2011 Indian anti-corruption movement

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2011 Indian anti-corruption movement
Jan lokpal 4.jpg
Date 4 April 2011 – 28 December 2011
Location India
Causes
Goals
  • Establishing strong and independent janlok pal anti-corruption legislation and enforcement;[5](Not Completed Yet)
Methods Non violent protest
Status Ongoing

The 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement was a series of demonstrations and protests across India intended to establish strong legislation and enforcement against perceived endemic political corruption.[5] The movement was named among the "Top 10 News Stories of 2011" by Time magazine.[6]

The movement gained momentum from 5 April 2011, when anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare began a hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. The chief legislative aim of the movement was to alleviate corruption in the Indian government through introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Another aim, spearheaded by Ramdev, was the repatriation of black money from Swiss and other foreign banks.

Grievances of mass protesters focussed on legal and political issues, including political corruption, kleptocracy, and other forms of corruption. The movement was primarily one of non-violent civil resistance, featuring demonstrations, marches, acts of civil disobedience, hunger strikes, marches and rallies, as well as the use of social media to organise, communicate, and raise awareness. The protests were nonpartisan and most protesters were hostile to attempts made by political parties to use them to strengthen their own political agendas.

Background[edit]

Anna Hazare's hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, on the second day of his fast

Issues regarding corruption in India have become increasingly prominent in recent years. The country was subject to socialist-inspired economic policies dating from independence in 1947 until the 1980s. Over-regulation, protectionism, and government ownership of industry led to slow economic growth, high unemployment, and widespread poverty.[7][8] This system of bureaucratic control by government is called the License Raj and lies at the core of endemic corruption.[9]

The Vohra Report of 1993, submitted by the former Indian Union Home Secretary Pranay Nahar, studied the issue of the criminalisation of politics. The report contained several observations made by official agencies on the criminal network which was virtually running a parallel government. It also discussed criminal gangs who enjoyed the patronage of politicians and the protection of government functionaries. It revealed that political leaders had become leaders of street gangs and rogue elements in the military. Over the years, criminals had been elected to local bodies, State Assemblies, and the Parliament.[10][11][12]

The Right to Information Act (RTI) of 2005 helped civilians work effectively towards tackling corruption. It allows Indian citizens to request information, for a fixed fee of INR10 (US$0.22), from a "public authority" (a body of Government or "instrumentality of State"). In turn, this public authority is required to reply to the request within thirty days. Activists have used this to uncover corruption cases against various politicians and bureaucrats – one consequence being that some of those activists have been attacked and even killed.[13]

The movement has connections to several anti-corruption campaigns that occurred between October 2010 and March 2011. These included:

