The Hindu is a fine newspaper. They are old, reputed, and severely unbalanced in their approach to news. I just can’t understand why they are giving room to only one particular viewpoint on the Janlokpal movement. Earlier it was Arundhati who fired salvo-after-salvo of fake allegations and misrepresentations, and now it’s Prabhat Patnaik, and while you may not have expected anything better from Arundhati, but certainly from Prabhat Patnaik we could have expected better. Let down today.
Prabhat Patnaik’s fresh article in The Hindu is a piece only his mindless followers can appreciate. He’s out to score a goal, but he’s running towards the wrong goal-post. The struggle is not for the sake of Anna Hazare, it’s for the sake of the Janlokpal bill. Anna is one among the people in his demands for this. This is the only aim for the present struggle, and nothing less.
Prabhat is upset that Anna ji moved from his “we-have-a-democratic-right-to-protest-and-place-our-views-in-public,” to “Anna-will-keep-fasting-until-his-bill-is-adopted-or-amended-with-his-permission,”. Wait a minute Prabhat, before you get to “we-have-a-democratic-right-to-protest-and-place-our-views-in-public,” there is “we-have-something-we-want-to-protest-about”, and that was “we-want-a-strong-anti-corruption-bill.” It’s because the right to protest in demand of that bill was taken away that Anna protested for the right to hold a protest. And when Anna secured the right to protest what should have been his stand? — “now-that-we-have-a-right-to-protest-let’s-protest-for-the-heck-of-it”!
Anna was going to protest at JP Park to demand an effective lokpal bill, but the government deprived him of his right. When his right is re-instantiated, then going back to his original demand is a flip-flop? According to what stretch of imagination and logic sir? Please say that with a straight face!
Now you have a fine new adjective for Anna’s protest, apart from being dogmatic, anti-parliamentary, and so on… it’s also ‘messianic’. You’re telling us that by demanding a strong anti-corruption law for the sake of the entire country (each and every individual, not a particular caste, not a particular community, not a particular religion), he’s wrong. You’re saying that he threatens ‘mayhem’ when he says that I will not give up my fast until the government presents the Janlokpal bill to the parliament. Mayhem? So you find Anna’s perfectly non-violent method of demonstration a mayhem, and you have nothing but support for the far left-wingers and their right to kill people in the name of revolution. How hypocritical! How utterly fake! Did you listen to Anna last night when he urged his followers. Yes! Urged them to go and give their arrest with perfect non-violence and peace if he’s arrested. That’s the kind of mayhem he’s asking for. Sorry if he let you down last night.
Your concerns sir, are for “pre-modernity of our society, and the shallowness of the roots of our democracy.” Fine words and utterly empty words. The roots of our democracy are not in letting the honorable elected members rape our country so openly, but in building a system that makes them accountable for what they do.
Democracy according you is a ‘subject’ role for the people where they elect their representatives and then from time-to-time they ‘convey their mood’ to the elected representatives through ‘protests, strikes, meetings and demonstrations’, and the whole exercise is to — ‘promote the subject role of of the people.’ If that’s what fits your bill for a democracy, pray tell me how do you find your regime different from Syria where people may have strikes, meetings, and demonstrations intermittently to ‘convey their mood’, but may not request a regime change. Democracy is NOT the people in a subject role. Democracy is FOR the people, OF the people and BY the people. It’s the people who are in charge, and the elected representatives are elected not to subjugate the people but to better their lives. Where did you get your weird notions of democracy from?
I am also appalled at your selective approach to messianism. You certainly don’t seem to feel that there’s a messianic ‘G’ figure in our government that has messianically led our country from the backgrounds to where it stands now. You’re certainly not upset about the powers of that messiah, and the influence in the ruling parties today. You’re certainly not upset that the messiah has a government next door to the government called the NAC where they frame laws which are passed by your parliament without a mutter in protest. Why are you so selective in your approach to messianism Prabhat?
Anna Hazare is a ‘messianic figure’ in your words because he stood up for what people need. He stood up against corruption that’s eating the ‘roots of democracy’ that you are so concerned about, he stood against the deplorable insects who are eating our system from within. That’s why he has become a leader with such a strong presence in India today. And you are only fooling yourself when you say that the issue is not important for the people and Anna is. There would have been no Anna if there wasn’t the issue. There would have been no Anna if there was no corruption to bring the people together against. Anna is not just an individual, he is a symbol of the struggle against corruption. That’s why the cry against corruption is ‘I am Anna’. Everyone is Anna in this fight Prabhat.
Why do you think the people who are leading the movement are not trying to educate the people? If you have been attending the Ramlila Maidan protests you’ll know that several people have come on stage at different times to explain many demands and counter demands of the Janlokpal bill, vis-a-vis the government lokpal. The people fighting for this include the urban, educated citizens, and not just the most-deprived class. Do you think they have lent their support to Anna Hazare blindly? How many political leaders have they come out on the streets for in the near past? Sir, if you believe that you not only insult their intelligence, but yours.
And then you go on to talk about leaders who gave speeches so long that people could interrupt, go for lunch or dinner and then come back to continue with the speech. And when you talk of ‘inimitable’ Jyoti Basu, you certainly not trying to cultivate a messianic figure. Merely someone who likes to have a discussion and rebut the oppositions argument. Sir, now your West Bengal fort lies in ruins and only because for 30 and more years you were secure in this shell of false security, of lengthy speeches and funky discussions while you continued to ignore the plight of the people and the violence in West Bengal at the ground level. We won’t let you do this anymore to our nation. We want, and will have a strong anti-corruption law, and pray, what’s wrong with that?
Here’s the most appalling part of your article. Here you say that you “I am not concerned here with whether the Jan Lokpal Bill is the best piece of legislation on the subject.” You are not concerned with something that’s the center point of a major struggle in India, and you’re criticizing it? And you’re upset that people don’t know about it? You were always lost in your own politics to pay heed to what other people were doing it seems. If it didn’t come out of your party, it doesn’t exist? But Janlokpal exists, and the team that’s pushing Janlokpal has spent months and months creating awareness around it. There have been meetings, presentations, email campaigns, reach-outs. They have been to universities, company campuses, villages, cities. They’ve taken out demonstrations, distributed pamphlets. They’ve done everything you asked for while you were busy not noticing them.
The rest of your article sir, is repetition and repetition and repetition of your earlier points, with fancy words and empty meanings. Messiahs, you say, are dangerous. Let me hear that from you about your god and master the great Marx.
You may not be in the fight Mr. Patnaik, but Anna is in it for YOUR sake and he won’t give up.
(http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/article2390737.ece) <– #more-slander-against-anna