Sunday, 21 August 2011

I'd rather not be Anna : Arundhati Roy (THE HINDU, August 21, 2011)

Arundhati Roy

While his means maybe Gandhian, his demands are certainly not.

If what we're watching on TV is indeed a revolution, then it has to be one of the more embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times. For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you're likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind.

For completely different reasons, and in completely different ways, you could say that the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common — they both seek the overthrow of the Indian State. One working from the bottom up, by means of an armed struggle, waged by a largely adivasi army, made up of the poorest of the poor. The other, from the top down, by means of a bloodless Gandhian coup, led by a freshly minted saint, and an army of largely urban, and certainly better off people. (In this one, the Government collaborates by doing everything it possibly can to overthrow itself.)

In April 2011, a few days into Anna Hazare's first “fast unto death,” searching for some way of distracting attention from the massive corruption scams which had battered its credibility, the Government invited Team Anna, the brand name chosen by this “civil society” group, to be part of a joint drafting committee for a new anti-corruption law. A few months down the line it abandoned that effort and tabled its own bill in Parliament, a bill so flawed that it was impossible to take seriously.

Then, on August 16th, the morning of his second “fast unto death,” before he had begun his fast or committed any legal offence, Anna Hazare was arrested and jailed. The struggle for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill now coalesced into a struggle for the right to protest, the struggle for democracy itself. Within hours of this ‘Second Freedom Struggle,' Anna was released. Cannily, he refused to leave prison, but remained in Tihar jail as an honoured guest, where he began a fast, demanding the right to fast in a public place. For three days, while crowds and television vans gathered outside, members of Team Anna whizzed in and out of the high security prison, carrying out his video messages, to be broadcast on national TV on all channels. (Which other person would be granted this luxury?) Meanwhile 250 employees of the Municipal Commission of Delhi, 15 trucks, and six earth movers worked around the clock to ready the slushy Ramlila grounds for the grand weekend spectacle. Now, waited upon hand and foot, watched over by chanting crowds and crane-mounted cameras, attended to by India's most expensive doctors, the third phase of Anna's fast to the death has begun. “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is One,” the TV anchors tell us.

While his means may be Gandhian, Anna Hazare's demands are certainly not. Contrary to Gandhiji's ideas about the decentralisation of power, the Jan Lokpal Bill is a draconian, anti-corruption law, in which a panel of carefully chosen people will administer a giant bureaucracy, with thousands of employees, with the power to police everybody from the Prime Minister, the judiciary, members of Parliament, and all of the bureaucracy, down to the lowest government official. The Lokpal will have the powers of investigation, surveillance, and prosecution. Except for the fact that it won't have its own prisons, it will function as an independent administration, meant to counter the bloated, unaccountable, corrupt one that we already have. Two oligarchies, instead of just one.

Whether it works or not depends on how we view corruption. Is corruption just a matter of legality, of financial irregularity and bribery, or is it the currency of a social transaction in an egregiously unequal society, in which power continues to be concentrated in the hands of a smaller and smaller minority? Imagine, for example, a city of shopping malls, on whose streets hawking has been banned. A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares to those who cannot afford the prices in the malls. Is that such a terrible thing? In future will she have to pay the Lokpal representative too? Does the solution to the problems faced by ordinary people lie in addressing the structural inequality, or in creating yet another power structure that people will have to defer to?

Meanwhile the props and the choreography, the aggressive nationalism and flag waving of Anna's Revolution are all borrowed, from the anti-reservation protests, the world-cup victory parade, and the celebration of the nuclear tests. They signal to us that if we do not support The Fast, we are not ‘true Indians.' The 24-hour channels have decided that there is no other news in the country worth reporting.