Date Anti-corruption campaign
1 November
2010
By order of Defence Minister of India A.K. Antony, the Indian Army establishes a court of inquiry into the Adarsh Housing Society Scam[14]
24 November
2010
The Central Bureau of Investigation's arrests of several senior bankers under allegations of receiving bribes to issue corporate loans in the 2010 housing loan scam[15]
10 December
2010
The Central Government of India and the Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) file a delayed joint affidavit to the Supreme Court of India declaring the November 2007 wiretapping of corporate lobbyist Nira Radia in the Radia tapes controversy[16]
22 December
2010
A 20,000-person anti-corruption protest in response to the 2G spectrum scam held at New Delhi's Ramlila ground[17]
17 January
2011
The Supreme Court of India criticises the administration for not publicly disclosing Indian nationals named on Rudolf Elmer's "black money" list disclosed by Julian Assange's Wikileaks. The Income Tax Department issues summons and arrest notices to many tax evaders.[18][19]
18 January
2011
The public release of an anti-corruption open letter from Azim Premji, Keshub Mahindra, and other leading Indian industrialists demanding reform of "the widespread governance deficit in almost every sphere of national activity, covering government, business and institutions"[20]
29 January
2011
Former Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu announces launch of his "war on corruption" through his NTR Memorial Trust and Jana Chaitanya Vedika[21]
30 January
2011
Thousands of people marched against corruption in more than 52 cities in India and abroad. Copies of the CVC Act, the CBI Act, I-T Act, and the Government’s Lokpal Bill were torn up by the thousands, sending a strong message that the people lack faith in the ineffective anti-corruption measures.[citation needed]
Feb–Mar
2011
The Central Bureau of Investigation's and Income Tax Department's arrests of co-conspirators implicated in the 2G spectrum scam[22][23][24]
8 February
2011
Indian-born American executive Anjan Dutta-Gupta charged for bribing United States Navy officials in seeking software contracts worth approximately $10M[25]
10 February
2011
The Supreme Court of India orders all trial courts in the country to expedite handling of corruption cases; also, all High Courts of India ordered to seek quarterly reports from lower trial courts on the progress of corruption cases[26]
21 February
2011
In a public address to the Parliament of India, the President of India, Pratibha Patil, stated that measures to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and other legislative and administrative measures necessary to improve transparency will be taken[27]
1 March
2011
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission action against Indian School of Business Chairman Rajat Gupta in the Galleon insider trading scandal; Gupta had also violated McKinsey & Co.'s firm policy by corruptly backdealing through his own consulting firm, MindSpirit LLC[28][29][30]
3 March
2011
The forced resignation of Chief Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas on charges of corruption by the Supreme Court of India[31]
12 March
2011
The worldwide 50-city Dandi March II organised by People for Lok Satta[32]
13 March
2011
The "Drive around Delhi" protest [33]
17 March
2011
The Wikileaks' Cash-for-votes scandal involving the delayed leak of a diplomatic cable describing an Indian legislative aide showing a US embassy official "chests of cash" used to bribe Indian lawmakers over a vote on an Indo-U.S. nuclear deal back in July 2008[34]
30 March
2011
Famous cricketer Kapil Dev's letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, complaining of the inadequacy of Commonwealth Games corruption investigations and petitioning for the Jan Lokpal Bill[35]

Hazare's hunger strike at Jantar Mantar[edit]

How can the government stop anyone from protesting? The
land is not their 'father's property'. The citizens are the masters of
this country and the ministers are their servants". – Anna Hazare
(When asked by a press reporter how could he protest
at Jantar Mantar in spite of prohibitory orders)

[36]

Hazare began his hunger strike on 5 April 2011 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi. This was in reaction to the rejection by Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh of his request for the formation of a joint committee comprising government and civil society representatives. Hazare had wanted the committee to draft an anti-corruption bill containing stronger punishments and giving more independence to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (ombudsmen in the states).[37] He said that he would continue the fast until the bill was passed[38] and attracted considerable support, including from 150 people who joined him in fasting.[39] Hazare would not allow politicians to sit with him and those who tried to join, such as Uma Bharti and Om Prakash Chautala, were turned away.[40]

Protests spread to Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Shillong, Aizawl and a number of other cities in India.[41] There were also gatherings around the world, including in the US, Britain, France and Germany.[42][43][44]

Bharatiya Janata Party representatives such as Arun Jaitley, Narendra Modi and L. K. Advani offered messages of support for Hazare and encouraged a positive government reaction.[45][46][47] Prakash Karat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also pledged support.[48]

The hunger strike caused the resignation on 6 April of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar from the group of ministers that had been charged with reviewing the draft bill. Hazare had accused him of being corrupt.[49] On 8 April, the government stated that it would table the bill in Parliament in the upcoming Monsoon session.[50] On 9 April, the government agreed to establish a joint committee.[51] It was announced on 13 May that India had completed ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption, a process that had begun in 2010.[52]

Protest at Ramlila Maidan[edit]

Ramdev had announced in April that he would launch a people's anti-corruption movement called Bharat Swabhiman Andolan.[53] Four senior Union Ministers - Pranab Mukherjee, Kapil Sibal, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Subodh Kant Sahay - and the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Sudhir Chandra, met Ramdev to discuss his concerns in the early days of June.[54][55]

Following Hazare's initial protest, Ramdev led a second major protest at the Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi on 4 June 2011. He intended to highlight the need for legislation to repatriate black money deposited abroad. He demanded that untaxed money invested abroad should be declared to be the wealth of the nation and, further, that the act of caching money alleged to have been obtained illegally in foreign banks should be declared a crime against the state. It was estimated that around $350 billion to $1.4 trillion worth of black money was stashed away in foreign banks.[56][57]

The ground protests[edit]

