Anti Corruption Movement by Anna Hazare - Implications for Civil Societies and Policy Makers

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A look at the Anti corruption movement in India, led by Anna Hazare, the related events and results and its implications on CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) and Policy Makers.

A look at the Anti corruption movement in India, led by Anna Hazare, the related events and results and its implications on CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) and Policy Makers.

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  • 1. Civil Society @ Crossroads
  • 2. Corruption in India • Corruption exists among the public officials with incredible impunity affecting the dignity and rights, leading to lack of transparency and accountability • Sporadic activisms by civil society ineffective • Media activism on recent corruption stories was an impetus
  • 3. Anti-Corruption Movement • In such a backdrop, the Anti-Corruption Movement was launched in April 2011 headed by Kisan Baburao Hazare, popularly known as Anna Hazare • Hazare, a known crusader against corruption, started 'indefinite fast' at a historical monument in New Delhi along with his associates, popularly known as 'Team Annna'
  • 4. Objectives of the Movement • Two basic demands of the movement include: - Demand for a strong ‘Anti Corruption Law’ - Demand for involving civil society in drafting of this law by forming a joint drafting committee • On the face of popular support finally, one of the senior Ministers announced on behalf of the government invited 'Team Anna' to join the joint drafting committee • During the darfting of the bill, serious differences emerged, raising questions about the intent of the government
  • 5. Events and Results • Along side Anna's movement, one of the spiritual leaders named Swami Ramdev with 60,000 thousand followers against black money which was immediately crashed by the government received condemnation widely • Seeing Government’s unwillingness to introduce the Bill, Anna announced another hunger strike • Police arrested Anna • This time, the movement spread like a wild fire in thousands of villages and towns • On the 27th of August the bill was introduced in the Parliament but could not be passed in the entire session
  • 6. Glimpses: Ramlila Maidan
  • 7. Events and Results • Before December 2011 session of the Parliament, Anna again sat on a day-long fast • Political leaders even from some of the opposition parties started questioning Anna's intentions and suggested that Parliament should have the last word on the content of the bill and not the civil society • Since April 2011, 19 months have passed, the government still could not pass the bill as law. New corruption stories are again hitting the newspaper headlines; meanwhile, some of the members of Team Anna hinted at forming political parties; the story continues; people are watching, debating, but still waiting to see a corruption free India
  • 8. Implications for Practitioners • Anna's movement has created huge debate in the public domain and set the public mood in right direction, prompting the CSOs involved in the policy influencing processes to reflect and revisit their strategies • Anna's movement sought and mobilised resources and support from the ordinary citizens, therefore, maintained the autonomy to a large extent • For the first time in contemporary history, the middle class en masse has outshined the intermediary CSOs by staking claims in governance reforms; this is a significant departure and CSOs now need to figure out how do they position themselves vis-a- vis this large middle class both in urban and rural areas
  • 9. Implications for Policy Makers • The policy and law making processes, so far, have been insulated from any kind of public debate • This movement have shown that people are eager to participate in the policy debate and policy makers must listen to them before making the policy