Anna's Janlokpal protest similar to Maoists': Arundhati Roy

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Arundhati Roy
New Delhi, Aug 22: Booker prize winner and social activist Arundhati Roy slammed Team Anna for its unconstitutional way of protest which was described as "contradictory to Gandhiji's ideas about the decentralisation of power".

In her column entitled "I'd rather not be Anna" published in The Hindu, Arundhati Roy linked protest for Jan Lokpal Bill to the Maoists attack against India. She said that Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill "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."

Roy alleged that the Team Anna's protest for a strong Lokpal Bill was a media hype and gathered support only from urban people. Also, Roy added that the Team Anna's version of Jan Lokpal Bill is "draconian" with the power to police everybody from the Prime Minister, the judiciary, members of Parliament and other government officials.

"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," Arundhati said.

Arundhati said that 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.

The booker prize winner also attacked Gandhian Anna Hazare for his silence on "urgent issues" like farmer's suicides, Operation Green Hunt, issues related to Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh and Posco.

"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."

She accused Hazare's aide activist Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia of receiving $400,000 from the Ford Foundation for their trust, Kabir. Arundhati alleged that contributors to the India Against Corruption campaign include Indian companies and foundations that own aluminum plants, build ports and SEZs, and politicians who run financial empires that run into thousands of crores of rupees.

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