Monday, August 29, 2011


AFTER ENDING ANTI-CORRUPTION FAST - Indian anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare has spent a night in hospital after ending a 12-day hunger strike in the capital, Delhi.  Doctors say Mr Hazare’s condition is stable and he is on a liquid diet.  Mr Hazare, 74, broke his fast after MPs expressed support for proposed changes to anti-corruption legislation.  Indians have been angered by a string of corruption scandals and Mr Hazare’s campaign received widespread support and a great deal of media coverage.  Mr Hazare is expected to rest and undergo check-ups for two days.  Doctors at the private hospital in a Delhi suburb say he is “dehydrated and exhausted” and will be given solid food gradually.  Mr Hazare’s campaign to strengthen an anti-corruption bill has received widespread support, with tens of thousands of people attending protests across the country.

The Indian government has been rocked by recent corruption scandals including an alleged telecoms bribery scam that may have cost the country $39bn (£23bn), suspected financial malpractice linked to the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and accusation that homes for war widows were diverted to civil servants.  Critics of the government say the scandals point to a pervasive culture of corruption in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s administration.  A recent survey said corruption in Asia’s third largest economy had cost billions of dollars and threatened to derail growth.  Anna Hazare’s supporters want an anti-graft body to have sweeping investigative powers over virtually every level of government, including the prime minister.

Seventy-four-year-old Anna Hazare ended his 12-day hunger strike Sunday after parliament agreed to some of his demands for tougher anti-corruption legislation.  Hazare’s “fast to death” united millions of Indians against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government.  Despite the government agreed to lay the groundwork for a more robust anti-corruption law, Hazare said his struggle is not over, and he will not back down from his fight for reforms.  When rogues and cheaters are elected to office, taking advantage of their situation and position, enjoy life by living off the high taxes taken from the citizens.

Just as it is difficult not to taste honey or poison placed on the tongue, similarly, it is difficult for one handling the ruler’s money to refrain from tasting it in at least small quantities.  Just as it is not possible to know when the fish moving in water drink water, similarly, it is difficult to find out when officers employed in the execution of works misappropriate money.  Even the path of birds flying in the sky can be found out but not the ways of officers who hide their intentions. ... (The cowherds) if given wages in the form of milk and ghee act to the detriment of calves.  He who is responsible for loss of revenue shall be deemed to have eaten the ruler’s property.  He who doubles the revenue eats up the people’s property.  He who causes expenditure equal to the revenue eats up the labour of workmen.  The pure shall not be corrupted, as water by poison.  Sometimes it may not be possible to find a cure for the corrupted.

Chanakya Pandita - (Indian politician and writer, 350 BC 75 BC)
“Maxims of Chanakya” - “Maxims from Arthasastra - Corruption”
Written by V. K. Subramanian - Shakti Malik, Abhinav Publications
E-37, Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 2000

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