An explosive revelation about Anna Hazare and his team in this 27 minute video in Hindi.
Find out answers to these troubling questions:
- Is Anna Hazare planted by Congress?
- Where did Hazare collected Rs. 8,200,000 for his movement?
- Did 70% of that money come from Congress people on the instructions of higher ups?
- Why did Jindal, a Congress person give Rs. 4.2 million for the movement?
- Why was a clause added to include Megasaysay award winners (Hazare, Kejriwal, Bedi) in the Lokpal team? Were they securing jobs for themselves?
- What is the role of Agnivesh?
- If Hazare and team is part of the public movement, why did they become part of a Government team?
- Why were Subramanian Swamy, Vishwabandhu Gupta and 17 others were black listed by team Hazare from attending the “drama” at Rajghat?
- Why did Santosh Hegde leave today’s meeting halfway?
- Was Baba Ramdev beat up?
- Did the Prime Minister come to know about the police crackdown only when he woke up on 5th June?
- Is the democracy in Bharat already dead but the announcement is not made yet?
- Is there any hope for the future of Bharat?
These are serious and disturbing questions and one hopes there is an explanation. However, we the people, especially those who are involved in the movement have a right to know answers to these questions. One should not be afraid that this would lead to disunity among us because we need to make sure that there are no foxes guarding the chicken coupe.
A very balanced article on double standards of “secular” activists! – Moderator
MADHU PURNIMA KISHWAR, TNN Apr 22, 2011, 12.00am IST
The disdain with which leading lights of the anti-corruption movement – Mallika Sarabhai, Medha Patkar, Kavita Srivastava et al – are publicly threatening to dislodge Anna Hazare from the leadership role because he praised Narendra Modi’s rural development work in Gujarat indicates that the poor man was only being used as a convenient symbol that can be discarded as arbitrarily as he was chosen to lead the ‘movement’.
Human rights activists can retain their credibility only as long as they remain steadfastly non-partisan. To the person killed, it matters little whether the murderous mob was shouting ‘Lal Salaam’, ‘Har Har Mahadev’ or ‘National Unity’ as did the mobs that massacred over 10,000 Sikhs in north India following Indira Gandhi’s assassination. However, the secular brigade shows a consistent soft corner for those who kill under the Maoist or communist banner as well as those who verbally profess secularism.
Narendra Modi’s acts of commission and omission during the 2002 riots deserve the strongest of condemnations. Those crimes need to be impartially investigated and the guilty punished. Just as we are proud that our democratic system ensured a fair trial even for a publicly identified ISI-associated terrorist like Kasab, so also we should let the courts take the Gujarat trials to their logical conclusions.
Those who ask for Modi’s head would do well to remember that hordes of Congressmen in Gujarat gleefully joined the BJP and RSS goons who went around massacring innocent people.
The overall track record of the Congress in this matter is no better, if not much worse, than that of the BJP. In addition to the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in north India, it masterminded numerous other riots through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. None of the killers of politically engineered riots in Meerut, Malliana, Bhiwandi, Bhagalpur, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat and scores of others were ever punished. The Congress also injected terrorism into Punjab by its covert support of Bhindranwale’s Khalistani brigades in order to wrest control of the SGPC that presides over well-endowed gurdwaras. It did incalculable harm to the Sri Lankan Tamils by creating a Frankenstein’s monster like the LTTE. The secessionist movement in Kashmir owes its origins and draws sustenance from the Congress party’s penchant for rigging elections to install puppet chief ministers.
Madhu Kishwar is a well known activist who has worked on behalf of street people, minority rights and authored number of books. See her profile at:
G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, LensOnNews
In the life cycle of elected governments, a time comes when the public support decisively swings from one of enjoying inherent trust to one in which people have lost implicit trust. In case of some governments, this happens very rapidly and in some others, it takes a very long time as was the case with the Left Front in West Bengal which had an uninterrupted reign of 34 years.
Usually, a major decision or action precipitates this dramatic shift of public perceptions about an elected government. In Left ruled West Bengal, the agitation in Singur provided the stimulus. In the case of the UPA government, the midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev’s supporters – after meekly acquiescing to him and rolling out the red carpet at Delhi airport – has provided that spark.
I have been keeping tabs on public opinion for several months now and the extensive ground level feedback that we have gathered shows that the midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev’s fast was the turning point and turned the supporting masses against the Congress led government at the Centre. Admittedly, it has taken many years in office and many scams in its wake to pierce the credibility of the Congress led government at the Centre. And, once the credibility of a regime is eroded, it is impossible to regain it. Rajiv Gandhi government never recovered from the Bofors scandal that broke out just two years after he won a landslide victory in 1984 and faced a humiliating defeat in 1989. Similarly, P.V. Narasimha Rao’s government never recovered from a series of scandals – securities scam, JMM scandal, Sukhram’s telecom scam, Urea scam, etc. –that led to its devastating poll defeat in 1996.
It is instructive to study how the governments in the past tried to recover ground when they were confronted with extremely adverse situations. Indira Gandhi imposed emergency in 1975 following Allahabad High Court’s verdict declaring her election to Lok Sabha as void; Rajiv Gandhi’s associates forged documents purporting to show that his principal challenger V.P. Singh had a secret bank account in a foreign bank in St. Kitts; V.P. Singh himself unleashed the anti-quota stir by implementing the Mandal Commission recommendations in 1990; P.V. Narasimha Rao raked up years old Hawala scandal to fix political rivals in 1995 etc.
