Arundhati Roy on Anna Hazare (Hindu)

I’d rather not be Anna

If what we’re watching on TV is indeed a revolution, then it has to be one of the more embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times. For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you’re likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind.
For completely different reasons, and in completely different ways, you could say that the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common — they both 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. (In this one, the Government collaborates by doing everything it possibly can to overthrow itself.)

In April 2011, a few days into Anna Hazare’s first “fast unto death,” searching for some way of distracting attention from the massive corruption scams which had battered its credibility, the Government invited Team Anna, the brand name chosen by this “civil society” group, to be part of a joint drafting committee for a new anti-corruption law. A few months down the line it abandoned that effort and tabled its own bill in Parliament, a bill so flawed that it was impossible to take seriously.

Then, on August 16th, the morning of his second “fast unto death,” before he had begun his fast or committed any legal offence, Anna Hazare was arrested and jailed. The struggle for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill now coalesced into a struggle for the right to protest, the struggle for democracy itself. Within hours of this ‘Second Freedom Struggle,’ Anna was released. Cannily, he refused to leave prison, but remained in Tihar jail as an honoured guest, where he began a fast, demanding the right to fast in a public place. For three days, while crowds and television vans gathered outside, members of Team Anna whizzed in and out of the high security prison, carrying out his video messages, to be broadcast on national TV on all channels. (Which other person would be granted this luxury?) Meanwhile 250 employees of the Municipal Commission of Delhi, 15 trucks, and six earth movers worked around the clock to ready the slushy Ramlila grounds for the grand weekend spectacle. Now, waited upon hand and foot, watched over by chanting crowds and crane-mounted cameras, attended to by India’s most expensive doctors, the third phase of Anna’s fast to the death has begun. “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is One,” the TV anchors tell us.

While his means may be Gandhian, Anna Hazare’s demands are certainly not. Contrary to Gandhiji’s ideas about the decentralisation of power, 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. The Lokpal will have the powers of investigation, surveillance, and prosecution. Except for the fact that it won’t have its own prisons, it will function as an independent administration, meant to counter the bloated, unaccountable, corrupt one that we already have. Two oligarchies, instead of just one.

Whether it works or not depends on how we view corruption. Is corruption just a matter of legality, of financial irregularity and bribery, or is it the currency of a social transaction in an egregiously unequal society, in which power continues to be concentrated in the hands of a smaller and smaller minority? Imagine, for example, a city of shopping malls, on whose streets hawking has been banned. A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares to those who cannot afford the prices in the malls. Is that such a terrible thing? In future will she have to pay the Lokpal representative too? Does the solution to the problems faced by ordinary people lie in addressing the structural inequality, or in creating yet another power structure that people will have to defer to?

Meanwhile the props and the choreography, the 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. They signal to us that if we do not support The Fast, we are not ‘true Indians.’ The 24-hour channels have decided that there is no other news in the country worth reporting.

‘The Fast’ of course doesn’t mean Irom Sharmila’s fast that has lasted for more than ten years (she’s being force fed now) against the AFSPA, which allows soldiers in Manipur to kill merely on suspicion. It does not mean the relay hunger fast that is going on right now by ten thousand villagers in Koodankulam protesting against the nuclear power plant. ‘The People’ does not mean the Manipuris who support Irom Sharmila’s fast. Nor does it mean the thousands who are facing down armed policemen and mining mafias in Jagatsinghpur, or Kalinganagar, or Niyamgiri, or Bastar, or Jaitapur. Nor do we mean the victims of the Bhopal gas leak, or the people displaced by dams in the Narmada Valley. Nor do we mean the farmers in NOIDA, or Pune or Haryana or elsewhere in the country, resisting the takeover of the land.

‘The People’ only means the audience that has gathered to watch the spectacle of a 74-year-old man threatening to starve himself to death if his Jan Lokpal Bill is not tabled and passed by Parliament. ‘The People’ are the tens of thousands who have been miraculously multiplied into millions by our TV channels, like Christ multiplied the fishes and loaves to feed the hungry. “A billion voices have spoken,” we’re told. “India is Anna.”

Who is he really, this new saint, this Voice of the People? Oddly enough we’ve heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern. Nothing about the farmer’s suicides in his neighbourhood, or about Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer’s agitations or the blight of SEZs. 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. (Anna withdrew that statement after a public outcry, but presumably not his admiration.)

Despite the din, sober journalists have gone about doing what journalists do. We now have the back-story about Anna’s old relationship with the RSS. We have heard from Mukul Sharma who has studied Anna’s village community in Ralegan Siddhi, where there have been no Gram Panchayat or Co-operative society elections in the last 25 years. We know about Anna’s attitude to ‘harijans’: “It was Mahatma Gandhi’s vision that every village should have one chamar, one sunar, one kumhar and so on. They should all do their work according to their role and occupation, and in this way, a village will be self-dependant. This is what we are practicing in Ralegan Siddhi.” Is it surprising that members of Team Anna have also been associated with Youth for Equality, the anti-reservation (pro-“merit”) movement? The campaign is being handled by people who run a clutch of generously funded NGOs whose donors include Coca-Cola and the Lehman Brothers. Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, key figures in Team Anna, has received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation in the last three years. Among contributors to the India Against Corruption campaign there are Indian companies and foundations that own aluminum plants, build ports and SEZs, and run Real Estate businesses and are closely connected to politicians who run financial empires that run into thousands of crores of rupees. Some of them are currently being investigated for corruption and other crimes. Why are they all so enthusiastic?

Remember the campaign for the Jan Lokpal Bill gathered steam around the same time as embarrassing revelations by Wikileaks and a series of scams, including the 2G spectrum scam, broke, in which major corporations, senior journalists, and government ministers and politicians from the Congress as well as the BJP seem to have colluded in various ways as hundreds of thousands of crores of rupees were being siphoned off from the public exchequer. For the first time in years, journalist-lobbyists were disgraced and it seemed as if some major Captains of Corporate India could actually end up in prison. Perfect timing for a people’s anti-corruption agitation. Or was it?

At a time when the State is withdrawing from its traditional duties and Corporations and NGOs are taking over government functions (water supply, electricity, transport, telecommunication, mining, health, education); at a time when the terrifying power and reach of the corporate owned media is trying to control the public imagination, one would think that these institutions — the corporations, the media, and NGOs — would be included in the jurisdiction of a Lokpal bill. Instead, the proposed bill leaves them out completely.

Now, by shouting louder than everyone else, by pushing a campaign that is hammering away at the theme of evil politicians and government corruption, they have very cleverly let themselves off the hook. Worse, by demonising only the Government they have built themselves a pulpit from which to call for the further withdrawal of the State from the public sphere and for a second round of reforms — more privatisation, more access to public infrastructure and India’s natural resources. It may not be long before Corporate Corruption is made legal and renamed a Lobbying Fee.

Will the 830 million people living on Rs.20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war?

This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India’s representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people. In which not a single democratic institution is accessible to ordinary people. Do not be fooled by the flag waving. We’re watching India being carved up in war for suzerainty that is as deadly as any battle being waged by the warlords of Afghanistan, only with much, much more at stake.

Advertisements

82 Responses to “Arundhati Roy on Anna Hazare (Hindu)”

  1. As usual, the lady questions everything but has no answers.

    Like

  2. alex adams Says:

    Same old “default” opposition/ criticism from arundhati Roy who amongst all things in life, is v much aware of her “image” in the west!!

    ‘I don’t want to live my life as a project’ … Arundhati Roy (like that line by the way)

    Exerpts of of her perception / projection in the west—

    Guardian,UK
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2011/jan/29/arundhati-roy-interview-india-activism-novel

    Scotsman
    http://www.scotsman.com/features/Interview-Arundhati-Roy-Author.6787666.jp

    Stanford
    https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~peer/arundhatiRoy.html

    Amy Kamzin
    “The new India’s most high-profile” critichttp://www.slate.com/id/2296260/

    Like

  3. Kinda agree with whatever she has written..

    read something similar on a diary in mouthshut, which I loved very much:

    http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/bdebnmlqs/Annagiri-Vs-GovtGiri

    Like

  4. ideaunique Says:

    as long as india has such pseudos like ms. roy or ms. dey…..they will question everything which tries to raise a voice against set norms…but they themselves will neither do anything else nor will have any concrete answer…..paralyzed mentality!

    Like

  5. iffrononfire Says:

    here goes her rant again without any solution

    btw she is facing a case in court for building a house in eco-friendly government also sedition charege may come up soon

    no wonder one feel the pro-government attitude suddenly

    Like

  6. iffrononfire Says:

    *eco friiendly environment*

    mr rajiv gandhi once said that when i release Rs1 to welfare only 1 Paise out of it reach to needy …. thats where lokpal is necessary

    ms roy forgot how even RTI brought transparency( and how politicians are targetting rti activitivists)….who was the father of RTI movement in india ..again a so called fascist guy (according to her who is busy intitiating civil war) called anna hazare
    \

    Like

  7. iffrononfire Says:

    ya and as for her so called rants on rss and all( which finally clearly indicates her political association ) she should know some of the highest civilian honour has been given to anna is by congress government only and a certain maharashtra c.m who admire him openly

    what corporate corruption is she talking about ….haven’t seen her for once commenting on radia and tata controvesry neither on journlist like barkha dutt and vir sanghvi who where openly caught doing lobbying for government for corporates

    Like

  8. Dedicated to All the fans of Arundhati and critics of Anna. Spoiler it is long.

    Why I’d rather be Anna than Arundhati

    There was an article in The Hindu today by Arundhati against the movement for Janlokpal, she’s eloquent as usual, and she misses the point, pretty much as usual. In this article I am trying to talk about the points she raised and hopefully when we are done we might have a broader perspective of this movement than what Arundhati has projected.

    Arundhati’s most important gripe seems to be that the people in the movement are raising slogans like – (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hindi. Would she prefer if they said (a) India Hai Hai (b) Indian govt murdabad (c) Jeeve-jeeve Pakistan, when they come out on the streets to demand that the Indian government creates a better system for our people?

    She’s lying when she says that the slogans are the answer you get when you ask questions about Janlokpal. The team that’s running Janlokpal has made every attempt to talk to anyone who is concerned about it, and to alleviate all their doubts. For months there was a public referendum on the provisions of Janlokpal, very openly, and lots of provisions were rejected, modified, and adapted according to the inputs of the people. This is a fact, not what Arundhati is saying.

    Even now Anna Hazare and his team has announced that they are open to any public debate on Janlokpal and they will answer all the questions that anyone might have on any issue. Yesterday Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan did just that on a popular television network. There are videos of the team members speaking on different aspects of Janlokpal and why we need them that have been online for months.

    Arundhati, lie one caught.

    Her second claim is that Janlokpal seeks an overthrow of the Indian state. Lying again. For almost an year now the Janlokpal team has been working with the government, with all the members who care, to frame a strong law against corruption. They’ve met the current government leaders, opposition leaders, chief ministers, individual MPs, talking to them, and telling them why the country needs a strong anti-corruption framework. Is that working to overthrow the state?

    They sat on a very hostile government panel and tried everything they could to push their proposals forward in the way government wanted them to. After the government panel wasted the nation’s time and failed to include even one, repeat, even one important proposal of the Janlokpal bill, and instead sought to push their own Jokepal which would prosecute the victims instead of the perpetrators, they decided to sit on a dharna asking the government to make a strong bill.

    Let me remind Arundhati that this was done in a perfectly legal and an non-violent manner, and Anna is asking this administration to implement Janlokpal, not seeking a new government. Are you trying to tell the people of India that demanding a strong anti-corruption framework amounts to overthrowing the government? Let us hear that again more clearly.

