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’Hazare movement linked to right-wing’

by Shabnam Hashmi, 17 August 2011

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Excerpted from: Hindustan Times, 16 August 2011

I don’t support Anna’s movement at all, neither does he represent me any way. He has adopted an authoritarian attitude in his fight against corruption and is affiliated to right-wing Hindu groups.

I have myself been fighting the government pressing for some legislations like the communal violence bill. But that doesn’t mean you can undermine the existing democratic institutions of India.

Framing laws need deep engagements, holistic consultations. Bills aren’t Maggie noodles that you cook for two minutes and are ready to eat.

What Anna is proposing is an anti-democratic Lokpal. It would take away all the power from existing institutions and suddenly we will have an over-arching and super-power like institution.

I myself don’t agree with the government on various issues. The prime minister should come under the ambit of any anti-corruption institution.

There is nothing that the proposed Lokpal will bring to bear in the form of greater sense of transparency and accountability in the system than what the existing institutions have achieved or not achieved.

For that, a necessary condition is the creation of a social consciousness which would decisively disapprove and reject the culture of favouritism and nepotism.

You also need to define corruption. Are you only worried about the monetary corruption? What about the suppression of poor in the name of development. Land is being grabbed from poor farmers. Look what is happening to minorities in Gujarat.

Does your lokpal cover all that? Or you are ignoring morally corrupt behaviour of people?

And then there is the issue of covert support by right wing Hindu activists to the Hazare movement.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists have been participating in the movement. And Anna likes to stand with chief minister Narendra Modi. Is his movement really that clean?