Circa 2011, the Congress party facing an unprecedented crisis over corruption charges can be expected to do all that the past governments have done and much more to survive politically. But the UPA presently has a serious problem at hand.
First, it faces a multitude of scams and myriad issues like black money, corruption, price rise etc. With every passing week, new scams are coming out of the closet. Undoubtedly, 2G is one scam that has damaged the UPA government the most. The scale of the loot and its brazen manner has had a devastating impact on the public. Curiously, the 2G scam which has claimed many top leaders of the DMK hasn’t yet reached the Congress’s doorstep. The manner in which the Congress party stymied the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probe led by the BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi and the tardy functioning of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probing the 2G scam have aroused suspicions about the Congress party’s motives and involvement.
Second, unlike in the past when governments faced one major scam and a clearly identified political rival, the Congress party is faced with a barrage of attacks from an active judiciary, a demanding civil society led by popular Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, a rejuvenated opposition, vigilant media and statutory institutions like the CAG. Despite the Sonia Gandhi led Congress party’s best attempts to emasculate high offices of the Prime Minister, President by appointing pliable individuals to these venerable institutions, the Congress party has not been able to avoid public scrutiny as other institutions of the government have turned their heat on the government.
True to its habit, the Congress party will attempt some drastic actions to regain its lost credibility. It will unleash vendetta against opposition leaders and attempt to show that all those arraigned against the Congress are corrupt. It will create and exploit every opportunity to rake up non-issues to divert public attention.
It may even resort to dividing the electorate on caste, communal or some other lines to minimize the electoral damage. This may actually backfire on the Congress party that traditionally has had a wide appeal across various caste and other groups. Yet, a desperate Congress party may make some cynical moves to get out of the corruption rut. Attempts to link activists like Anna Hazare with the RSS are a part of this cynical strategy.
Take my word: nothing will help restore the present government’s credibility. Let me explain this from my experience as a poll analyst for two decades. When a government enjoys public trust, all its actions are generally seen from a positive perspective. And, when a government is seen to be inherently untrustworthy, all its actions become suspect. All actions of the Manmohan Singh government will henceforth be viewed from a negative perspective due to the credibility crisis that envelopes it.
The Manmohan Singh government, despite enjoying a parliamentary majority is a lame duck government. Whether it lasts the full term or dies a premature death will depend on its political survival strategies. For sure, in the public mind, it has already lost its mandate. Its defeat at polls, whenever they are held, is an inevitability that stares it in its face.
GVL Narasimha Rao is a noted poll analyst
This article from the Pioneer is one of the best articles that I have seen; it is precise, objective and thought provoking. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Gaurang G. Vaishnav
AGENDA | Sunday, June 12, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back
June 13, 2011 11:21:30 AM
The vengeance with which the UPA has gone after Baba Ramdev shows its Emergency-like streak. However, it must understand that Ramdev and Anna Hazare are legitimate representatives of a society disgusted with corruption in high places. The authorities can suppress their voices, but the vacuum it will create will be filled by more violent and assertive forces, warns Utpal Kumar
Indiais on the brink of a ‘revolution’. In fact, two revolutions. One unleashed by an ‘austere’ man in a white cap not many would prefer to wear today. And, the other by a saffron-clad yoga guru, who doesn’t believe sannyasis can’t indulge in politics. One is a Gandhian who can sit cross-legged for hours, and is the darling of the metropolitan literati and chatterati. The other teaches indigenous ways to keep oneself healthy and has an unassailable hold over the masses of what is romantically called ‘Middle India’. The two complement each other. But that’s not the way the political establishment and the mainstream English media see it.
This disconnect was evident on a train from Bihar toDelhia day after the midnight drama was enacted at Ramlila Maidan. “How can police beat up people, most of them women and children, who have come from faraway places to participate in a satyagraha? They were not at all violent, were they? Imagine their plight in an unknown city in the middle of the night,” said a co-passenger, aDelhiUniversitystudent whose father worked on a farmland inBihar. “This Government can allow a Hurriyat hardliner led by a pro-Maoist writer-cum-activist to script a separatist agenda in the Capital, but it can’t endure a peaceful protest against growing corruption in the country,” he added.
Soon, others joined the debate. One was an Army jawan, another a salesman, and yet another a bank employee — all truly representatives of what Mahatma Gandhi called the realIndia. The number increased, but the sentiment remained more or less the same: That the UPA has acted in a most undemocratic manner to quell the protest; that the Government wouldn’t have dared to come down highhandedly had the protesters been fromDelhi’s upper classes, as was the case with Anna Hazare’s agitation at Jantar Mantar not very long ago.