The Ramlila Maidan was booked for 40 days to allow the protest to happen. Preparations included setting up toilet, drinking water and medical facilities, as well as a media centre.[58] Ramdev claimed that more than 100 million people were directly involved with the Bharat Swabhiman Andolan.[59] Almost 3.2 million "netizens" joined the campaign.[60][61]

On 5 June, police raided the Maidan, detaining Ramdev and removing his supporters after firing tear gas shells and lathicharging.[62] 713 people were hospitalised, four of whom were reported to be in critical condition.[63] Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee called the police action "unfortunate" but added that the government had to do that as Ramdev had no permission to hold the protest.[64]

It was alleged that the action was not a spontaneous decision but had been planned for several days. The police said Ramdev had been informed shortly beforehand that permission to continue his agitation had been cancelled. By that time, over 5000 police officers had been prepared for action.[65] There was an allegation that CCTV footage of the raid was missing.[66]

On 6 June, the National Human Rights Commission of India requested that reports of the events be provided within two weeks by the Union Home Secretary, Delhi Chief Secretary and the Delhi City Commissioner of Police.[67] Hazare responded to the events by holding a one-day hunger strike.[68] Protests were held in many parts of country, including the cities of Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jammu, and Lucknow. They also spread to Nepal.[69][70][71][72]

Ramdev said that a second phase of the Bharat Swabhiman Yatra would begin in October and would cover a distance of 100,000 kilometres (62,000 mi).[61]

Aftermath[edit]

Civil society response[edit]

Ramdev accused the government of not being serious about discussing issues of corruption and black money, alleging that government negotiator Kapil Sibal had cheated him through a "scheming and cunning" attitude. He alleged that there was a conspiracy to kill him and a "threat" was given to him during a meeting with senior ministers. He also claimed that the ruling government chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the United Progressive Alliance government will be responsible for any threat to his life and alleged that he was nearly strangled by the police.[73] After being evicted from Delhi, Ramdev wanted to continue his fast from Noida but was denied permission to do so by the Uttar Pradesh government. He decided to continue his hunger strike and satyagraha from Haridwar only until 12 June 2011.[74][75][76]

Hazare said there might have been some faults with Ramdev's agitation but that the beating up of people at night rather than in the day-time was a "blot on democracy" and that "there was no firing otherwise the eviction was similar to Jallianwala Bagh incident." He said that the "strangulation of democracy" would cause civil society to launch protests throughout the country to "teach government a lesson".[77][78] Other civil society leaders, such as Arvind Kejriwal, also termed the use of police force on non-violent sleeping protesters as undemocratic. Shanti Bhushan and Swami Agnivesh also criticised the police action to end the hunger strike.[79][80]

Government response[edit]

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said that the government had reached an agreement before the protests were held.[81] Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to Ramdev, asking to cease-and-desist from holding the protests.[82] Nationalist Congress Party General Secretary Tariq Anwar said that "Both Hazare and Ramdev are blackmailing the government and they should first peep into their own hearts."[83] Pawan Bansal commented on the midnight police action and said that "It was not a crackdown, we [the government] had to do it to maintain law and order".[84]

All India Congress Committee secretary Janardan Dwivedi described Ramdev's protest as a political game by the Bharatiya Janata Party, pointing out that despite being treated in the same hospital as Nigamananda who fasted for over two months, Ramdev got more attention.[85]

Political party response[edit]

