Anna Hazare a Hindutva Project?
Image Credit: Photobucket / shanadu

Anna Hazare a Hindutva Project?


If the results of the five state assembly elections have brought a feeling of despondency to the ruling Congress party, the public’s verdict this week should also be making social activist Anna Hazare and his team uncomfortable.

The anti-corruption movement launched by the veteran activist last year shook the political establishment, and in the heat of the moment it was widely assumed that any political party with even the slightest taint of graft would bite the dust at the polls. Team Anna also suggested that parties that had opposed a strong Ombudsman (Lokpal) Bill in the parliament would face the wrath of the people, and they hit the campaign trail to ensure that this would be the case.

But the election results have instead not just highlighted the limits of their particular stripe of activism, but placed a question mark over the motivations of such agitations generally.

The Samajwadi Party (SP), swept to power in Uttar Pradesh, has been critical of the Anna Hazare movement, and was instrumental in blocking the introduction of the Ombudsman Bill in the upper house of parliament. But the SP has also been hit by numerous allegations of corruption, including an SP candidate who was jailed.

The results in the neighboring state of Uttrakhand were also telling. This was the only state that was pressured by the anti-corruption movement to pass the Anna Hazare version of the Ombudsman Bill. Anti-corruption crusaders spent much time there during the election trying to mobilize support for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and its chief minister for bringing the landmark legislation. But B.C. Khanduri not only lost his seat, but saw his party come in second to the Congress.

Even in Punjab, where the BJP allied with a bigger regional partner to retain power, it lost several seats in the urban constituencies that were the focus of the Hazare campaign. The BJP, which thrives on the urban vote, couldn’t take advantage of the anti-corruption campaign, and ceded ground to its rival the Congress, which was the target of the whole Anna movement.

The attempted mobilization over the issue of corruption seemed aimed more at targeting the Congress, rather than corruption. Indeed, newspapers and magazines have written extensively about how anti-corruption activists were given active support by local BJP and other Hindutva organizations in the elections. English weekly Open even ran a cover story a couple of weeks back describing Team Anna as the “BJP’s Team B.”

This shouldn’t be surprising – key players in the anti-corruption movement, including Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi, openly hobnobbed with the BJP and other rightists. These elections have therefore exposed the hypocrisy of the anti-corruption crusaders and brought into the open the hidden agenda behind the agitation.

The anti-corruption brigade are increasingly looking like part of a Hindutva project motivated not by a good cause, but by a desire to capture power in New Delhi by displacing the Congress party.

March 12, 2012 at 13:57

my friend actually media has been paid by team anna. through out his the so called fast the media has been with him. and it was clear that there was an anti congress sentiments built by the media taking account of the fenzy created

March 11, 2012 at 03:19

yes indeed anna and his team was a setup of bjp-rss and rss even openly accepted it. but the people of country are even more smarter than these hypocrites and shown team anna where is their place. now anna doesnt have any moral right to take his movement forward.

March 10, 2012 at 12:11

Joe you are the BJP Or RSS Sympathizer . Team Anna is Blind they dont want to accept defeat off his Master BJP

subhash mishra
March 10, 2012 at 11:16

exactly, author is either congress sympathizer or acutely blind,both are not wright he is ‘chamcha’ of congress party.faulty assumption followed by some specific examples leads to a faulty conclusion.i have no faith in congress or bjp, our country is suffering due to people like u are living here with this kind of mentality. jai hind.

March 10, 2012 at 09:25

Joe, Truely Said. Anna’s team is not favouring any party. he is against the people who are corrupt, against the system which is corrupt. They have made sharp comments against the people which are from all political parties

March 10, 2012 at 07:53

I think you are mistaking the Congress for BJP in Uttarakhand as far as infighting is concerned. Congress could have swept away BJP if it is not for the Congress rebels. All the three independents that won were Congress rebels. In another six seats the Congress rebels scored more than the winning margin of BJP candidates. In fact, BJP (that appeased Hazare with a LokPal law in line with his demands) could have easily ended up with just 25 seats out of 70.

March 10, 2012 at 05:29

The author is only repeating what the paid media has been doing since October last year. Team Anna during the state elections has largely succeeded in proving that corruption is an issue and that Congress is the most corrupt followed by others in fray. The electorate had limited choice and they perhaps chose the lesser evil irrespective of the party. The team Anna, though generally anti-congress for its failure as the ruling party to bring an effective Lokpal bill, did not spare any other party which has been corrupt. They did squarely blame congress for being unwilling to fight corruption and have always maintained that as the ruling party it has to take the initiative as they did in nuclear bill where they staked the Government’s survival. The Team has often stated that they would have made similar attacks to any party ruling at the centre. The paid media will always try to prove that the Team is helping BJP directly or indirectly. Even the author who could be a beneficiary of the present corrupt political class knows this very well but would like to please the establishment.

March 9, 2012 at 22:49

Author presents the picture not knowing the ground realities. In uttarakhand, the Khanduri factor was very positive but there was huge infighting with the party that made the loss. Even with infighting BJP retained this much seats. Thats wonderful.In punjab, BJP had corruption cases against some their own ministers, so that made the loss of seats for them.Local factors influence more. Generally we can see it was an anti-congress wave but in some states BJP couldn’t utilize because of local issues like corruption in the states and group issues with in the party.The author is either Congress sympathizer or acutely blind!

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