To be independent is to be empowered… to feel that ‘WE’ are the architects of the nation.
As the 64th Independence Day of India closes in, we re-visit some events in the year gone by which have served as empowerment for the people of India.
April 1, 2010
The Indian government initiates The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act to provide free and compulsory education to all children aged between 6 and 14 years, making education a fundamental right for millions of children.
With an estimated 8.1 million (Source: UNICEF) out-of-school children in India in 29, this is certainly a challenge for India. But the good news is that there has been a major drop from 21 million out-of-school children in 2003. Also read: http://www.awaazdo.in/
June 7, 2010
The magistrate court in Bhopal, India convicts 8 people, one posthumously, for their role in the Bhopal disaster industrial catastrophe 25 years ago in 1984
This is world’s biggest industrial disaster that killed an estimated 15,000 people (4,000 died straight away), mostly poor. After 25 year old long wait, 8 officials were convicted. A small step towards peoples’ power…
July 13, 2010
The Supreme Court of India tentatively approves the Tamil Nadu government’s new quota law, providing 69% of employment in educational institutions to scheduled castes and tribes and other backward classes.
Though reservation is a hotly debated topic in India, reservation in government job after similar 69 % reservation in higher education is an empowerment tool.
September 29, 2010
UIDAI launched AADHAAR program in the tribal village, Tembhli, in Shahada, Nandurbar, Maharashtra on September 29, 2010. The program was inaugurated by Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The first resident to receive an AADHAAR was Rajana Sonawane of Tembhli village.
It is believed that Unique National IDs will help address problems such as rigged state elections, embezzlement that affects subsidies and poverty alleviation programmes such as NREGA, illegal immigration into India and terrorist threats.
February 2, 2011
Former Telecom Minister A Raja arrested by the CBI for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum scam.
February 9, 2011
Shahid Balwa, the promoter of DB Realty, which floated Swan Telecom, arrested by Mumbai CBI in connection with 2G scam.
April 25, 2011
The CBI arrests former head of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Suresh Kalmadi, in connection with irregularities in the contract for the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR).
May 20, 2011
DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD and CEO Sharad Kumar arrested in the 2G spectrum scam case.
The arrest of important members of the ruling UPA and their allies in the 2G Spectrum scam (estimated worth Rs 1,76,000 crore) and CWG scam was a triumph of Indian democracy as it saw the high and mighty bow before the will of the people. Of course part of the credit goes to the current CJI Hon’ble Mr Justice SH Kapadia under whose explicit directive, the CBI was able to function independently.
April 9, 2011
Anna Hazare, a Gandhian activist, starts a fast unto death at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi demanding the passing of landmark Jan Lokpal bill. Hazare called off his hunger strike on the 9th of April, 2011 bringing to an end his 98-hour protest after the government issued a gazette notification constituting a 10-member Joint Committee of government ministers and civil society activists, including him, to draft a bill for the creation of an effective Lokpal.
A watered-down version of the bill that doesn’t have the Prime Minister under its purview is to be presented in the on-going Monsoon session of the parliament.
This is a significant bill as it proposed to tackle the bane of India, corruption in the most decisive of ways–the Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill) is a draft anti-corruption bill drawn up by prominent civil society activists seeking the appointment of a Jan Lokpal, an independent body, that will investigate corruption cases, complete the investigation within a year and envisages trial in the case getting over in the next one year.
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