Chicago: Comparing Anna Hazare`s anti-graft
movement to the occupy Wall Street movement, Team Anna member
Prashant Bhushan highlighted the connection between rampant
corruption and the social conflicts that have emerged in
At two talks delivered here, Bhushan said there was a need
to understand the connection between corruption and the state
of Indian society where a vast majority of people is still
living on the margins and farmer suicides are a common
"We need to understand the depth of corruption... see the
connection between corruption and state of Indian society,"
Bhushan told the audience consisting largely of students and
some Indians at the Roosevelt University on Saturday.
He also compared the India Against Corruption movement to
the Occupy Wall Street Movement against corporate greed that
started in New York and saw resonance in several parts of the
Bhushan said he wanted India to move from a representative
democracy to a system where stakeholders have a say in
decisions that are going to affect them.
"Our attempt so far is to take the message far and wide,"
Bhushan said. "Public mobilisation is not damaging to the
movement," he added.
At another talk at the Loyola University, Bhushan, an
eminent lawyer, also advocated judicial reforms like setting
up of an independent Judicial Conduct Commission, speeding up
the process of justice, simplifying court procedures,
increasing number of courts and introducing technology.
"Since High Court and Supreme Court are not accountable
they have become corrupt so nobody can hold them accountable.
They can control lower judiciary," he explained.
Bhushan said since the voice of NRIs is influential and
will be heard collectively, the diaspora should understand the
state of the country, scratch the surface and see what lies
beneath it, particularly the state of people living in the
"The picture that we find is on one hand wide majority of
the country are still living in grinding poverty - 78 per cent
of India`s population is surviving on Rs 20 a day, cannot buy
two square meals a day let alone housing, transportation etc.
Farmers have committed suicide due to economic distress," he
On allegations of links between Team Anna members and
international bodies like the World Bank and Ford Foundation,
Bhushan said some of them might be receiving money from
foreign funding agencies but that does not mean they are being
influenced by those agencies in pushing for their agenda.
"After all, they are pushing for an anti-corruption
institution," Bhushan said.