    Arundhati, lie two caught.

    Next she proceeds to tell us that Anna Hazare is a ‘freshly minted saint,’ which should suggest that he has no right to speak against public injustice as apparently, only stale saints are allowed to crusade for India.

    Wait a minute though, this freshly minted thing doesn’t sound true at all. Anna Hazare took voluntary retirement from the Army in 1978 and started his campaign to transform Ralegaon Siddhi. All through the next decade he worked hard for the villagers campaigning for things like liquor prohibition, grain banks for the poor, better milk production, creation of more schools (he sat on a fast for this), against untouchability and for collective marriages. In 1991 he started the Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan. What was Arundhati doing then? Oh wait, she hadn’t written her first book yet.

    Anna Hazare has led many movements against corrupt officials and politicians. Powerful people. People who’ve maligned him, filed false cases against him, and even sent him to jail. He has borne the worst of what the powerful and the corrupt have to offer, unlike Arundhati whose only achievement seems to be making radical statements. It’s a shame that someone like her should call a fighter like Anna a ‘freshly minted saint’.

    Arundhati, lie three caught

    She is also giving a distorted version of the sequence of events that unfolded during Anna’s stay at the Tihar jail. She’s saying that Anna remained in Tihar as a ‘honored guest’. If you are looking for honored guests Arundhati look for Suresh Kalmadi, Kanimozhi, A Raja, Manu Sharma, or Vikas Yadav, maybe even Afzal Guru. Anna isn’t one of them.

    Let me remind you that Anna Hazare was picked up from his residence by the Delhi Police. He hadn’t been on the streets murdering people with a gun the night earlier. He was at Rajghat where he sat for an hour in meditation.

    The police sent Anna to Tihar in 7 days judicial custody. To prevent what? A non-violent protest against corruption in India. On 16th August nearly 15,000 people of New Delhi and Mumbai courted arrest. They went to JP Park, Azad Maidan, or whatever the venue was in their city, asking the police to arrest them. They did not burn buses, break glasses, or set fire to homes. I have a photograph of the special jail at Chhatrasal Stadium for you here.

    The people brought to Chhatrasal Stadium after their arrest.
    The government was counting on their belief that no one would come ahead for Anna, and that they would be able to dispose him the way they disposed Baba Ramdev. Unfortunately for them the people of India had had enough. Anna was made an ‘honored guest’ in your words because of all the people who were in the jail, and outside the jail for him.

    Why didn’t Anna come out? Because he was asked to (a) go home, (b) leave town. When Anna Hazare asked whether he would be allowed to hold an unconditional protest the Delhi police refused. Anna said that if they release him he would lead the protest and they would have to arrest him again, so it’s better that he remain in jail until the government agrees to let him protest.

    Usually when a protest is organized, the people who run the protest have enough time to make preparations. There has to be enough room, and proper arrangements to make sure that the thousands collected are managed properly and without harm. If Anna had gone to the protest before the arrangements were made it could have resulted in utter chaos that might have had serious repercussions for the people gathered. Do you realize that Arundhati?

    She also said that Anna’s team whizzed in-and-out of prison and it is a privilege that no one else has. Anna’s team came out when the individuals chose to be released, and when Anna refused to budge Kiran Bedi and other team members were invited by the government to try and negotiate with Anna. How does that compare to Kalmadi having a nice tea-biscuit brunch with the Warden a few days ago? Or Manu Sharma being surreptitiously paroled? Did you hear about them at all?

    Arundhati, lie four caught.

    Her next claim is that MCD worked hard to prepare the grounds. Is that right? I will bet anybody that Arundhati didn’t go to the grounds to inspect the preparations, and she’s talking out of her head again. I went to the ground and saw the state it was in. Here is a photograph for you Arundhati. Do you see the MCD here? Or do you see young people who are rushing to clean the wet mud, trying desperately but in union, to make the place better than a pigsty so that the people could stand.

    They dug a little canal to channel the water from the ground into the drains

    She’s mopping the carpet so that it may become fit to stand on
    Even if they weren’t, and even if MCD had sent all their workers to prepare the grounds for Anna Hazare’s protest, would there still be a reason to complain? What MCD did there was its job. The Ramlila Ground is supposed to be maintained by the MCD for massive gatherings. When MCD doesn’t do its job and the grounds is water-logged and mosquito infested, it creates a serious health hazard for everyone who’s there. MCD prepares the grounds for all public protests too. It did the same for Sonia Gandhi’s rally just a few months ago. Arundhati, you want the MCD to not do its job because this protest is not organized by a political party?

    Arundhati, lie five caught.

    She’s upset that the Lokpal has wide-ranging powers of investigation, surveillance and prosecution, and then she uses her amazing writing skills to suggest that Lokpal will practically have everything except their ‘own prisons’. I am on the verge of losing my breakfast!

    Arundhati, one would expect someone who questions the Indian legal system so openly to have better knowledge about it. The police has the powers of (a) investigation, (b) surveillance, and (c) prosecution. So does the CBI. How are Lokpal’s power different? The only thing that Anna is asking for is that the Lokpal be a specialized body against corruption and that it must not need to seek permission from anybody to prosecute a corrupt office holder. Our present system puts severe restrictions on the investigative bodies. That’s why a CBI under the prime minister could not file a charge-sheet against A Raja, but when the supreme court took over the investigations A Raja was brought to jail.

    Arundhati, I know that you knowingly did not make the point that the powers of Lokpal are limited to investigation, collection of evidence and prosecution. The Lokpal can bring a case to the court, and the judge will then decide on the basis of the presented evidence whether the person is guilty. How is that radically dangerous?

    Arundhati, lie six caught.

    It’s really amazing to see how Arundhati Roy can go to ridiculous lengths to fill the reader’s mind with garbage against Janlokpal. If you didn’t know about her problems with the Indian government, you could easily imagine she has been paid by it to write the article. She’s actually suggesting that the hawkers who pay the beat constable to set up their stalls might have to pay the ‘lokpal representative’.

    Lokpal representative? Now she can frame those words and hang them on the Red fort for all to see and it still wouldn’t become true. The Lokpal is not a policing body. They can’t go and collect ‘hafta’ from the hawker.

    When land-owner’s land is grabbed illegally and a mall is built there, or when a poor person’s store is unjustly removed, or when the beat constables or MCD representatives, or other government agency officials unjustly seek bribes from the people, that is corruption. The Lokpal is built to take care of that.

    According to the provisions of the Janlokpal Bill, a citizen can make a complaint against an office holder, and the lokpal will investigate the complaint. If it is found true action will be taken. Lokpal is not going to send beat lokpallers to collect hafta from the poor. That’s downright ridiculous and only a fancy imagination could have conceived it.

    Arundhati, lie seven caught.

    She also says that the choreography, and aggressive nationalism seems to be like that of anti-reservation. It’s a clear attempt to draw the dalits away from the fight against corruption. And how inappropriate an attempt it is! It is the deprived, the dalits, who have to the bear the worst of corruption. The rich and the influential are filled with upper caste people who can actually use the present system to their advantage because they have money power, influence, and contacts.

    The dalits don’t have the same advantages, that’s why when all other things being equal, it is the dalit who stands to lose when they compete with the upper caste. All due to corruption!

    Now coming to the choreography. What sort of vague word is that? ‘Choreography’, what are we supposed to understand from it? If she’s talking about the slogans, we’ve already dealt with that. What else could she be talking about?

    The anti-reservation protest was fraught with street violence and self-immolations. The people who opposed reservations closed down schools, colleges and offices, burnt buses, had violent clashes with the law, and burnt themselves to death. That hasn’t happened in Anna’s movement. This movement is perfectly peaceful and organized. Even when people are on a march, they stop at the red lights and crossings to let the traffic pass before continuing. What the hell is Arundhati trying to imply with her ‘Choreography’ then?

    Arundhati, lie eight caught.

    The next bit is very cruel. She craftily tries to separate Irom Sharmila, Bastar, Jaitapur, from the fast and implies by extension that Anna Hazare does not oppose Posco, or the farmer deaths in Maharashtra, or any of the other myriad problems that our country is battling right now. This couldn’t be furthest from truth.

    Unlike Arundhati, Anna Hazare has recognized that too many of the problems that our country is facing are a direct result of corruption. That’s why a Madhu Koda is able to earn thousands of crores in graft money directly depriving the adivasis. That’s why Yeduyarappa is able to give illegal miners a free hand. That’s why Bastar and Irom, and Niyamgiri exist. Because of corruption.

    If our framework made the responsible people accountable, it would create a huge difference in all of these issues. Imagine a bastar free of poachers, miners and land grabbers, a maharashtra village where the government’s benefits schemes are truly implemented. Forget all the other instances, just imagine what Manrega can really do for the people if it is implemented honestly.

    You’ve also claimed that Anna doesn’t care about the farmers in Maharashtra, or in other places, even though he has spent his entire demonstratively in fighting for the poor and deprived villagers and farmers. Maybe you didn’t hear about this because you were too busy hobnobbing with India haters.

    Arundhati, I believe that fighting corruption is fighting on behalf of all the people you’ve named, and not against them. If you believe otherwise, give me your reasons.

    Arundhati, lie nine caught.

    The next slander if of course the ultimate weapon that anyone can hurl at Anna. That he supports Raj Thackarey or Narendra Modi’s alleged wrongdoings. This is a joke, specially in sight of the fact that many of the hardliners aligned with the BJP, the hindu-brigade, and Narendra Modi are up with cudgles against Anna Hazare. They’re making the claim that Anna Hazare is an agent of Congress, propped up by Congress to facilitate the crowning of Rahul Gandhi.

    The communists have no love for Hazare, the right wingers have no love for Hazare, and the Congress has no love for Hazare. My God! He must be awesomely right!

    Answering your gripe, Anna Hazare has said it publicly multiple times that he is against any oppressive actions targeted against any community and that he supports a system that gives equal rights to all citizens irrespective of their religion.

    And if you think you were succeeding in your nefarious scheme to distance the muslims from the movement, you’ve failed. Muslims as a community have lent their support to Anna Hazare in a massive way. Many Imams and Maulavis have made public statements, and the Dar-ul-Uloom, which is the biggest body of Muslims in India has said that it is the duty of every Muslim and citizen of India to support Anna Hazare. If they are wrong, then you must know something that they don’t. Care to share?

    You’ve also brought the ‘Youth for equality’ into this. So what if Anna’s movement is supported by the Youth for Equality? It is also supported by the All India Youth Federation. Let me show you a pic of AIYF activists who marched against corruption for Anna. Lest you’ve forget the AIYF is the youth wing of the Communist Party of India.

    They supported Anna because they want a corruption free India
    Do you realize that when it comes to this fight against corruption Anna does not choose who supports him. He gratefully accepts their support. Of course he doesn’t give them anything in return except a law that’s strongly against corruption.

    That’s why the Gyan Das Akhara of Ayodhya, and Hashim Ansari, the famous anti-temple litigator have jointly expressed support for Anna Hazare. Do you have the courage to rise above your own pettiness?

    Arundhati, lie ten caught.

    You are also very misinformed, or maybe you choose to present wrong information to the people. You have said that ‘Kabir’ is an NGO run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia. Actually Arvind Kejriwal does not run Kabir. He is an executive member because Manish Sisodia is an old associate from Parivartan, but he does not manage it, or intervene in it. It is managed by Manish Sisodia. Arvind Kejriwal’s foundation is the PCRF. They have got no donation from Ford, and their balance sheets are available on their website for public inspection. Have a look at all the money this foundation has.

