Honorable Mr. Narendra Modi,
Government of India,
New Delhi – 110011
Subject: To appoint Lokpal and Lokayukta, to take the right decision on various strong anti-corruption bills and to implement farmers’ issues as per the recommendations of the Swami Nathan Committee Report, I intend to hold an agitation in Delhi…
Dreaming of a corruption-free India, there was a historic citizen agitation across the country, steered from Ramlila Maidan in 2011. Seeing the impact of this agitation, the Parliament on 27th August, 2011, had passed the resolution in the `Sense of the House’ session. In which, the central government would frame, at the earliest, laws of appointment of Lokpal and Lokayukta as well as a Citizen Charter. On the basis of this resolution, the central government had given a written assurance and with that hope, I concluded my agitation on 28th August. As a sequel to this resolution and the historic event, which enthused the citizens with hope, a good six years have passed by. However, even after six years, not a single Law pertaining to anti-corruption has been implemented. Distressed with this situation, I am writing this letter to you.
After your government came to power, for three consecutive years, I have communicated to you regarding appointment of Lokpal and Lokayukta through my letters dated 28/08/2014, 18/10/2014, 01/01/2015, 01/01/2016, 19/01/2017 and 28/03/2017. However, there has been no reply form you regarding action on the same.
In order that corruption should be curtailed, the citizens of this country had held a peaceful agitation in Ram Lila Maidan, for the establishment of the law, appointing Lokpal and Lokayukta. At that time, crores of people had come out on the streets, from scores of villages, towns and cities. Because, lives of citizens has become miserable due to large-scale corruption that directly affects their lives. Children from schools and youths from colleges had also come out on the streets. For the first-time, since Independence, such a large number of people had come out on the streets to campaign against corruption. This entire agitation was done peacefully, without any violence.
During the agitation, lakhs of people came on the streets but not one person threw a stone. Hence, this agitation was talked about respectfully in various countries across the world. Perceiving the nature of this agitation as one of public empowerment, the then government passed the law for appointment of Lokpal and Lokayukta in the Rajya Sabha, on 17th December 2013 and in the Loksabha on 18th December 2013. It was passed by absolute majority in both the houses. After that, on 1st January 2014, the President of India signed the law to make it into an Act. At that time, the opposition leaders of both the houses had supported the bill. Thereafter, on 26th May 2014, your party came into power. Since then, I’ve been writing to you for three years for the implementation of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act.
After the Lokpal agitation, the citizens, with great hope, elected the new government under your leadership. It was necessary to give the government some time for due implementation of the Acts. Keeping this in mind, I kept sending you various letters on this issue, as reminders. Neither have you implemented the same or taken any action on my letters. Nor have you had a dialogue on this issue or spoke about Lokpal and Lokayukta in your `Man ki Baat.’ Before coming to power, you had assured the citizens of India that ‘You will give priority to make India, corruption-free.’ Now, also, through large scale advertisements you convey to the public, that for the making of New India, it is necessary to take a pledge to stand against corruption. However, now also, in every State, no work of a citizen is done, without giving money. Implying, that without corruption, issues directly related to citizens, has not decreased.
With the implementation of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Law, 50%-60% of corruption can be curbed. Yet, you are not implementing this law. To curb corruption, along with Lokpal and Lokayukta Act laws like the Right to Reject and Right to Recall will help in curbing corruption. However, you are silent on these laws too. The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public officials and Officials of Public International Organization Bill 2011, Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill 2012, The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, The Public Procurement Bill 2012 are bills that will curtail corruption, but are pending for 4-5 years in the Parliament. The then government had brought in this bill, four years back. You are neither speaking nor doing anything about this delay.
In order to curb corruption and to strengthen democracy, de-centralization of power is very essential. In order to decentralize power, it is necessary to bring in Law that will strengthen the power of the Gramsabha. The village itself is the owner of its resources. There should be a law that the water, forest and land of the village should not to be taken without the permission of the Gram Sabha. The power of the secretariat should be in the hands of the people-that is, true democracy. However, despite writing letters to you for three years, you have kept mum. Then, how can India, become corruption free?
? It is not in mere making of pledges in front of the public, but in wresting rights in the hands of the people, that India will become corruption-free. The Right to Information Act, is one such example. The most distressing fact is that, despite there being such provision in the law, you are not appointing Lokpal and Lokayukta. The Supreme Court has time and again, directed you to appoint Lokpal and Lokayukta, but your government is still not doing so, despite the fact that this would curb corruption. At one end, you are appointing CBI Chief without the existence of the opposition leader and at the other end, you are giving the excuse of not appointing the Lokpal and Lokayukta, on the pretext that the opposition leader does not exist. This is most unfortunate.
It is surprising that you are giving excuses to appoint Lokayukta and Lokpal. Because, in the Lokpal and Lokayukta Law, it is not mandatory to have the opposition leader’s consent.