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party called the police action to break up the hunger strike "undemocratic".[86] Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the incident comparing atrocities on Ramlila ground with Ravana-Lila, adding that “It is one of the worst days of Indian history. The Prime Minister had said during the elections that he would bring back black money stashed in Swiss banks within 100 days of coming into power. But today, it is two years and nothing has happened.”[87] L. K. Advani said that the police action reminded him of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and added that the police crackdown on Ramdev is a "naked fascism".[87] Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said: "This is not democracy. .. the police cannot alone have taken such a step. It had the approval of the Prime Minister and full approval of the Congress President.[87]
  • Bahujan Samaj Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati, condemned the government's midnight crackdown on Ramdev and demanded that Supreme Court of India order an investigation into the incident stating that justice cannot be expected from the Central Government.[88][89]
  • The Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav condemned the incident saying that the action shows Centre has lost its mental balance. Charging the ruling Indian National Congress party, Yadav further said: "A Congress leader said that Baba is a thug. I want to say that Congress is the biggest thug and it should introspect its deeds.[88] "The government swooped down on Ramdev and his supporters as if it were carrying an attack on a foreign enemy," Yadav told reporters at a press conference.[89]
  • Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav accused Ramdev of being a front for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.[90]
  • The Communist Party of India (Marxist) termed the police action at the protest site of Ramdev as "deplorable and shortsighted". However, they found fault with the yoga guru for making the issue of black money "farcical" by entering into a secret agreement with government.[91] "The manner in which Ramdev's demands were drafted and the way in which he has conducted his interactions with the government, coming to a secret agreement to withdraw the hunger strike on the basis of assurances, then reneging and announcing its extension trivialised the seriousness of the issue of black money and made it farcical," the party said.[89]
  • The Shiv Sena strongly condemned the police action against Ramdev.[89]
  • Nitish Kumar, leader of Janata Dal (United), and the Chief Minister of Bihar, condemned the attack saying "It is a major blow to democracy and an attack on the democratic rights of the people ... It is also an attack on the fundamental rights of the citizens.”[87]

Suo Moto cognizance by the Supreme Court[edit]

The Supreme Court of India issued notices to the Union Home Secretary, Chief Secretary of Delhi, Delhi administration, and Delhi Police Commissioner expressing its displeasure that before the matter came up for hearing, the entire contents of the petition had been leaked to the media.[92] On 29 August 2011, the Court blamed the Delhi Police for the forcible eviction. The Delhi Police had earlier refused to file suo moto cognizance of the brutality on innocent protesters, as advised by the Court.[93]

August protests[edit]

Background[edit]

On 18 July 2011, Hazare said that he had told the Prime Minister of his decision to go on an indefinite fast from 16 August at Jantar Mantar. He said that he was willing to be arrested and that the police had also been informed.[94][95]

The Mumbai Taximen's Union proposed to support Hazare by withdrawing or limiting labour and the Mumbai chapter of India Against Corruption claimed that nearly 44,000 people had shown interest in joining the protest.[96] Lawyers of Allahabad High Court pledged to go on hunger strike in support[97] and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said that people from across the country should support him.[98]

Hazare's arrest[edit]

India Against Corruption protesters in Pune.

On 16 August 2011, Hazare and some supporters were arrested because he "intended to defy prohibitory orders".[99][100][101] He was then remanded when he refused to sign a personal bail bond. Within hours, a Team Anna spokesperson said that he had begun a hunger protest in custody and was not accepting even water to drink. The arrests set off a groundswell of protests across the country and were condemned by political parties, the chief ministers of some states not governed by Congress and non-government organisations. Parliament was unable to conduct business after an uproar on the issue forced an adjournment for the day.[102][103]

As protests built up in several cities and towns, Prashant Bhushan, one of Hazare's key associates, announced a march from India Gate to Parliament House to protest against the police action, which he said was taken at the behest of some cabinet ministers. Delhi police commissioner B. K. Gupta said that the police were not keen for Hazare be sent to judicial custody and had been prepared to release him if he had given an undertaking not to break Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which prohibits the gathering of five or more people, and ask his supporters not to do so also. Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas and Manish Sisodia, four other leading activists of Team Anna, were also placed in judicial custody on similar grounds. In a message released after his detention, Hazare said this was the beginning of the "second freedom struggle" and he called on people to participate in a "jail bharo" agitation.[104]

Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta said he had proposed a boycott of parliament for three days. Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat described the arrest as "a strong attack on democratic rights". Hours after arrest of Hazare, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj strongly condemned the action and demanded and explanation from Manmohan Singh saying that the government is hell-bent on crushing the civil rights of the citizens.[105][106]

S. K. Modi, the deputy chief minister of Bihar, appealed for people to demonstrate "peacefully and democratically" in support of Hazare's movement.[107]

In Delhi, in protest against the arrest of Hazare and his close aides by the Delhi Police, the members of All India Students Association showed black flags and shouted anti-government slogan against Kapil Sibal, who was to address a seminar at Malvankar Hall in city.[108]

