Corruption is all-pervasive, while probity in public life continues to be a mirage in India. Corruption in our country is not a modern day phenomenon, but a ‘ tradition of sorts’ coming down the generation right from the days of Raja (King) Dahir till date. What led to the victory of Mohammed Bin Qasim who defeated Raja Dahir is a still a mystery. Modern historians tried to cover up the historical facts about the priest who cynically played a key role in precipitating the defeat of Raja Dahir.
History has it that Mohammed Bin Qasim was on the wrong side of the battle when the chief priest of Royal temple rushed to him and pointed out the way to bring Raja Dahir to his knees. He told that if he (Qasim) managed to bring down the flag waving on the dome of the temple the soldiers would take it for defeat accepted by their gods and take to their heels. Mohammed Bin Qasim strongly objected to the proposal of the priest and described it as machination, not a success gained by virtue of valor and bravery. The priest, however, agreed to do it by himself in exchange for all the gems and jewels stashed away in the temple. Subsequently, the flag was brought down by the priest and Raja Dahir’s soldiers started fleeing the battlefield. Thus, Qasim’s victory was clinched. This story goes on to prove the points that corruption is a century-old phenomenon, which Anna Hazare and his team want to fight it out by forcing the government to pass the Jan Lok Pal Bill (Ombudsman) of their choice. Anna Hazare has declared his ‘War’ on crooks and corruption. But, he is not ready to recognize the fact that corruption of various hues or at various levels exist in the country.
India is faced with political, economic, social, physical, and religious corruption. Anna Hazare is largely concerned with the corruption, which in other words may be described as ‘Economic Offence’. Why is Anna Hazare or his Civil Society silent about the religious humbugs moving around in “saffron clothes”. Will Anna Hazare and his Civil Society muster courage and be honest enough to declare war on the likes of Nirmal Baba, who is looting the gullible masses and amassing huge wealth? Why didn’t Anna Hazare ask Baba Ramdev how he rose from a humble milkman to the rank of Baba and made a good fortune? Why did Anna Hazare keep mum on the pogrom committed so brazenly in Gujarat way back in 2002? The women were not only raped, but also the womb of pregnant women was cut open and her foetus was lifted on the spike of a spear and displayed as a trophy. Is such crime against humanity less important than ‘economic corruption’?
Why did Anna Hazare become suddenly so sensitive to the centuries-old corruption? What forces are working behind him? Trying to make people believe that the entire nation stands firmly behind him in his fight against corruption simply amounts to betraying the common masses. The faces that beamed on the TV screens were those of affluent people who live in their palatial buildings, move in their air conditioned cars and rarely bother to come out to exercise their franchise on the polling day. This happened in Anna Hazare’s home state Maharashtra itself, when after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, some citizens of Mumbai indulged in meaningless gestures like taking out candle-light processions and forming human chain extending over the city, but they failed to see any connection between dealing with terrorist attacks and electing a state government in 2009, which can take effective steps to prevent and counter such attacks in future. Where was Anna Hazare when state elections were taking place after 26/11 Mumbai attacks, while 50 percent of Mumbaikars displayed brazen ‘double standards’ and chose to go out on holidays out of Mumbai instead of exercising their franchise?
Forget this, even Team Anna’s prominent core committee member and most visible face on TV news channels Arvind Kejriwal failed to match his saintly and tall words on high accountability in public life with his actions when he chose to catch a failed flight to Goa in connection with a Team Anna program on February 28, 2012, and deliberately failed to cast his franchise in the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. And, all this happened despite the fact that Arvind Kejriwal and Team Anna are at the forefront making a strong pitch for electoral reforms. After all, does Team Anna really mean what it preaches or does it really represent the masses living in the countryside and facing plethora of problems.
Team Anna’s doubtful credentials
Anna Hazare’s credentials itself is dubious. The emergence of Anna Hazare on the national scene has been sudden and with the obvious support of the media, and which by all account is financed by Marwaris (Jains) and controlled by Brahmins thus putting a question mark on his pious intentions. These two powerful groups constitute the votebank of BJP. Media’s total focus on Anna and his team made the right thinking citizens of the country doubtful of his intention to carry on a ‘surreal’ fight against the corruption, and which is being seen more as directed against the ruling Congress Party-led UPA-II alliance. Anna Hazare campaign’s communal and dictatorial streak can be gauged from the fact that Magsaysay Award winner Rajendra Singh and Gandhian activist P.V. Rajagopal quit the original 26-member panel citing the political activism of Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders of India Against Corruption (IAC) after the campaign against the Congress Party in the Hisar parliamentary by-poll. Later, a prominent member Swami Agnivesh was booted out from the core committee after leveling charges of breach of trust.
