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Anna wants Gram Sabha to be above Parliament

Anna Hazare on Thursday made a curious suggestion to bring a law to empower gram sabhas that will be above Parliament.

New Delhi: Decrying the failure of Rajya Sabha to pass the Lokpal bill, Anna Hazare on Thursday made a curious suggestion to bring a law to empower gram sabhas that will be above Parliament.
In a video address to Team Anna`s seminar `Rebuilding the Republic`, he said people will have to be ready for a big agitation like the one for Jan Lokpal Bill if the government does not bring a law for empowering village sabhas.
"Lok Sabha thinks it is above everyone. This is wrong. People have made you. So they are above you...It is the sacred temple of democracy. In such a sacred place, what has happened in Rajya Sabha in the last day (of the Winter Session) on
Lokpal Bill.

"550 people were giving their own suggestions. Nobody has
asked people. So we need another law. Assemblies and Lok Sabha
think that they are above gram sabhas. But gram sabhas are
above you. We need a new law which gives such a power to gram
sabhas," he said in his 30-minute address.

He said what happened in Rajya Sabha on the last day of
Winter Session was wrong. "The elected members were giving
their views on their own. This is not right democracy. Why
this happened? Because the masters were sleeping.

"The Lok Sabha thinks it is above gram sabha. 550 people
think they are bigger than everybody else. This thinking is
wrong," he said.

He said there should be provisions in the new law that a
panchayat can be dismissed if it spends money without
consulting the gram sabha and getting their consent.

Arguing for strong gram sabhas, Hazare cited the
acquisition process for Special Economic Zones saying the
owners in the villages and the village sabhas do not know when
the government acquires their land straightaway without their

"We the masters were sleeping when the servants were
looting our treasuries. Now we have awakened. If the
government does not bring a law, we will have to organise an
agitation similar to the August 16 (Ramlila Maidan) agitation
for a strong Lokpal Bill," he said.


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