Moves against Corruption

Jan Chetna Rally Against Corruption

Jan Chetna rallies were organised under the leadership of Saryu Roy to spread awareness among the people against nationwide corruption and to exhort them to come forward to protest the corrupts holding high places in the system. The first rally was held at Ranchi on March 18, 2012 on the eve of the day on which in 1974 students of Bihar successfully gheraoed (laid seize of) the state legislative assembly and the famous Bihar movement against corruption, price rise, unemployment and education system was launched. The movement spread all over Bihar. State Govt. resorted to violence and excessive force to curb the peaceful movement. Student organisations approached JP (Jay Prakash Narayan) to lead and guide the movement.

The second Jan Chetna rally was organised at Dhanbad, known as the coal capital of India, on June 5, 2012 on the eve of Total revolution day. After wide consultation during the 1974 movement JP in a mammoth rally at Gandhi Maidan Patna declared that objective of the movement will since now be Total Revolution. On this very day in the rally he was declared Lok Nayak to lead the masses. JP announced that aim of the mass movement under his leadership will be Change in System and it will not be limited to change in Power. The change in power if necessary will just be a Halt and not the destination.

The leaders of the ongoing agitations in the country against corruption and black money must look back and ponder over aims, objects and methods adopted in the 1974 JP lead movement. The movement against corruption launched 38 years back which successfully dislodge the mighty Govt. at centre for the first time since independence was lead by a gigantic personality but was principle centric and not personality centric. It was an ideology based movement and not just ideas based initiatives. We need to learn from successes and failures of that movement in the larger interests of the country and the people today.

The I974 JP movement has one more notable feature. It was an all inclusive movement. Everybody, a individual or an organisation was welcomed to be a participant but none was allowed to dictate his term to keep someone away as a precondition of his participation. None has authority of a short of veto power. It was an attempt to bring positive changes in the system even by associating the pro changers in the system who are willing to change. It yielded positive results when the four nation level political parties merged their identities into one Janata Party and most of the legislators of Bihar legislative assembly tendered their resignations under the people's pressure. Various socio-cultural non Govt. organisations and political parties of all hues except the communists rallied round the movement under leadership of JP. The movement crossed first hurdle of replacing the mighty central Govt. hostile to the movement but after a few years withered away due to ego clashes and revengeful attitude of some of leaders who remained confined to their pre-movement moorings were not able to see beyond it.

The motive behind organising Jan Chetna rallies is to make the people in general and those in lead role of movements against corruption and black money in particular aware of the harsh realities behind success and failures of a such movement 38 years ago and take appropriate lessons from. History does repeats but not always and also not in the same fashion. Let us move forward with a clear conscience on the road of change with lessons from past.

It has been decided to organize a rally-cum-general meeting at the Legislative Assembly Ground, Ranchi, on Sunday, 18th Match, 2012 regarding nationwide corruption, which is increasing day by day. The main aim of this rally is to find a 'mental & common platform' for different agitations which are taking place in our country against corruption. It is a known fact that people are fed up with corruption. That the youth of the nation has actively participated in the anti-corruption campaigns started by Sri Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev & Dr. Subramaniam Swamy is proof enough of the mindset of the common man against corruption.

Prior to this, a strong campaign against corruption was started in the year 1974. Different student organizations had called for a 'gherao' of the Bihar Legislative Assembly on 18th March, 1974 on issues relating to corruption, price-rise & unemployment. Thousands of students-youth reached Patna & surrounded the Legislative Assembly. The govt. of the day used lathis, tear-gas shells & even bullets to disburse the gathering. Entire Bihar was engulfed in violence. During this period, Bihar and Jharkhand were one State. Seeing the situation getting out of control, Loknayak, Sri Jaya Prakash Narayan (J.P., as he was popularly known) of the Chatra Sangharsh Samiti was requested to assume charge of the struggle. J.P. accepted the request on the conditions that there would be no violence, that the agitation would be peaceful and its aim would be to streamline / change the administration and not to topple the government. If circumstances so warranted, under extreme compulsions, change of govt. would only be a 'medium' to cleanse the system and not otherwise.

This agitation against corruption had its effect on the govt. at the Centre as well and the Union Govt., baffled by the success of the campaign, imposed 'Emergency' throughout the nation to stop this revolution. Censorship was imposed on newspapers and the wings of the judiciary were clipped. The Constitution of the country was thrown to the winds and the tenure of Parliament extended by one more year with a notification to this effect. Important leaders like J.P., Chandrashekhar, Morarji Desai, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani, apart from other opposition leaders both at the state and at the central level, social activists etc. , were put behind bars by invoking draconian laws like MISA and DIR. After having felt that the entire agitation has been crushed, the central govt. went in for general elections under 'Emergency' in the year 1977. As soon as the election process started, the public took over the responsibility on its shoulders as most of the politicians, leaders & social activists who opposed the ruling party at the centre were languishing in jails during this period. On the advice given by J.P., four main national political parties viz. Bharatiya Jan Sangh, Congress (O), Swatantra Party and Bharatiya Lok Dal joined hands together and formed a new party called the Janata Party. It was for the first time in the history of independent India that the electorate voted against the ruling Congress (R) and the Janata Party came to power at the Centre. Even Mrs. Indira Gandhi lost her election from Rae Bareli.

