesperson, Congress: A methodical deletion of discretionary powers at all levels. Punitive and deterrent action against the corrupt in a time-bound manner. Fix market value of land and scrutinise dealings below it.
Hazare threatens to fast till Lokpal Bill is passed
Report dated 21/08/2011 @ 1:12 AM
Anna Hazare launched his police permitted protest 14 day fast at the Ramlila Maidan, indicating he will not quit the venue till his Lokpal Bill is passed.
The 73 year old Gandhian is said to have lost weight since he started his fast fivedays ago but is fine. He addressed his supporters briefly at Ramlila, saying yet again, India's second freedom struggle has begun and asked his followers to continue to carry the torch of the struggle whether or not he survives.
Believers sport 'brand Anna' to show solidarity
Report dated 19/08/2011 @ 9:04 PM
Followers of Anna Hazare and his anti-corruption crusade, are now sporting Tees and Caps carrying messages of support. The brand Anna garments are selling like the proverbial hot cakes.
Thousands are wearing the Tees and Caps with the message 'I am Anna' and, showing their solidarity too inmates of Tihar jail, where Anna was detained have thrown in their hats saying they will fast along with the great man.
In a rare show of fraternity hundreds of lawyers who went on strike and staged a sit-in, then marched chanting slogans and singing devotional songs, all in support of Mr Hazare.
Media lambasts government over Hazare's arrest
Report dated 18/08/2011 @ 6:02 PM
The Indian press has in no uncertain terms condemned the arrest of anti-corruption activist, 75 year old Gandhian, Anna Hazare.
The Hindu ran an editorial titled "Corrupt, repressive and stupid". The Times of India in a front page report wrote "the government is groping for a face saver". One Indian Express report was headlined "Anna arrests Government". The Economic Times said the authority of PM Manmohan Singh had suffered a "devastating blow."
The Pioneer said it was a "clear case of complete government disconnect with the undercurrent of resentment building up against corruption and the United Progressive Alliance's perceived arrogance".
The Hindustan Times said the government's "ham-handed response" has allowed Hazare to get the upper hand.
The fourth estate's fiery reports handed down critiques the likes of which Indian readers have not seen in a very long time.
Feeding the angst of the cricket-loving nation, The Hindustan Times said "Perhaps like a good cricket team, it is time the government went into a huddle and came up with Plan B before it crashes out of the game".
India against Corruption - People Power Prevails
Report dated 18/08/2011 @ 6:00 PM
The government finally gave in on Aug 17 late night. Anna Hazare has accepted the Delhi Police permit for a 14-day fast.
Hazare and his associates and police negotiators agreed on various issues. They agreed the venue for the fast would be the spacious Ramlila Grounds and that there would be no limit imposed on the number of protesters.
They also agreed that loudspeakers can be used at the venue and that Hazare will be overseen and examined by both government and private doctors.
The Congress leadership decided that trying to regulate the agitation is counterproductive as high emotion is guiding the mood of the public rather than substantive issues. According to a senior Congress functionary they intend to let the issue play out, even if it means the party loses the next elections as a result.