    Arvind started this foundation with 14 lakhs, the money he got with his Magsaysay Award. He used it for public cause and to support RTI in India.

    The PCRF maintains complete accounts for the present anti-corruption movement too. Details of all incoming donations are available on the website of India Against Corruption, and expenses are detailed too. You should have a look at that.

    The amount Kabir has received as donation from Ford is $200,00 and $400,000 as you claimed. This is verifyable form the website of the ford foundation (http://www.fordfoundation.org/grants/search). You could have done well to note that this donation has nothing to do with the present movement, but you did not. I will do this for you here. This donation was made in 2011 to Kabir to promote the use of RTI in India, and not to support the India against corruption movement.

    Arundhati, lie eleven caught.

    You say next that the present bill fails to bring the corporates and the NGOs against the ambit of Lokpal. Does our present legal system allow that? Does our present legal system allow surveillance of the functioning of privately funded NGOs or corporate bodies in the same manner that it allows the surveillance of government organisations? The legal experts have said no, and this is the reason according to the team that they are not proposing this at the present time.

    What you’ve forgotten is the fact that it is the government system that’s the worst offender when it comes to corruption, because it allows its misuse by the private sector resulting in the problems you’ve mentioned. There are already checks and systems to prevent and prosecute the wrong-doings of the private sector, but they are compromised because the investigative bodies are in the graft, or their masters are.

    If we can make this start by creating a law that forces the government systems to work properly it will undoubtedly lead to better handling of the private sector too. Can you imagine the telecom companies benefiting from 2G the way they did if they didn’t have A Raja working for them? Or the various private companies making huge profits from CWG tenders if Kalmadi and Sheila Dikshit didn’t back them so brazenly?

    Anna’s team has given the commitment to keep fighting, to further the cause, and take fresh measures to rid the people of corruption once the Janlokpal bill is in place. By making the Janlokpal bill an excuse to talk about all the different malaise we have you are attempting to short-circuit the anti-corruption drive itself. How is fighting government corruption any less holier than fighting corruption in private organisations?

    Arundhati, lie twelve caught.

    The only sense you are making is in the last paragraph when you say that Anna’s movement is the result of the failure of the legislature which is filled with criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent their people. You know, that’s exactly the point that Anna Hazare has been making. Our MPs are totally living in denial of the people’s needs and aspirations. They believe that 9% growth of GDP is an achievement worth having 11% food inflation for. It is their corrupt mindset and disconnect which must be challenged, and that’s exactly what Anna is doing when he mobilizes people in such a massive manner against corruption. The fact is, we should all be thankful to Anna Hazare for reminding the MPs that a democracy is not just made up of the parliament, but also of the people.

    Note: This article is copyright free. You can share it wherever you want, you can post it on your fb or twitter profile. You can put it on your blog, even with your own name if you want. You can translate it and use it. You can add to it, trim it. Just don’t change the facts and the purpose. Thank you guys for your overwhelming response. Bookmark Clearvisor and send me details of issues you want me to write on.

    Like

    • who’s the author here?

      Like

    • @ NyKavi … That was brilliantly written … would like to share it with your permission.

      Like

      • Alex adams Says:

        Agree– good piece by nykavi…
        Feel Arundhati has now becum an anchor figure which enables the west to “pull india down” or arm twist on “morality” grounds.
        And she has left no “stone” unturned to usurp this (privileged ) position of” pseudo moral ground”!!

        Ps–anshula pandey– feel free to” share” anything — all free for all here…

        Like

  9. @ NyKavi—While I don’t entirely disagree with Arundhati Roy–I do seriously feel that she is speaking some sense to an extent– I also appreciate your rebttal of her points. Right now, i’m confused; my feeling is that UPA govt has mishandled/bungled–and India is being destabilized. I am all for a corruption-free India, but I am also for a united economically strong, safe India.

    Like

  10. @ NyKavi–I have taken the liberty of putting up your rebuttal, along with the original Arundhati article—on by fb profile page.

    Like

  11. anti view in NYT but author’s input suggested he is far from reality (Here author uses Aruna and Arundhati interchangeably 🙂 )

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/world/asia/24india.html

    Like

  12. @ munna– Thnaks for the links. I have just now read the clearvisor piece (which seems to be the original of NYKavi’s comment), and also the NY times article–in which the American author has clearly specified which Roy he is referring to– no confusion there. He refers to Aruna for the most part; a ref to Arundhati is made, only once.

    As for the reactions to the clearvisor article— a few intelligent comments speaking up for and against—and a lot of vituperative bashing of Arundhati Roy.

    We re fast becoming a rude intolerant society—and part of the facilitating has been done by internet forums. Even beyond the internet, the intolerance is frightening; look at this woman’s placard–and its arrogant statement…

    http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-an-interview-with-anna-hazares-aide-prashant-bhushan/20110823.htm

    Somebody, pl help print the pic from the last page of this slideshow–the woman with the outrageous placard in Hindi.

    Like

    • I can’t link it, but this is what the placard says,
      अब तो यह स्पष्ट है, जो साथ नहीं वोह भ्रष्ट हैI

      hmmm really arrogant.

      My question is, how can one be sure that the people of the Lok pal will not be corrupt with so much power in hand (over powerful people). This would be absolute power….which corrupts.

      We know that as long as one is not in the position of being corrupt and making millions we are against corruption, but as soon as the position is achieved corruption starts.

      It’s the people who should change rather than any bills IMO.

      Like

    • Same Ms Roy who fought for a good RTI is saying “I would say the tactics are Gandhian but the spirit is not,”

      Like

  13. LS, yes that was not me, but from another blog. The writer has made it copyright free.
    Everyone wants a corruption free India, however, the anti-Anna people have worked themselves up into a tizzy trying to come up with any sort of logical/reasonable points. The Jan Lokpal will never the be-all or end-all of anti-corruption legislation. I dont think there has been any democracy where laws have not been amended, re-written, ratified by judiciary, re-ratified, etc etc. Laws are living-breathing creatures. They always undergo modifications based on the collective democratic wills of citizens. Now, in this totally ‘head-to-toe’ corrupt society (which by the way was Manish Tiwari’s incredulous abuse to Anna!) any start to a legislation has to be welcomed. Those who support Cong, should be doing so totally on a partisan manner. All the citizens want is a starting point with some teeth to it. You dont want a law which totally maligns whistle-blowers and makes the act of whistle-blowing illegal or punishable. The Cong has been caught sleeping at the wheel. When the entire opposition has united in approving a better version of the Lokpal, why does the Cong oppose? The same law will apply to the opposition when they are in power in the future. Or does the Cong think that they will remain in power for ever?

    Like

  14. I do not for a moment doubt Anna’s intentions and believe they are quite noble. I would be hard pressed to believe there is any nationalist agenda at play here. Am not quite sure how slogans like Vande Mataram can be construed as being suggestive of an RSS influence.If Ms Roy has problems with Vande Mataram, she should seek asylum elsewhere. May be in Timbuktoo for all I care. She definitely displatys a rather twisted mindset and serves no purpose at all. She probably thinks of herself as a check on the nations’ colletive morality. But, in reality she is rather delusional and self serving. Suffering from delusions of personal grandiosity and moral superiority. She may write well but paradoxically makes very little sense. Obviously her twisted rants are overplayed out here and in the rest of the Western world which feels threatened by the surging India and allows them to moemntarily delude themselves into thinking that India is still a moral cesspool, intolerant and driven by a nationalist ideology. She is also celebrated by some pseudos in India , about whom the less said, the better. A voice like her has to be tolerated in a democracy, unfortunately. But, tihs ‘lady’ riles me up like few can. And, her apologists.

    Like

  15. Anna ji you don’t forget we are always with you . We are blessing for your health . It is shame , who are not accepting the truth .or taking long time for accepting the truth.
    God bless you Anna ji….. Anna ( means the elder broth ). now ANNA is the brother of nation…..

    Like

  16. Alex adams Says:

    ^^. Neha– really noble/ serious thoughts there…
    I’m “moved” !!!!

    Like

  17. Think guys. The Anna movement is not the solution. It can only bring dirty politics to the fore . If this movement has the backing of the oppositioin, who have no right to be self righteous, that itself shows a corrupt mind. The point has been made. Now leave the Prime Minister to do his job. You have your chance at the next elections.

    Like

    • Amrita..neatly said. Anna and his “civil society” team are merely enjoying their new status as “liberators” of the country. Civil society stays at home and Anna does not represent them. His fight against corruption is right, but not the arrogance with which he has taken this up,nor his methods. If the saffron brigade is his think tank, the nation better beware.

      Like

      • Amrita, Are you replying to yourself??? You surely don’t need anyone to answer or debate on your views 🙂

        Like

        • Alex adams Says:

          ^^^ well picked santoo!!!
          Amrita seems another one writing in multiple names -& forgot to change the name to reply lol.
          Think we know what her other name is..lol

          Like

  18. Iffronfire- great points, ….Fact is all the commies are so scared and pissed right now because 1. Anna has made them irrelevent and 2. he is chanting Vande Matram and Bharat Mata kee jai…..
    ab inm commies ko parliament yaad aa raha hai…..what rubbish!!!

    a lot of groups who are calling this agitation as communal or upper cast may actually be the biggest beneficiary of the corrupt practices….

    Like

    • iffrononfire Says:

      and always you are very insightful

      for rao real gandhians will always be her maoists friends who time and again killed civillians and one wonder howw rao get acess to their secret dens for interviews and ya they never beleived in parliament or any thing as whole.. why she time and again contradicts herself .. she mentions a sharmila here but forgets to write that same sharmila has giver her full support to anna hazare

      journalists from her uncle’s channel(prannoy roy’s ndtv) have been caught doing curruption but again she never mentioned a single word about it

      Like

  19. Bhalo_Manush Says:

    The whole nation is with Anna ji…but I am afraid whether any conclusion will come out of it or not…

    On a lighter note …All Bachan fans should demand for a Anti corruption bill against all trade analysts…Why only collections of Bachhan films are minimized by all trade analysts except IBOS..