Communal Face of Team Anna
Recently, a prominent Muslim member of core committee Maulana Shamoom Qasmi (who is an anonymous face among majority of Muslims and more known for his ambitious and selfish attitude) was humiliated and shown the door after leveling serious charges. However, Maulana Shamoom Qasmi said that he had quit the core committee as Team Anna had become politicized and was anti-Muslim. Even other founding committee Muslim members of Team Anna such as Maulana Mahmood Madani, Syed Rizvi and Syed Shah Fazlur Rahman Waizi have also quit the core committee.
This is, however, not for the first time that Team Anna’s communal face has been exposed. The Indian Muslim Observer was the first in India to expose the communal face of Anna Hazare and his movement. Not a single publication in the Indian mainstream media or a community journal was able to see through this nefarious game before the Indian Muslim Observer raised the issue and exposed RSS hand behind the so-called anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare.“Being a political observer, it gives me a strange feeling and prompts to ask myself whether Anna Hazares’s movement is stage-managed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from behind the scenes. I say this with conviction because of the manner in which religious symbolism and national interests have been intermingled. The canvas at the backdrop at the stage, where fast-unto-death was taking place at Jantar Mantar, had a Hindu goddess holding the Indian National Flag similar to that of the RSS, the only difference being the National Flag replaced the Bhagwa Dhwaj in the hands of goddess Bharat Devi of the RSS. Displaying religious symbolism on such a grave issue of national interest smacks of a sinister conspiracy and the upper handedness of the pro-Hindutva elements in hijacking the very issue of corruption by using Anna Hazare as a mere tool. It seems that Anna Hazare’s love for the RSS and BJP stopped him from raising this important issue of corruption and going on fast-unto-death during the NDA regime. On one hand, it seems that the abrasive display of religious symbolism also kept away a majority of Muslims from sharing the stage or giving their wholehearted support to the movement, while on the other hand it also seems as if this was a deliberate ploy to keep Muslims away from this significant movement and then portray them as being anti-nationals, the stigma which they have been carrying with them all along ever since India’s independence…”
Anti-national and Corrupt Face of Team Anna
Communal face of Team Anna is only one side of the coin. The heinous side is Team Anna’s anti-national and corrupt face. The flag-bearer of Team Anna Arvind Kejriwal faces severe charges of intimidation by the recently-elected Uttar Pradesh government. Azam Khan, the urban development minister, has taken serious note of a letter allegedly written by Arvind Kejriwal to the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) in 2008 seeking permission to collect taxes from shopkeepers. He alleged that Kejriwal wanted this for the Kaushambi Residents’ Welfare Association. Mr. Kejriwal had intimidated the officers in his letter and tried to put pressure on officials for outsourcing the responsibility of tax collection to his NGO.
Another prominent Team Anna member and Lawyer Prashant Bhushan has showed his anti-national attitude time and again. Prashant Bhushan had advocated plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, and for this he was brutally attacked and severely beaten up by three youth of a Hindu nationalist organization inside his lawyer’s chamber in Supreme Court of India. By his extremely controversial remarks Prashant Bhushan had unsuccessfully tried to flog a dead horse and hurt national sentiments as for majority of Indians plebiscite in Kashmir is a closed chapter now.
Recently, Prashant Bhushan’s links with Maoists or Naxalites were exposed when he was named as a mediator along with other two people, BD Sharma and Manish Kunjam, to negotiate for the release of kidnapped Sukma Disctrict Collector Alex Paul Menon in Chattisgarh. The Government of India has been waging a war against the Naxals by launching Operation Green Hunt since long, whom it considers as anti-national, terrorists and disruptive elements. Though, Prashant Bhushan refused to take part in the negotiations with Naxals, but nevertheless his links with the Naxals stand exposed thus raising serious doubts over his patriotism. Even Anna Hazare and his team members have so far not made their stand clear over Prashant Bhushan’s links with the Naxals. And, even if they do speak out on the issue denouncing the Naxal movement, and also prefer to keep Prashant Bhushan into the team then Team Anna’s anti-national face stands exposed. Despite Prashant Bushan’s anti-national stand on Plebiscite in Kashmir, Team Anna could not muster courage to throw him out of the core committee, nor will they have the courage to take action against Prashant Bhushan over his alleged links with Naxals.
