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Tag: anna-hazare (Page 1 of 2)

Wikileaks Shares U.S. Cable from Ecuador

This should raise some eyebrows. Back in 2006 when the Neoliberal polices (Chicago School Economics) seemed to be taking the world by storm before the pretty theories collapsed like a shack in a hurricane, the U.S. Embassy was not seeing those policies in a positive light. In fact, the embassy says the policies are counterproductive and the nation of Ecuador is moving in the opposite direction.

I find it astonishing how little coverage of the Wikileaks publication of these diplomatic cables there is in the United States. These are front page headlines in nations all over the world often having dramatic political implications like the anti-corruption movement (Anna Hazare) in India. How controlled is American media? What aren’t we seeing in this nation?

James Pilant

Neoliberal policies “which have fed the
growing political disaffection of Bolivia‘s majority poor, have helped fuel the
country’s rolling ‘social revolution.'”

This was how a May 6, 2006, US embassy cable from La Paz recently released by
WikiLeaks viewed the powerful wave of struggle that led to the election of
Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, in 2005.

This secret assessment came despite Washington publicly trumpeting neoliberal
policies as the way to solve the problems of Latin America’s poor.

In 1985, under the advise of US economist Jeffrey Sachs, the Victor Paz
Estenssoro government opened up Bolivia’s economy to foreign transnationals.

A number of state-owned companies were privatised, including the crucial
mining sector. Restrictions on foreign capital were removed and labour security

The US embassy admitted in its cable: “Notwithstanding the promises of
politicians … poverty was largely impervious to the liberal reforms of the
late 80s and 90s.”

It noted the percentage of Bolivians living below the poverty line remained
“virtually unchanged (over 60%) … and even increased during the economic crisis
of 1999-2003”.

At the same time, neoliberal reforms “clearly failed to meet public
expectations for increased incomes and jobs”.

“In fact, reforms had a palpably negative effect on jobs in the short term,
immediately causing a 17 percent drop in public sector employment and triggering
the dismissal of thousands of public sector miners when resource draining
state-owned mining enterprises were shut down.”

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Anna Hazare Ends Hunger Fast – “Half the Battle” (Struggle against corruption)

From the Times of India

Anna Hazare declared on Saturday that the nation’s people had won a great victory as he announced he would end his fast at 10am on Sunday.

Hazare thanked people for their support on the Lokpal agitation but cautioned that only half the battle had been won.

“We have won only half the battle,” said Hazare standing before wildly cheering crowds and flanked by his key aides and Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, former Maharashtra chief minister who has been an interlocutor.

In India, we have a nation’s people aroused to change the way their society works, to end generations of corruption at every level of government and society.

But their battle is our battle. We are measured as less corrupt by international standards here in the United States. But it that really true?

We may have less overt corruption in the form of “legal” campaign contributions and corporate “personhood,” but is ours any less corrosive. Do we pay any less than an Indian paying a bribe to get out of traffic ticket? We just pay ours in taxes not shared by big campaign contributors? We just pay ours in huge subsidies to already prosperous corporations, who in the next election cycle will demand even more, and even more after that.

In a real way, I envy the people of India, it appears that they may well make some headway in their struggle. There is still some part of their system that can be affected by the popular will. Can we say the same?

Our system is broken and while the normal citizens (who by an 87% disapprove of Congress) know something is terribly wrong. Our beltway elites march in lock step to the demands of ridiculous self serving philosophies of government.

James Pilant

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Civil society do-gooders versus 'dirty tricks' department (Comment) (via pennsperry)

Do-gooders is a title of derision and a major criticism in the United States. It implies giving help where none is requested and idealism in a situation where everyone is comfortable.

Here it is used in another sense, political newcomer, neophyte, starry eyed idealist, etc. That is only to be expected. Generally speaking to be effective, a wide ranging movement eventually becomes organized to maintain pressure over long periods of time. In the United States, organizations like C.O.R.E., the Congress of Racial Equality and the N.A.A.C.P., National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, carried on the struggle for civil rights for minorities in the United States. It was recognized that even though the public favored the cause, it required continuous pressure to make change possible.

