India Protests

In India, a 74-year-old man, clad in plain white cotton clothing and channeling the tactics of independence fighter Mahatma Gandhi, has brought a country of over a billion people to a standstill. Anna Hazare is fighting government corruption. He was planning a public hunger strike when he was arrested earlier this week. Despite being released from police custody a few hours later, he refused to leave his jail cell and started fasting there. That act led to nation-wide protests. We take you to India for the latest.




Today's guest host was Jim Brown.

Part One of The Current

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India Protests - Rohit Gandhi

From New Delhi to Hyderabad, tens of thousands of angry protesters have been rallying in support of a hungry man who's been in jail since Tuesday. Anna Hazare's fight against government corruption is popular in both the cities and countryside since paying bribes to officials has become almost ceremonial.

The government says these tactics belong to an India of long ago, and one charismatic old man should not have the final say over legislation.

Rohit Gandhi is a freelance journalist and he's been watching this story. He joined us from New Delhi.

India Protests - Alok Agarwal and Abdul Azeez Shaik

Anna Hazare's hunger strike is only the latest protest against corruption. About a year ago, people began printing up fake zero-rupee notes to present to officials who demanded bribes.The idea was to shame them into honesty. It may have been humiliating, but it was ineffective and the corruption continues.

Anna Hazare and his supporters want the government to introduce strong lok pal legislation, which essentially means the creation of a powerful anti-corruption ombudsperson.

Abdul Azeez Shaik is an organizer with India Against Corruption in Hyderabad and Alok Agarwal is an environmental activist in central India.

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