|News Items published on this website in the past
|ANNA HAZAARE'S FORM OF PROTEST
By Mohan Shenoy
|ANNA HAZAARE, WHAT VICTORY?
By Mohan Shenoy
|The kind of protest that Anna Hazaare had adopted was like threatening to commit
suicide. This is equally bad like the Bandh protest many people take up as
politicians. The form of protest adopted by the Jat community in which the rail and
road lines are blocked is also detrimental to peace in the region.
There is a need for the Supreme Court to take up this issue and ban highly
dangerous forms of protests in the country.
The Supreme Court can issue an order to stop protesters like Anna Hazaare from
committing suicide and thereby prevent disruption of life in the country.
Anna Hazaare had taken up a wrong path to put forward his view regarding the
Lok Pal Bill. He is not for democracy even though he says that he wants to heal the
nation of its ailment in the form of corruption.
I am for democracy. I am against forcing the government to do things in a
non-democratic way; and not precipitate matters.
We have a Constitution and under the Constitution there is the parliament. Only
the parliament can pass laws.
Protesters are trying to get things done in a non-democratic way bypassing the
For changes in the Constitution one has to go through the normal procedures
I am opposed to this kind of forcing the Prime Minister to act.
All Indians are responsible for corruption. If corruption has to be eliminated then
people themselves have to stop giving bribes. Officers have to refuse to accept
By bringing in LokPal law corruption can not be eliminated unless the people in
every walk of life are determined to eliminate corruption.
The LokPal demand has been there since the 1960s. The best way to write this
law has been difficult for the lawmakers.
A politician is only a label for an activist.
A Lok Pal is not a god and might himself indulge in corruption.
An honest person can turn out to be a corrupt person once he is given the
position of a Lok Pal.
A politician today will change his label and become a LokPal and the corruption
will continue just like today.
The Joint panel formed is going to get a Lok Pal bill written. If it is to become law
the parliament has to pass it in both the houses.
Anna Hazaare's followers have claimed victory. Victory in what? Has corruption
Anna Hazaare and his followers are fooling the public saying that their fight is
against corruption. Actually their fight is to force the government form a panel to
write the Lok Pal Bill. Lok Pal bill is not going to eliminate corruption but only form
another office to control corruption among the top officials and ministers.
|FAST UNTO DEATH
WHAT CAN ANY GOVERNMENT DO?
By Mohan Shenoy
|It is unfortunate that the style of protest that Gandhiji adopted to drive away the
British from India is now being followed by similar protesters to bring pressure on
the government of Indian Republic. These protesters are not driving away any
foreign invaders but weakening their own national government. They want changes
brought about in the manner in which people lodge protests against the
The present UPA government has been worried that the protests undertaken by
these popular leaders might escalate into large scale and wide spread law and
order situation in the country.
The protesters have a reason to protest but taking up the 'Fast Unto Death' road is
not a good method. What they want done for their own country could be done
through normal routes available in a democracy like India.
The normal road would be to hold a demonstration and a rally in which their causes
are explained and a road-map is presented for the people to support and sponsor.
If their cause is a good one and their approach to the problem is feasible then more
and more people would join the peaceful protest. The government would take their
suggestions seriously and try to solve the problems as best as they can. There are
many avenues by which people in a democracy can bring their causes to the
attention of the government and bring about a change that they seek.
The road of 'Fast unto Death' can lead to unnecessary law and order problems
because the causes that the protesters are seeking to solve and the solutions that
the protesters are advising could be unacceptable to a large section of the public.
|"Burning the draft government Lokpal bill in front of parliament and issuing threats of
a fast unto death smacks of intolerance and resorting to pressure tactics. Also it is
likely that owing to the manner in which the Hazaare team is proceeding, Anna’s
initial victory may end in dismal defeat." said a prominent lawyer.
|"The referendum in Mumbai fell short of being one for want of an option. The
questions related to a Bill such as the Lok Pal Bill can not be answered by a Yes or
No. Also a referendum conducted by a Constitutional authority alone may be
accepted by the Parliament, which alone can oblige Hazare with a Bill he dreams
The Hazare Movement has already lost its fangs and paws to 'eat into the vitals of the
body politic'. Hazaare has declared that will accept a Lok Pal Bill that has all the
provisions he and his fizzy civil society have recommended, nothing less. He can not
see the MPs face to face because he dislikes all politicians. He can not assume the
powers of the Parliament simply by dying through starving himself.
|As regards the appointment of a Lokpal it is assumed that the appointee will be of an
unimpeachable integrity. To call someone a person of unimpeachable integrity is
equal to calling a pocket knife an harmless instrument. There is no such person in
the world as anyone of unimpeachable integrity.
The Congress government has showed exemplary wisdom in tackling the situation
created by Anna Hazaare and by Baba Ramdev. This is the perfect way to handle
protests by the citizens of the country.
But the government is equally soft on the Maoists whose protests are also legitimate.
Fast unto death leads to indirect lawlessness while the Maoist violence leads to direct
violence. Maoists are also citizens but their form of protest can not be taken lightly.
Anna Hazaare was arrested for threatening to break the restrictions imposed upon
him in undertaking the fast. The government did the right thing.
Any one in Manmohan Singh’s seat would have done the same thing to prevent
lawlessness. The television channels and the majority of the newspapers have blown
the actual sizes of the crowds of supporters and of the degree of their solidarity to
Anna’s movement out of proportion. The Opposition is taking advantage of the
situation to garner support from even normally hostile parties to condemn the
government’s handling of an unprecedented challenge in a troubled world.