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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ruling comes after long series of political corruption

After  a long period of political corruption, the nation of India has passed an anti-graft bill. The ruling gives an independent ombudsman to investigate, as well as prosecute accusations of corruption by politicians and civil servants.

The news ended a nine-day hunger strike by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare. Accepting coconut water from two school children in Anna caps, his supporters cheered and key aides like General VK Singh and Kiran Bedi made speeches.

The news ended a nine-day hunger strike by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare. Accepting coconut water from two school children in Anna caps, his supporters cheered and key aides like General VK Singh and Kiran Bedi made speeches.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: India, anti-corrpution, Anna Hazare, hunger strike


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - India's Central Bureau of Investigation must then investigate all cases referred to it by the ombudsman. Not even India's prime minister will be immune to investigation. The bill is set to become law after being signed by the president.

There had been widespread public dissatisfaction in India after a slew of governmental scandals. The problem was not new. According to Transparency International, an anti-corruption monitoring group, about 54 percent of Indians polled in 2010 said they had had to pay a bribe that year. In addition, a full 74 percent said corruption in India had increased in recent years.

The news ended a nine-day hunger strike by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare. Accepting coconut water from two school children in Anna caps, his supporters cheered and key aides like General VK Singh and Kiran Bedi made speeches.

The 76-year-old activist scolded rebuked some people standing in front of TV cameras and said, "The country or society does not benefit from people who stand before cameras. If I had chosen to stand in front of the cameras, I would not have reached where I have."

It recalled a similar moment in 2011, when Anna ended a 16-day fast in Delhi on the promise that Parliament would soon pass the anti-graft Lokpal Bill.

Lying idle for two years, Anna's new fast in his Maharashtra village last week to pressure politicians to immediately pass the bill.

The ruling Congress party and its primary opposition Bharatiya Janata Party combined forces to push passage of the bill, which had been on hold since 2011, when it was approved by the lower house, but not the upper house. In the interim, several amendments were added, which made it necessary for both houses to re-approve it.

The Congress party was eager to have the bill passed by Parliament after a debacle in recent state elections. With national elections due to be held early in 2014, the party was hoping to silence criticism of the government's delays in getting the legislation through Parliament.

Both parties witnessed a surge of public support for the anti-corruption movement, and joined forces to ensure passage of the bill rather than be seen on the wrong side of people's sentiments with national elections a few months away.



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