A large unorganized movement can easily be broken by attacks because it has no mechanism for defense, no central leadership to react to these kinds of assaults. Hazare’s organization is not really organized. It is almost helpless against attacks in the media. Because of its diffuse membership, there can be a dozen different responses to crisis coming from different parties in different places.

I admire Anna Hazare but the next stage of the battle is about to begin. It will take continuous pressure over decades to change the endemic culture of corruption. I’m going to watch. India is no longer a backwater in the field of social change, it is the front line in a worldwide  battle for ethics and morality in public life.

This is a good article, a little more cynical than me, which is saying a lot. My heart and prayers are with the reformers. It is time for a change.

James Pilant

By Amulya Ganguli When Anna Hazare and his warriors launched their anti-corruption crusade in early April, they were acting like starry-eyed idealists ready to take on the world. Their ardour had something of the assurance, full of zest, which every generation felt when they embarked on a mission to usher in a new dawn. Although a few of those in the frontline are young – Hazare himself is a septuagenarian – their youthful fervour of those days w … Read More

via pennsperry

Hidden Agenda to derail Anti-Corruption Drive? (via Deshpandevm’s Blog)

I found this an interesting commentary on the anti-corruption movement in India.

I find the level of suspicion to be right about the same level as mine. Which maybe healthy or not. Nevertheless, any successful movement must take account of its enemies and I like the article’s predictions as the moves likely to be made. I would have suggested many of the same ones. The one that I focused on immediately was putting loopholes in the legislation to make enforcement impossible. In America, the use of loopholes (known as jokers in American law) is endemic. I strongly agree they are a major danger.

Anyway, read the article. This movement may change the world. It deserves attention.

James Pilant

Hidden Agenda to derail Anti-Corruption Drive? Hidden Agenda to derail Anti-Corruption Drive? Anna Hazare’s fast unto death to press for demands on Jan Lokpal Bill in April 2011 took the UPA government at the centre by surprise in spite of intelligence inputs. The massive public response it evoked shook the crisis managers of the government. 24 x 7 media coverage had multiplier effect to spread the message and participation to the remote corners of India. As the response of the government unf … Read More

via Deshpandevm’s Blog

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POWERS & PURPOSE (via Movid’s Weblog) Indian Elections and Personal Integrity

I really enjoyed the view of some of the “difficulties” in the life of a citizen of India during elections and, in particular, his assertiveness in defending his rights. This is a tale of Indian elections and personal integrity.

Good article – good story!

James Pilant

Any statute empowers an officer or a body of persons with a PURPOSE. But when the officer or the body of persons APPLY or USE the powers vested in them, to ascertain  whether  they are relevant  to the purpose or not is TYRANNY. I’d like to give an example, for greater clarity to the aforesaid statement. On the HIGHWAYS in Thamizhnadu, prior to the elections there were Election squads, Income Tax squads and even maverick state police squads which … Read More

via Movid’s Weblog

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I thank God for angry, indignant bloggers. We have to have strong emotion. We have to be vital, intent, focused and unrelenting if there is to be change.

I like what I read here. There is anger in India against corruption. In American the more subtle corruption of campaign contributions and lobbyists have no real opposition, just the occasional gripe. I wish we had someone like Anna Hazare.

I am watching. The world is trying to look away from the controversy in India. Don’t let them. Don’t let your anger cool. Keep it hot and keep it on target. Don’t be diverted by side issues. Never let the pressure off and never be deterred by frivolous charges and threats. The way to moral success is not always straight and beset with difficulties.

Win this one. Change history.

