News of Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption brought to mind Richard Douthwaite‘s visit, over ten years ago, to the Centre for Holistic Studies in Bandra. Though at the time this economist held conventional views, his travels and such exchanges completely altered his outlook.
His account of Hazare’s work which transformed his village can be read in Chapter 13 of his influential book, THE GROWTH ILLUSION or here. Further interesting details can be read in an article in the Economic Times.
On Saturday April 9th, social activist Anna Hazare called off his hunger strike, as the Indian government issued a commitment to draft an effective Lok Pal (ombudsman) Bill.
The notification by the Ministry of Law and Justice said the Joint Drafting Committee to prepare a draft of the Lok Pal Bill with five ministers from the government and five nominees of Hazare, including himself. The first meeting was held on 16th April and the Bill is scheduled for introduction in the monsoon session [c July-October].
An ‘inside’ account of the planning, campaigning and negotiations can be read on the website of Devinder Sharma who was a founding member of India Against Corruption and has worked to bring the fight against corruption onto the national platform.