    Like

    • The amusing thing is that in a country where every institution is plagued by compromise and corruption, and often to horrific degrees, people somehow naively believe that we are getting the ‘truth’ from the film media and/or the trade. But of course no one is quite so naive. The truth here is that the ‘worldview’ the trade sells has a willing audience. And here it is not just about this or that star but about what the ‘meaning’ of the entire trade narrative is. If one thinks Amitabh Bachchan is just another ‘big star’ then the entire ideological polarization that has always accompanied him (and which includes people arguing against his box office track record — which I have never seen equaled in any industry in India or outside that I am aware of — as well as his biggest films in all sorts of ways and at his peak period, which also includes the media being on a more or less relentless crusade against him and often in the most petty ways) will seem completely mysterious. However if one considers him to be more properly and more correctly not just India’s most influential cinematic force in commercial terms (no exceptions in any sense) but also the independent nation-state’s literally half dozen or less most influential cultural figures then the ‘politics’ of the trade and/or the media becomes easily explicable. Of course the fact that the trade is dishonest about Bachchan (or both Bachchans) more often than not (this should be obvious and instantly apparent to all those who are not invested in the worldview presented by the trade or the likes of BOI) is only part of the problem. Even if one didn’t believe this the fact is that the whole system of reporting on films and judging their box office success or failure using various metrics is at best deeply flawed and at worst (which is often actually the case) deliberately misleading and rising to the level of a blatant lie. The ‘Bachchan’ angle much like the IBOS one online allows people to evade the real questions here. So one keeps arguing whether Bachchan fans are misguided or not while completely avoiding the issue of whether the trade is reliable in the first instance or not. What I have seen consistently down the years is a set of proclamations like ‘I believe BOI are on the whole right’, ‘I think…..’ so on and so forth. It’s all just ‘opinion’ without the slightest shred of reasoning or evidence offered to convince anyone. It’s an old trick in politics and elsewhere in life that when you want to avoid the real question you raise a phantom one. IBOS might be the worst source out there but this hardly makes the others ‘honest’! And again leaving aside the issue of how almost all of the numbers and narratives we see in the media and from the so-called trade on various films are pretty much the same or maybe a couple tinkered around with at the edges (again this should be very obvious to all except those who are again invested in this worldview enough to want to believe in these ‘stories’) I get back to what lies at the heart of the matter. It is never just about stars. Yes people have favorites or not, they play partisan games and so forth. But this is a problem only at a very literal level. The larger issue is always one of the worldview implicit in these narratives. So for example people who’ve peddled SRK fairly or unfairly for years have unsurprisingly a rather deconstructive (read: hopelessly reductive) take on the history of Bombay cinema (read: Bachchan!). The shorthand for this ‘symptom’ is ‘Johar’. It’s not just one person but an entire attitude represented by the ‘economically emancipated’ classes of the ‘new India’ (read: those who’ve enjoyed a bull market on ‘consumption’). And it’s not about Bachchan or SRK or Aamir or any other star but what each ‘symbolizes’ to this mindset. I won’t repeat a great deal that I’ve said about all of this on very many occasions but my point here (again not for the first time) is that the ‘picture’ produced by the trade/media in this regard is perfectly consonant with this newly (or not so new by now) emergent worldview (which by the way finds its analogue in various kinds of political commentary as well). So when people take certain views on Bachhcan and then on contemporary stars and so on it is not that all these views are the very same (different people like different stars etc) but that the overall framework here is marked in certain ways and all those ‘smaller’ debates take place within it. And ‘Bachchan’ here has been this great controlling framework for a very long time. And so all these debates of the last couple of decades have been a reaction to him in some form or fashion even as he has been on the other hand ‘integrated’ into these new Indian ‘economies’ and often as its greatest representative. Again as I’ve said before the name ‘Bachchan’ represents two very different ideas of India. I should just add here that the truly revolutionary side of this signature deeply disturbed very many even in the 70s. But a symptom of all this is Abhishek’s own career where one can always seem him being pulled in contradictory directions in certain ways. And loved/hated by the audience for these very reasons in very singular ways (i.e. in ways not shared by other stars). all of this is quite complicated precisely because the larger forces and economies in play here transcend the biographies of different stars but equally these are marked by the Bachchan ‘event’. So at a literal level one might argue with a Taran or a Nahata or whoever but the whole argument makes sense only when the larger framework is understood for what it is. Not that one cannot argue about factual matters otherwise and in fact this should be the easiest thing to do given the obvious machinations of the trade and the equally obvious biases of the media, both evident on really a daily basis. But again it’s not that people are somehow more convinced by the ‘trade’ and so forth. They choose to be so because they like the overall narrative implicit in such reporting. And this too is hardly a novel suggestion. We approach the present and the past depending on what our ideological orientations are. ‘Facts’ exist but are meaningless without those larger frameworks. So yes William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066. So what?! One has to know more of the historical narrative in every sense to really fathom what this ‘fact’ means. But the moment one gets into the ‘narrative’ the ideological operations come into play. Because the very same fact means very different things depending on one’s historical perspective.

      Like

  20. Arundhuti Roy feels and believes that all the people of India who supports Jan Lokpal Bill excepts few who are like her or few for whom she writes are all unintelligent and vogus.But she failed to know by her life that when people comes into street by self motivation they never can be defeated by the ruling class as long as they bear a good leadership. Peoples of India proudly believes in ANNA as a strong leader who emerges out as a result of failure people’s Democracy in our country for last several decades.

    i want to warn her to witness the future struggle for a new Democracy which just sparked by Team ANNA.

    I also believe she has nothing to offer as of now to the common people of our country.

    She is now an agent of those bhrastacharis.

    Like

  21. iffrononfire Says:

    http://sharmilasays.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/arundathi-roy-vs-shalini-singh/

    Over the last few weeks with the Anna Hazare campaign reaching feverish heights, there have been many celebs who have been contributing their two cents and suddenly emerging from darkness to either speak for or against Hazare. Everybody wants to be a part of this revolution for more reason than one, whether they believe in the cause or not. I have been undoubtedly Anna’s well wisher and have written on a few occasions in the Times of India in favor of the Janlokpal and the importance of it’s implementation. I also believe that reasonable opportunities must be given for a debate in parliament on the merits and demerits of both the Lokpal and the Jan Lokpal bill. I also think that a trial version of the lokpal could be implemented and it may give the Government, Anna’s team and the public a reasonable chance to improvise and improve. There is no one way to get things right and we may not be necessarily right the tenth time either, but lets not stop trying.

    Anna’s fast has now entered the tenth day and it is vital that he stays alive and healthy to steer the ship to the finish. There is enough of media coverage on Anna and the support that he has been getting is staggering. There have also been many points of view on Anna in the recent past. There are two articles that have caught my eye. One steers off from a sensible trajectory and borders on cynicism, whilst the other dissects the well oiled anti Anna pro Congress trajectory in a very logical fashion. The contributions are from Booker prize winner Arundathi Roy and the counter blog is from Times of India Assistant Editor in New Delhi, Shalini Singh.

    I share both versions of the same :

    I’d rather not be Anna – Arundathi Roy

    If what we’re watching on TV is indeed a revolution, then it has to be one of the more embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times. For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you’re likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind.

    For completely different reasons, and in completely different ways, you could say that the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common — they both 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. (In this one, the Government collaborates by doing everything it possibly can to overthrow itself.)

    In April 2011, a few days into Anna Hazare’s first “fast unto death,” searching for some way of distracting attention from the massive corruption scams which had battered its credibility, the Government invited Team Anna, the brand name chosen by this “civil society” group, to be part of a joint drafting committee for a new anti-corruption law. A few months down the line it abandoned that effort and tabled its own bill in Parliament, a bill so flawed that it was impossible to take seriously.

    Then, on August 16th, the morning of his second “fast unto death,” before he had begun his fast or committed any legal offence, Anna Hazare was arrested and jailed. The struggle for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill now coalesced into a struggle for the right to protest, the struggle for democracy itself. Within hours of this ‘Second Freedom Struggle,’ Anna was released. Cannily, he refused to leave prison, but remained in Tihar jail as an honoured guest, where he began a fast, demanding the right to fast in a public place. For three days, while crowds and television vans gathered outside, members of Team Anna whizzed in and out of the high security prison, carrying out his video messages, to be broadcast on national TV on all channels. (Which other person would be granted this luxury?) Meanwhile 250 employees of the Municipal Commission of Delhi, 15 trucks, and six earth movers worked around the clock to ready the slushy Ramlila grounds for the grand weekend spectacle. Now, waited upon hand and foot, watched over by chanting crowds and crane-mounted cameras, attended to by India’s most expensive doctors, the third phase of Anna’s fast to the death has begun. “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is One,” the TV anchors tell us.

    While his means may be Gandhian, Anna Hazare’s demands are certainly not. Contrary to Gandhiji’s ideas about the decentralisation of power, 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. The Lokpal will have the powers of investigation, surveillance, and prosecution. Except for the fact that it won’t have its own prisons, it will function as an independent administration, meant to counter the bloated, unaccountable, corrupt one that we already have. Two oligarchies, instead of just one.

    Whether it works or not depends on how we view corruption. Is corruption just a matter of legality, of financial irregularity and bribery, or is it the currency of a social transaction in an egregiously unequal society, in which power continues to be concentrated in the hands of a smaller and smaller minority? Imagine, for example, a city of shopping malls, on whose streets hawking has been banned. A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares to those who cannot afford the prices in the malls. Is that such a terrible thing? In future will she have to pay the Lokpal representative too? Does the solution to the problems faced by ordinary people lie in addressing the structural inequality, or in creating yet another power structure that people will have to defer to?

    Meanwhile the props and the choreography, the 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. They signal to us that if we do not support The Fast, we are not ‘true Indians.’ The 24-hour channels have decided that there is no other news in the country worth reporting.

    ‘The Fast’ of course doesn’t mean Irom Sharmila’s fast that has lasted for more than ten years (she’s being force fed now) against the AFSPA, which allows soldiers in Manipur to kill merely on suspicion. It does not mean the relay hunger fast that is going on right now by ten thousand villagers in Koodankulam protesting against the nuclear power plant. ‘The People’ does not mean the Manipuris who support Irom Sharmila’s fast. Nor does it mean the thousands who are facing down armed policemen and mining mafias in Jagatsinghpur, or Kalinganagar, or Niyamgiri, or Bastar, or Jaitapur. Nor do we mean the victims of the Bhopal gas leak, or the people displaced by dams in the Narmada Valley. Nor do we mean the farmers in NOIDA, or Pune or Haryana or elsewhere in the country, resisting the takeover of the land.

    ‘The People’ only means the audience that has gathered to watch the spectacle of a 74-year-old man threatening to starve himself to death if his Jan Lokpal Bill is not tabled and passed by Parliament. ‘The People’ are the tens of thousands who have been miraculously multiplied into millions by our TV channels, like Christ multiplied the fishes and loaves to feed the hungry. “A billion voices have spoken,” we’re told. “India is Anna.”

    Who is he really, this new saint, this Voice of the People? Oddly enough we’ve heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern. Nothing about the farmer’s suicides in his neighbourhood, or about Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer’s agitations or the blight of SEZs. 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. (Anna withdrew that statement after a public outcry, but presumably not his admiration.)

    Despite the din, sober journalists have gone about doing what journalists do. We now have the back-story about Anna’s old relationship with the RSS. We have heard from Mukul Sharma who has studied Anna’s village community in Ralegan Siddhi, where there have been no Gram Panchayat or Co-operative society elections in the last 25 years. We know about Anna’s attitude to ‘harijans’: “It was Mahatma Gandhi’s vision that every village should have one chamar, one sunar, one kumhar and so on. They should all do their work according to their role and occupation, and in this way, a village will be self-dependant. This is what we are practicing in Ralegan Siddhi.” Is it surprising that members of Team Anna have also been associated with Youth for Equality, the anti-reservation (pro-“merit”) movement? The campaign is being handled by people who run a clutch of generously funded NGOs whose donors include Coca-Cola and the Lehman Brothers. Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, key figures in Team Anna, has received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation in the last three years. Among contributors to the India Against Corruption campaign there are Indian companies and foundations that own aluminum plants, build ports and SEZs, and run Real Estate businesses and are closely connected to politicians who run financial empires that run into thousands of crores of rupees. Some of them are currently being investigated for corruption and other crimes. Why are they all so enthusiastic?

    Remember the campaign for the Jan Lokpal Bill gathered steam around the same time as embarrassing revelations by Wikileaks and a series of scams, including the 2G spectrum scam, broke, in which major corporations, senior journalists, and government ministers and politicians from the Congress as well as the BJP seem to have colluded in various ways as hundreds of thousands of crores of rupees were being siphoned off from the public exchequer. For the first time in years, journalist-lobbyists were disgraced and it seemed as if some major Captains of Corporate India could actually end up in prison. Perfect timing for a people’s anti-corruption agitation. Or was it?

