Sociologist divided on results of fast protests

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Anna Hazare
Bhopal, Jun 24: Social scientists here have divergent views on noted social worker Anna Hazare's announcement to go on a fast again from August 16, demanding formulation of a stringent Lokpal Bill.

Though all of them are of the view that the Gandhian way of protesting against any issue has a lot of relevance, they are divided on the results the protest may achieve in the longer run.

"Fasting (protest) on any issue can never be out of fashion or out of date as decision to go on it was always taken on a high morale ground," India's former High Commissioner to Fiji and noted Sociologist," Dr I S Chouhan told PTI.

"They are raising very valid issues, as corruption has seeped into all levels of the society from top to bottom and people are facing lot of hardship because of it," he said.

"Democracy has its own ways of functioning, but the civil society is only acting as a pressure group to make it more efficient," he said.

"Voice against corruption gained ground as everyday scams were coming out and people are totally fed up against the menace," Chouhan said.

However, Dr Hari Singh Gour's Central University's senior Professor of Sociology, Dr Srinath Sharma said that the whole movement against corruption has +ideological vaccum+ as Hazare lacks "political understanding".

"First he sits on a fast on the issue of corruption, then calls it off and later praises, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi," he said adding "then again takes a U-turn on these issues."

Sharma said that though people are supporting them in large numbers as everybody is sick of the menace of corruption, the turnout will ultimately prove to be a "lumpen force" due to lack of leadership. 

Political parties, specially the Congress and the BJP have their own vested interests on the issue, he said.

Sharma said that no doubt Hazare is a well known social worker, but he can't be compared with Jai Prakash Narayan as he had a very indepth understanding of the Indian politics.

He also criticised Baba Ramdev for taking up the issue as the yoga guru's own credentials have a lot of question mark in view of his huge assets.

Another sociologist and senior Professor of the Barkatullah University, Dr Gyanendra Gautam said that no doubt, such fasts creates awareness among people, but at the same time both the government and the civil society members should ensure that it will not create conflict in the society.

"Before announcing his decision to go a fast again from August 16 on the issue, Hazare and his team should have bring more clarity on their demands and discuss the issue in media as well as put the draft in public for debate," he added.

PTI

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