Anarchy is not the option
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam on the dangerous brinkmanship of Anna Hazare and Co.
When Anna Hazare stood up against official corruption, I was there, along with other Indians, including Muslims, supporting him and his cause.
Sadly, like many other mass movements, we soon started to have a spectacle in which all kinds of fascists and shady characters had encircled Anna.
Today, many of us are forced to reconsider our position of backing Anna Hazare’s campaign. We do respect him and the enduring work he has done in Ralegan Siddhi as well as scores of villages around it.
We still stand by Anna’s complaint that there is too much of corruption in our public life and it must be done away with. However, the fact remains that Anna Hazare is being a little too simplistic.
It is quite obvious now that opportunistic elements are trying to come riding to power on an Anna wave like they did on the Jaiprakash Narain bandwagon in 1977. This sabotage of democracy and the replacement of the state by the mob cannot be allowed.
We have to remember that hundreds of millions of Indians gave a mandate to the UPA, not Anna Hazare and his team, to run the country. Thus, it is the authority of the Union government and the responsibility of Parliament to make law, not Anna Hazare’s.
To be fair to the government, it has been constantly interacting with Anna Hazare and his associates. In fact, the government has been so considerate that it accommodated 36 out of their proposed 40 points in the Lokpal Bill. That, possibly, is as far as any government can go without abdicating the authority that the people and the Constitution have conferred on it.
As the dangerous elements lurking in the shadows behind Anna Hazare and the circle of his friends try to inflame the masses with time-tested propaganda tactics (they have already released audio-cassettes of Anna Hazare), the rest of us have to think whether it is nationwide unrest and possible violence on our streets that we really want.
Let us keep it in mind that this is what the evil men lurking in the shadows want. They want violence and anarchy. They cannot wait till the general elections when they can get elected in sufficient numbers (if they really enjoy the support of the people) and amend the law.
Some of these people are inspired by the Arab Spring, which is quite inappropriate for the Indian Monsoon. To begin with, Manmohan Singh has not been ruling for four decades like the tyrants of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. We have a system of peaceful transfer of power based on elections every five years. There is very little in common between India and the Arab Spring countries. Hence, the analogy is not correct.
It is precisely for the reason that India is a democracy, demagoguery and rabble-rousing is absolutely uncalled for here. Our advice to Anna and Co: please wait for the elections and come to Parliament in large numbers to have your way. Till then, please have patience. g