Bangaloreans join nation in fast against corruption

Starting April 5, citizens in different parts of the country will fast for five days demanding implementation of Jan Lokpal Bill, to fight corruption. The campaign is organised by India Against Corruption, a coalition of NGOs, activists and other social organizations.

In Bengaluru, 51-year-old Mahendra Kumar Gandhi, a marketing professional, has gone a step ahead – he plans to go on an indefinite fast until the Bill is implemented. He has decided not to consume water also during the fast.

Jan Lokpal Bill is a modified version of the draft Lokpal Bill 2010 mooted by anti-corruption activists. The amended version gives greater power to the proposed anti-corruption body Lokpal and reduces political interference in its functioning.

Activist Anna Hazare will flag off the fast in New Delhi on April 5. While Hazare is on an indefinite fast, other citizens will fast for five days on rotation basis. In Bangalore, about 1000 citizens will participate in the fast altogether, says the event’s Bangalore co-ordinator Anand Yadwad.

Gandhi says that seeing several instances of corruption over the years has prompted him to take this step. A science graduate, Gandhi has worked as a marketing professional for the last 30 years and has been a yoga trainer for the past eight years. Originally from Rajasthan, Gandhi’s family had settled in Bangalore. He was born and brought up in Bangalore and is an alumni of National College, Jayanagar and National College, Basavangudi.

"I have seen people suffering due to corruption – police do not file FIR without bribes, Corporation does not act on complaints unless you bribe them. But even after all this, there is no action from the public. So I thought somebody should take the lead in the fight against corruption; people should be aware that action is happening on this front. Jan Lokpal bill will bring down corruption and dilute the power of authorities," he says.

Gandhi says that many requests that he filed with the corporation are pending because he refused to pay bribes. In fact, before getting associated with IAC, Gandhi used to conduct awareness campaigns about corruption in schools and colleges. He did this through a voluntary organization called Indian Today, which he himself founded last year. There are 150 members in the organization today educating public to not give or take bribes. Gandhi now plans to merge his organization with IAC.

Before IAC or Indian Today, Gandhi was not associated with any political organization. It was difficult to find the right forum, he says. "I did not want to join any political party as it would still be about contesting elections, getting power etc. I am interested only in reforms, and not power or money. I liked IAC’s policy and wanted to be associated with them."

Even though indefinite fast is a difficult ordeal, Gandhi’s family – comprising his mother, wife and four children – is supporting his decision. Gandhi’s wife works as a freelance marketing professional. "It is a noble cause, my family is fully supporting me," he says.

Asked about further plans, Gandhi says that he plans to quit his job and be a full-time activist. He believes that political reforms is the need of the hour. "Social change will naturally occur after political reforms. So rather than working on specific social issues, I would work for political reforms."

Gandhi is confident that youth will bring forth this change. "During my campaigns I have seen that students care about and discuss these issues. They are getting more conscious," he says.

Current list of people who are confirmed to be fasting on April 5. 

1) MK Gandhi, 51
2) Anand Yadwad 35
3) Prithvi Reddy 41
4) Rajsekhar Maram 26
5) Nitin Jagtap 36
6) Mahantesh 26
7) Deepak CN 31
8) Vijay Dwivedi
9) Masthan Koncha 30
10) Srinivas A 37
11) Subrat Panda 27
12) Ajit Phadnis 29
13) K.Rama Lakshmi
14) Nishant Mishra 35
15) Narasimha Reddy K 25
16) Kiran R 25
17) Dr. Shankara Prasad
18) Veeresh P 26
19) Pradeep Prasad 26
20) Prashant D 32
21) Rajesh 23
22) Phani Sai 34
23) Subhash Patel 30
24) Hari K 31
25) Javed A 25
26) Vivek V 22
27) Srinivas G 32
28) Ved Prakash 21
29) Krishna Kumar P 33
30) Shyam TS 25
31) Surabhi HR 19
32) Ankur S 25
33) Tapas P 31
34) Nishkarsh K 21
35) Jayashree P 33
36) Sujatha S 48
37) M.S.Madhusudhan 28
38) Ashok 33
39) Shyam TS 25
40) Vishnu Swaroop 49
41) Shibu P B 28
42) Ashutosh
43) Shashank
44) Dinesh
45) Anupama
46) Santosh Nargund
47) B Sreenath

About Navya P K 241 Articles

Navya P K is a former senior staff journalist at Citizen Matters, and a freelance journalist based in Kerala.

8 Comments

  1. Hi Navya,

    How can I join this movement. I am much interested in supporting this cause from my office. How can I be part of this. Please let me know the contacts and procedure.

    Thanks & Regards
    kaifee

  2. i appreciate your immediate response. it is time to join the second gandhian movement lead by anna hazare to realise the fruits of first gandhian movement of independence

  3. Entire programme and activities whould be above political parties. No part office bearers should be allowed to join this project

  4. Anna Hazare has prodded our conscience with his fasting… This is an opportune time to ask ourselves some tough questions and introspect …and see how we can individually contribute, for eg. taking a pledge to stop encouraging corruption, by refusing to bribe.. etc.

  5. Please let us update on this.. more people more strength..!!!!

  6. Hi Navya,

    How can I join this movement. I am much interested in supporting this cause from my office. How can I be part of this. Please let me know the contacts and procedure.

    Thanks & Regards
    Abilash Salvaji

Comments are closed.