InDelhi, however, one witnessed an altogether different political discourse, with focus not much on the issue of corruption and the Government’s crackdown on innocent people, but on whether the Baba was at all the right person to hold any such agitation. The central-peripheral divide never looked sharper. The media, too, wasn’t spared: While the English news channels — either cut-off from the realities of sub-urban India or owing to their compulsions to cater to their elite and upper middle class audience for whom the Baba and his followers were just another “funny characters” — toed the Government line, focussing on the alleged misdeeds of Ramdev and his colleagues. It seemed they blindly followed Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s Baba’s-a-thug line. In the process, they forgot to ask a few tough questions: How could the Government suddenly stumble upon so much evidence against the yoga guru? Does it mean that it keeps such evidences as an arm-twisting tool against its opponents for more opportune times? If so, doesn’t it implicate the Government for being hypocritical on the issue of corruption? If the UPA was so sure about the Baba’s ill practices, why did it dispatch four ministers to receive him at theDelhiairport? And, if it was so uneasy about his saffron links, why did it entertain him for hours at a five-star hotel inDelhi?
The Hindi news channels, in contrast, showcased a slightly more realistic picture of how the country was reacting to the Government’s midnight crackdown at Ramlila Maidan. Perhaps, because their TRPs are determined by the masses in small towns and villages!
ANNA VERSUS RAMDEV
Hazare may have inspired a large section of the metropolitan population into expressing concern over the culture of corruption, but the burgeoning small towns and villages remained mostly untouched by the Anna phenomenon. That is where Ramdev’s role comes into play, as any fight against corruption can’t succeed without the support of Middle India.
Ironically, those who welcomed Hazare’s call to clean the system are today circumspect about Ramdev. Not very long ago, it was a field day for celebrities — from Aamir Khan to Kabir Bedi — to show their solidarity with the Gandhian movement at Jantar Mantar. On Ramdev, however, the response has been plain disdainful. Salman Khan quipped, “Why is he going on a hunger strike? Isn’t he a yogi teaching yoga?” As for Shah Rukh Khan, he discovered “an agenda” in the Baba’s agitation!
The literati’s love for Hazare is both understandable and enigmatic. It’s understandable because this class detests everything mass-oriented and accepts anything coming from the media. And, Hazare is largely a media construct. If a magazine report is to be believed, about 15 years ago, when Hazare went on a fast to protest against corruption in the then Maharashtra Government, a group of reporters from the vernacular press virtually became his publicity agents. Facts were twisted, and numbers inflated to provide legitimacy to his movement. A week into the fast, when these fellow reporters told Hazare that they couldn’t sustain the movement any longer, the Gandhian wilfully relented to call it off on a Sunday. Here, again, there was a problem: On the proposed day, local elections were to be held in the State, an event that would obviously hog all the limelight. Hazare right away shifted his programme to Monday!
It’s enigmatic because there’s more about Hazare that should disorient the educated, elite class. Going by the way he runs a village in Maharashtra, he cannot be called ‘democratic’ by any means: He prefers the hands of a thief to be chopped off; he wants anyone found drinking to be tied to a pole and publicly flogged; he believes in rigid implementation of family planning, including forced vasectomies; and, he advocates the corrupt be hanged to death!
Maybe Hazare is acceptable because he doesn’t seem to threaten the status quoist upper middle class dreams. He just wants cosmetic changes at the top — bring the Lok Pal Bill and all’s well! It must be understood that while the upper middle class has the right to be disgusted with corruption, it is also a major beneficiary of the malaise. After all, despite it raising this issue, it is primarily this class that gets the maximum benefits from the bribes MNCs pay to politicians to create a hurdle-free economic milieu. Bribes, in a way, are needed for ‘swift’ economic development in the country where governance isn’t truly efficient. It is a way of buying efficiency, as a bureaucrat working in the Finance Ministry said.
Today’sBiharis the best example of this trend. People in the State complain that with development, bureaucratic corruption has touched new heights. “Pahle jo kaam pachas rupaye mein hota tha, ab 5,000 mein bhi nahin hota (Earlier a work could be done in Rs 50, but today even Rs 5,000 is not enough),” said a schoolteacher in a northeastern district of Bihar. Yet, people seem content as the State has never witnessed such unprecedented flow of money. “Everyone is getting richer here. Lifestyle has improved. So, people doesn’t mind paying bribes to get their work done in the State,” said a Patna-based businessman. Some, including a Patna Women’s College professor, however, believe the Nitish Government should curb this malaise before it actually gets institutionalised.
The upper middle class, therefore, isn’t quite the victim of corruption as it pretends to be. Instead, it is the beneficiary of the system, however corrupt it may be. The real victims are the ones that have been left out or are on the fringes of the emerging economy. The Baba represents this section of Indian society. And, it’s for this reason that his movement needs to be welcomed, and not derided.
What’s further bolstering Ramdev’s case is that unlike other gurus, he is not “foreign-imported”, as one of his ardent followers says. He first strengthened his network in the country, and it was only in 2006 that he made his first trip abroad. No wonder, his worldview is rural-oriented, and he wants technical courses to be taught in the mother language. It’s, therefore, hardly a surprise that his politico-economic ideas became an instant hit among rural Indians, left behind in the race for economic prosperity by the English-speaking elite. What helped him strike a chord was a daily TV show being aired on the Aastha channel since 2005.