‘The Fast' of course doesn't mean Irom Sharmila's fast that has lasted for more than ten years (she's being force fed now) against the AFSPA, which allows soldiers in Manipur to kill merely on suspicion. It does not mean the relay hunger fast that is going on right now by ten thousand villagers in Koodankulam protesting against the nuclear power plant. ‘The People' does not mean the Manipuris who support Irom Sharmila's fast. Nor does it mean the thousands who are facing down armed policemen and mining mafias in Jagatsinghpur, or Kalinganagar, or Niyamgiri, or Bastar, or Jaitapur. Nor do we mean the victims of the Bhopal gas leak, or the people displaced by dams in the Narmada Valley. Nor do we mean the farmers in NOIDA, or Pune or Haryana or elsewhere in the country, resisting the takeover of the land.

‘The People' only means the audience that has gathered to watch the spectacle of a 74-year-old man threatening to starve himself to death if his Jan Lokpal Bill is not tabled and passed by Parliament. ‘The People' are the tens of thousands who have been miraculously multiplied into millions by our TV channels, like Christ multiplied the fishes and loaves to feed the hungry. “A billion voices have spoken,” we're told. “India is Anna.”

Who is he really, this new saint, this Voice of the People? Oddly enough we've heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern. Nothing about the farmer's suicides in his neighbourhood, or about Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer's agitations or the blight of SEZs. He doesn't seem to have a view about the Government's plans to deploy the Indian Army in the forests of Central India.

He does however support Raj Thackeray's Marathi Manoos xenophobia and has praised the ‘development model' of Gujarat's Chief Minister who oversaw the 2002 pogrom against Muslims. (Anna withdrew that statement after a public outcry, but presumably not his admiration.)

Despite the din, sober journalists have gone about doing what journalists do. We now have the back-story about Anna's old relationship with the RSS. We have heard from Mukul Sharma who has studied Anna's village community in Ralegan Siddhi, where there have been no Gram Panchayat or Co-operative society elections in the last 25 years. We know about Anna's attitude to ‘harijans': “It was Mahatma Gandhi's vision that every village should have one chamar, one sunar, one kumhar and so on. They should all do their work according to their role and occupation, and in this way, a village will be self-dependant. This is what we are practicing in Ralegan Siddhi.” Is it surprising that members of Team Anna have also been associated with Youth for Equality, the anti-reservation (pro-“merit”) movement? The campaign is being handled by people who run a clutch of generously funded NGOs whose donors include Coca-Cola and the Lehman Brothers. Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, key figures in Team Anna, has received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation in the last three years. Among contributors to the India Against Corruption campaign there are Indian companies and foundations that own aluminum plants, build ports and SEZs, and run Real Estate businesses and are closely connected to politicians who run financial empires that run into thousands of crores of rupees. Some of them are currently being investigated for corruption and other crimes. Why are they all so enthusiastic?

Remember the campaign for the Jan Lokpal Bill gathered steam around the same time as embarrassing revelations by Wikileaks and a series of scams, including the 2G spectrum scam, broke, in which major corporations, senior journalists, and government ministers and politicians from the Congress as well as the BJP seem to have colluded in various ways as hundreds of thousands of crores of rupees were being siphoned off from the public exchequer. For the first time in years, journalist-lobbyists were disgraced and it seemed as if some major Captains of Corporate India could actually end up in prison. Perfect timing for a people's anti-corruption agitation. Or was it?

At a time when the State is withdrawing from its traditional duties and Corporations and NGOs are taking over government functions (water supply, electricity, transport, telecommunication, mining, health, education); at a time when the terrifying power and reach of the corporate owned media is trying to control the public imagination, one would think that these institutions — the corporations, the media, and NGOs — would be included in the jurisdiction of a Lokpal bill. Instead, the proposed bill leaves them out completely.

Now, by shouting louder than everyone else, by pushing a campaign that is hammering away at the theme of evil politicians and government corruption, they have very cleverly let themselves off the hook. Worse, by demonising only the Government they have built themselves a pulpit from which to call for the further withdrawal of the State from the public sphere and for a second round of reforms — more privatisation, more access to public infrastructure and India's natural resources. It may not be long before Corporate Corruption is made legal and renamed a Lobbying Fee.

Will the 830 million people living on Rs.20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war?