Hazare on 16 August asked government employees across the country to go on mass leave to show solidarity with the movement. Union Home minister P. Chidambaram hoped they would not respond, describing the call as "completely wrong." Hazare's close associate and lawyer Prashant Bhushan urged government servants to join their cause and take a mass leave for a day and join the protests in their city.[109]

Hazare's release[edit]

After protests all over India, the Delhi Police decided to release Hazare and his colleagues from Tihar Jail. Over 1,500 people who had been detained for taking part in protests demanding Hazare's release were also released. Congress sources said that the Government decided to release Hazare and his supporters after coming to the conclusion that keeping him in jail would disrupt law and order unnecessarily. The decision to release Hazare was made after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, who disapproved of the arrest, on the evening of 16 August. Hazare supporters Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan were released by the Delhi Police early on 16 August.[110][111] However, on release, Hazare refused to leave the jail until the government agreed to give unconditional permission to hold protests at Jai Prakash Narayan National Park.[112]

Hazare agreed to leave jail after Delhi Police granted him permission to fast for 15 days against corruption at Ramlila Maidan, a larger venue than Jai Prakash Narayan National Park. However, he had to spend another night in jail as the venue was not ready.[113] On 19 August, Hazare left the jail after three days. Supporters welcomed him with spontaneous roar as he headed towards Ramlila Maidan to launch his hunger protest.[114]

Parliamentary debate[edit]

A debate on the Jan Lokpal bill was held in Parliament on 27 August 2011. With Hazare demanding three principles, (i) citizen charter, (ii) lower bureaucracy to be under Lokpal through an appropriate mechanism and (iii) establishment of Lok Ayuktas in the states, both houses of Parliament agreed to the principles.[115] Hazare announced that he would break his fast on 28 August.[116] At the time of breaking his fast, he said he was suspending his fast for the time being and will end it only after the strong Lokpal bill is passed by the Indian Parliament.[citation needed]

December protests[edit]

Hazare began another fast for the same purpose on 27 December 2011. This was held at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai rather than in Delhi because of the cold climate in the latter city.[117] IAC members asked him to end it because of his poor health but he refused. Hazare had been suffering from cold and mild fever for few days previously.[118] Public participation was very low in comparison to August: the IAC expected 50,000 people but only 4,000–5,000 people participated.[citation needed]

Parliament debate[edit]

The Lok Sabha debated the Lokpal Bill on 27 December 2011.[119] The debate resulted in the bill being passed to the Rajya Sabha but the new nine-man Lokpal panel was not given constitutional status because the government failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority of MPs present.[120][121]

The Lokpal Bill was sent for review to the Indian President, Pratibha Patil, on 28 December 2011. This is standard operating procedure for any legislation that will have financial implications. She later gave her assent for the Bill to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha.[122]

Detailed timeline[edit]

