The Weekend Leader - The Other view

Team Anna has blinked; the Constitution has been saved


Vol 2 | Issue 34

Team Anna has blinked. The Constitution has been saved. Parliament will not pass Team Anna’s Jan Lokpal in its present draconian form. There will be a discussion on the bill in Parliament today and a decision on the final shape of the bill will rest with the elected representatives. It’s a victory for all those who fought against Anna’s bill.

The Weekend Leader was among the first to question Anna’s credentials in proposing a law for the country.

Given below are some of the voices in the media that spoke up against Team Anna at the cost of being branded anti-national by Anna supporters and who have made this victory for democracy possible.

Arundhati Roy in The Hindu

“Who is he really, this new saint, this Voice of the People? Oddly enough we've heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern. Nothing about the farmer's suicides in his neighbourhood, or about Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer's agitations or the blight of SEZs. He doesn't seem to have a view about the Government's plans to deploy the Indian Army in the forests of Central India."

Avirook Sen in The Express Tribune

“My disappointment is not so much with a piece of paper that may or may not get to become legislation. It lies instead with the devaluation of what it means to be a Gandhian....Apart from giving up some time to attend the Woodstock-like gatherings (if only the music was better…) no one from our neo-Gandhian masses is being called upon to make — or volunteering — a personal sacrifice. The token arrests and releases for loosely enforced laws just don’t cut it. General Dyer isn’t saying ‘fire!’. The tanks aren’t moving in like in Tiananmen Square. Even the Indian government isn’t that foolish. When Gandhi urged people to break laws, he made one thing very clear: they must also face the consequences of their actions. If they chose, deliberately, not to pay a tax, then they must accept any punishment the state hands down for this breach. Sixty thousand people did prison time for selling small quantities of salt. I haven’t heard a specific message (leave alone seen specific action) that communicates this agitation actually has anything substantial to do with the Gandhi portrait constantly in the background.”

Tushar Gandhi (Gandhi's great-grandson)

"The attempt to take over the space left behind by Gandhi reveals the dishonesty of the whole movement. It's a sham, they are basically trying to pull a fast one on the nation." (As quoted in a Agence France-Presse report)

Govind Talwalkar in

“Like the Iranian religious supremo, Anna demands supreme power and he dreams that with the present dysfunctional government, he could wield power from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and everybody would just obey his fiats. This is fascist tendency and may have roots in his career in the army. In India, when chaotic conditions prevail, a large section of the middle class prays for military dictatorship. In the Second World War, Hitler had several admirers from this class. That is why the authoritarian Anna may be satisfying their craving.No wonder the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has openly come out in support of this Ayatollah in waiting.

Sidharth Bhatia in Deccan Chronicle

“This is the “war of the comfortable” who want to keep the marginal elements out of India’s expanding economic pie. Creating a monster that will be judge, jury and executioner will be one step – a big one, but just one – towards that goal.”

Dr Abhijit Vaidya in

“Corruption is a disease of the human mind as well as the political and economic system. Hazare has no political or economic ideology, he has no faith in any organisation, his approach is too individualistic and shows disregard, maybe out of ignorance, for the Constitution framed by Dr BR Ambedkar. “

Sukhadeo Thorat in The Hindu

“The Lokpal Bill is too important a piece of legislation to be passed under threat and unreasonable deadlines. All its aspects need to discussed with extreme care and with consensus among all sections. Dalits have begun to express concern about its implications for them. In a society where the anti-caste spirit and prejudices are present in abundance, they feel that given its proposed wide-ranging powers, it may be misused.” – TWL Bureau

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