This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India's representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people. In which not a single democratic institution is accessible to ordinary people. Do not be fooled by the flag waving. We're watching India being carved up in war for suzerainty that is as deadly as any battle being waged by the warlords of Afghanistan, only with much, much more at stake.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Faiz A. Faiz’ editorial of the Pakistan Times dated Feb 2, 1948. Original title was: Long Live Gandhiji)

The Last Time Of BAPU...
The British tradition of announcing the death of a king is “The king is dead, long live the king!”Nearly 25 years ago, Mahatama Gandhi writing a moving editorial on the late C.R Das in his exquisite English captioned it as “Deshbandhu is dead, long live Deshbandhu!” 

If we have chosen such a title for our humble tribute to Gandhiji, it is because we are convinced, more than ever before that very few indeed have lived in this degenerate century who could lay greater claim to immortality than this true servant of humanity and champion of downtrodden. An agonizing 48 hours at the time of writing this article, have passed since Mahatama Gandhi left this mortal coil. 

The first impact of the shock is slowly spending itself out, and through the murky mist of mourning and grief a faint light of optimistic expectation that Gandhiji has not died in vain, is glowing. Maybe it is premature to draw such a conclusion now in terms of net result, but judging by the fact that the tragedy has profoundly stirred the world’s conscience, we may be forgiven if we lay store by the innate goodness of man. 

At least we can tell at the top of our voice suspicious friends in India that the passing away of Gandhiji is as grievous a blow to Pakistan as it is to India. We have observed distressed looks, seen moistened eyes and heard faltering voices in this vast sprawling city of Lahore to a degree to be seen to be believed. 

We have also seen spontaneous manifestations of grief on the part of our fellow citizens in the shape of observance of a holiday and hartal. Let our friends in India take note--and we declare it with all the emphasis at our command—that we in Pakistan are human enough to respond to any gesture of goodwill, any token of friendliness and, last but not least any call for cooperation from the other side of the border. 

Earlier we have indulged in a bit of optimism—and that for a very good reason. In India, sedulous and we believe sincere, heart searching has been going on ever since the tragedy took place. The Government of India too seems to have at long last realised that they are sitting on top of a volcano. And above all, a small incident in Bombay in which a Hindu mob broke open the office of the Anti-Pakistan Front on Saturday and reduced its furnishings to smithereens is, we believe, realisation –though tragically belated---of the fact that Muslims are, after all, not the sinners--not to say the enemies of India. 

A large section of Hindus have discovered where their enemies reside and what political labels they flaunt. Not long ago, at Lucknow India’s Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Patel, while hauling nationalist Muslims, who had assembled there a few days earlier, over the coals, sang a paean of praise for RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha---the organisation which, alas, produced that worst criminal in history, Nathuram Vinayak Godse. 

Sirdar Patel pandered to their jingoistic vanity by asking the Congress to flirt with them. Paradoxical though it may seem, his chief, Pandit Nehru, while at Amritsar two days prior to the tragedy picked the RSS and Sabha bubbles in no uncertain manner by describing their politics as doing the greatest harm to the country. 

Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984)
Again, just one day after the pledge given by representatives of different political organisations to Gandhiji for the promotion of communal amity which led him to break his fast, the well-known Hindu Mahasabha leaders Mr. Deshpande and Prof. Ramsingh, had the temerity to say that Muslims must be driven out of India. 

If the Government of India would have tried to take some of the conceit and “fire” out of these rabidly communal and militant leaders, maybe Gandhiji would have lived to be 125. Instead of planting bombs and other weapons in innocent Muslims’ houses in Delhi and other parts of India, had Mr. Patel’s intelligence department taken good care to protect the precious life of Mahatmaji, this vast subcontinent, as indeed the world, would not have been smitten “by this calamity”. 

It was far from us to recount these pre-tragedy happenings but we feel constrained to do so for the weighty reason that the destiny of fifty million Muslims is involved in India. We demand that the powers that be in India must treat them fairly and squarely. We would be less than human if we were to make even the least attempt to exploit Gandhiji’s death in furtherance of our co-religionists’ interests in India. 

