The question of eradicating corruption has become imperative to save the country and guarantee employment as well as basic rights to the common people. A few days back, the struggle for the Jan Lokpal Bill has added a new dimension to the movement against corruption and strengthened the aspirations of the common people to completely rid the country of corruption. It has now become the duty of each and every one of us who wants to do something to save the country from being sold and destroyed to strengthen the movement against corruption. We have to pledge to unite people against neo-liberal policies, institutions, corporate companies and governments responsible for corruption and also against those engaged in corruption.
We have seen that corruption is no longer confined to government departments, petty officials or some individual businessmen. It has also spread its roots amongst high ranking officials of the defence services, the judicial system as well as the media. While there is a need for an effective anti-corruption law, the Lokpal Bill drafted by the government is a farce in the name of fighting corruption. During the movement for an effective Lokpal Bill, we witnessed how the UPA government initially refused to include civil society representatives in the process of drafting the bill, and how it was forced to bow down to this same demand in light of the massive peoples’ support. Continuous pressure in the form of a sustained movement is necessary to ensure that an effective Lokpal Bill is drafted and passed in the parliament. However, even if an effective Lokpal law is passed, the fight against corruption will have to be carried forward to target the entire web of economic policies and corrupt institutions responsible for corruption.
Citizens face corruption in every sphere of their lives – including healthcare, education, rations and all other rights. But corruption today is not only a matter of morally corrupt individuals. Rather it has been institutionalised by the present phase of rampant privatization policies that have opened the doors for corporate loot of extremely valuable resources like land, minerals, spectrum, etc in the country. These policies have resulted in an unprecedented increase in the scale of corruption, leading to scams amounting to lakhs of crores in these sectors like minerals, natural resources and spectrum.
The Radia tapes in the wake of 2G Spectrum scam and Wikileaks have revealed beyond any doubt that big corporations and imperialist forces have established their influence in India to such an extent that they dictate our Parliament, formulation of economic and foreign policies and even the selection of our ministers to suit their interests. Massive scams in defence deals and sale of land belonging to the army have come to light, highlighting the involvement of senior defence officials. People holding high posts in the country’s judicial system have also been found to be involved in corruption. Several leaders of the Congress and the UPA shamefully continue to hold public posts even after having been indicted in massive scams. The Chief Minister of Karnataka from the BJP is himself involved in land scams; several ministers in his government run mining mafias in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Not just the central government, but several state governments are heavily involved in corruption and are aiding corporate houses in breaking the law and grabbing public land and resources for private profit. When activists and the struggling masses across the country challenge this open loot, they are rewarded with bullets or jail sentences, while the corrupt continue to roam free.
In this fight against corruption, a determined movement will have to be built with the following demands:
· Instead of forcing a toothless Lokpal Bill prepared by the government on the country, pass an effective Lokpal law reflecting the concerns of the activists and the larger society fighting against corruption.
· Take back all neo-liberal and privatization policies which have created fertile ground for corruption by opening the doors for corporate plunder of natural resources like land, minerals, water, seeds, spectrum etc
· The UPA government at the centre as well as the BJP-run Karnataka government should immediately resign, taking responsibility for aiding and abetting corruption and the shielding the corrupt.
· Prepare a black list of Tata, Reliance, Vedanta, Dow and other mega corporate houses companies involved in corruption, manipulation and breaking of laws and punish them. Stop giving any tax waivers and subsidies to corporate companies.
· Announce the names of those having black money deposited in Swiss Banks and other international banks, bring back each and every paisa of that black money and spend it on public welfare.
· File cases against all the senior defence officials involved in the Adarsh Society scam and all other scams related to defence deals and land.
· Stop corruption and profiteering in education in the name of capitation fees and donations. Scrap all the Bills and Acts on education that would further commercialise education and provide virtual immunity for unrestricted profiteering and malpractices by the private players in the education sector from the law of the land.
· Take steps to prevent corruption in the higher education commissions set up for providing employment to students and youth, and also in all other commissions set up for giving employment and also to establish transparency in their recruitment procedures.
· Dismiss all government decisions and appointments taken under the pressure of corporate houses and imperialist forces.
A pledge campaign has been taken on by AISA (All India Students Association) and RYA (Revolutionary Youth Association) to mobilise and create volunteers, reaching out to lakhs in villages, towns and cities across the country. On the eve of the historic ‘anti-imperial August Revolution’, a massive demonstration will be held in Delhi on 9th August, 2011 to demonstrate peoples’ unity against corruption.
To join the students in this movement, as artists we too are coming together to use our own modes of expression to reach out to as many people as possible. Much of the work that we do is also to be carried by student-volunteers to aid in mobilisation. Historically, many movements have seen the role of artists (painters, poets/writers, film-makers, cartoonists et al) as both propelling the movement as well as providing an audio-visual mode of expressing the collective anger and anguish of the people.
In this movement against corporate loot and corruption, on the 28th of May 2011 in Delhi, some artists held a meeting to decide to work toward creating art works (comic strips, posters, plays, films, paintings, graffiti art etc.) that would help carry this movement forward. We would like to appeal to all of you to join us in this movement and submit any artworks that you have/can make in digital form (digital paintings/songs/videos or photographed or scanned, paintings) against corruption and corporate loot to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certain Important Points
- The art works should be related to corruption and stand against neo-liberal politics.
- They will be exhibited in different university campuses and will be used only for the purpose of mass protest.
- The cost of painting and the postal delivery cost will have to be borne by the artists themselves.
- Since the Art works will be exhibited in open spaces in different campuses therefore the art works should not be framed and should not exceed 22”/28” max in size.
- The artists should include a small bio-note along with the art works.
- The art works will be presented in open exhibitions across the country therefore organizers will not take responsibility for any damage. The art works will not be returned back and the organizers reserve the right to use the art works in future without informing the artist but with due acknowledgement and credit to the artist. All works used for the purpose of protest.
- Last date of Submission is 3 July 2011.
- Submit to either of the following addresses:
11 B, Sutlej Hostel,
Jawaharlal Nehru University,
C/o- Tech chand
90/A Madangir Village
Near hira ata chakki, sunita beauti parlour
New Delhi- 110062
Contact no- 09958450304