Anna Hazare’s Foot in Mouth
Anna Hazare, after a short but successful ‘fast’ run in inspiring people to stand up for the Jan Lokpal Bill, seem to have put his foot in the mouth by praising two totally un-praiseworthy characters. Or should we say, he put his heart in his mouth and spoke his soul?
By now we know that Anna, in a press meet in Delhi, asked Chief Ministers in India to emulate the Chief Minister of Gujarat, apparently for his role in rural development. The truth of Narendra Modi’s development is for anyone to verify, provided one takes the trouble to go to rural and coastal areas. For those who cannot, my friend Mallika Sarabhai has briefly but aptly described the facts. (Full text of her response to Anna is below). Perhaps the old Gandhian, like many others in the country, was dazzled by the urban prosperity in Gujarat. He should have at least checked on the fact that the Lokayukta in Gujarat has been defunct ever since Modi has taken over as the CM!
When reporters reminded Anna about Modi’s role in 2002, he clarified that “I do not support communal politics, riots or any such thing. I am only talking about decentralisation of power.” Decentralization! If anything Modi is the opposite of decentralization. Of the 26 ministers in his cabinet, 17 have no independent charge and are mere Ministers of State. Of the remaining 9 who do have independent charge, 8 manage more than one ministries. Modi himself holds more than 10 ministries, including Home, Industries, Mines, Minerals, Energy, Petrochemicals, Ports, Information & Broadcasting, Narmada, Kalpasar, and Science & Technology. Some decentralization!
What is more shocking than Anna’s praise for Modi, is his soft corner for Hitler! In the same press meet on Monday he praised the former Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler. “The kind of model that the Third Reich has presented, that model should be emulated by all other world leaders…. I am saying this on the basis of the kind of works the German Chancellor has done in the field of development.”
When forced to clarify he said that “I have described the Chancellor as good only partially. While I admire the efficiency with which Herr Hitler has gassed 6 million Jews, alongside I have clarified that I am opposed to any form of communal disharmony.”
He makes it sound as if he supported genocide as long as it was conducted without causing disharmony! If Anna Hazare was German national he would have been prosecuted right away for this ridiculous utterance and stand.
In her letter, Mallika has warned that if Anna does not retract his statement she and others will be forced distance themselves from the Lokpal movement. I totally understand Mallika’s pain and frustration but what we need to do is to distance Anna Hazare from the Lokpal movement.
Stalin | 12 April 2011|
MALLIKA SARABHAI’S LETTER TO ANNA HAZARE
We are deeply shocked by your endorsement of Narendra Modi’s rural development. There has been little or no rural development in ths state. In fact gauchar lands and irrigated farmlands have been stealthily taken by the government and sold off at ridiculous prices to a small club of industrialists. There has been no Lokayukta in Gujarat for nearly seven years so hundreds of complaints against corruption are lying unheard. From the Sujalam Sufalam scam of 1700 crores to the NREGS boribund scam of 109 crores, the fisheries scam of 600 crores, every department is involved in thousands of crores of scams. The poor and rural peoiple are being sold to Modiu’s friends the industrialists. The state is in terrible debt because of his largess to industry while 21 lakh farmers wait for compensation.
Your endorsement is apalling and we will be forced to distance ourselves from the Lokpal movement unless it is irrevocably retracted.