Indian churches propose anti-corruption legislation
Mainline churches in India have prepared a suggested version of anti-corruption legislation and sent it to the government, which is drafting comprehensive anti-corruption legislation to be presented in Parliament in early December. “We want the government to take into consideration the views of the Christian community,” Samuel Jayakumar, executive secretary of the Commission on Policy, Governance and Public Witness of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), told ENInews in an interview from New Delhi. The NCCI, which groups 30 Orthodox and Protestant churches along with the Catholic church, and YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association), prepared the draft after several rounds of consultations among Christians and presented it to the government on Nov. 16. The campaign for strong anti-corruption legislation has been a top issue in India since April, when activist Anna Hazare launched a fast against corruption. Though the government appointed a joint drafting committee with Hazare’s team, both disagreed on their version of the anti-corruption draft, causing Hazare to stage a hunger strike in August. Hazare withdrew the fast 12 days later after the government agreed to present comprehensive legislation by December. “Corruption adversely affects the whole system of governance, having a negative influence on the relationship between those who govern and the governed, especially the poor and marginalized communities,” said the churches in their draft.