James Pilant

Mani Shankar Aiyer, Congress MP to Rajya Sabha, yesterday in his characteristic outspoken way took on Team Anna Hazare for leading a movement against corruption which has reached gargantuan proportions in India. Mr.Aiyer’s anger, please note, is not against rampant corruption in India due to the rotten political system being followed by political parties since decades. Though Indian citizens were/are angered over the way, the politicians drag the … Read More

via Cosmos In My Eyes

I did not nominate Bhushans: Anna Hazare

This is the next round. It’s going to be exciting. My general impression is that to discredit someone with a strong reputation you attack his colleagues. And those colleagues in this kind of struggle are likely to be politicians. Unfortunately, if you have been in politics any length of time, you have usually left some questionable decisions not wholly dealt with. What’s more, India seems to have some very creative ways for a politician to make money. In the United States, corruption is more institutionalized, so to see who owns a politician we just go online and look at the campaign contributions or we look to see what Political Action Committees their wives or relatives use to suck up money from the gullible.

My admiration for the Indian press is growing rapidly. I found the reporting informative and challenging. I got the impression that being a press favorite was not as common there as it is here.

The struggle goes on, from my distant perch in the center of the North American continent, I watch.

James Pilant

Again, Digvijaya targets civil society activists (via NDTV)

This video certainly gives one a postive view of the Indian press. That was a tough interview, the type we rarely see here in the United States. It appears that many players are in motion. I am sadly deficient in my knowledge of who the players are, but I’m catching up.

James Pilant

I noticed watching the interview that the English was easy for me to understand. I’m doubtful that Indians could understand much of my English.

Can Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill root out the menace of corruption? (via Cinesign's Blog)

Generally, I try to write a few paragraphs and explain what I think about the situations. This one, this post, is difficult to write about.

First, it’s long and quite detailed. I like that. In fact, that the author was able to describe and explain so much without losing me was strong reason to reblog the post.

Second, it’s about India, not just about the country but about the nation’s future, hopes and dreams. That’s a dangerous area to comment on. I have noticed that even mild criticism of India can generate strong responses. That’s okay. I’m getting used to it. When the United States was becoming a great power back in the early 20th century, there was a lot of thin skin there too.

India is a great nation with a difficult future, and it’s not just a little complex. From the middle of the United States, it’s hard to get a good, solid view, but I’m going to try. I need to write about this. In my country, on one of the major news networks, Hazare merited a short single article. We don’t think about India. We don’t read about India. We probably get more information about India from Rajesh Koothrappali than we do from the news.

So, I’m passing on to you a long, detailed and, in my mind, well written and informative post. Please read it!

James Pilant

Can Anna Hazares Jan Lokpal Bill root out the menace of corruption? Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar The real battle for the future began the moment Anna Hazare sipped lemon water at Delhis Jantar Mantar to break his fast on April 9. The four-day fast started on a low-key note, but exploded into a nationwide exhibition of anger, as a diminutive, unknown Gandhian from Maharashtra turned into a giant icon, a heroic symbol of the hidden despair that had been swelling in the consciousness of an … Read More

via Cinesigns Blog

Facebook, Twitter Push Hazare's Lokpal Bill Fight Facebook, Twitter Push Hazare's Lokpal Bill Fight (via Pratyush K. Pattnaik)

By all means, let’s join the struggle. Hazare’s battle is our battle, wherever we live, whatever we do, our lives are diminished by corruption – but also enriched by the efforts of the wise and heroic.

Go to Facebook – Join up.

James Pilant

Facebook, Twitter Push Hazares Lokpal Bill Fight Facebook, Twitter Push Hazares Lokpal Bill Fight Over 1,00,000 followers on Facebook; over 7 lakh people express their solidarity through phone lines Satyagraha finds its way onto new media, after Facebook, Twitter and SMS added teeth to social activist Anna Hazares crusade against corruption. Hazares protest involves him fasting until death till the government agrees to table the Lokpal Bill, which puts corrupt politicians to accountability and scrutiny by an independent body. In practically … Read More

via Pratyush K. Pattnaik

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