Ballari: Gandhian and anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare was awarded an honorary doctorate at the convocation of Vijayanagara Sri Krishnadevaraya University here on Saturday.
Speaking on the occasion, Hazare said that national progress hinges on rural development.
“Rural development could be achieved by laying emphasis on dairy, agriculture and animal husbandry. It doesn’t need exploitation of natural resources or use of fuel such as petrol, diesel, coal and power,” the Gandhian said.
Giving an example of his native village, Hazare said few years ago, his village had about 40 arrack shops and residents were deprived of square meals a day. Not even a single crop was grown on 400 acres of land in the village. Now, we are growing two crops and selling 5,500 litres of milk.
The economy of the village has undergone a sea change and such a change should happen in every village,” he said. Hazare said that his anti-corruption movement compelled six ministers to vacate their posts and dismissal of 400 officials.
Slams land ordinance
Social activist Anna Hazare has criticised the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government for taking the ordinance route to effect key changes to the land acquisition Act.
Terming the move as undemocratic, he said the government could have debated the issue in Parliament and elicited views from the public. “The ordinance will put the farmers in danger. For, the government can acquire the land belonging to farmers forcibly. Is it democracy? What is the difference between the British rule and ours,” he asked.
Mr. Hazare said in a democratic setup, people were the kings and Grama Sabhas should be made powerful besides allowing them to have a say in matters concerning natural resources. “Taking decisions after eliciting the opinion of the people is democratic otherwise it is dictatorship,” he said.
He also took exception to the delay on the part of the NDA government to implement the Jan Lok Pal Act. “The Jan Lok Pal Act is in place and the government had to implement it by appointing Lok Pal. I have written three letters to the Prime Minister to initiate steps and we are still waiting,” he said.
(With inputs from DHNS, The Hindu)
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