    At a time when the State is withdrawing from its traditional duties and Corporations and NGOs are taking over government functions (water supply, electricity, transport, telecommunication, mining, health, education); at a time when the terrifying power and reach of the corporate owned media is trying to control the public imagination, one would think that these institutions — the corporations, the media, and NGOs — would be included in the jurisdiction of a Lokpal bill. Instead, the proposed bill leaves them out completely.

    Now, by shouting louder than everyone else, by pushing a campaign that is hammering away at the theme of evil politicians and government corruption, they have very cleverly let themselves off the hook. Worse, by demonising only the Government they have built themselves a pulpit from which to call for the further withdrawal of the State from the public sphere and for a second round of reforms — more privatisation, more access to public infrastructure and India’s natural resources. It may not be long before Corporate Corruption is made legal and renamed a Lobbying Fee.

    Will the 830 million people living on Rs.20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war?

    This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India’s representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people. In which not a single democratic institution is accessible to ordinary people. Do not be fooled by the flag waving. We’re watching India being carved up in war for suzerainty that is as deadly as any battle being waged by the warlords of Afghanistan, only with much, much more at stake.

    Arundhati Roy’s anti-Anna tirade: High on anger, short on rigor – Shalini Singh

    While the rest of the world is saluting the birth of a miracle – the manifestation of the best of the human spirit in a peaceful movement that is uniting millions of people across religions, geographies and social and economic groups – Arundhati Roy has seized the opportunity to be intellectually irreverent.

    Sadly, her vituperative dismissal of this powerful human revolution in her piece, ‘I would rather not be Anna’ published in the Hindu, is short on factual rigor, even challenging her own convoluted reasoning in places. According to her, “If what we’re watching on TV is indeed a revolution, then it has to be one of the more embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times. For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you’re likely to get: tick the box – (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind”.

    The depth, magnitude and importance of this mass movement is clearly lost on Roy. Had Roy watched television carefully, she would notice that Team Anna has gone to great lengths to educate the public, holding press briefings on minute aspects of the Jan Lokpal Bill, while comparing it section by section with the government Lokpal Bill. If the mood and expression of the audience is nationalistic, it is only because they feel it is the best way to express solidarity. In no way does it suggest that people are unable to differentiate between the Jan Lokpal Bill and what they consider the toothless ‘Jokepal’ Bill so carelessly tossed up by the government – a bill which in Roy’s own admission, is indeed, “so flawed, that it was impossible to take seriously”.

    Roy believes that, “For completely different reasons, and in completely different ways, you could say that the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common – they both 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”.

    The facts – if Roy had the time and patience to analyze them – speak otherwise. Unlike the Maoist movement (in which Ms Roy may no doubt be the expert), the Jan Lokpal Bill does not seek a change in regime. It only seeks a change of response from the regime. Not a single word has been spoken about bringing the government down and misunderstandings to that effect have been effectively countered by Team Anna. Nor is Anna’s ‘army’ largely urban or better off – it encompasses all segments of society, with its ideology and sentiment even infiltrating rural India.

    Roy goes on to offer another blinkered spin of Anna’s illegal prison detention, not highlighting that it was illegal, but pointing out, “cannily, he (Anna) refused to leave prison, but remained in Tihar jail as an honored guest, where he began a fast, demanding the right to fast in a public place. For three days, while crowds and television vans gathered outside, members of Team Anna whizzed in and out of the high security prison, carrying out his video messages, to be broadcast on national TV on all channels. (Which other person would be granted this luxury?)

    Reality check Ms Roy: Anna Hazare was not in jail. After his release, he was in the office of the DG–Prison, which does not qualify as ‘jail’ under the jail manual. Movement to meet someone who is in the office of the DG–Prison is different from someone who is jailed. No video recordings were made or brought in and out of the Tihar premises when Anna Hazare was in jail. The fact that Ms Roy blurs the difference between jail (prison) and the DG’s office because it is situated in the same compound demonstrates her complete lack of understanding of how the prison system works. While Roy could be forgiven for not being able to comprehend such subtle differences, her choosing to mislead the nation and demean the selfless sacrifice of a man for the betterment of the country may not.

    Yet, Roy persists. She writes: “Meanwhile 250 employees of the Municipal Commission of Delhi, 15 trucks, and six earth movers worked around the clock to ready the slushy Ramlila grounds for the grand weekend spectacle. Now, waited upon hand and foot, watched over by chanting crowds and crane-mounted cameras, attended to by India’s most expensive doctors, the third phase of Anna’s fast to the death has begun. “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is One,” the TV anchors tell us”.

    For the past 65 years, the MCD has routinely undertaken maintenance and preparation of grounds such as Ramlila for peaceful political rallies and religious/social events – a guarantee offered under the Constitution. This was not an exception, as Roy attempts to make it out to be, especially since the government itself offered the Ramlila Maidan as a venue.

    According to Roy, “While his means may be Gandhian, Anna Hazare’s demands are certainly not. Contrary to Gandhiji’s ideas about the decentralization of power, 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. The Lokpal will have the powers of investigation, surveillance, and prosecution. Except for the fact that it won’t have its own prisons, it will function as an independent administration, meant to counter the bloated, unaccountable, corrupt one that we already have. Two oligarchies, instead of just one”.

    Roy is obviously confusing the need to create a central structure which is aimed at benefiting the poorest of the poor down to the villages with her interpretation and understanding of Gandhiji’s ideas. Contrary to Roy’s conclusions, a central body empowered to control or reduce corruption will ultimately deliver maximum benefits to those who are most vulnerable. Anna, like his role model, Mahatma Gandhi, has never made a speech without speaking about the strength and importance of the Gram Sabha, or how the poorest of the poor need to be benefited through this legislation. Clearly, Roy is spending little or no time whatsoever listening to what Anna and his team repeats three times a day on every channel while arguing their case.

    As far as the structure is concerned, without question, there may be scope for improvement, but that will be no different from any other attempts at drafting Bills that have been made in the past. It is for this reason that legislations are open to amendments based on practical, on-ground experience. While Roy is perfectly within her right to question the future success of a legislation, perhaps a more pro-active approach could have been to provide superior, well reasoned alternatives.

    Roy has trashed Anna’s fast by stringing together a list of other fasts which she believes are equally important. However, the people of India, in their wisdom, have decided to support a fast which opposes corruption. Is Roy expressing her intolerance and anger with the masses for backing the fast of a 74-year-old Gandhian? Is that an enlightened or democratic or intellectually acceptable line to take, or could one possibly dare to urge Ms Roy to respect the people’s right to choose their own cause?

    Roy’s article reaches yet another intellectual low point. She writes: “Who is he really, this new saint, this Voice of the People? Oddly enough we’ve heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern. Nothing about the farmer’s suicides in his neighborhood, or about Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer’s agitations or the blight of SEZs. He doesn’t seem to have a view about the Government’s plans to deploy the Indian Army in the forests of Central India”.

    The truth is that Anna Hazare has spoken in great detail about the plight of the Indian farmer, including the Pune events. He has spoken about the improvement of the downtrodden, including in his village. Roy is simply not paying attention. What would you prefer Ms Roy – for us to question why you do not speak about corruption with the same passion as you do about Maoists and question your motives, or congratulate your efforts in a handpicked area of your choice?

    In another lethal attack, Roy writes: “He (Anna) 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. (Anna withdrew that statement after a public outcry, but presumably not his admiration.)”

    Anna’s view of development in Gujarat and his humility in withdrawing it after realizing what implications it may have, is a sign of his greatness, not his weakness. Is he not allowed some human flaws? Is Roy infallible? Will Roy write an apology letter after reading this factual dissection of her article? If she does, as Anna did, then she would demonstrate courage in seeking a public apology after having written a piece that is factually wrong and makes unsubstantiated allegations.

    Like this one. “Is it surprising that members of Team Anna have also been associated with Youth for Equality, the anti-reservation (pro-’merit’) movement? The campaign is being handled by people who run a clutch of generously funded NGOs whose donors include Coca-Cola and the Lehman Brothers. Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, key figures in Team Anna, has received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation in the last three years. Among contributors to the India Against Corruption campaign there are Indian companies and foundations that own aluminum plants, build ports and SEZs, and run Real Estate businesses and are closely connected to politicians who run financial empires that run into thousands of crores of rupees. Some of them are currently being investigated for corruption and other crimes. Why are they all so enthusiastic?”

    Assuming that Roy’s insinuations are correct, she fails to make the point that she hopes to since she is now arguing against herself. Is it her case that these corporates who are facing anti-corruption charges are funding a legislation which will lead to the reduction, if not the removal, of corruption and therefore cause a huge dent in their profits (because by definition they have done well out of arbitrage and corruption)? Or does she, like the Prime Minister, see some sophisticated conspiracy (foreign hand) which she is neither able to establish nor substantiate?

    Ms Roy’s argument about corrupt corporates funding anti-corruption legislation can only have two meanings. Either these companies are completely suicidal and stupid (in which case the movement must accept such monies since it kills corruption) or are now reformed from the corruption disease (in which case they are welcome as new-found allies). Please pick your case, Ms Roy.

    Roy’s flawed reasoning continues: “Now, by shouting louder than everyone else, by pushing a campaign that is hammering away at the theme of evil politicians and government corruption, they have very cleverly let themselves off the hook. Worse, by demonizing only the Government they have built themselves a pulpit from which to call for the further withdrawal of the State from the public sphere and for a second round of reforms — more privatization, more access to public infrastructure and India’s natural resources. It may not be long before Corporate Corruption is made legal and renamed a Lobbying Fee”.

    Not a single such demand has been made in any speech or statement by those supporting the Jan Lokpal Bill. In sharp contrast to Roy’s weak attempt at a racy spin, Team Anna has argued that greater availability of legitimate funding through the exchequer will allow the state to play a more effective and comprehensive role in delivering services to those who need it the most. Statements by Team Anna about the State withdrawing from public infrastructure or governance is a figment of Roy’s imagination and she is welcome to place any that she can produce on record.

    Roy wants to know if “the 830 million people living on Rs 20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war?”

    That is a good question. The answer is Yes. It is well established that reduction in corruption helps reduce and eventually eradicate poverty, though the extent can vary. If Roy has an alternate economic analysis to present, she should do so.

    Roy, in her wisdom warns us, “Do not be fooled by the flag waving. We’re watching India being carved up in war for suzerainty that is as deadly as any battle being waged by the warlords of Afghanistan, only with much, much more at stake.”

    Is Roy serious in comparing Anna Hazare to the Taliban? Even Roy’s biggest supporters will have to distinguish between a violent, bloody, autocratic, drug-based, anti-human rights, anti-women regime of the warlords in Afghanistan versus a peaceful, honest, voluntary, non-violent protest against corruption in India.

    Demeaning the efforts of millions of people who are willing to sacrifice self interest for a larger cause, trashing even print and television journalists (your own allies when it is convenient to you), displays a lack of grace, even when it is delivered in snotty English-with-a-twist, careless Cafe Coffee Day-style edit pieces.

    You could do better, Arundhati Roy. You could do better.

    P.S. My criticism of Arundhati Roy’s lack of rigor and unsubstantiated allegations is not intended to take away from her achievements in support of many worthy causes. Only this time, she has got it totally wrong.

    Like

  22. alex adams Says:

    good 1 Iffronfire ^^
    “when it is delivered in snotty English-with-a-twist, careless Cafe Coffee Day-style edit pieces.”—haha—easy 2 write coffee-day pieces! im thinking of writing some just to “annoy” some people!! lol

    Like

  23. Some of the comments above are juvenile at best. It’s clear to see that Team Anna is playing a subversive game. Even after the government’s assurance that the Jan Lokpal Bill will be brought on the floor of both houses tomorrow, Anna remains immovable on continuing his fast. This is when some of his close advisers are imploring him to call the fast off. In the interest of the nation the fast must be called off. If anything does happen to Anna it will take only one match to set the tinderbox alight. Then we’ll see how Gandhian the movement will continue to be.