BLAME THE GOVERNMENT
Ramdev is as much the product of skewed globalisation as he is of the failure of our political leadership to deliver. After all, today we face the possibility of a political movement led by a yoga guru simply because our political leadership has failed us. Had Suresh Kalmadi been forced to resign when the Commonwealth shames first surfaced, the scandal would have died a natural death! Had A Raja been removed from his office the moment bad press appeared against him, the 2G scandal would have lost much of its sting! Nothing of the sort happened, hence the full-throated demand for a ‘systemic change’. Hence the emergence of a Baba and a Gandhian!
Well into its second term, the UPA seems both rudderless and directionless. So is Manmohan Singh. This was a man who gave his Government “six on 10” in a report card in 2005, one year after he became Prime Minister. People then thought he was being modest. Six years down the line, post several mind-boggling financial irregularities, Singh is neither modest, nor he pretends to be the one; he arbitrarily gives his Government “seven out of 10”. He puts the entire blame on coalition politics. For him, the DMK should be solely blamed for the 2G scam! And, Sharad Pawar’s NCP should be responsible for food inflation!
Such excuses would have worked well during the UPA-I regime when the Congress had 145 seats, but not in 2009, when the party is just 66 seats short of an absolute majority of 272. No ruling party has been so ‘secure’ in the Lok Sabha since 1991. But then the humility of 2005 has given way to the arrogance of 2011. And, it was this arrogance that was seen at Ramlila Maidan early this month.
The vengeance with which the Government is going after the Baba shows its Emergency-like streak. The powers-that-be must understand that Ramdev and Hazare are two sides of the same coin. Inventing cases of corruption against those who are asking tough questions would make people cynical and force them to take recourse to more extreme measures. Look what’s happening inWest Asia! Who would have imagined six months ago that the Arab world would be in such a state of turmoil, as it is now? Hazare and Ramdev are for the good of the Government: They are its safety valve.
COMMENTS BOARD ::
Truth about India’s flaky economy.
By K P Ganesh on 6/12/2011 8:40:42 PM
I wish readers of this article to google for DEBATE ON GATT a wonderful speech given way back in 1994 by Sri. S Gurumurthy on how India’s quest for globalization has resulted in this kind of catastrophic effect, marginalizing the so called middle India who are working thrice as hard to keep India afloat, compared to their urban dwelling brothers and sisters.
By Ramesh on 6/12/2011 3:57:47 PM
UPA is waiting for a West Asia-like situation to happen in this country.
literarti and Hazare
By SM Singh on 6/12/2011 3:32:10 PM
Really loved this line of yours: “The literati’s love for Hazare is both understandable and enigmatic. It’s understandable because this class detests everything mass-oriented and accepts anything coming from the media. And, Hazare is largely a media construct.” Great piece.
By Raj on 6/12/2011 12:14:49 PM
Good that swamiji today ended his fast. However, this has exposed how insensitive the rulers are.
By abhinav kumar on 6/12/2011 10:57:46 AM
A true and an excellent peice of an article!!! well done u have presented the true picture.
THE BABA POLITICS
By Hare Ram on 6/12/2011 9:21:59 AM
Very well written. This is a first positive article ever read on media about Baba. Seems like all other medias joined Congress. I don’t care how much money Baba made but all the issues he raised are legitimate. I don’t think he cheated any one.
More leaders needed
By Rahul on 6/12/2011 8:15:32 AM
Lessons from the freedom movement is (particularly after Gandhiji’s 1915 India arrival), do not allow the rulers to highlight only one or two netas with whom they are comfortable with and undermine other Leaders of the movement. Bapu and hon J Nehru were the two netas overshadowing others during the transfer of power in 1947 and the bloody partition of the Country. A similar pattern of Hazare undermining all other leaders of the anti corruption movement must be prevented from developing.
A Million Revolutions In a Wounded Civilization
By Maheswar inKathmanduon 6/12/2011 7:14:26 AM
V S Naipaul astutely foresaw the million revolutions bubbling, all overIndia, having first viewed it as a wounded civilization. All these revolts and wounds are now surfacing as the voice of the ‘real’India, the vast new middle class that barely earn $2-4 per day, who are vulnerable to the downswings of globalization, its inequities and immoralities. They want modernity with their traditional identities in place; not be caricatures of the West as are the upper middle classes.
The truth few in India Know.
By sadia on 6/12/2011 4:12:22 AM
Indialost its independent status the day an illiterate but KGB trained honey trap appeared in Rajiv’s life. Then she lined up a job for being an interpreter of RAW with Italian secret service. She had already converted Rajiv from Muslim to Roberto to marry her.She brought Italian Mafia in form of Quotrocchi. Rajiv already had started receving money from Soviet government in swiss Bank. When Rajiv threatened to divorce her Quotrocchi met Prabhakaran to sort problem out.
The BABA politics
By panchali on 6/12/2011 12:59:36 AM
Very well commented. I totally agree with you that the UPA’s mistreatment of Baba Ramdev is going to backfire on the Government big time. I also liked you Anna versus Baba comparision. But the best was the safety valve theory.
Thank God for this article
By Soumya Dutta on 6/12/2011 12:45:25 AM
I was losing belief completely and truly in the Indian print media when the involuntary death of MF Hussain was being given greater preference to the well meaning and fully voluntary fast undertaken by Ramdev. It is a shame that the media derides the yoga guru who has today undertaken a fast to cleanse the system of its 60 years-old evil by petty journalism. Having said and that and then having read this article, I firmly believe not everything has been lost.
