Voices of dissonance against Hazare


Staff member
New Delhi: Mahesh Bhatt, historian K.N. Panikkar and activist Shabnam Hashmi Friday strongly objected to the "authoritarian" attitude adopted by social reformer Anna Hazare in his fight against corruption and accused him of being affiliated to right-wing Hindu groups.

The trio expressed their reservations over the formation of the joint committee for drafting the anti-graft Lokpal Bill and the way Hazare "dictated" his conditions to formulate the panel's terms and references.

They claimed the Lokpal Bill was inherently flawed because the ombudsman that the proposed legislation seeks to create was like creating "a permanent state of emergency in the country".

"It (the bill) ... militates against democracy. A legislation may be necessary to prevent corruption in the country but the Lokpal Bill cannot do that," Panikkar, a renowned historian, told reporters.

He said the anti-corruption campaign launched by Hazare has been hijacked by right-wing Hindu activists.

"Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activists have been participating in the movement. And the attitude of Anna has been one of justifying the past history of Hindu communal forces," Panikkar said, referring to Hazare lauding of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's developmental efforts.