Even then, in these three years, no State Government, which is run by you, has appointed Lokpal and Lokayukta. In States where opposition parties have formed the government, there are no appointments of Lokpal and Lokayukta but it is unfortunate that the appointments have not been made in States that are ruled by your party. This makes it clear that you do not have the will to appoint Lokpal and Lokayukta. There is a gap between your talks and your action. Then, how can India, become corruption-free? Isn’t it a humiliation for the Parliament which passed the law, the President of India who signed it and for the citizens who campaigned for it through large scale of agitations?
What is surprising Is that of course there is no appointment of Lokpal and Lokayukta in the States where opposition parties are ruling but even in States run by your party, no Lokpal or Lokayukta have been appointed.
In the Agriculture dominated country, India, farmers are committing suicide every day. I have written to you several times on giving farmers, prices as per their costs but I have not received any reply from you nor have you implemented recommendations of the Swami Nathan Committee Report. Since the last few days, farmers in various states like Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana and Rajasthan are coming together and agitating. However, you do not seem to be having any compassion for farmers’ woes. It is clear from this that you have done these amendments not in the interest of the nation and its people but in the interest of party and business owners. This is indeed unfortunate.
It has been clearly noticed over the last three years that you have no compassion in your heart for the grievances of the farmers of the country. Had it been the case, you would have made provision while making the amendments allowing the companies to give any amounts as donations to farmers instead of political parties. Had you done this, it would have strengthened our democracy and restored faith that poverty will be eliminated. It would have provided justice to poor farmers. However, your failure to do so proves that you have no compassion for the poor and farmers. Over the last 42 years, the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill was tabled before the Parliament on several occasions but could not be passed. However, the Peoples’ Parliament of the nation awakened in August 2011 and the government had to promulgate the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act. Your government has been disrespecting public sentiments in this regard too. Therefore, now the time has come to awaken the voters, who are the owners of this country. An awakened voter is the foundation of democracy.
Instead, your government while using some of the amendments you have made while incorporating the Finance Bill 2017 in the Money Bill as illustrations. I shall elaborate on the remaining amendments publically at the time of the agitation. Earlier, there was provision that enabled any company to donate 7.5 per cent of the money earned as profits by it over a period of three years to political parties. However, now you have made amendment and removed the limit of 7.5 per cent and made provision that any company can donate any amount to political parties. The limit for giving donations to political parties have been removed for political parties. Because of this, not democracy but Party machinery will become stronger. If you were truly concerned about farmers and poor people, then you would have done proper research of this Law and stated that any amount of donation can be given, not to political parties but to the farmers and the poor people. That would have made democracy, strong and it would have provided justice to the farmers and poor people. However, it is very clear that you do not have the innate compassion for the poor and for the farmers. If you really want to solve the issues of the farmers, then implementing the Swami Nathan Committee Report, you would have ensured proper prices for the farmers’ produce as per the cost and in order to ensure security to farmers and laborers, it is essential to have a pension scheme.
Citizens have been campaigning for political parties to come under Right to Information Act. Supreme Court too has given clear directives. If you firmly believe in transparency, then it is essential to introspect on political parties coming under the RTI Act.
In order to decentralize power, it is necessary to bring in Law that will strengthen the power of the Gramsabha. To curb corruption, along with Lokpal and Lokayutta Act laws like the Right to Reject and Right to Recall will help in curbing corruption. It is also necessary to bring in laws for women’s’ equality. How can you talk of women’s equality just by putting up posters? In order to curb corruption and to strengthen democracy, de-centralization of power is very essential. The village itself is the owner of its resources. There should be a law that the water, forest and land of the village should not to be taken without the permission of the Gram Sabha. The power of the secretariat should be in the hands of the people-that is, true democracy. If you give the power in the hands of the citizens, then democracy will be strengthened. When the public parliament wakes up there would be a logical end to the issues of Lokpal, Lokayukta, farmers’ problems and other issues. I am confident about that.
Earlier, on 28th March, 2017, I had written a letter to you, that if you do not implement the Lokpal and Lokayukta Law, then my next letter would be about holding another agitation in Delhi. It is in reference with that letter, that I have decided to launch an agitation, for the betterment of the society and the nation.
I have been doing agitations since 35 years. However, I have my agitations were never against any political group, party or any particular individual. My only mission for doing agitations is for the betterment of the society and nation. Since the last three years, I have been reminding the government about the appointment of Lokpal and Lokayukta and of farmers receiving appropriate prices for their produce. However, you have not replied to my letters nor have you taken any action on these issues. Hence, I have decided to hold an agitation in Delhi. Until, for the larger public interest, the above issues are not addressed through implementation of the same, I will relentlessly continue my agitation. You shall be informed about my date and venue of my agitation, in my next letter.