But we are gratefully conscious of the fact that nothing would give greater pleasure to the soul of the illustrious dead than dispensation of justice and fair play to Indian Muslims, which he so passionately preached and for which he laid down his life. To these countless Muslims Mahatmaji would ever remain a symbol of hope and courage. Though he is dead, he will live through ageless life.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

THE LAST TIME OF MAHATMA GANDHI (BAPU)

The last time of Mahatma Gandhi (Bapu)
Today, January 30, Bapu's anniversary...! 

64 years ago January 30 1948. 
 
A dark days of independent India  
A Furious Hinduist 
A young right wing activist 
A confused young man 
 (I do not tell her name)
To BapuWas snatched away.
 

Up to Bapu today,  
About Bapu  
(Against and in favor) 
Read a lot, 
heard 
And even seen some films also.
 

Last week On the Facebook  I catch
Last moments Bapu
 

Photo found -
(His killer is at hand pistol 

 His finger on the Horse
Is arguing with Bapu 

Before Fire!) 
 .................
Hey Ram!!!

Monday, 17 January 2011

18 January : Death Anniversary : Recalled Manto !

Saadat Hasan Manto
Dear Friends, today is January 18 anniversary of Saadat Hasan Manto, A great writer of urdu in indian sub-continant. Incidentally, this year May 11 to begin his birth centenary year. Anniversary of the Manto recalled am quoting remarks of colleagues. Some early part of January 15, 2011 Dainik Bhaskar, New Delhi have been published in issue. - Shashikant 
 
Ironically it be said that human life on the pages of some great writers on papers, layers of society and the ironies of history, But his own life in them so that they would not get much time to be writing.
Sadat Hasan Manto was was this type personalities same name. 

Indo-Pak relations division of the tragedy closely with the 'KITNE TOBATEK SINGH', 'KALEE SALWAAR', 'KHOL DO', 'TETWAAL KA KUTTA', 'BOO' screenwriter stories like this author and his creation of the Indian subcontinent Arb is proud of the whole world today. 


But Manto's own life, another matter the personality aspects, they struggle their problems and was Besmy are aware of their death, while the mind is suddenly upset.
Although surrounded by controversy Residents Tumra notoriety and some interesting aspects are the author's personality. Knowing the personality of course some of these Manto - help us to understand, but reading some never - never surprise happens. 


Actually Manto was big man of the same maverick quality. They used what was in his mind that comes, even if its result be anything. My mind to speak or write any of them ever had any hesitation is not. 


The nature of their course Akmiyaja they also had to suffer. And then writing the great personalities that time they were not even sparing. The acts or Hiamakat them ever - the occasional great figures of that era seemed so odious that they Alfjoan objectionable to Mr. Manto was also using. 


For instance, Sun January 18 1955 in San Entkaal happened to Manto. His death not only Pakistan, the Indian sub - continent Arb community was a big shock. It was then the biggest reason his frank writing, in the age where they had Aruksat grow. 


After his death, famous dancer Sitara Devi said, ''Manto was a very rude and stupid man. He had forbidden my peace.''Saadat Hasan Manto why the star was so upset after hearing the news of his death did not cool his anger. 


Indeed, the star of Goddess Manto boss gets a chance to write when they were writing about Acokhaare. Murid reader of their writing that they know many words Star Goddess - images are recorded. 


Like a word- in the picture he wrote,''star of the goddess I'd imagine it Panacmonjila building me a look of Bombay which are several floors and rooms. And it is a fact that at a time - many men keep their heart erected.'' 


Never-ever so offensive comments they make about the star goddess were Chaahtian if he could have sued for defamation on those. 


Two great personalities of that era writer Ali Sardar Jafri, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ahmad Nasim Caasmee, Krisnchander, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Mazaz, Shahid Latif, Rajendra Singh Bedi, Ismat Chuagatai, Ashok Kumar Ashkhsitean like they used to be proud to say my friend. All this - with up with - would sit. 


All of the great care that they kept Mr. Manto. But then why was the question that his many friends in Bombay they are to have fun but none of them calling India to get back to Mr. Manto Dili Arzoo Faramaaya ever overlooked. 