    Corruption is evil, everyone agrees. But does that mean that the views of just one party takes precedence? I think not. The Jan Lokpal draft must also be open to scrutiny by people at large, including law experts but not barring the common man, and if there are some lacunae changes should be introduced. But what does team Anna say? The bill must be adopted ad verbatim ( at least on some points ) or the sword of ‘fast’ still hangs. Where does that leave democracy, pray tell me. Just because the movement is at the center of power, Delhi, does that mean the rest of the nation must follow? Or is it just majority politics at play here?

    As a JNU professor of history said on NDTV tonight, a movement must also have it’s point of disengagement. If there is no faith in the state machinery at all, why insist on the parliament’s approval of the bill? Why not just go ahead and use the Ramlila grounds to sanctify the bill?Or is it legitimacy they want? But legitimacy bought at the point of a sword is hardly legitimacy at all. The fact is that through one way or another a point has been reached where mass movement must end and dialogues take over. Anna and his team must be given credit for what they have achieved but the time is for discussions and not threats.

    The UPA government’s arrogance has been brought down a few notches and that’s a welcome sight. But team Anna must now leave the decision to sobriety and sane discussion. Not hold the entire nation to ransom by issuing ultimatums and threats.

    Like

    • “The fact is that through one way or another a point has been reached where mass movement must end and dialogues take over.”
      Well UPA Government agreed to talks even in April but soon reneged on most of the promises during talk. Why should we believe second time would be different or for that matter any politician when Lokpal bill has been in parliament for good 42 years and Women reservation bill for last 15 years? But yes someone has to trust other for ending this detente.

      Like

    • iffrononfire Says:

      they brought the bill because of huge pressure not any charity … what are the chances they might not screw this time like they did last time in april….

      lokpal has beeen put forward in parliament right from j.p’s time and it clearly indicates how much sincere parliamentarians are when a 74 year old agitation have finally make them into senses thanks to people …how can one describe it as failure of democracy

      arm chair intellectualism didn’t serve any purpose earlier….btw they haven’t brought the anna’s bill but a mmixture of his ,aruna roy’s and j.p’s bill…chances are again parliament discusses it and comes to no universal solution

      Like

      • iffrononfire Says:

        and why should hazare beleive government when they repeatedly told lies ….time and again its state who has been afraid of transparency not hazare

        Like

  24. I agree with the comments of Atuh, esp this last bit–

    The UPA government’s arrogance has been brought down a few notches and that’s a welcome sight. But team Anna must now leave the decision to sobriety and sane discussion. Not hold the entire nation to ransom by issuing ultimatums and threats.

    Like

    • We have a fleeting memory. I don’t think one should rest until this has Presidents’s signature. But I agree you have to give small leeways here and there.

      Like

    • Agree with him. But I think some written assurances/agreement and future course must be decided ( No verbal assurances).

      Like

  25. @ Munna. Agree.

    Like

  26. i agree

    Like

  27. Who will comment in the parliament ? all the politicians who are or all the parties many members who are already corrupted? So we the people writing in the blog are quiete satisfied whatever decission will be there within the parliament by those persons. This is well known that the level of voting politics of India has reached its culminating corrupted point. Its the failure of our parliamentary system or the political system which compelled to extinguish the fire which is called ANNA Hazare and the people of India are on and will be on .

    A parallel obsevation is really require to keep the environment clean and fair. Can any one tell why there should not be any assurance on the three points raised by ANNA Team and supported by many peoples???

    Read and write ANNA’s Movement as a n initiation of Independence Struggle of India which is still in-complete.

    People’s Property , Money and resources everything have been looted by these voting politicians powered by our constitution through the peoples of India in the name of fake Democracy. The scams and all bhrastrachars have already crossed the level when English was in power and we were under them. Now as Power was exchanged by them towards the Indian colours Politicians.

    People of India already understood the fact by living 64 years after so called independence, at the cost of their lives but not by the AC room writing blogs by us.

    Without further wasting time, if we really an indian we should stand and should put input to strengthen and making streamline of the movement raised by People’s ANNA.

    Its Very Sad that some of us still believe that those voting politicians who crossed all limits will do something favourable for INDIA. So they feel we should stop and abide by the resolutions whatsoever taken in the Parliament.

    But unfortunately be sure, its never going to be happen as the peoples of India already in their stand.

    Like

  28. ANNA IS A MOST SENIOR ACTIVIST IN INDIA WHO’S LIFE IS A PROOF OF THAT. HE UNDERSTOOD OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM BY HIS ALL LIFE WORKS AND STRUGGLES.

    HE KNOWS THE SYSTEM BETTER THAN US BY HIS LIFE.

    WE ARE ONLY CRITICS AND LIVING A HIGH DIGNITY LIFE AT THE COST OF THE PEOPLE SUFFERINGS.

    WE ARE ALSO CORRUPTED BY SUCH INSISTING OF STOPPING ANNA.

    RATHER WE SHOULD ENRICH HIS MOVEMENT AT LEAST PUT A BRICK ON THAT.

    WE MAY HAVE GOT MANYTHING FROM THIS SYSTEM BUT MAJORITY OF PEOPLES ONLY GOT SUFFERING AND THE CIVILIZATION HAVE BEEN BUILT ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF THEIR SUFFERINGS.

    BE SURE, TIME IS KNOCKING AT THE DOOR, WAKE P SIDS, ITS TIME TO CHANGE AND RECONSTRUCTION OTHERWISE YOU WILL BE CRASHED BY THE COLLAPSE UNDERNEATH WHICH YOU MAY HAVE THOUGHT YOU ARE SAFE AND WILL BE SAFE…..

    JAGO JANOGON JAGO…..

    Like

  29. supriya bansal Says:

    I pretty much agree with Ms. Roy.Also adding on to what she said, the people who are demanding to bring Mr PM under the purview of Jan Lokpal Bill , have they ever bother to thought that how much political instability it will bring to the country. Crores of rupees will have to be spent evertime reelections happen and will be a big put off for MNCs who will be never sure of govt. policies.
    Would like to ask one question here:
    Are we trying to merge legislative, execution and judiciary under one single control ????…can this ensure a corrupt free nation or will add another level of corruption in the hieararchy

    Like

    • Bhalo_Manush Says:

      “have they ever bother to thought that how much political instability it will bring to the country. Crores of rupees will have to be spent evertime reelections happen ”

      So let corruption happen through PMO…and why do you think re-election will happen…recently Lokayukta convicted Karnataka chief minister in mining scam..did re-election happen in karnataka?? rather i think PMO will be always alert against scams like 2G and CWG if PM will be brought under Lokpal…

      Like

  30. just finished watching Singham- kicks some serious a%%, Fuc% Jan Lok pal bil, if we have 20-30 Singhams in India, we do not need Jan Lok Pal…….
    Aside- I am surprised that Bukhari or any commie has not complained that Singham is Hindu leaning cop movie………….

    Devegan and Prakash raj rock…

    Asaide- with the Tamil Nadu movie Industry and Rajneekant speaking in favor of Anna hazare..the commies are in further shock and are speechless….yeh kya ho gaya????/ SINGHAM!!!!!

    Like

    • older comment from Abzee:

      “My big concern with this film, with every new promo (especially the latest promo with a face/off between Ajay and Prakash) is that it seems to be dangerously flirting with a political angle that the filmmakers have no clue of. In the new promo, Prakash Raj claims to have 500 Kannadigas behind him, only for Ajay to respond that he is a Maratha and can bring 10,000! This is a film that will please Shiv Sena and its long unreasonable crusade to have the Marathi speaking regions of South Goa and North Karnataka aligned with Maharashtra.”

      Like

    • Satyam- this was not there in the movie that I saw…I was referring to the BGM that plays whenever Singham is on the move……
      But looks like Abzee was right , because there were protest, and they did have to delete that scene….

      Like

  31. This is reply against Supriyo Bansal statement. He is so worried about MNC and Reelections. He is worried about crores of people’s money for re-elections but not worried about lakh/Crore crores scams for last 64 years. ‘Bhalo Manush ‘ has given an instance against his statement.

    He has no solution to the running problems, might be he is so benefited with the system.

    ???????

    Like

  32. Supriya bansal Says:

    political instability i said because everytime Lokpal will try to investigate charges against PMO there will be a huge clamour asking for his resignation thanks to our overreactive semiemployed youth….and yea…u r talkin abt domestic level changes ..but i am sayin how credible wil it look at an international level to have new PMO …..and u know @Malay Kumar…i am indirectly worried about common people only when i am talkin abt MNCs as u shud not forget the contribution of thse companies in the GDP of our country and employement they have provided to our people…and yea…how many people are non corrupt who are today protesting on road against corruption…. ??? also these scams will continue to prevail as long as people wont change their attitude rather than bringing new committies everytime there is a crisis suiation…we should be focus on bringing efficiecy to the system rather than changing the systems…..

    Like

    • iffrononfire Says:

      what mnc’s most of the parliamentarians are themselves serving corporate interest

      in 2 g scam they where involved (corporates)

      in cwg irregularity to specific companies where involved

      …is there transparency while awarding bids to companies

      mnc’s will always be around because of our youths only to whom you are abusing …. india is one of the largest market having youngforce

      mnc’s are not doing charity but earning heavy profits to .. how many of them are transparent in paying taxes and for giving pink slips in the name of cost cutting

      Like

      • iffrononfire Says:

        if people are non currupt law will automatically generate fear and the base of corruption starts from lowest level and thats why people are shouting from rooftop to include lower hierchy

        corruption is present everywhere in world but difference is in there in terms of scale and today automatically a remeady is required …

        a proper monitoring and effecient law will automatically result in efficient system

        btw unusual to see barkha’s agitation on voting today …it was more amusing than the last time when she cried kasab shouldn’t be hanged as he is teenager …really funny

        Like

  33. @Supriyo Bansal: “how many people are non corrupt who are today protesting on road against corruption…. ???”, What shall we understand from this? So not to shout against corruption? What are the root causes of Corruption? @ Supriyo Bansal ” am talkin abt MNCs as u shud not forget the contribution of thse companies in the GDP of our country and employement they have provided to our people” -What were the necessity of forming MNC’s during and after 2nd World War. And this is the workability of the peoples for which they earned their value in terms of money which is also not given properly by the system, they are always undermined by the system. It is the Work force of Indian workers who contributed greater to those MNCs to attain more Profit. MNCs are grateful to us because we provide quality works with lesser wage to them. Thats why they always like to take us in their Organisation. We respect our Work value not The MOTTO of MNCs.

    Today each and every single office in India except negligible honest persons are involved in Bribe amounting Rs. 1.0 to Rs. 1,80,000.00 Crores of rupees. So Shall we stop our voice.

    The largest nos. of amendments have been done in our Constitution in India for last 64 years. Largest in World. Because everytime when an urge of change was required and voice was raised by the people it was diverted by some worthless debate and an amendment has been done which ultimately stop working after certain time.

    Rather shouldn’t we feel that our political system specially the people’s representative shall be always in the eye’s of the People. That’s why the JAN LOKPAL.

    The constitution of India will be reformed/reconstructed within near future by the demand of people to establish New Democratic India as a whole. This is only a matter of time to see how the reconstruction/reforming steps are taken up by the people. ANNA has just sparked and the fire starts burning the garbages of our prevailing system.

