GUWAHATI, April 8 � Finding common cause with the anti-graft campaign of Anna Hazare, a cross section of people in Guwahati today took part in a protest action demanding adoption of an effective Lokpal Bill. In an open meeting organised by Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG) near Dighali Pukhuri, several speakers emphasised the need to stamp out corruption, and extended their support to Hazare, who is on a fast unto death in New Delhi.
SGBG president Dhiren Baruah, introducing the aim of the meeting, said corruption has seeped into every sphere of public life, and people do not have faith in any institution to seek redress, except the media. Thanking the media for highlighting graft and allied evils, he mentioned the need for people to become aware and proactive.
�We have to come together to combat corruption, and we need to assert what is right and fair if the country has to retain its true democratic character,� he added.
Baruah lauded the campaign launched by Anna Hazare and said that his initiative should be endorsed by all right thinking people. �A strong response from civil society groups can make an impact to remove corruption from public life,� he said.
Speaking on the occasion, eminent journalist Dhiren Chakraborty said that Hazare, at the age of 73, initiated a much needed campaign for the welfare of the country. Referring to the salient features of the Lokpal Bill, he reasoned that in contrast to Hazare�s vision of the Bill, the government was more keen on a piece of legislation that would be inherently weak.
Social activist Ajay Dutta, in his address, castigated the Union Government and some ministers who were opposed to a robust legislation to weed out corruption from public life so that they could continue to carry on with their crooked practices.
A highlight of the event was the participation of people cutting across the political divide, who were united by their concern over graft and large scale scams involving money from the tax paying public. Several youths also spoke in favour of an effective Lokpal Bill and expressed support to Anna Hazare�s ongoing fast.