June 09, 2011 10:35:17 AM
Staff Reporter | New Delhi
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that the Congress-led UPA Government will not survive its full five-year term. Holding that the Government was suffering from severe ‘structural contradictions’, Jaitley said the Government lacked statecraft and the Prime Minister was getting invisible.
“The Government does not know the art of ruling. This Government is going to fall before 2014,” Jaitley said. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the BJP leader said, “In any democratic country, the Prime Minister is the leader of the country. Here you (Prime Minister) are running the show on the structure of a private company. You have a professional CEO and the owner is somebody else.” Jaitley was on Tuesday addressing a gathering of Delhi BJP at the Constitution Club in the Capital. He criticised the Prime Minister saying whenever there was any controversy, he tried to hush up the matter saying he was not aware.
In an apparent reference to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, he said the powers of the Government lie with a particular family, which does not have any accountability. “There is no power with the leadership of the Government. There is office but no authority. There is another leadership who has power but no accountability. And that is why this leadership keeps itself away from the responsibilities as per convenience. A Government cannot run like this. The Prime Minister is getting invisible,” he lamented. Arguing his point, Jaitley said in the event of a mistake, blame is always put on others and it is said the family was very angry.
Terming the Government as a ‘headless chicken’, the former Union Minister said there were two views in the Government on how to deal with Ramdev’s agitation. “One view was that there should be a political settlement of Ramdev’s agitation through talks. That is why four Cabinet Ministers went to the airport. The other view was to handle it through police and by use of force. There was a ‘fight among the FM and the HM’,” he said referring to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram. “On one hand the government was holding talks with Ramdev and on the other hand, Digvijay kept levelling charges against Baba,” he added.
Jaitley claimed Mukherjee had favoured a political settlement of the issue while Home Minister P Chidambaram wanted use of force. “The Finance Minister was of one view while the Home Minister had a different view. That is why I termed the Government as a headless chicken,” he said. Slamming the Government for the crackdown on Ramdev and his followers, Jaitley said he never saw any incident where shelling of tear gas was resorted to on a crowd in a closed enclosure. “The Prime Minister’s statement following the police atrocity was the most unfortunate. How can he justify bursting tear gas shells to a crowd in a closed enclosure. The official or the Minister who had decided about it does not have authority to remain in office,” he maintained.
Jaitley also criticised the government for not giving permission to Anna Hazare to protest at Jantar Mantar, saying the people’s right to protest is being undermined. He, however, insisted the more the voice of protest is suppressed in a democracy, the stronger it becomes.
Civil and Uncivil Societies – By Ratan Sharda
I have been rather intrigued by the term ‘Civil Society’. I had a long argument with a dear friend of mine, a leading light in this ‘Civil Society’ movement. By calling citizen activists (the right word, perhaps), as civil society, aren’t we keeping out a large part of the society which is not ‘civil’ or rather which is ‘uncivil’ – probably with low education, low income, average life style, unaware of civilized society’s obsession with brands etc. etc. My friend explained to me, it is not so but this is the universally accepted nomenclature for citizen activists. But, contrast between the media coverage and deep sighs of ‘beautiful people’ at a Baba running amok brought out the difference between perceived ‘civil society’ and our majority ‘uncivil’ society of ‘average boring village and town and suburban dwellers.
Contrast the crowds that thronged media elevated Anna Hazare fest. Don’t get me wrong. With all due respect to the veteran crusader, the crowds were not as big as what Baba Ramdev brought in across Bharat. But, media was so taken in by presence of English speaking ‘beautiful people’ in their designer clothes and with it attitude, just right for good news sound bites, that it helped create ‘Brand Anna’ as next only to Gandhi ji. I am not even suggesting that ‘civil society’ (as I read this tag) should not be on road. By all means, they must come out roads, they can provide the requisite leadership and come out with good ideas.
I know of wonderful work done by Anna and I respect him a lot. But, the point I am driving home is not about personalities of Anna or Baba. But, rather the way they are presented to us by news coverage because of the crowds they attract. The followers of Baba who came from all over Bharat were a study in contrast. Rustic villagers, small town residents, or coming from distant suburbs of Delhi or Mumbai etc. They are the worst sufferers from tyranny of bureaucracy at lower level in their daily dealings and have no where with alls to pay their way through their chicanery. They came on faith that Baba will fight the mighty corrupt and they came to support this. So, there is hardly any coverage of the participants of this agitation. They can’t speak English, they dont come pretty on camera, so just keep camera on Baba – he makes colourful copy! Witness the way Baba Ramdev is harangued by media and the kid glove treatment Anna Hazare gets.
Now, you will understand why I am against the word ‘civil society’.
Was this contrast in two societies of India i.e. Bharat that flummoxed media and powers that be? When Congress flexed its police muscles, it calculated that these ordinary folks will not get sympathy and colourful coverage from media and will go home tails between legs. It forgot that this is the common ‘uncivil society’ that votes with its feet and not the beautiful ‘civil society’. Now, that shit has hit the fan, let us see this ‘police state’ mentality haunt them in coming months.
