Anna Hazare’s Open Letter to the Prime Minister , SQUEEZING THE THROAT OF DEMOCRACY

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Shriman Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister, Government of India,
New Delhi.

Subject: Gang rape – A shameful incident took place which disgraced humanity and the indignation of the people of the country has come out in the shape of protests on the streets. In these circumstances, what is the fault of the common people?


Our countrymen’s necks are bowed after the recent incident of gang rape. The anger of the public due to this incident has become uncontrollable and they have come out on the streets of the country. The anger of the public and its indignation has been increasing continuously since the last few days. The youth power especially has come out on the streets in large numbers. The coming out of youth power on the streets in such big numbers for social justice and conducting a non-violent movement might be prior indication of the changes to happen in the country. It seems that the time for change in the country is very near. And because youth power and national power are synonymous, youth power is going to bring changes in the country. This is the belief. It is necessary that there should be serious thought on this issue from the Government. Statements are coming from the Government that amendments would be made in the laws and the criminals would be awarded severest punishments. The meaning that comes out of the statements of the Government seems to be that the public will keep on holding movements against injustice and tyranny and after the movements, the Government would keep on giving assurances of making amendments in law.
The public of India celebrated their first Republic Day on 26 January, 1950. On this day the public of the country became the owners of this country. The Government locker is of the public. It is for the proper operation of this locker and because the law system is supreme in the country for maintaining orderliness, that the public has elected Legislators to the States and Members of the Parliament for the Centre as representatives of the public. The people who are there in the Cabinet, they are too are the servants of the public. The main work of the Legislative Assembly and the Lok Sabha is to make stringent laws for law and orderliness. Today, because of gang rape the anger of the public became uncontrollable and you as the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi and people of the Government are saying that we will make amendments in the law and give strict punishment to the criminals. Since our Independence 65 years have passed. The question arises that there are many examples of this sort of injustice on women in the country. To maintain orderliness, making new laws and making amendments in the laws is the responsibility of the Government. In the past 65 years — till today, why has the Government not made any amendments and framed and incorporated strict laws like hanging or life imprisonment for rape?
Six people are being held responsible for a shameful incident like gang rape. If laws like death penalty and life imprisonment would have been made for the criminals committing this sort of crime, then these six people would not have even got the courage to perpetrate this heinous act. Doesn’t the Government feel like this? I feel that these six criminals should indeed be given strict punishments, but the Government, by not making strict laws in the last 65 years, is equally responsible too. Our saying this is not wrong.
Because of increasing corruption the livelihood of the people has become difficult. Because of inflation it has become difficult for the public to run the family. Bothered by this, the people of the country came out on the streets in huge numbers. If strict laws of prohibiting corruption would have been made then corruption would not have increased. The public had come out on the streets and displayed their anger on 16 August, 2011 throughout the country. Anna Hazare was a mere ‘sake’ at the Ramlila Maidan. The public had come out on the streets because the livelihood of the people had become difficult and there was a lot of anger against corruption in the hearts of the people. Your Government should not cross the limits of patience of the public. In order to maintain law and orderliness the public has sent Members of the Parliament to the Parliament. As required laws are not made with a sense of duty, the incident of gang rape takes place and so the anger of the public is quite obvious. What is their fault in this?
The people running the Government should think if such behavior would have happened with their daughter or with their sister then what would you have done? The public got angry then what is their fault in this? The public holds non violent movements and the Government by clamping section 144 does the work of squeezing the throat of democracy. Saying this would not be wrong. The public has been given the right by the Constitution to hold movements. So that this type of anger does not take birth again, it is in the hands of the Government to make strict laws for the protection of women and to re-emphasise, this is the responsibility of the Government. The assurances which the Government is giving to the public today could have been given much earlier. But it seems that regarding expectations of the betterment of society and the country, the Government is not being able to anything because of thoughts of power and money.
The movements by the youth of the country and the people of the country are non violent. There were no incidents of vandalism anywhere. This is a prime example of a non violent movement for the country and the world. The main purpose of the agitators is that such type of injustice and tyranny does not happen with women in the future. By making strict laws criminals could be given strict punishment. The Government should understand from this movement that the youth of the country, the public of the country wants social change. According to the Constitution it is the right of each individual to fulfill all the requirements of life and live a good life. If the public holding movements for social justice gets a foundation of strict laws then there would be big steps in social change. The criminals and the accused should get strict punishments and so that such incidents do not happen in the future strict laws should be made, even if it would require calling a special session of Parliament for this. I want to know the view of the Government on this. So that the people who run the Government and the people who make the laws get solidity, on 27 and 28 December, I and a few people from my village have made a resolution to sit in Sri Sant Yadavbaba temple situated in my village Ralegan Siddhi and pray to God.

Anna Hazare
28 December 2012

I request the public and brothers and sisters that they keep their patience at the time of movement, so that there is no damage to national property. All individuals crossing or walking by on the roads are my brothers and sisters, they should not have any trouble. You also held a peaceful demonstration earlier in August 2011. Crores of youth came out on the streets, but not one even picked up a stone. The world has praised this principle. Keeping that principle in front, I request to keep this movement on the path of peace. Lit to oppose injustice and tyranny, do not let this torch get extinguished, because the betterment of society and country lies in this.
Jai Hind.


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