Team Anna’s Confused Priorities
The various stands and gestures shown by Team Anna aptly shows that it is confused over its priorities and fickle-minded over the issue of handling corruption. The first nervous signs of Team Anna were displayed when it could not withstand the severe public criticism over its overt and covert links with the rightwing Hindu nationalist organization RSS and the BJP for displaying the RSS-style Bharat Mata holding the national flag, instead of RSS Bhagwa Dhwaj, at the backdrop of the stage during its first 4-day Jantar Mantar agitation. During the second phase of the movement at New Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, the fickle-minded, anti-national, weak-hearted Team Anna chose to dump the Bharat Mata portrait for good, and instead display photos of prominent national leaders and freedom fighters at the backdrop of the stage.
Sample yet another fickle-minded and communal approach of Team Anna. During the first phase of the movement at Jantar Mantar, Yoga Guru-turned-Businessman Baba Ramdev had shared the stage with Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar. But after criticism over his links with saffron parties, Team Anna broke ties with Baba Ramdev, and he was nowhere to be seen standing with Team Anna during the other phases of the movement.
Though, at one stage Anna Hazare had announced to join the fast to support Baba Ramdev’s cause in June 2011, but at the last minute chose to stay away since Baba Ramdev’s agitation at Ramlila Maidan was fully backed by rightwing Hindu nationalist organizations. The signs were everywhere to be seen at Baba Ramdev’s agitation at Ramlila Maidan, from the fiery Sangh Parivar leader and chief architect of Babri Masjid demolition Sadhvi Ritambhara on stage to the fluttering banners of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, Arya Veer and Veerangana Dal and Arya Samaj fluttering along the walls and inside the mammoth pandal. There was also a prominent portrait of the RSS-style Bharat Mata immediately below the stage, besides volunteers in khaki shorts and orange caps serving water.
Even, lawyer and member of the committee Prashant Bhushan also said he was ‘unhappy’ at the presence of Sadhvi Ritambhara on the dais, where Ramdev is on hunger-strike against black money, saying the platform should not be allowed to be used by “communal” forces. Prashant Bhushan was quoted as saying: “I am unhappy with the presence of Sadhvi Ritambhara. You cannot prevent anyone from supporting a cause but the platform should not be allowed to be used by communal forces.”
Now, exactly after one year Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have decided to join hands and launch a joint agitation. Recently, Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev addressed a joint Press Conference at Gurgaon on April 20, 2012, and announced a series of agitations starting from May 1 followed by a joint fast at Jantar Mantar on June 3. On May 1, Hazare will start his agitation from Shirdi while Ramdev will embark on an yatra from Durg in Chhattisgarh. After all, what has led to the change of heart between Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev just only after one year? Has Baba Ramdev changed his stripes or dumped his die-hard Hidu nationalists supporters? Isn’t Baba Ramdev communal now? Let Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan do the explaining over this issue to the countrymen.Instead of focusing solely on corruption, Anna Hazare is trying to expand the scope of his movement and bring in the issue of electoral reforms within its ambit. Recently after being snubbed by Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and denied a meeting at Mumbai, Anna Hazare met MNS chief and Bal Thackeray’s estranged nephew Raj Thackeray and praised him for holding exams of probable candidates for Mumbai, Thane and Pune municipal elections. Though, the leading light of Team Anna Arvind Kejriwal neither believes in parliamentary democracy nor he is concerned about casting his electoral franchise as happened in the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh assemble elections. Raj Thackeray is also well-known for creating hatred against people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in Maharashtra, and bash them up at the slightest instance. But the shameless Anna Hazare and his team, have never spoken against or lashed out at Raj Thackeray for using intimidating tactics against people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Endgame for Team Anna
Whenever the likes of Ana Hazare have launched a war against corruption, communal forces have been strengthened. We have not been able to forget V.P Singh’s crusade against corruption in the guise of Bofors scandal, which helped BJP gain immensely in terms of vote share. The party rose to 83 from merely 3 seats, and didn’t look back since.