4 April 2011 (2011-04-04)
  • Hazare announced that he would commence his "fast unto death" and that this would last until a comprehensive measure to tackle corruption was introduced. He claimed that the government had excluded "civil society" from the panel set up to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill, and implied that at least one of the people who was to be on the drafting committee – Sharad Pawar – might be unsuitable for that role because of his large landholdings. Kiran Bedi and Agnivesh voiced their support for Hazare.[35]
5 April 2011 (2011-04-05)
Protesters have come out in support of Anna Hazare
7 April 2011 (2011-04-07)
Protests have continued as the Government fails to offer better terms to the activists
  • Two rounds of talks failed. There was agreement regarding constituting a panel to examine the Bill but the government would not accede to demands that it should be a formally constituted panel or that Hazare should lead it. As a consequence of this, Hazare continued his fast.[124]
  • Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Indian National Congress and the head of the National Advisory Council, appealed to Hazare to end his indefinite fast.[125]
  • Hazare and the protesters tried to keep the protests non-political. No politicians were welcome at the site of the fast. Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti and journalistBarkha Dutt were forced by civilians to leave, after the protesters objected to their presence, which they believed was harming the integrity of their movement.[126]
8 April 2011 (2011-04-08)
Protesters in Delhi
Protesters in Pune
  • Protests spread to numerous other places, including Mumbai, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chennai, Patna, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Pune, and the University of Jammu.[127]
  • The government continued to squabble with the activists stating that the bill drafting committee will be headed by a government appointed minister and not a civil society member as the protesters demanded to avoid allowing the government to make the bill less powerful. The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, met with Pratibha Patil to outline to her how the government was going ahead with the demands of the population.[128]
  • 15 supporters of Hazare on fast were hospitalised.[129]
  • Bollywood came out in support of the protests, with actors, musicians and directors speaking in support of the movement and Hazare. Director Farah Khan, actor Anupam Kher, music director Vishal Dadlani, poet-filmmaker Pritish Nandy and actor Tom Alter all visited Jantar Mantar; others stated their support for the movement via social networking websites or the media. Oscar winning Indian composer A. R. Rahman also declared his support for the anti-graft movement.[130]
  • The Indian/Qatari artist M. F. Hussain showed his support by drawing a cartoon of Hazare.[131]
  • Indian students at Cambridge University, the former alma mater of the Indian Prime Minister also expressed their support for the movement.[132]
  • Many prominent people from government agencies as well as from various corporate houses came out in support of the movement. Some of them were – Delhi Metro chief E. Sreedharan,[133] Punj Lloyd chairman Atul Punj, Maruti Suzuki chairman R. C. Bhargava, Hero group's Sunil Munjal, Tata Steel vice-chairman B Muthuraman, Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj, Godrej Group head Adi Godrej, Biocon Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Kotak Mahindra Bank vice-chairman and managing director Uday Kotak.[134][135]
  • ASSOCHAM President Dilip Modi and FICCI Director General Rajiv Kumar also came out in support of the movement.[134]
  • The government accepted the compromise formula that there be a politician chairman and an activist non-politician Co-Chairman. It was reported that Pranab Mukherjee will be the Chairman of the draft committee while Shanti Bhushan will be the co-chairman.[136] Bhushan was one of the original drafters of the Lokpal Bill along with Hazare, Justice N. Santosh Hegde, advocate Prashant Bhushan and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal.[137]
9 April 2011 (2011-04-09)
  • After accepting all the demands of Hazare, the government issued an Official Gazette saying that the draft of the lokpal would be made and presented in the coming monsoon session of Lok Sabha.[citation needed]
  • Many commentators have called the movement the 'wake-up' call for India.[138][139]
  • Within a day of the beginning of the agitation, more than 30,000 people had pledged their support to the Lokpal Bill. Organisers of the India Against Corruption said 30,000 people from Maharashtra expressed their support on their website.[140] The website has 20,000 members in Mumbai alone.[141] Within a few days the Facebook page for India Against Corruption had more than 220,000 likes.[142]
16 April 2011 (2011-04-16)
  • The first meeting regarding a draft of the Lokpal Bill was held on 16 April. The government agreed to audio-record all meetings of the Lokpal Bill panel and to hold public consultations before a final draft is prepared.[143] Hazare demanded that the proceedings be televised live but the government refused.[144]
4 June 2011 (2011-06-04)
  • Ramdev begins his indefinite hunger strike at Ramlila Maidan to bring back the black money stashed in tax havens abroad.[145] 65,000 followers gathered there.[63]
