ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Anna Hazare, Civil Society and the State

The Jan Lokpal Bill epitomises the ultimate faith of the ordinary citizens, born out of utter despair, in an omnipotent authority - the Lokpal. But mere legislation cannot bring about reforms, without accompanying mass struggles to get them implemented by the executive agencies and grass roots movements to change social habits. The forces of corruption which are deeply embedded in our society will not give up easily, and are powerful enough to frustrate and resist the provisions of any Lokpal Bill. At the end, the fight against corruption has to be situated in the wider strategy of changing both the economic model of development and the social culture, which carry the seeds of corruption.

With the compromise worked out between Anna Hazare and the government, the anti-corruption movement led by him is likely to go into a state of suspended animation for a while. But from amidst the plethora of news and views that poured forth from hysterically sounding newspaper and TV reporters, commentaries and interviews and Twitter and Facebook exchanges during his hunger strike, one can make a fairly objective assessment of the public mood and come to certain conclusions about the nature and future of the movement.

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