Bangalore: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Sunday strengthened his struggle against the national scourge by launching “Asali Azadi Abhiyaan” (Actual Independence Movement) in the City on Sunday.
Flanked by Justice Santosh Hegde, waterman of India Rajendra Singh, H S Doreswamy, Salem Nanjundaiah Subba Rao, Akhil Gogoi from Assam and social activists from different parts of the country, Hazare vowed that his crusade would not stop till the benefits of independence reached the hinterlands and the development models were village-centric.
“After 90 years of struggle from 1857 to 1947, India gained freedom from the British rule. But the fruits of independence which should have benefited citizens, was still elusive. The fruits of independence were in the custody of a powerful few while the majority was still struggling to eke out a living. This was not the independence for which our forefathers sacrificed their lives,” said Hazare asking people to intensify their struggle against corruption if they wanted to ensure that the martyrdom of their forefathers did not go waste.
He called upon the youths to do their bit in freeing the country from the clutches of corrupt politicians. He said urban-centric development had crowded cities while made villages bankrupt. This, he said, had led to the migration of people from villages to cities and towns, where the poor were exploited.
“Because of the faulty economic development, 80 per cent villages in India continued to starve. There were no efforts to recharge the groundwater which can change agriculture production,” Hazare said.
He called upon the youth to focus on character-building, leading an unblemished life, sacrifice and develop the ability to tolerate insults, if they wished to change the country.
Later, addressing reporters, Hazare said the Lokpal Act has many shortcomings as it was in sharp contrast to the draft Jan Lokpal Bill they had prepared. The government came out with an explanation that those points which are not included in the draft bill would be presented in separate bills. This way, the purpose of the Lokpal was diluted, he added.