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Public Convention against Corruption

Coalition of Democratic Movements
invites you to
Public Convention

April 29th, 2011 / Speaker’s Hall, Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi / 4 – 7 pm

The recent outpouring of public outrage at the spate of corruption, scandals, and scams involving public money, and the real possibility of a strong Lokpal Bill appears to have shaken sections of politicians, the media and the business interests that control both. After being in limbo for almost four decades, the public pressure to move ahead with the Lokpal Bill, has been sought to be stymied by a series of personal attacks on the probity of civil society members in the Joint Drafting Committee. Instead of discussing the details of the proposed Lokpal Bill, and vigorously debating ways of making it more effective, the media are focused on character assassination of members of the Committee.

A particular target is the lawyer Prashant Bhushan, well known and respected by social movements and civil society for his public work for more than two decades. Apart from cases involving irregularities in government procedures in the Bofors scam and the 2G Spectrum allotment, he has appeared in numerous cases involving the Sardar Sarovar, Omkareshwar, Maheshwar and other dams on Narmada, the Vedanta University Land Acquisition case, the Bhopal Gas Accident case, GM Food case, All India Drug Action Network case in 90s multinationals, and in many other cases against the central and state governments and numerous multinational corporations which have been brought to him from time to time, at his own expense and with no charges to people. His efforts through Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), have brought judicial accountability, corruption within the judiciary and the need for large scale reforms, under public glare. Further, Prashant Bhushan’s
constant effort in trying to raise his voice against Operation Green Hunt has also raised the hackles of vested interests.

The attempted character assassination is a crude attempt to derail the current people’s campaign against corruption. Clearly, only those who are neck deep in corruption and who are in the line of fire of justice will benefit from diverting attention by the personal attacks on Prashant Bhushan and his father, Shanti Bhushan. It is nobody’s case that a strong Lokpal Act will solve the curse of corruption, but attempts to scuttle the Bill or place a weak, toothless draft before Parliament are acts against the people of India.
Mass organisations, civil rights groups, and individual members of civil society are therefore planning to meet, and express their outrage at this attempt to cover up the collosall acts of corruption that have become a feature of our public life. The Public Convention is an attempt to once again allow all of us to join the dots that link the deeply entrenched structures of corruption in our society.

Speakers : Arundhati Roy, Chittaroopa palit (Sylvie), Prof. Amit Bhaduri, Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Anuradha Chenoy, Colin Gonsalves, Justice A.P. Shah (tbc), Justice J.S. Verma (tbc), Justice Rajinder Sachar (tbc), Justice Suresh Hospet (tbc), Aruna Roy, Mira Shiva, Prashant Bhushan, Seema Mustafa, Satinath Saranagi, Kavita Srivastava, Mushirul Hasan (tbc), Upendra Baxi (tbc), Vinod Mehta (tbc), Amarjeet Kaur, Gautam Mody, Kavita Krishnan