On June 10th 2009, Dr. Jaya Prakash Narayan submitted a draft bill as an amendment to the anti corruption bill, to the chief minister and the speaker of Andhra Pradesh. Among the several amendments to the bill, one significant amendment was to deem MLAs, MLCs, elected members of panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations as public servants and bring them under the purview of the Corruption Act.
Click here, to read the draft bill.
This amendment was good enough for me to join the campaign which we kicked off with in a week of this proposal. The campaign itself was aimed at making sure the draft was introduced as a bill in the Andhra Pradesh assembly and then to get the approval of all the members to get it approved as a bill. The campaign involved
- Calling the MLA’s
- An Online Petition
- Email campaign to sign the petition and educate the internet audience.
- Calling the Political Parties
- Write to the Media.
- Talk to the Media.
- Get the word out to the common man about the importance of the bill and how their support will help.
The campaign’s first step was the email campaign to reach out to the internet audience and create awareness about the bill and make them sign the petition thereafter. This campaign is one week old and yet we have had only 792 signatures at this point in time. Although the number is disappointing, it is expected. However there have been quite a few concerns/criticisms regarding this campaign.
Here are some readers comments.
Reader #1:”First prevent corruption at top level(more power over people) rather focussing to much at small levels,If the things get to work properly at the top level then people at low level(lesser power) will not become corrupt”
To this i’ve to say, corruption is deep rooted in the society. From students, young adults, to middle aged, to old people, everybody is part of the system. If the kid is not taught about the perils of corruption, he or she may become the person in power tomorrow and the vicious cycle will follow. So corruption needs to be addressed at all levels and treated with same vigor and intensity. So yes this kind of a campaign is a good way to start such debates and discussions.
Reader #2: “JP should petition it to the authorities you are willing and capable to make a difference which is the biggest challenge right now and i’m Afraid i can’t think of anyone in the country right now of anyone in the country right now”
To this I’ve to say, that that’s precisely the reason why we are running the campaign. If the Chief Minister were to readily agree and sign the bill, these amendments would have been made a long time back. We elect the leaders to do the job, but if they don’t , then we’ve to make sure that they do their job. Because if we don’t then our leaders have no reason to do either.
reader #3: “I did delay think hesitate to sign the petetion thinking that this wont make any difference.. .. Y to sign and all that…”
the same reader also said “But when I recollected how RTI was fought for and finally how much useful it was now a days(though its being used in wrong ways by many and for selfish uses)…. its still a very useful act(RTI)”.
But there are many others who simply don’t believe in such campaigns. The fact of the matter is such campaigns don’t directly result in achieving the goal, but generate enough interest/awareness/questions/concerns that make such campaigns hard to ignore by the authorities. It is this pressure that we intend to create through this campaign.
so any suggestions/comments/criticisms….. please keep it coming.