What I have noted above, does not at all take away the credit from media for standing up against corruption, giving live coverage to attack on innocent citizens in the dead of night. I am just pointing out the difference in approach to the two agitations. And making readers aware of this phenomenon of common man fight against corruption and civil society’s fight against corruption. The gap between Bharat and India as cliche goes, and our elite society’s perceptions.
June 7, 2011
Vivek Deshpande Posted online: Tue Jun 07 2011, 02:34 hrs
Nagpur : Addressing cadres at the conclusion of the month-long third year Officers’ Training Camp here today, RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat said that the RSS didn’t start the current anti-corruption agitation “but it also can’t remain a mute spectator”.
Criticising the government for blaming the RSS whenever “it feels the heat”, Bhagwat questioned the constitutional validity of the National Advisory Council and the Bill it had drafted to ostensibly tackle communal violence.
Said Bhagwat: ‘It’s an unwritten mandate for swayamsevaks to join any such cause that is in the national interest. Whenever the powers-that-be feel the heat, they put all their blame on the RSS.” “When so much is happening in the country, can swayamsevaks remain mute spectators? The swayamsevaks need not be told to join such causes. They do it as a matter of habit,” Bhagwat said. On the Centre’s “barbaric” crackdown on Ramdev’s agitation, Bhagwat said: “It’s the duty of the government to reach out to people like Ramdev and Hazare but it’s behaving with brutality with its own subjects. This is reminiscent of the Emergency and the Jallianwala massacre.”
Questioning the NAC, Bhagwat said: “If Ramdev and Hazare are outsiders, under which clause of the Constitution has the NAC been constituted? Does it not comprise outsiders?”
Referring to the Bill against communal violence drafted by the NAC, Bhagwat said: “It is aimed at keeping the country divided along communal lines and keep various communities engaged in mutual fight. It has been designed to suppress the Hindus.”
“What’s wrong in demanding that black money should be brought back and corruption should be stifled?” Bhagwat asked.
R Jagannathan Jun 6, 2011 When Baba Ramdev was bundled out of Delhi unceremoniously, it was a forceful message from the Congress-led UPA government that it was not going to vacate space for civil society to muscle in on its turf — unless the civil society members happen to be Sonia Gandhi groupies. It is also an indication that orders for the crackdown on the Baba came from the political power centre – Sonia Gandhi herself. It marks a new assertion of party over government in order to seize the political initiative from a bumbling Manmohan Singh. But it is worth understanding what really transpired these last few weeks, when the government first started humouring the Baba, held detailed discussions with him, and then hit him on the head – metaphorically – with a club when he was least expecting it. Who betrayed whom? Was it the government, which came out waving a paper saying the Baba went back on his promise to call off the fast? Or was it the Baba, who found the government closing in on him, and decided to back away from a deal he knew was not good for his future? I believe it was the government which decided to pull the plug on the Baba deal. It flows from the answer to the question: why was the Congress schmoozing with the Baba in the first place when it knew he had deep Sangh Parivar connections? The Congress has a problem in the north, where the BJP is a potent threat everywhere, except Uttar Pradesh. This is where the Baba comes in handy. Reuters The answer: the Congress wined and dined him precisely because he was close to the Sangh Parivar. It was not something they discovered later, when Sadhvi Ritambara turned up at the Baba’s fast-fest. In the Congress book of dirty tricks, this is old hat. Whenever the Congress sees a looming political threat, it backs a rival in the same camp to break away and undercut the original threat. To deal with the Akalis in Punjab, Indira Gandhi backed Bhindranwale. To destroy the Shiv Sena, it backed Raj Thackeray, and won the last elections purely from this vote division. To undercut the National Conference, it broke bread with Mufti Sayeed’s PDP in the last decade before it dumped the PDP again for the National Conference. Of course, the Congress also reaps the whirlwind when it sows the wind (Indira was killed by Sikh extremists, and Rajiv fell to the LTTE’s suicide bomber), but that’s another story. It is also worth recalling that the Congress won the last elections in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu precisely because a third player (Praja Rajyam in Andhra, and Vijayakanth’s DMDK in Tamil Nadu) ate into opposition votes and brought the Congress (or the Congress alliance) victory. But for these spoilers, Chandrababu Naidu and AIADMK would have won in 2009. So who do you need to fix before 2014 in the same way? While there are obviously a whole range of regional and sectarian parties who are local threats to the Congress in various states, the only national threat is the BJP, which, despite being rudderless over the last seven years, is the only party capable of upsetting the Congress’ apple-cart. Within the BJP, the biggest threat is Narendra Modi, who has shown that he can get the measure of the Congress, and has the potential to galvanise the party and the majority community to action — given the right political circumstances, which, admittedly, don’t exist for now. But who knows what will be the scenario in 2014? It explains why the Congress is using activists like Teesta Setalvad and the National Advisory Council (NAC) and other one-dimensional secularists to fix him – whether in court or through a blatantly communal Bill to tackle communal violence. The Bill is specifically targetted at Hindu organisations, and no one else. It will never see the light of day, but that does not stop undemocratic NAC members from trying to force it down our throats. But, at another level, the Congress has a problem in the north, where the BJP is a potent threat everywhere, except Uttar Pradesh. This is where the Baba comes in handy. How? In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and also in the rest of the Hindi belt, the Baba could cut into BJP votes