Indian students protest corruption outside TA embassy

"Indians in Israel Against Corruption" calls on ambassador to express concerns to PM about corruption.

August 28, 2011 03:19
1 minute read.
A man holds up an Indian flag.

Indian flag_58 reuters. (photo credit: Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters)


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Around two dozen Indian citizens protested outside of the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv on Friday, demanding an end to the rampant corruption plaguing the subcontinent.

The Indians, almost all of them young men studying in Israeli universities, tried to present a letter to Ambassador Navtej Sarna, but he was out of the country and they instead gave the document to his first secretary.

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In their letter, the group, which calls itself “Indians in Israel Against Corruption,” called on the ambassador to express their concerns to the prime minister of India about corruption in India, which they said “has severely maligned the image of the nation, and has ensured that the gap between the rich and poor has widened tremendously, and the ideals on which the nation was founded have been left floundering.”

They also expressed their support for hunger-striking Indian social activist Anna Hazare, and called for the government to consider implementing the “Jan-Lokpal” anti-corruption bill.

“The government wants a weaker version of the Jan- Lokpal bill which won’t let you go after corruption when it is at the highest level of the government,” said Sreekanth Ravindran, a student at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

Ravindran added that there are massive amounts of taxpayer money “that is all going to the very top to a few corrupt officials.”

Dr. Amitabh Trehan, who also studies at the Technion, said “most of us are postdoctorate students, graduate students, and researchers, studying all over Israel. In India, not just students but all types of people are supporting this movement.”

Trehan said that not only is corruption rampant in the upper echelons of Indian political life, but the situation is worse in light of the growing economy, which he says mainly benefits those at the very top.

“Corruption is from the top to the bottom and it is especially bad now because as the economy is booming, the gulf between the rich and the poor is becoming much wider. The inflation is very high and the food is becoming very expensive, so the poor are being hit very hard.”

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