Lights go out in India for detained anti-corruption campaigners

Yesterday anti-corruption leaders in India called on citizens to turn off their lights in the evening to protest the detention of more than 1200 anti-corruption campaigners in New Delhi, The New York Times reported.

The campaigners were detained following the arrest of well-known activist and Transparency International Integrity Award winner Anna Hazare early yesterday morning. Local police arrested Hazare at his home, according to the BBC after he vowed to go ahead with a hunger strike in a public park against corruption despite local police denying him a permit to hold the demonstration.

The New York Times said that the likelihood of a showdown became evident when Hazare applied for a police permit to stage an indefinite fast. The police set 22 conditions for the protest to take place, six of which Mr Hazare refused to accept, including a three-day limit to the hunger strike and a cap of no more than 5000 protesters.

Transparency International India condemned the arrest of Hazare and other anti-corruption activists as unconstitutional and a violation of civil liberties.

“[The government] has not been able to check rising corruption in the country and is trying to muzzle the voice of those who raise their voice against corruption. This is undemocratic and [an] injustice to the people of this nation”
Anupama Jha, Transparency International India’s Executive Director in a statement

Leading up to the Lokpal Bill: Anna Hazare’s three-decade campaign against corruption in India

Hazare and his supporters have been calling for a law to establish an independent Ombudsman (Lokpal Bill) to tackle corruption, with the power to investigate any official, including the prime minister and judges.

Anna Hazare has been tackling government corruption in India for almost three decades. In 2003, Transparency International gave Hazare an Integrity Award for his efforts and spoke to him about his thoughts on how corruption can be overcome.

Public trust in the Indian government’s ability to tackle corruption is low after a series of recent corruption scandals, according to the article. TI’s own 2010 Global Corruption Barometer shows that 74 per cent of Indians think corruption has increased in last three years and that only 25 per cent think that their government’s efforts to fight corruption have been effective.

As discussions about the Lok Pal Bill heated up last month, our Chair, Huguette Labelle, recently gave an interview about the cost of corruption in India, and the importance of independent oversight bodies, see below:

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About Sophie Brown

Sophie Brown is a Communications Assistant at Transparency International.

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10 Responses to Lights go out in India for detained anti-corruption campaigners

  1. lokpal bill 28 September 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    wonderful piece of information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend Nandu , Hyderabad, I have read at least 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that I had been looking for, I’m already your RSS reader now and I would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again, Regards, Lokpal bills

  2. KALYAN GHOSH 29 October 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Controlling authority’s action is the prime factor in curbing corruption. But, when it’s unreceptive to take stock of the situation, then chaos is inevitable. Collapse of governance, atrocity rules the roost.
    Prevalent wide spread corruption in India has been condemned in the world over. Sri Anna Hazre’s campaign for Anticorruption is gaining momentum. At this juncture, Transparency International India’s invulnerability is indeed a big question mark.
    India Government is trying their best to thwart Anna ji’s campaign against corruption. Washing dirty linen in public will never get them mass support. Their [on the whole every political party’s] bastion of corrupt governance is at stake now, so these burst outs are from ruling party members. Other political parties have sealed their mouth with watch and wait strategy. Justice and truth shall prevail. Mass uprising/awareness will decide fate of the nation. Out bursts and counter out bursts will ultimately yield no conclusion. Isn’t it ironic that grievance redressal system is in total chaos in India? My sister-in-law’s service tenure is snatched away by the Director, Directorate of Secondary Education, HRD, Jharkhand. Competent authorities do not pay any heed to it. There is no provision to settle this ambiguity through electronic media. Jharkhand Government web portal do not have any option. No e-mail addresses of the chief secretary, Honorable Governor. Email address of honorable C.M. seems to be dormant, as no response to mails, incorrect e-mail addresses of nodal officers etc. A blatant lapse of government’s e-governance plan. N.I.C. can not help which they have asserted through e-mail. D.I.T. has acknowledged complaint but keeps mum. Honorable D.C., Ranchi has forwarded her representations to appropriate authorities three times, but these too have failed to yield any result. He has expressed his inability as well. Sri Yashwant Sinha, Honorable M.P. has forwarded her representation to Sri B N Ram, Honorable HRD Minister, Jharkhand. Several registered complaints of DARPG, President’s Secretariat Help Line, NCW, CORE Center, letter from PMO, have failed too to break silence of the concerned authority. A news report; Hindustan Times, Ranchi, 3rd September, 2010, has exposed the whole episode. All these things indicate collapse of governance. The matter has been brought to the notice of almost all the conceivable authorities. Transparency International India initially backed up but ultimately has failed to settle this logjam. Ms. Anupama Jha, Executive Director and Mr. Anshul Jain Regional Coordinator East Zone had taken personal interest and have communicated the same, but silence of the authority prevailed. Coexistence of exposed corruption with corruption watch dog organizations is a mockery.
    To combat with such gross injustice a robust, unbiased, transparent and accountable system has to be adopted to save the nation from further disgrace and humiliation. I wish Transparency International India take cognizance of the situation and extend whole hearted support to aggrieved, hapless commoner in India.

  3. shubra 7 November 2011 at 11:58 am #

    hi,
    we are fed up with corrupt netas and the corrupt system
    Regards,
    Shubra
    http://www.vibhishan.it
    http://www.reallysucks.in

  4. Priya 22 November 2011 at 7:00 am #

    Here’s a story about an elderly Canadian lady, fighting the land mafia in India, risking death, without the help from any organisation, NGO, Government, Canadian embassy, police etc.

    http://kafila.org/2011/11/10/battling-the-land-mafia-in-hardwar-sumantra-maitra/

    I covered the story after I got a lead from a senior Canadian writer, but unfortunately I couldn’t get through any media or any org. So I am mailing the story to you all. Please help her in any way you can! Even if this story is not under your jurisdiction atleast pass it on to ANYONE you know who can make a difference…’cause it doesn’t matter if one life or a thousand life is in danger…

    Here is her email : ” Esther Friede ”

    It is unfortunate that no mainstream media, or ANY rights organisation is covering the thing or has taken up the issue thus far, as if one individual life is not valuable, but hopefully you can help.

  5. Renuka 29 March 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Awesome postThis is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.Thanks a ton once again, Regards,help2all

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