A newly appointed chief minister swoops into government offices, pulls up officers for their tardy work and hammers out orders and suspensions against them. That was the plot of the Bollywood film “Nayak” starring Anil Kapoor.
By Annie Banerji
Hundreds of devoted volunteers and followers are preparing a tent stretched across an area the size of four football fields, as scores of media personnel throng the site of yoga guru Swami Ramdev’s fast-until-death at New Delhi’s Ramlila Ground.
For nearly two decades, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the darling of the Indian middle classes, who saw the Oxford- and Cambridge-trained economist as a rare alternative to the stereotype of the uneducated, corrupt and criminal politician.
Even as Anna Hazare’s protest demanding an anti-draft bill gains nationwide momentum and nears a solution, there has been some criticism of the methods the veteran social activist has adopted in his crusade.
Leaders from India’s influential corporate industry on Friday expressed solidarity with Anna Hazare in his campaign for a tough anti-corruption ‘Lokpal’ bill, joining ranks with thousands across the country galvanised by the activist and his Gandhian method of non-violent agitation.
Rumblings within the ruling Congress party that suggested the “jettison” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the party’s electoral failures in state elections in 2007, cited in a secret diplomatic cable published on Monday, are a timely reminder of the dangerous implications of failure for Congress in elections this month.
As the scandal-tainted Congress coalition in India struggles to deal with graft allegations, the focus has shifted to an anti-corruption bill that may well be the bane of future governments.
To some, the parliamentary walkout by India’s opposition prior to the vote on the country’s annual budget motion marked the failure of India’s ruling Congress party to engage with its primary adversary, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over its claims that the Prime Minister had lied to parliament to protect his own reputation.
India’s ruling Congress party offered cash for votes to pass a crucial 2008 confidence vote in parliament, a secret U.S. state cable released on Thursday said, embroiling Manmohan Singh’s beleaguered government in yet another corruption scandal that risks further opposition attacks on the graft-smeared coalition.
The judges in the Supreme Court had finished hammering out for delivery the next day a landmark verdict in the battle against corruption, when a thousand kilometres away, another anti-graft crusader was beaten to death.