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Bid to hijack democracy: Agnivesh

Special Correspondent



Against a scourge:Social activist Swami Agnivesh heads a day-long fast organised in Kannur on Wednesday in support of the anti-corruption campaign led by Anna Hazare.

KANNUR: Indian democracy is being hijacked by vested-interest groups and the mafia, social activist Swami Agnivesh has said.

Addressing those gathered for a day-long fast organised here by Kerala Against Corruption, in association with the North Malabar Chamber of Commerce, Swami Agnivesh said the Jan Lokpal was not envisaged as ‘just another piece of legislation' in the country which had largest number of legislations.

The fast was organised in support of the campaign against corruption led by Anna Hazare.

Observing that most of those elected do not represent the electorate, he said the struggle for an effective and deterrent legislation against corruption was the celebration of real democracy. Stating that the bureaucracy and executive were living in ivory towers, Swami Agnivesh said ordinary people's voices were getting louder now as Anna Hazare's fast marked a turning point in Indian history. Those who claimed that Parliament and parliamentarians were supreme were sticking to the British colonial legacy enshrined in the ‘doctrine of eminent domain' under which the British Parliament decided what public good would be, he said.

Former Minister A. Raja and Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam MP Kanimozhi were in jail not because of the Centre's role but due to the intervention of the Supreme Court, he said.

Referring to the 2G scam, Swami Agniwesh said the country would hear another round of Radia tapes that would expose the Home Minister. Globalisation had started a new phenomenon of corruption in the country. The country now needed laws enforced by agencies independent of government control. There would be no radical changes as long as people rely on ruling or Opposition parties, he said. Stating that the civil society was not completely rejecting the government draft, he said the fast announced by Mr. Hazare would force the government to accept more provisions in the Jan Lokpal to be included in the Bill. Ultimately it is for Parliament to decide, he said stressing that the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left parties had already supported the proposal to bring the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal.

Civil society leaders would chalk out an integrated programme to carry forward the movement against corruption, he said. P.V. Rajgopal of the Ekta Parishad present.

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