Friday, August 19, 2011

[ZESTCaste] 'It is an upper caste, middle class movement'

'It is an upper caste, middle class movement'
Last updated on: August 19, 2011 10:01 IST

Sreelatha Menon in New Delhi

The very people whom you would imagine to be supporters of Anna are
against him for being exclusivist, high handed, and a stooge for right
wing parties, writes Sreelatha Menon

Over 2,500 people happily detained in Chatrasal stadium in Delhi;
thousands drenched in a downpour outside Delhi's Tihar jail; countless
others protesting on streets across the country and on college
campuses and courts -- these were the scenes that greeted the nation
this week as the country's most famous ex-jawan-turned-Gandhian defied
the government order to leave his current quarters at Tihar jail.

The fact that scores have stood shoulder to shoulder with 74-year old
Anna following his arrest at his Delhi flat is perhaps more a
testimony to the mounting public anger against brazen acts of
corruption in the country, than any indication of concrete knowledge
about Anna's Lokpal Bill draft.

Sure, people like Leo Saldanha, an environment activist from Bengaluru
are livid at the high-handed way the government has acted and agrees
with the Jan Lokpal Bill prescription of Team Anna.

'I don't believe that a single law can remove corruption'
Last updated on: August 19, 2011 10:01 IST

However, what is remarkable is the number of civil society stawarts
who have lined up to speak out against Anna and his methodology for
civic protest.

"What are they protesting for? And do the people who are apparently
standing for Anna realise what they are supporting," asks Nikhil De, a
long time member of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and an
associate of political and social activist, Aruna Roy, who is also a
member in MKSS.

"I don't believe that a single law can remove corruption. What Anna
says about the law being capable of removing 65 per cent of corruption
is baseless. As for this wave, I don't think we can call this a
movement, for that needs years of commitment," he adds

Then, there are those, like prominent activist Purushottaman Mulloli,
who feel that the whole campaign is being scripted by political
players with agendas -- namely right wing ideologues like the BJP and
the RSS, specifically the youth wing -- with the 'India Against
Corruption' itself being the construct of the latter.
Mulloli calls it strictly an upper caste, middle class urban
phenomenon. "Do you see a single Dalit in the movement?," he asks.

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