if he floats a political party. He doesn’t have to win any seats. If he merely takes away 4-5% of the BJP vote, it is enough for the Congress to win. This is the primary reason why the Congress has been humouring the Baba and talking of doing a deal with him on corruption. Unfortunately, the deal fell through, either because the Congress was trying to be too clever with him, or was trying to fix him in other ways – and he balked at the prospect. This is what forced the midnight swoop – something the Congress had not planned for when it began talking with him. The second reason why the Baba was useful to the Congress was his unwillingness to let the Anna Hazare group run off with the anti-corruption agenda. The Baba’s ego would not let him be a supporter of the Hazare camp, which had eminent lawyers well-versed in the art of drafting laws. It also had the support of the middle-class. The Congress egged on Baba with his rural and small-town clout to stymie the Hazare group. The Congress had no reason to let Anna & Co dictate the new Lokpal bill, and the Baba’s political ambitions proved useful to drive a wedge between the two camps. While the midnight action has temporarily allowed the two camps to kiss and make up, the two cannot ultimately work together. Since the Anna group has lost vital momentum, it is now possible for the Congress to impose its own Lokpal Bill with some minor concessions to civil society and reclaim the agenda. A perceptive comment by K Raman on Firstpost shows how the Baba has been neutered, and Anna sidelined: “A man who owns a private island in Scotland, has an annual turnover of Rs 1,000 crore and flies around in a private jet would obviously have a few skeletons in his cupboard… In the next 10 days, one after the other the skeletons will tumble down… The Baba could be fixed in that way..”. As for Anna & Co, Raman says: “..the government has clearly sent out the message that if they mess around, then they too will meet the same fate as the Baba. Shanti Bhushan’s statement that the Prime Minister and the government has to resign is not helpful, to say the least…Now with what face will this team go back and discuss with the same government on Lokpal Bill?” Clearly, the Congress used the Baba and discarded him when he did not toe the line. The BJP need not be too unhappy, too. The Baba was meant to cut it down to size. So while it may fulminate against the government for its midnight “Jallianwala Bagh”, it should be secretly happy that one potential rival for the Hindu vote is out of the way. The Congress has won – for now. While the Baba did not serve its short-term purpose, the party may still hold the high cards when it comes to getting him to float a party to cut into the BJP vote. But just as a week is a long time in politics, such political manoeuvres are not enduring. The only question is whether, when it is politics as usual, the ordinary citizen has lost out. The upsurge of grassroot support when Anna Hazare began his fast has died down. Cynicism rules. Congress gains.
K.N. Govindacharya is seen as the brain behind the current agitation and stance of yoga guru Baba Ramdev on the issue of black money and corruption.
Mr Govindacharya, a hindutva ideologue from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) think tank but left following bitter differences with the party leadership. In this interview with Yojna Gusai and Mukesh Ranjan, he agrees that Ramdev’s movement “is aimed at terrorising the government”, and says both the government and Opposition parties favour “corporatocracy”, not democracy, in India.
Q. What justifies the so-called anti-corruption movements around us? Is the Indian state in urgent need of an overhaul?
A. The Indian state is working against its own rationale of existence. The state is supposed to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Here, the state is functioning for a few beneficiaries at the cost of the vast masses of Bharat. The parliamentary democracy has degenerated into corporatocracy. Today’s government is by the corporate, of the corporate and for the corporate. In this context the organ of the legislature is also so polluted that it has lost sight of itself and its purpose.
The ruling and Opposition parties have abdicated their role, or are in connivance with each other. Both are working for the few at the cost of the masses. The principal political parties have allowed themselves to be dominated by the whims and fancies of money bags.
Q. How can you say that the principal Opposition party in Parliament, the BJP, is also responsible for the current situation?
A. In the parliamentary system, a clear distinction between the ruling and the Opposition parties is a precondition for the healthy functioning of democratic set-up. But in Bharat, the principal Opposition party is in no way different from the ruling party with regard to thought process, state of functioning and norms of political conduct. Therefore, Parliament has ceased to be the voice of the voiceless.
For long we have seen that issues are not being raised in the interest of the country’s poor. To my mind this has pushed the nation to the brink of anarchy. In this regard the principal Opposition party is more responsible than the ruling party. Governments have the tendency to act against the common people and the Opposition should fight for the cause of the people, not for corporate entities. Unfortunately, this has not been happening.
Q. So, this is why you justify what Anna Hazare did or what Baba Ramdev is doing.
A. Yes. Anarchy is looming on the horizon. At many places in the country statelessness is being witnessed by the majority of the people. Watchmen are turning into thieves. People are the ultimate sufferers. Therefore, mass agitations, led by non-political groups, are taking place.
To my mind, the consolidation process has begun. Various groups having different ideologies are converging to act in favour of the people. They are there not only to bring about change in political power, but to bring about a systemic change. Prospects of systemic change are round the corner. Be it Mr Hazare, Ramdevji, or hundreds of other such credible personalities, they are the hope with regard to salvaging the democratic set-up in the country.
Q. You have portrayed corporate houses as being the source of evil in the country. But Baba Ramdev heads a mammoth corporate, and you support him.