    Like

  34. iffrononfire Says:

    congratulations to all fellow sensible indians who are in india and outside of india

    its the real power of people which was evident when allmost whole of parliament speaking the language of anna(including those who abused , ridiculed , arrested and threatened him)…. finally after all lies voting and bill will be cleared today only

    Like

  35. Roy is to be complemented on an excellent description of the fraud Anna is being manipulated into executing. It is the death of the Indian pseudo democracy that is being executed. It is the corruptors and the corrupted that needs prosecution and punishment. Not a word about the 20 billionaire crime families that are at the root of all the corruption in India. Anna would have been thrown into a boiling pot of curry before anything could have even been discussed regarding the ruling elite. All that was discussed was the puny democracy allowed to the Indian masses. Roy is quite right the masses will have to pay twice to get what they need to survive. Eventually the new anti-democratic bureaucracy will eliminate the old democracy bureaucracy. No need to bribe this new form of government because it will be purely a corporate fascist state, which exists solely for exploitation and war. The Indian capitalists are already cutting a deal with the US capitalists in order to prepare a deal which allows them the technology they need to fight the new Chinese capitalist empire. American capitalists specialize in getting other capitalists to weaken themselves in cruel wars and flying in like vultures to feast on the remains of the war. Anna in his phony Gandhian fraud is a puppet being used to eliminate the first obstacle to the Global war, i.e. the Indian democracy. To really fight corruption, one must fight the source of all corruption and that is in global imperialism as represented by the Anglo Saxon imperialists US and England assisted by its other European flunkies. I am by the a human being born white and in the US,but now a Marxist Revolutionary. The only solution for what ails Humanity every where lies in the unification of the World’s proletariat in a final battle against global vulture capitalism. richrallen@msn.com

    Like

    • wow!

      Like

    • iffrononfire Says:

      cconspiracy theories, name calling and what else

      btw none of the capitalists came forward to support this movement and i guess from your name you are from west …. one never understand why west is so much obsessed with portraying india as cheap where mediocre writers like arvind and arundhati gets bookers…a slumdog gets oscar which is a cheap imitation of 70’s and 80’s class of masala cinema

      this is a reform which was pending for 40 years and one wonder why so husy and cry …. it needed desperation especially when in last 40 years a cancer called corruption has reached to the greater heights

      Like

  36. Congratulation to Anna Hazare & his Team for this Victory of the People over their own Representatives & Public servants, who have for all practical purposes become their Bosses & started demanding & getting unlawful/illegal Gratification from the people for each & every work ,which they are otherwise suppose to do as a part of their duty. .But , this Victory is just a beginning & We have a long way to Go to get it implemented in its true spirit to enjoy the fruits of this Bloodless struggle for Second Freedom.

    Like

    • iffrononfire Says:

      and ya they needed to be active to get further reforms going especially in other fields

      they laughed at hazare’s rti intially to but it has done commendable job in exposing scams in rurall level and brought out some transparecy atleast

      Like

  37. najmu rajwani Says:

    A couple of days back I got a ride in the car of an acquaintance. He started talking animatedly about the ongoing agitation for Jan Lokpal Bill. He seemed to be a vociferous supporter of the Jan Lokpal Bill and a bitter and harsh critic of the so-called ‘Sarkari Lokpal Bil’, but let alone study, he had read neither. He was a huge fan of the agitation’s leader, the person, persona, protest, process, procedure, et al.
    Then he jumped a traffic light, was stopped by a traffic cop and asked to pay a fine. The great supporter of anti corruption started arguing and then requested the cop to settle the matter for a consideration saying he had no use of the penalty receipt. Here I excused myself and got out of the car. This incident set me thinking about the agitation and its supporters.
    It is ok to jump a signal, if a cop asks us to pull over after that it is very bad. If the cop performs his duty by asking us to pay a penalty, the system is unfair and stifling. If we try to wriggle out by offering bribe we are practical, but when the cop accepts our offer of bribe, he is corrupt and we feel the Jan Lokpal Bill is essential.
    May be many of us support the agitation because :
    1. We want to jump signals but do not want to pay a bribe
    2. We want to talk on our cellphones while driving but do not want to pay a bribe
    3. We want to drive without seat belt but do not want to pay a bribe
    4. We want to drink and drive but do not want to pay a bribe
    5. We want to ride a 2 wheeler without a helmet but do not want to pay a bribe
    6.We want our Driving Licence without waiting at the RT Office but do not want to pay a bribe
    7.We want all government related work to be done out of turn in the least possible time by jumping ques and without merit by inconveniencing others but do not want to pay a bribe
    8. We want to buy and sell goods without bills to evade tax, but only when the concerned officer lets us go by taking a bribe we call it corruption.
    9. We want to conceal our Income and evade Income Tax but if our assessment comes up for scrutiny we call it harassment and if the ITO asks us to pay the penalty and interest the system is rotten. If we get away by paying a bribe which is a small fraction of our tax liability it is corruption
    10. We want to bring from abroad commercial quantities of dutiable goods and walk through the green channel without declaring the goods to the authorities. A custom official stopping us and asking us to pay duty is not doing his duty according to us but infringing on our fundamental right to cheat our Nation.
    With this kind of attitude all around us and within us neither Jan Lokpal Bill, nor Sarkari Lokpal Bill, Bahujan Lokpal Bill or Aruna Roy’s Lokpal Bill can make any difference. All these bills put together and a hundred such Lokpal Bills will be futile.

    There were marches in support of the agitation by Doctors, Lawyers and Jewellers. A question worth pondering is how many doctors receive all their fees by cheques, refrain from receiving kickbacks from Diagnostic labs for referrals and do not accept incentives from pharmaceutical companies for prescribing their medicines. Similarly how many lawyers do not bend the system to win cases for their clients and offer their complete Income for taxation. Does anybody think that all the jewelers participating in the rally conduct their complete business with bills?

    If the leadership of the agitation is sincere in its purose it should request the supporters to withdraw their support to the agitation unless :

    1. They have never violated a law knowingly and/or intentionally
    2. If at all they have violated any law
    unintentionally they have come forward to accept their misdemeanour and suffered the penalty before being hauled up and compelled to do so
    3. They have never evaded any tax of the Union, State or Local Authority
    4. They have never taken advantage of any voluntary or otherwise scheme for disclosure of unaccounted money
    5. They have always paid Salaries, Bonus, Overtime, PF Contribution to their business and domestic employees as per the relevant laws
    6. They have never paid or received any bribe anytime in their life
    7. They have got their children admitted to educational Institutes without paying any Donations which is a euphimism for bribe

    8 All the jewellery owned by them and their family members is purchased with accounted money against tax invoices and all of it is assessed to wealth tax, wherever applicable.

    9. They have never paid any cash or black money for buying any property.

    With such a condition for accepting the support the leadership of the agitation will lose in numbers but gain in quality of support and moral authority.Mahatma Gandhi always gave equal importance to purity of means and purity of ends. People calling themselves Gandhians must at least do this. Without this the agitation is and will remain a Tamasha and a poor simpleton from a Maharashtra village may end up losing his life

    Like

    • Well Gandhi ji was accused of supporting Nehru when Patel or Bose were dominant. Or Kasturba Gandhi might have a different take on Gandhi ji!

      We can see any situation with multiple prisms and think our view is holistic but at the end of day we all in different level of Plato’s cave!

      Agree with most of the comment but the questions is; does the system treat everyone same. Even in mature democracies people kill, speed, text and do all kind of things. But the difference is system. I agree that both parties are at fault but there should be enough checks that will make untenable for both of them to deal in bribes.

      Like

  38. So do i agree with you Ms. Roy… we as a mass of india are heading in to a more and more of centralization of power with immense powers toinvestigation, surveillance, or prosecution for those who dare to think beyond the set norms… In my opinion nothing more than a well controlled fascist corporate economy…

    Like

  39. iffrononfire Says:

    from facebook:

    August 25, 2011 at 12:19am A REPLY LETTER WRITTEN BY: NITIN GUPTA (RIVALDO) B. Tech, IIT Bombay ON Rahul Gandhi: “I feel ashamed to call myself an INDIAN after seeing what has happened here in UP”. Dear Rahul, YOU REALLY WANT TO FEEL ASHAMED??????? But don’t be disappointed, I would give you ample reasons to feel ashamed… You really want to feel Ashamed..? * First Ask Pranav Mukherjee, Why isn’t he giving the details of the account holders in the Swiss Banks. * Ask your Mother, Who is impeding the Investigation against Hasan Ali? * Ask her, Who got 60% Kickbacks in the 2G Scam ? * Kalamadi is accused of a Few hundred Crores, Who Pocketed the Rest in the Common Wealth Games? * Ask Praful Patel what he did to the Indian Airlines? Why did Air India let go of the Profitable Routes ? * Why should the Tax Payer pay for the Air India losses, when you intend to eventually DIVEST IT ANYWAY!!! * Also, You People can’t run an Airline Properly. How can we expect you to run the Nation? * Ask Manmohan Singh. Why/What kept him quiet for so long? * Are Kalmadi and A Raja are Scapegoats to save Big Names like Harshad Mehta was in the 1992 Stock Market Scandal ? * Who let the BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY Accused go Scot Free? (20,000 People died in that Tragedy) * Who ordered the State Sponsored Massacre of SIKHS in 84? * Please read more about, How Indira Gandhi pushed the Nation Under Emergency in 76-77, after the HC declared her election to Lok Sabha Void! * WHY ONLY HIGHLIGHT THIS ARREST? Dear Rahul, to refresh your memory, you were arrested/detained by the FBI the BOSTON Airport in September 2001. You were carrying with you $ 1,60,000 in Cash. You couldn’t explain why you were carrying so much Cash. (Incidentally He was with his Columbian girlfriend Veronique Cartelli, ALLEGEDLY, the Daughter of Drug Mafia. 9 HOURS he was kept at the Airport. Later then freed on the int

    Like

  40. iffrononfire Says:

    full text:

    THE CURIOUS CASE OF RAHUL GANDHI

    Rahul Gandhi: “I feel ashamed to call myself an INDIAN after seeing what has happened here in UP”.

    PLEASE DON’T BE ASHAMED OF U.P. YET

    Please don’t be ashamed of Uttar Pradesh yet. Congress ruled the State for the Majority of the duration Pre Independence to Post Independence.. from 1939 to 1989 ( barring the Periods of Emergency.. Thanks to your Grand Mom Indira G. and a couple of transitional Governments)

    8 out of the total 14 Prime Ministers of India have been from UP, 6 out of those 8 have been from Congress…

    I think your party had more than half a century and half a Dozen PM’s to build a State…

    The Reason Mulayam Singh, subsequently came to Power is because your party wasn’t exactly Gandhian in their dealings in the State.. So May be If you look at in totality the present chaos in UP is the outcome of the glorious leadership displayed by Congress in UP for about 50 years!

    So Please don’t feel ashamed as yet Dear Rahul.. For Mayawati is only using the Land Acquisition Bill which your party had itself used to LOOT the Farmers many times in the Past!

    WHY DIDN’T YOUR PARTY CHANGE THE BILL WHEN IT WAS IN POWER FOR SO LONG?

    Not that I Endorse what Mayawati is doing.. What Mayawati is doing is Unacceptable..

    But the past actions of your party and your recent comments, puts a question mark on your INTENT and CONSISTENCY.

    YOU REALLY WANT TO FEEL ASHAMED

    But don’t be disappointed, I would give you ample reasons to feel ashamed…

    You really want to feel Ashamed..?

    First Ask Pranav Mukherjee, Why isn’t he giving the details of the account holders in the Swiss Banks.

    Ask your Mother, Who is impeding the Investigation against Hasan Ali?

