Does Anna’s Civil Society Represent the Nation?
By Madhu Chandra
All sections of Indian society have suffered by corruption and all must fight against it. Everybody has rights to protest against corruption in democratic manner. Civil society’s fight has big role in bringing policies, laws and plan of actions against corruption. Absolutely, time has come for the nation like India to have strong law against corruption and India has mechanism to make it as freed nation and in democratic manner. Having said these, there are many unanswered questions, related to whole issue of corruption, representation of civil society and uprising of anti corruption movement claimed by Team Anna.
Is monetary corruption is the absolute challenge in India? What about socio-religious corruption of caste? What about ensuring affirmative action for marginalised people in corporate establishments? What about the failure of state to fight communalism against minorities, marginalised people and the rise of fascism? These are questions left by Team Anna while fighting against corruption.
Indoctrinization of Youth and Team Anna’s Civil Society
The Communist revolutionary Lenin who said, Give me one generation of youth, and I will transform the entire world and did the same to flood across the globe with the Red Crosses. Adolf Hitler a Racist and Nazi Ideologist used the same power of youth to mobilise anti-Semitic movement to wipe out the Jews from the face of the earth. A quote, “The League of German Girls was a compulsory youth organization for German girls formed in the early 1930s. The purpose of the organization, along with the Hitler Youth for boys, was to indoctrinate young people into the politics and culture of the Nazi Party.”
Sangh Parivar similarly in March 2003 in their attempt to begin Ram Temple building construction utilized the youth forces, with which they could break and pull down the old age disputed Babri mosque on December 6, 1992 at Ayodhya – the birth place of lord Rama.
Massive drive of youngsters in anti corruption movement led by Team Anna is seen, who represent upper caste, middle class and educated masses, taking the sentimental of corruption targeting to achieve hidden interest of invisible forces behind the movement.
Are Team Anna and their Civil Society a complete representation of India? Does it really represent whole nation? What about half a billion people belong to Others Backward Classes (OBC), 250 million Scheduled Caste/Tribes and 150 million minorities? They seem missing in Team Anna’s Civil Society movement, then why?
There are invisible forces behind Team Anna movement against corruption. Hate campaign literature, slogans and people represented prove it. These forces seem hijacking Team Anna for their hidden agenda by taking the sentimental of corruption.
Social activists who represent civil societies in many forums like Chandra Bhan Prasad, Shabnam Hashmi, Kancha Ilaiah and many others had their say in TV panel discussions in CNN IBN and NDTV. “Team Anna’s movement against corruption is the movement of upper caste, whose agendas are different from corruption,” says Chandra Bhan Prasad on Face the Nation debate on CNN IBN last night.
Information Technology (IT) professionals are behind the movement in monitoring, mobilising and manipulating in all available IT platforms – facebook, twitter, egroups, blogs and websites etc. Any opinions contradictories to Team Anna movement are manipulated by deleting from these platforms.
Similar uprising of upper caste and middle class educated youth were seen when Mandal Commission Report was implemented during V. P. Singh Government in 1990 and also during 27% OBC reservation introduced in 2006. Definitely this movement has a colour which is different altogether. This nature of campaign is very scary for secularism and democracy of the country.
The Socio-Religious Corruption is more Danger than Monetary Corruption
India’s 3000 years old caste system is socio-religious corruption within the society sanctioned by Hinduism under Brahminical dominion. It is more danger than monetary corruption. Mahatma Gandhi failed to abolish it and so is with all Gandhians. Anna Hazare seems worried more on monetary corruption than socio-religious corruption of caste, which has become cancer among Indian society. It is million dollar question, “Why Anna Hazare remains silent spectator on caste and its socio-religious corrupt phenomena within the society for which he claims to be a messiah?”
What about caste-based crimes and atrocities across India that the marginalised societies have been facing ever since the Brahmanism existed in Indian soil. Every six hour a woman in Uttar Pradesh is raped, 90% of them are Dalits and 85% of underage girls. What is Team Anna’s stand on this?
Where was Anna When Communal Violence Erupted?
Jawaharlal Nehru, the First Prime Minister of Independent India said, “When Fascism comes, it will come in form of communalism.” India has witnessed this prediction; some of them were very ugly. Recalling the recent memories 1984 Sikh riots, Gujarat 2002 Genocide, Kandhmal Communal in 2008-09, hundred and thousand of lives lost, homes destroyed, thousands internally displaced and the wounds remain unhealed till today.
These communal eruptions are socio-religious political nature of corruption, where Anna Hazare seems to turn blind. These are never lesser threats to the nation than the monetary corruption.
Where Does Anna Stand on the Rights of Dalit Christian and Muslim?
Article 15 of the Indian Constitution gives fundamental rights to all Indian citizens against any form of discrimination either by the state or any citizen on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. Every Indian is proud about this guarantee without much knowing that the same constitution violets itself on the basis of religion. The Scheduled Caste, known untouchable or Dalits suffer under this violation for sixty one years.
The President Order 1950 enacted Para 3 of Article 341, which discriminates Dalits on the basis of religion against fundamental rights guaranteed under Indian Constitution. The Presidential Order 1950 disqualifies Dalits to be members of Scheduled Caste known untouchable, if they choose any religion other than Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Dalits who converted to Sikhism was disqualified until rectified the error by amending of Para 3 of Article 341 in 1956. So was also those Dalits who converted to Buddhism until 1990.
Where is Anna’s stand on this, where two of his prominent team members – Shanti Bhushan and Prasant Bhushan have filed a Writ Petition in Supreme Court of India in 2004, challenging Article 341 Para 3 as it violate the fundamental rights of Indian citizens on the basis of religion?
Definitely, if Shanti Bhushan and Prasant Bhushan could influence the sentimental of Team Ann and gather same kind of civil society, they will definitely win their civil writ petition filed in Supreme Court of India on behalf of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims. Or Anna Hazare and whole civil society might turn against them.
Therefore, I reserve my rights to refrain from this civil society, if Team Anna remains silent spectator on issues of caste, communalism, rights of minorities and the rise of fascism.
Madhu Chandra (www.madhuchandra.org) is social activist and research scholar based at New Delhi.