  • Kapil Sibbal made public a letter from Ramdev's camp to call off the hunger strike. Ramdev took it as a betrayal and hardened his position.[citation needed]
5 June 2011 (2011-06-05)
  • At midnight, a large contingent of police raided Ramlila Maidan. They lobbed tear gas shells, burned the place and lathicharged the crowd to evict them.[65]
  • Delhi Police arrested Ramdev, who was disguised in a salwar kameez with a group of female protesters heading peacefully towards the New Delhi Railway Station.[citation needed]
  • Ramdev was sent to his Patanjali Yogpeeth ashram in Haridwar.[146]
  • 53 people were injured and were treated in hospitals.[147]
  • One of Ramdev's supporters was injured in the incident and her condition was still critical as of 17 August 2011.[148]
  • Ramdev was prohibited from entering Delhi for 15 days.
6 June 2011 (2011-06-06)
  • Manmohan Singh said that the operation against Ramdev had to be conducted and that there was no alternative. He did not elaborate as to why force was used on a peaceful gathering and why the swoop was done at 1 am in the morning.[149]
9 June 2011 (2011-06-09)
  • Hazare described his fight against corruption as the "Second Freedom Struggle" and set an ultimatum of 15 August 2011 as the last date to pass a strong Jan Lokpal Bill, threatening to otherwise intensify his anti-corruption agitation and start another fast from 16 August.[151]
16 June 2011 (2011-06-16)
  • The Government and the civil society split wide open due to differences in jointly drafting the bill. Government representatives said that if a consensus on the common bill was not reached, two drafts would be sent to the Cabinet, one drafted by the Government and the other drafted by the civil society. Team Anna also claimed that only 15 points, out of a total 71 recommended, were agreed upon and included in the joint draft. Hazare declared that if the government version of the bill was passed in the Parliament, he would start his hunger strike from 16 August 2011.[152]
15 August 2011 (2011-08-15)
  • Hazare announced at a press conference that he and his supporters were determined to go ahead with the fast on 16 August 2011 as planned. He also urged people to court arrest to push for a stronger Lokpal bill.[153]
  • Section 144 was imposed a night before the planned protest date, at JP Park, Rajghat and Dilli Gate, which prohibited assembly of five or more persons.[153]
16 August 2011 (2011-08-16)
  • Hazare was detained by Delhi Police in the early morning before he could start his hunger strike at JP Park, Delhi. They had asked Hazare not to leave his home, which he declined, and so was detained at his residence in Mayur Vihar. Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Manish Sisodia and more than 1200 supporters[154] were also taken into preventative custody by the Police.[155][156]
  • Hazare was sent to Tihar jail for seven days after refusing to sign a personal bond to be released on bail.[157]
  • Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan detained by Delhi Police on the morning ahead of Hazare's fast-unto-death, were released in the evening.[158]
  • The telecom minister, Kapil Sibal, was greeted with black flags and booed by a group of students at a seminar on the Jan Lokpal bill.[159]
  • With the Government of India, preparing to release Hazare late in the night,[160] however Hazare refused to leave jail until the government agreed to an unconditional permission to hold protests at JP Park.[112]
  • Demonstrations were held all over India protesting Hazare's arrest. In Chennai, Mahatma Gandhi's secretary, V Kalyanam led the protesters. He said – "India will get a sure gold medal if corruption is entered as an item in the Olympic Games. We may not be a force in football or athletics or hockey. But India is the undisputed global leader in corruption.”[161]
17 August 2011 (2011-08-17)
  • Congress made a statement that they suspected a foreign hand in the protests and asked the government to probe if the US was behind Hazare's agitation.[162] The US denied the accusation.[163]
18 August 2011 (2011-08-18)
  • Hazare agreed to leave jail after Delhi Police granted him permission to fast for 15 days against corruption at Ramlila Maidan. He stayed there for one more night while the Maidan was made ready.[113][164]
  • Arvind Kejriwal left Tihar jail being there for two days. He described the move as just the beginning of their fight against corruption.[165]
19 August 2011 (2011-08-19)
  • Hazare left jail after three days and was welcomed by a huge crowd assembled nearby. Paying obeisance to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat and Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate, Hazare reached Delhi's Ramlila Maidan to launch a 15-day mass protest against corruption.[166] He said that he would not quit the venue until the Jan Lokpal Bill was passed.[167]
  • Varun Gandhi, a BJP MP, announced that he would introduce Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha as a private member's bill, saying that it was better than anything the nation has seen before.[168]
21 August 2011 (2011-08-21)
  • Hazare's camp called their supporters to confront individual Members of Parliament and Union Ministers at their residence and also warned the UPA government that its days would be numbered if it failed to pass the Bill by 30 August.[169]
  • Over 100,000 supporters had thronged Ramlila Maidan on Sunday, to show their support against corruption.[170]
