इंडियन आवाज़     23 Feb 2024 02:48:08      انڈین آواز

Anna going too far?

that the grand old man is undermining the authority of parliament which is foundation of democracy in the country.

Last April, civil society representatives managed to pressure the government into including them in talks on formulating a strong anti-corruption bill called Lok pal Bill, but Hazare and his followers have become cynical over the government’s rejection of most of their demands. Hazare says that the government betrayed him, and he pledged to go on an indefinite fast ( Now change stand agreed to fast for 15 days)  until Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to all his demands.

But while Hazare’s earlier stand earned him almost universal support, but question is being raised now whether the veteran activist is going too far in challenging parliament’s authority.

The 24/7 media has played a major part in mobilizing support for Hazare, but sometimes lost in the din have been the voices of those who feel differently about the whole campaign. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of New Delhi-based think tank the Centre for Policy Research, says that the Hazare movement is propagating a ‘tyranny of virtue. It has elided the distinction between protest and fast-unto-death. The former is legitimate. The latter is blackmail…and they are violating the norms of reciprocity.’

Others have questioned whether the Hazare movement is really as spontaneous as its leaders would like the public to think, or whether it is more manufactured. Poornima Joshi writes that Hazare’s support base has two steel frames – Ford Foundation-funded NGOs and RSS-backed activists.’

RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) is an organization for Hindu rights that is opposed to the secular principles of the country. It is also the parent organization of the main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

So, is the anti-corruption movement masking the bigger political game being played? Joshi concludes her report by saying that: ‘Anna and his band of supporters look singularly incapable of even recognizing, let alone resisting, the spread of communal fascism on the anti-corruption bandwagon.’

The Arab Spring was aimed at uprooting despots and restoring real democracy. The Monsoon Movement in India, in contrast, seems to be less about democracy, and more about undermining established institutions in the name of a genuine cause.

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