Presently, the BJP appears to be devoid of any emotive political issue like that of Ram Janambhumi, which could rally people behind it. Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhumi issue has already lost its appeal to the masses. The issue of terrorism stands exposed. Both Muslims and Hindus have come to know that the bomb blasts triggered at different places across the country was the handiwork of the organizations like ABHNAV BHARAT. The arrests of Army officer Colonel Purohit, and Hindu preachers Sadhvi Pragya Singh and Swami Aseemanand have almost put an end to the bomb explosions across the country.
So the only issue which appeared to be catchy and appealing to the masses was that of corruption and black money deposited in the Swiss Bank . And the only man who, the BJP and supporters could rely on was a Gandhi looking Anna Hazare who cannot even express himself in an impressive manner.
He speaks only as much as it is taught by Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan. How long will Anna Hazare persist in his fight against corruption on borrowed wisdom? The war against corruption launched by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev is solely targeted at ousting Congress Party-led UPA-II alliance out of power and aimed at preparing ground for the victory of the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election in 2014. Dr. Syed Ahmad Quadri, a renowned fiction and story writer, echoes the same sentiment. What happened in Uttar Pradesh despite Anna Hazare’s anti corruption campaign is pointer to the regional parties getting maximum number of seats in the parliamentary election in different states of the country. Political analysts and psephologists predict a hugely fratured mandate in which regional parties will call the shots in forming the new Government at the Centre, with both Congress Party and BJP made to eat humble pie. A veteran journalist Mr. S Ahmad is of the opinion that Anna Hazare is the Mukhauta (mask) behind anti-corruption war, and the real forces at work are the communal organizations like RSS , VHP, Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal.
Mat Zain wrote the Open Letter to Datin Kalsom Taib, wife and biographer of Datuk ShafeeYahaya, former head of the Anti-Corruption Agency, in response to questions asked in her book about police investigations into allegations against former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for abuse of power in June 1998 in ordering a halt to corruption investigations against Ali Abul Hassan Sulaiman, head of Economic Planning Unit. Mat Zain was the officer in charge of investigations into the allegations. Mat Zain was also the officer responsible for the investigations into the four police reports lodged by Anwar from 9th July 1999 to 20th August 1999 when in Sungai Buloh prison on abuses of power and obstruction of the process of justice directed against Mahathir, the then Attorney-General the late Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, current Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail as well as reports of corruption and abuses of power against Tun Daim Zainuddin, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik and the late Tan Sri Eric Chia. Mat Zain revealed in his Open Letter that he had written in May this year to Tan Sri Ismail Omar, then Deputy IGP and to the Home Minister,Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, for a review of the investigations into the false evidence produced against Anwar in the “black eye” assault case of 1998 “to protect the credibility, impartiality and image of the of PDRM which had been seriously affected since 2006″. Mat Zain made the very serious allegation that former IGP Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Gani Patailhad allowed fabricated evidence in the Anwar Ibrahim “black eye” assault case and must be held responsible for the current mess of the criminal justice system. Mat Zain asked in the Open Letter: “Apa sudah jadi dengan Sistem Keadilan Jenayah kita?….Siapa yang sepatutnya dipersalahkan? Siapa yang menyebabkan Sistem Keadilan Jenayah kita menjadi kucar kacir sehinggakan sesiapa juga boleh mempermain-mainkannya tanpa takut kepada sebarang tindakan dan hukuman undang-undang? Saya tidak teragak-agak untuk menyatakan bahawa keadaan ini berpunca daripada ‘precedent’ yang dibuat oleh Tan Sri Gani Patail dan Tan Sri Musa Hassan sendiri.” Gani Patail, Musa Hassan or the Home Minister Hishammuddin and IGP Ismail cannot keep mum on this most incriminating and devastating Open Letter by a former top cop and I call on the Home Minister to give a full and satisfactory accounting on this matter to Parliament. [Speech (part 5) in Parliament on the 2011 Budget on Wednesday, 27th October 2010]
May 31 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was today asked to investigate Azmin Ali over claims he owns RM30 million in assets, following a complaint lodged by the PKR leader’s estranged sister Ummi Hafilda Ali.
I laughed when reading the comment posted here. There was so many reasons given by the commentator be it to justify or drawing a bigger picture of corruption by the elite politician. One thing that I never understand is their poor judgement and mentality if its involved Pakatan leaders. From saying it was old case; … Read more MACC ARMED DIVISION OF MAHATHIR WITH RPK TO SNATCH G13