Published On:30 May 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

INTERVIEW: Anna Hazare displeased to see the development in Gujarat at the cost of people

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani  

Ahmedabad: Anna Hazare – the people's cynosure, was in Ahmedabad, Gujarat recently. He was very displeased to see the development at the cost of people. Here some quick free wheeling talk that IndianMuslimObserver.com had with him.

How do you see the development and so called vibarant Gujarat?

I am not against development. It must not be at the cost of poor and weak sections of the society.The government must give some options to the people so that they can live happily.

When were you last in Ahmedabad?

That was long back, during the earthquake in 2001.

How much has Gandhian philosophy influenced you?

Very little! There were so many things that Gandhiji spoke of. I have been able to put into practice only a few of them. One thing I know is, Delhi’s parliament is not the parliament Gandhiji dreamed of. We need to replicate a model of the village parliament (Gram Sabha) in every state. Only when the village parliament is strong, will there be democracy in true sense of the term.

Central and state legislatures are secondary. It is Gram Sabhas that should be empowered. Today, after 63 years of independence, no one talks about gram sabhas, which are the smallest units of governance. We cannot curb corruption until gram sabhas are given decision-making powers. The country cannot develop if villages are not developed.

What is the root cause of corruption?

Corruption is the outcome of centralisation. The parliament feels that it owns the land for the mines. The state parliament feels the same. We ask for a legal framework that decentralises power on the lines of gram sabha. Village parliament’s opinion needs to be sought on whether a mine should be set up in their village or not. Why are the locals not involved? Involve them and you’ll see a corruption-free country.

With the increasing number of land grabbing issues in Gujarat, the state has remained ‘vibrant’ for only a select few. If you were called to be their voice, how will you react?

Arrey! How can one Anna Hazare be everywhere? Just like the entire country has come together for the Lokpal Bill, people will have to unite if they want to fight a corrupt system. Government does not fear demonstrations or rallies. It fears being out of power.

Till we do not accumulate such power that can bring down a government, it will not be scared of us. We have to create that fear. Why did they have to agree to Lokpal Bill when initially they did not? It is people’s power that scared them.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on May 30, 2011. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on May 30, 2011. Filed under , , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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