A. So far as Ramdevji is concerned, yes, he heads an organisation, but he has the courage to speak against those who indulge in wrong practices. He has made public his organisation’s accounts, and has invited government agencies to look into them. My contention is not “straightforwardly” against corporates. They too contribute to the Indian state and society. But that needs to be equitable. For Ramdevji, I can say with confidence that personally he lives the life of a sanyasi.
Q. Is Baba Ramdev’s fast-unto-death programme against black money different from Mr Hazare’s campaign for an effective Lokpal Bill?
A. There is no difference. Both are complementary.
Q. You recently said that Baba Ramdev’s movement is more credible than the BJP. Why? You were associated with the BJP for long. Why do you think as an Opposition party the BJP has abdicated space to civil society activists on issues like corruption?
A. The BJP has been claiming that the Prime Minister is weak. I am watching the ruling and the Opposition parties. The principal Opposition party is prostrating to save its one government in the south — Karnataka. Is this not their helplessness?
I don’t think the Prime Minister is weak. He is neither weak nor helpless. But I am bewildered to see that he allowed the current mess to take place.
Q. Do you think the time has come for Baba Ramdev to formally launch his political party? He has expressed an intent in that direction…
A. Who knows who will reap the electoral dividend out of the current spate of movements. To talk about a political party at this juncture would be entirely premature. Such suggestions are coming just to derail the movement. Status quoists are trying every possible way to split the agitation.
Q. People say Baba Ramdev is a proxy of the RSS?
A. This is a political stance. They will say this to break the agitation. They will ask that there should not be any political agenda. They say Ramdevji, you are good, and they are ready to talk. But then they say, the RSS is seen around you. On this question, Ramdevji has always asked if the RSS is not part of the society. In this movement at least 90 per cent are those who have no connection with any organisation or ideology.
Q. Is the movement aimed at terrorising the government?
A. Unfortunately yes. It is tragic that the people have to take to these means. This itself erodes the sanctity of the government. What stopped the government from taking steps on these issues some three months back? Annaji and Ramdevji had been crying from rooftops on these issues for the last one year.
June 06, 2011 9:54:59 AM
Pioneer news service | New Delhi
The midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev’s supporters at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, has galvanised the civil society movement against corruption with Gandhian Anna Hazare deciding to boycott the Lokpal Bill joint drafting committee meeting on Monday and undertake fast on June 8 to protest the “inhuman brutality unleashed on the Yoga Guru and his supporters.
The development is a big set back for the Government, which had resorted to a divide and rule strategy in dealing with Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare. Ramdev on Sunday himself disclosed that Kapil Sibal wanted that Anna Hazare should not be present on his dais at Ramlila Maidan or the Government would back down on the black money issue.
Anna Hazare group was also uncomfortable with the presence of Sadhvi Ritambara at Ramlila Maidan on Saturday. Hazare had said he would decide on joining Ramdev’s agitation after coming to Delhi. But shocked by the Government brutality, Hazare camp has decided to rally around Baba.
“We condemn this action. This is a blot on humanity… This is like throttling democracy,” Hazare said.
Asking the Prime Minister to explain the reasons which provoked his Government to issue orders for this police action, Hazare said, “Sunday morning’s brutal assault of the Government reminds one of 1975 Emergency. It is almost an emergency like situation. Today is June 5, the Sampoorn Kranti Diwas. People of this country rose against Government injustice 35 years back. Time has come for the people to similarly rise against corruption.”
Eminent lawyer and member of the Lokpal Bill draft committee Shanti Bhushan said that Sunday morning’s incident, clearly showed the Government’s intent on crushing corruption. “Hence, we have decided not to attend the joint meeting on Lokpal Bill on Monday,” he said.
Comparing the Government’s action to that of Emergency in 1975, Bhushan said it shows to what extent the Government can go to protect black money offenders.
Accusing the Government of not being serious about dealing with corruption, Hazare announced a day-long fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on June 8. “Wherever you may be, you may stage a fast. And pray to God to give wisdom to this Government”, Hazare said.
Hazare’s hardening stand will add to the Government’s woes. Hazare had led an immensely successful five-day fast against corruption at the same venue in April, forcing the Government to finally accede to the demand of inclusion of civil society representatives in framing of a Jan Lokpal Bill.
Accusing the Government of being insincere in dealing with corruption, Hazare said the civil society would defy prohibitory orders on Wednesday at Jantar Mantar to protest the police action against Baba Ramdev’s movement.
“We have been interacting with this Government in the Joint Committee for the last one and a half months. The police action on peaceful protestors and the proceedings of earlier meetings clearly make government’s intentions in dealing with corruption suspect.
“The Government has been trying to crush anti-corruption movement. We have therefore decided not to attend Joint Committee meetings,” he told a press conference.
Hazare said his side was writing a letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is the chairman of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, asking the government to make its stand public on some of the key issues related to the anti-corruption legislation.
“We have already made our stand clear on these issues. After we receive government’s response, we will decide whether any useful public purpose would be served in attending joint committee meetings,” he said.
On Ramdev, the Gandhian said he has to “sort out” the issues with the yoga guru before sharing the same platform. However, he was quick to add that he supported the issue of black money raised by Ramdev.
Another activist and Anna Hazare camp follower, Arvind Kejriwal said the action showed that this government was drunk with power and the whole country would raise their voices.
He said they would like the Prime Minister to explain what was the provocation for such a brutal action.