  • Around 50,000 supporters marched in the streets on Mumbai to support Hazare. This was reportedly one of the biggest protests in Mumbai.[171][172]
22 August 2011 (2011-08-22)
23 August 2011 (2011-08-23)
  • Manmohan Singh on Tuesday appealed Anna Hazare to end his fast. He wrote a letter to Anna stating that he will ask Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar if Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill can be sent to the Standing Committee. Singh also said that the government was concerned about Hazare's health.[175]
24 August 2011 (2011-08-24)
  • Varun Gandhi visited Ramlila Maidan. He stated his visit was as a common man and had nothing to do with his party as he supported Hazare's cause.[176]
  • An all-party meeting was chaired by Manmohan Singh at his official residence in New Delhi represented by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. However the meeting ended with Mukherjee appealing for Hazare to end his fast, prompting the civil society to declare that they were "back to square one".[177][178]
25 August 2011 (2011-08-25)
  • Manmohan Singh said that all proposed versions of the Lokpal bill, including those prepared by Aruna Roy's NCPRI and Jaiprakash Narain, would be debated in Parliament.[179]
  • Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh met Hazare at his protest camp at Ramlila Maidan. Deshmukh reportedly conveyed a message from the Prime Minister to urge Hazare to end his fast and also asked him to consider the Prime Minister's offer to debate all versions of Lokpal Bill in Parliament.[180][181]
  • Hazare had asked Manmohan Singh to start the parliamentary discussion the next morning itself. Hazare had also put forward his three demands to the Prime Minister – Citizen's Charter, Lokayuktas in all states with Lokpal powers and inclusion of lowest to highest bureaucracy.[182]
26 August 2011 (2011-08-26)
  • The government asked Hazare to guarantee the end of his fast once the debate began in Parliament.[183]
27 August 2011 (2011-08-27)
  • Initiating the Lok Sabha debate on the bill, Pranab Mukherjee requested Hazare to end his fast.[184] BJP leader Sushma Swaraj expressed her party's support for Hazare and said that the BJP largely agreed with the three pre-conditions (Citizen's Charter, Lokayuktas in all states with Lokpal powers, and inclusion of lowest to highest bureaucracy) laid down by Hazare to end his hunger strike.[185] The government agreed to a voice vote on the debate.[186] Both houses of parliament passed the resolution accepting all the three pre-conditions set by Hazare.[187]
28 August 2011 (2011-08-28)
  • Hazare ended his 12-day fast after 288 hours and was taken to Medanta Medicity to recover. He had been under medical supervision throughout the fast.[188] Thousands of his supporters congregated at India Gate to celebrate.[189]
24 November 2011 (2011-11-24)
11 December 2011 (2011-12-11)
  • Hazare sat on a day-long fast at Jantar Mantar protesting against proposals of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the anti-graft measure. The protest for the first time saw politicians sharing stage with Hazare, with leaders of the BJP, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Janata Dal, Akali Dal, Telugu Desam Party and Biju Janata Dal participated in the public debate on the Lokpal bill.[191][192]
22 December 2011 (2011-12-22)
  • The expected introduction of the Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha did not occur. Instead, the Food Security Bill was first introduced and subsequently the process of the Lokpal Bill was hindered by procedural and party political issues.[193][194] The Lokpal Bill that had been proposed previously was discarded by the government, who put forward a revised proposal, along with a constitutional bill, in an attempt to resolve the issues that were being raised during the session regarding reservation for minorities and other under-represented groups.[195]
  • Hazare announced that a hunger strike would take place on 27, 28, 29 and Jail Bharo Andolan subsequently to pressurise the Government.[196]
27 December 2011 (2011-12-27)
  • Hazare began his fast demanding a stronger version of the ombudsman Lokpal bill at the Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai, after paying respect at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Juhu. Thousands of his supporters had joined his rally from Juhu Beach to the Complex.[197]
  • Hazare was greeted by some people with black flags. The first day also turned out to be disappointment for the people who support the movement as the turn out was very low.[198]
28 December 2011 (2011-12-28)
  • On the second day of his fast, a day ahead of schedule, Hazare repeated his threat to campaign against Congress in the five poll-bound states for not bringing a strong Lokpal. Due to deteriorating health of Hazare and low turn out across the country were among the reasons for ending up his fast. He said that, the movement is not stopped, just postponed.[199]
  • Hazare also announced the cancellation of "Jail Bharo" movement due to his bad health condition.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

External images
Images of India protests over campaigner's arrest (BBC)
Images of Indians protest the arrest of Anna Hazare (Time)
Video of Anna Hazare phenomenon (YouTube)
Indian anti-corruption campaigner, freed from jail (Guardian)
Images of Indian Anti corruption Movement (Times of India)
Video of Indian Anti-Corruption Movements (WikiLeaks Forum)