Anna Hazare vs Gandhiji!!

Tariq Anwar has made a reference to Gandhiji and in his own words quote

“Mr. Hazare should not be compared with Mahatma Gandhi who had never fought for inclusion of his name in a committee.

Mr. Hazare, on the other hand, was ‘restless’ to become the chairman of the drafting committee the gazette notification for which was issued by the Centre this morning, he added.”  Unquote.

There are actually 2 aspects to this criticism and one is about his co-chairing the JC.  Let us first look at that.

I do not know if he was very keen or “restless” to chair the committee but in my opinion, Anna need not have joined the Committee and could have rather given his blessings and support from outside.  There are 3 fallouts of his being in the JC.

a.  It has given room for his critics to cry hoarse that it was to chair the committee that was the motivation for his fast.  Until then, no personal criticism stuck.

b.  If the lokpal bill becomes so diluted tomorrow thanks to the “noble” intentions of the Government nominees, Anna cannot do anything about it because the people and the media would ask, rightly so “what were you doing when all this was happening?”. It would also look very weak if he resorts to a fast everytime there is a deadlock, which is very likely.

c.  It is not very clear what would be Anna’s role in the working of the JC given that it requires a thorough knowledge of the law!  And like the PM who is not involved in the JC at all, it would have been honourable for Anna to remain outside the JC and contribute to its functioning like Bhishma pitamaha.

Let us now address the comparison with Gandhi.

I do not know of any instance where Anna called himself a second Gandhi.  It was more the perception of individuals and the media.

It is not true that Gandhiji was never part of any committees because he lead the Indian delegation to London for the Round Table Talks.  I also know of the Gandhi Irwin pact.  While Gandhiji did not seek any office in the Government (and neither is the co-chairman of the JC equivalent to cabinet minister like the planning commission), he did not remain a recluse but was active in the discussions and negotiations.

Given that context, Anna can be likened to resorting to Gandhian strategy as he is using the famous “fast unto death” weapon to deal with a very current and burning issue called “corruption in high places” as we see in the previous post.

And like many Indians who followed Gandhiji in the freedom struggle, we have seen thousands of Indians inspired by Anna’s movement.

Gandhiji fought against an alien force whereas Anna is crusading against his own countrymen.

If Anna’s strategy is called “blackmail” then the same should be applied to what Gandhiji did to the British empire!!

I think as Citizens, we need to contribute to this Lokpal bill with our suggestions and inputs and I strongly urge the JC to have an official website inviting views of the millions of Indians.

Jain Hind!!

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. kukkumol said,

    August 28, 2011 at 7:21 am

    The Govt. should thank Sh. Anna Ji, today, because of him, Govt. could get chance to restore his credibility in masses. It is upto Govt.if It has learnt a lesson or not.If, Still, the Govt. adopt dilly dallying attitude, the awakened public will send it into the be wilderness. It will be Historic Moment of New Change for India, the day when this Bill is passed by the Parliament and Implemented. In number of ways, Anna Ji created History,everybody should salute him.


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