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Anti-graft bill 'will end corruption'
Elderly activist Hazare scores notable victory as government backs downSupporters protest in favour of change
- Bijay Kumar Minj, New Delhi
- April 11, 2011
The euphoria was triggered following the governmentâ€™s agreement to the demands of Anna Hazare, a Hindu activist, who was fasting in support of his campaign against corruption.
Hazare ended his fast on April 9 after the government gave in to his demands.
It agreed to set up a joint committee of ministers and civil activists to draft an effective bill that gives wider powers to an ombudsman to fight corruption.
â€śWe have crossed the first hurdle and itâ€™s victory of the peopleâ€ť, said Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi.
He said â€śwe should be optimistic and not pessimistic for things will change though it will take its own course as it is deeply rooted in the systemâ€ť.
However, corruption will only end if the change comes from within the people. Itâ€™s a big challenge, the prelate added.
Muhammad Abbas, a Muslim leader, agreed. â€śNothing will change all of a suddenâ€ť but one thing is sure. "We have a leader who thinks and cares for the ordinary peopleâ€ť, he said.
The government cannot now take the people for granted, he added.
Swami Navyogender, one of the participants from Udhampur said â€śit is the peopleâ€™s fight, if nothing moves people will come to the street againâ€ť. The movement was peaceful and the participants showed their frustration against the corrupt system.
More than 10,000 people, including scores of Catholic priests and nuns, supported Hazare in his campaign against corruption.
They took part in his march at Jantar Mantar, the venue for public protests.
"India Against Corruption,â€ť a movement launched by social and religious leaders, including Archbishop Concessao, has supported Hazareâ€™s campaign.
However, Hazare told the media on March 10 that a law would cut corruption by up to 90 percent. â€śFor the other 10 percent [to be rooted out], we will call for the right to reject [corrupt] candidates. There should be decentralization of power in governance right down to the village level.''