In fact, Sadat Hasan Manto the Indo-Pak partition the time Pakistan has decided to go but soon their infatuation with Pakistan was also dissolved, some - like some Kurratul Ain Haider. Kurratul Ain Haider Khwaja Ahmad Abbas then joined the BBC to help first and then request from Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Pandit Nehru were successful in coming back in India. 


Manto's hands but was not so long. Yes, he definitely wrote Mube many friends,''Man, I call back India. I have no place in Pakistan.''On his 'rude', 'Bdamijaji', 'Brkalmee' Kawwwat here to tolerate them to Bombay was not a friend. 


In this condition remain in Pakistan with Afoehali became his helplessness. Then live with the frustration and despair and feel themselves alone they had no choice but to. 


The same loneliness, his best friend, he made wine, so special that night and day stayed with him. 


The consequences to be so bad had happened. TB sight see the terminal illness took their arms, and Sun only 42-43 in 1955 at the age where they were saying goodbye.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Why not go the demolished illegal Akshardham temple & commonwelth games village?

Commonwealth Games Village, delhi
Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, the Akshardham temple on Friday it agreed to allow the building without the environmental clearance was granted. Commonwealth Games Village, delhi he met with the approval also raised questions. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that the Yamuna river runs along the Akshardham temple at the National Democratic Alliance government was approved.    

Environmentalists illegally along the Yamuna in Delhi Akshardham temple and the Commonwealth Games Village are opposed both to be consistent.   

Environmentalists say that this river around up causing damage to the environment. Rajendra Singh, the sat on a dharna in front of the Commonwealth Games Village, delhi months to come-are to meet leisure. I was just down and sits with them. But then it was stifled voices.  

In what country is such a post the Constitution, law and accountable to the people who ask this question from concerned government mistake made it  how to forgive when environmentalist  opposed and sitting on a dharna.  

But why Jairam Ramesh said that now the Commonwealth Games Village and the Akshardham temple can not be demolished. In india to steal the 10 bucks a modest man sentenced for violating the Constitution and the law may be, the development of Delhi and big role in the restoration of civic amenities here, slum of poor workers-huts on the bulldozer can be pursued, the law ignores environmental policy created an illegal structure why can not fix that mistake, even if it is a temple or even if the Games Village. 
Akshardham temple, delhi
India save democracy in the country to the people of the Delhi and whether it should respond to slum illegally and it can be broken if the Apread illegally built Akshardham temple and Commonwealth Games Village why not? Who Give answer abut this question?  The executive, legislative, judiciary or the press? 

India the general public know that the NDA government LK Advani after the intervention of the Iron Man all the rules - put on hold before the law of the land along the Yamuna in Delhi, the Akshardham temple was on a war footing and then Commonwealth Games village. Temple before being deprived of basic facilities and Commonwealth games village after becoming the region Akshardham temple is shining today. 
The land on the banks of Yamuna is made illegal Akshardham temple there before my eyes green-green fresh vegetables were farm who were Dilliwale make buying health. Today this area of delhi has been transformed into a major tourist destination. Similarly, the scandal created by legislators of the Delhi Games Village flats and large-large bureaucratic eye. Three-four million of these flats are being reported. 
Last five-six years Akshardham temple right in front of the Mayur Vihar Phase-1 am staying on rent in Delhi Police Society. My roof looks Akshardham Temple. But until today I did not ever see him. Similarly, news of scandal and scandal among the village in front of me make it play. When play began when villagers went. Did not see a day game, which was in front of my house. 
Rape of the environment created by I am against both constructions. Blood is seen to Akult. Ghalib has said - "We are not convinced of the veins running movement, the eye is not blowing from the blood, then what?" Delhi, India and the world should boil the blood of every human being environmentally savvy! 
 
When today, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh assumed that the Akshardham Temple and Commonwealth environmental approval without Akellgaana the building was allowed, all environmentalists should put pressure on the government illegally built two manufacturing demolition should not the culture of the environment concerned Yamuna Delhi, India's democracy is connected to a key question, and linked to human civilization also a serious issue.