However, the J P Movement, which aimed at 'system change' slowly started moving towards 'power change' which was not its intended mission. The failing health of J.P., followed by his demise in the year 1979 had its own effect on the agitation which lost its way to achieve its main goal. The students-youth organizations created during JP's time and organizations believing in the Gandhi-JP philosophy of non-violence but fight against corruption, continued the agitation under their respective banners. Soon after, due to the split in the Janata Party, the different constituents which were one, adopted their respective political lines and failed to be a part of the 'Total Revolution / Effective Revolution', which was their primary aim.

Despite a gap of 35 years and changes having taken place in the nation's economic, social and political scenario, there has been a steady upsurge in corruption which is indeed, very unfortunate. Corruption has had its crippling effect on the socio-economic divide, on the administrative front as well as on national security issues as well as the nation's unity and integrity, which is a cause of grave concern for all of us. At this juncture, people like Sri Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, who are taking the issue of corruption to every nook and corner of the country by their respective agitations / rallies, have infused a new fighting spirit within the common man, youth in particular, from whom the nation has great expectations.

While Sri Anna Hazare and his team are working overtime for bringing an effective Lokpal Bill (to be made into a Law later), Baba Ramdev and his colleagues are leaving no stone unturned to bring back the nation's black money stashed away in foreign banks and nationalize the same. Dr. Subramaniam Swamy and team are fighting corruption in their own way by using the existing laws of the country in an effective manner, the best example being the 2G Spectrum Case. Despite all this, it seems that though the goal is one that of fighting corruption, the methods are different with the agitations becoming 'people centric'.

The need of the hour is to arrive at a common platform by crossing the barrier of personalities / programmes, getting together as 'one' and strive to achieve the long term goal of eradicating corruption from our nation. The JP Movement of 1974 has provided us with a concrete platform to fight corruption that of total and effective revolution (Sampoorna Kranti) based on non-violence which is as relevant today as it was before. The issue needs to be reflected upon seriously so that in the present social and political scenario, the entire society consisting of the common man, the youth in particular, moves ahead in a direction which will root out corruption from our country & make our country a Developed Nation in the years to come.

The rally-cum-general meeting scheduled to take place on 18th March at Ranchi is a small step in this direction. Organisations under the banner of J.P. Vichar Manch like the Rashtriya Swabhiman (Trust), Jharkhand Against Corruption, Youth Against Corruption, 1974 Chetna Manch, Youth Power of India, Bharatiya Jan Kalyan Parishad, Mahatma Gandhi Social Welfare Society, Jharkhand Chatra Jagran Manch and several other organizations are participating in this rally-cum-general meeting

People from different walks of life from all the districts of Jharkhand are coming to attend this rally. They are coming to attend this rally by seeing the 'spirit / subject' of the same and are making their own arrangements for their to and fro journey. Organizers of the rally are working overtime to make all preparations to receive the participants and render all possible help. Please remember that while the success of any rally, meeting or agitation depends upon the number of participants present at the venue, the 'quality' of the people taking part in the same is equally important. The organizers as well as the people taking part in this great rally-cum-general meeting are fully aware of this.

Illustrious personalities like Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, Sri Govindacharya and Sri Muralidhar Rao have kindly agreed to address the gathering at the rally-cum-general meeting at Ranchi on 18th March, 2012.

Jan Chetana Rally at Dhanbad on June 5, 2012

In continuation with the Jan Chetana rally organised at Ranchi on March 18, 2013 against corruption another rally was organised at Dhanbad on June 5, 2013 on the occasion of Sampurna Kranti Diwas declared by JP in a massive rally at Patna on June 5, 1974. Activists of Dhanbad, Bokaro and Giridih districts joined the rally against corruption at Tetultalla Railway Ground in Dhanbad which is better known as the Coal Capital of India.

Thousands of people facing scorching sun and heat of summer gathered in the ground and made the rally a grand success. The rally was addressed by Dr. Subramanian Swamy. Shree K N Govindacharya and Saryu Roy besides others local leaders and activists of eminence. Aggressive Mood of the people against corruption was obvious and large section of the crowd belonged to youths from Dhanbad and adjoining districts of Koyalanchal I.e. Bokaro and Giridih.

Jan Chetana Rally at Jamshedpur on March 17, 2013

The joint front against corruption organised one more rally at Kadma Ganesh puja maidan in the steel city of Jamshedpur on March 17, 2013 to commemorate the pre evening of start of JP lead Bihar movement against corruption on March 17, 2013. The rally in which activists of Kolhan division participated was a grand success and boosted the moral of one and all who aspires to finish the corrupt practices at highest level of political power and bureaucracy .

The main speaker at the rally was Saryu Roy, Convenor of the join front against corruption. Besides Mr. Durga Munda and Mr. Rajiv Kumar of Jharkhand against corruption, Mr. H N Ram, Retd. Joint Secretary, finance, govt. of Jharkhand also addressed the rally which was presided over by Mr. B B Singh, Retd. Judge. The rally was a grand success and a marker of people's opinion against corruption an price rise.