    Ask her, Who got 60% Kickbacks in the 2G Scam ?

    Kalamdi is accused of a Few hundred Crores, Who Pocketed the Rest in the Common Wealth Games?

    Ask Praful Patel what he did to the Indian Airlines? Why did Air India let go of the Profitable Routes ?

    Why should the Tax Payer pay for the Air India losses, when you intend to eventually DIVEST IT ANYWAY!!!

    Also, You People can’t run an Airline Properly. How can we expect you to run the Nation?

    Ask Manmohan Singh. Why/What kept him quiet for so long?

    Are Kalmadi and A Raja are Scapegoats to save Big Names like Harshad Mehta was in the 1992 Stock Market Scandal ?

    Who let the BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY Accused go Scot Free? ( 20,000 People died in that Tragedy)

    Who ordered the State Sponsored Massacre of SIKHS in 84?

    Please read more about, How Indira Gandhi pushed the Nation Under Emergency in 76-77, after the HC declared her election to Lok Sabha Void!

    (I bet She had utmost respect for DEMOCRACY and JUDICIARY and FREE PRESS)

    I guess you know the answers already. So My question is, Why the Double Standards in Judging Mayawati and members of your Family and Party?

    I condemn Mayawati. But Is She the only one you feel Ashamed for?

    What about the ones close to you? For their contribution to the Nation’s Misery is beyond comparison.

    You talk about the Land being taken away from the Farmers. How many Suicides have happened under your Parties Rule in Vidarbha ? Does that Not Ashame You ?

    THE 72,000 CRORE LOAN WAIVER

    Your Party gave those Farmers a 72,000 Crore Loan Waiver. Which didn’t even reach the Farmers by the way.

    So, Why don’t you focus on implementing the policies which your govt. has undertaken, instead of earning brownie points by trying to manufacture consent by bombarding us with pictures of having food with Poor Villagers….

    You want to feel ashamed. You can feel ashamed for your Party taking CREDIT for DEBITING the Public Money (72,000 crores) from the Government Coffers and literally Wasting it…

    You want to feel ashamed.. Feel ashamed for that…

    WHY ONLY HIGHLIGHT THIS ARREST?

    Dear Rahul, to refresh your memory, you were arrested/detained by the FBI the BOSTON Airport in September 2001.

    You were carrying with you $ 1,60,000 in Cash. You couldn’t explain why you were carrying so much Cash.

    Incidentally He was with his Columbian girlfriend Veronique Cartelli, ALLEGEDLY, the Daughter of Drug Mafia.

    9 HOURS he was kept at the Airport.

    Later then freed on the intervention of the then Prime Minister Mr.Vajpayee.. FBI filed an equivalent of an FIR in US and released him.

    When FBI was asked to divulge the information, by Right/Freedom to Information Activists about the reasons Rahul was arrested … FBI asked for a NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE from Rahul Gandhi.

    So Subramaniyam Swami wrote a Letter to Rahul Gandhi, ” If you have NOTHING to HIDE, Give us the Permission”

    HE NEVER REPLIED!

    Why did that arrest not make Headlines Rahul? You could have gone to the Media and told, “I am ashamed to call myself an INDIAN?”.

    Or is it that, you only do like to highlight Symbolic Arrests (like in UP) and not Actual Arrests ( In BOSTON)

    Kindly Clarify…..

    In any case, you want to feel ashamed, Read Along…

    YOUR MOTHER’S SO CALLED SACRIFICE OF GIVING UP PRIME MINISTER SHIP in 2004.

    According to a Provision in the Citizenship Act.

    A Foreign National who becomes a Citizen of India, is bounded by the same restrictions, which an Indian would face, If he/she were to become a Citizen of Italy.

    (Condition based on principle of reciprocity)

    [READ ANNEXURE- 1&2]

    Now Since you can’t become a PM in Italy, Unless you are born there.

    Likewise an Italian Citizen can’t become Indian PM, unless He/She is not born here!

    Dr. SUBRAMANIYAM SWAMI (The Man who Exposed the 2G Scam) sent a letter to the PRESIDENT OF INDIA bringing the same to his Notice. [READ LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT IN ANNEXURE -3]

    PRESIDENT OF INDIA sent a letter to Sonia Gandhi to this effect, 3:30 PM, May 17th, 2004.

    Swearing Ceremony was scheduled for 5 PM the same Day.

    Manmohan Singh was brought in the Picture at the last moment to Save Face!!

    Rest of the SACRIFICE DRAMA which she choreographed was an EYE WASH!!!

    Infact Sonia Gandhi had sent, 340 letters, each signed by different MP to the PRESIDENT KALAM, supporting her candidacy for PM.

    One of those letters read, I Sonia Gandhi, elected Member from Rai Bareli, hereby propose Sonia Gandhi as Prime Minister.

    So SHE was Pretty INTERESTED! Until She came to know the Facts!

    So She didn’t make any Sacrifice, It so happens that SONIA GANDHI couldn’t have become the PM of INDIA that time.

    You could be Ashamed about that Dear Rahul!! One Credential Sonia G had, Even that was a HOAX!

    THINK ABOUT YOURSELF.

    You go to Harvard on Donation Quota. ( Hindujas Gave HARVARD 11 million dollars the same year, when Rajiv Gandhi was in Power)

    Then you are expelled in 3 Months/ You Dropped out in 3 Months…. ( Sadly Manmohan Singh wasn’t the Dean of Harvard that time, else you might have had a chance… Too Bad, there is only one Manmohan Singh!)

    Some Accounts say, You had to Drop out because of Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassination.

    May be, But Then Why did you go about lying about being Masters in Economics from Harvard .. before finally taking it off your Resume upon questioning by Dr. SUBRAMANIYAM SWAMI (The Gentlemen who exposed the 2G Scam)

    At St. Stephens.. You Fail the Hindi Exam.

    Hindi Exam!!!

    And you are representing the Biggest Hindi Speaking State of the Country?

    SONIA GANDHI’s EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

    Sonia G gave a sworn affidavit as a Candidate that She Studied English at University of Cambridge

    [SEE ANNEXURE-6, 7_37a]

    According to Cambridge University, there is no such Student EVER! [ SEE ANNEXURE -7_39]

    Upon a Case by Dr. Subramaniyam Swami filed against her,

    She subsequently dropped the CAMBRIDGE CREDENTIAL from her Affidavit.

    Sonia Gandhi didn’t even pass High School. She is just 5th class Pass!

    In this sense, She shares a common Educational Background with her 2G Partner in Crime, Karunanidhi.

    You Fake your Educational Degree, Your Mother Fakes her Educational Degree.

    And then you go out saying, ” We want Educated Youth into Politics!”

    Letters sent by Dr. Swami to EC and then Speaker of Lok Sabha are in ANNEXURE 7_36 &7_35 RESPECTIVELY

    Contrast that with Gandhi Ji , who went to South Africa, Became a Barrister, on Merit, Left all that to work for South Africa, then for the Country….

    WHY LIE ABOUT EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS?

    Not that Education is a Prerequisite for being a great Leader, but then you shouldn’t have lied about your qualifications!

    You could feel a little ashamed about Lying about your Educational Qualifications. You had your reasons I know, Because in India, WE RESPECT EDUCATION!

    But who cares about Education, When you are a Youth Icon!!

    YOUTH ICON

    You traveled in the Local Train for the first time at the Age of 38.

    You went to some Villages as a part of Election Campaign.

    And You won a Youth Icon!! … That’s why You are my Youth Icon.

    For 25 Million People travel by Train Everyday. You are the First Person to win a Youth Icon for boarding a Train.

    Thousands of Postmen go to remotest of Villages. None of them have yet gotten a Youth Icon.

    You were neither YOUNG Nor ICONIC!

    Still You became a Youth Icon beating Iconic and Younger Contenders like RAHUL DRAVID.

    Shakespeare said, What’s in a Name?

    Little did he knew, It’s all in the Name, Especially the Surname!

    Speaking of Surname, Sir

    DO YOU REALLY RESPECT GANDHI, OR IS IT JUST TO CASH IN ON THE GOODWILL OF MAHATMA?

    Because the Name on your Passport is RAUL VINCI.

    Not RAHUL GANDHI..

    May be if you wrote your Surname as Gandhi, you would have experienced, what Gandhi feels like, LITERALLY ( Pun Intended)

    You People don’t seem to use Gandhi much, except when you are fighting Elections. ( There it makes complete sense).

    Imagine fighting elections by the Name Raul Vinci…

    It feels sadly Ironic, Gandhi Ji, who inspired Icons like Nelson Mandela ,Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon, across the world, Couldn’t inspire members of his party/ Nehru’s Family, who only seem to use his Surname for the purposes of FIGHTING ELECTIONS and conveniently use a different name on their PASSPORT.

    You use the name GANDHI at will and then say, ” Mujhe yeh YUVRAJ shabd Insulting lagta hai! Kyonki aaj Hindustan mein Democracy hai, aur is shabd ka koi matlab nahin hai!

    YUVRAJ, Itna hi Insulting lagta hai, to lad lo RAUL VINCI ke Naam se!!! Jin Kisano ke saath photo khinchate ho woh bhi isliye entertain karte hain ki GANDHI ho.. RAUL VINCI bol ke Jao… Ghar mein nahin ghusaenge!!!

    You could feel ashamed for your Double Standards.

    YOUTH INTO POLITICS.

    Now You want Youth to Join Politics.

    I say First you Join Politics.

    Because you haven’t Joined Politics. You have Joined a Family Business.

    First you Join Politics. Win an Election fighting as RAUL VINCI and Not Rahul Gandhi, then come and ask the youth and the Educated Brass for more involvement in Politics.

    Also till then, Please don’t give me examples of Sachin Pilot and Milind Deora and Naveen Jindal as youth who have joined Politics..

    They are not Politicians. They Just happen to be Politicians.

    Much Like Abhishek Bachchan and other Star Sons are not Actors. They just happen to be Actors (For Obvious Reasons)

    So, We would appreciate if you stop requesting the Youth to Join Politics till you establish your credentials…

    WHY WE CAN’T JOIN POLITICS!

    Rahul Baba, Please understand, Your Father had a lot of money in your Family account ( in Swiss Bank) when he died.

    Ordinary Youth has to WORK FOR A LIVING.

    YOUR FAMILY just needs to NETWORK FOR A LIVING

    If our Father had left thousands of Crores with us, We might consider doing the same..

    But we have to Work. Not just for ourselves. But also for you. So that we can pay 30% of our Income to the Govt. which can then be channelized to the Swiss Banks and your Personal Accounts under some Pseudo Names.

    So Rahul, Please don’t mind If the Youth doesn’t Join Politics. We are doing our best to fund your Election Campaigns and your Chopper Trips to the Villages.

    Somebody has to Earn the Money that Politicians Feed On.

    NO WONDER YOU ARE NOT GANDHI’S. YOU ARE SO CALLED GANDHI’S!!

    Air India, KG Gas Division, 2G, CWG, SWISS BANK Account Details… Hasan Ali, KGB., FBI Arrest..

    You want to feel ashamed..

    Feel Ashamed for what the First Family of Politics has been reduced to…

    A Money Laundering Enterprise.

    NO WONDER YOU ARE NOT GANDHI’S BY BLOOD. GANDHI is an adopted Name. For Indira didn’t marry Mahatma Gandhi’s Son.

    For even if you had one GENE OF GANDHI JI in your DNA. YOU WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN PLAGUED BY SUCH ‘POVERTY OF AMBITION’ ( Ambition of only EARNING MONEY)

    You really want to feel Ashamed.

    Feel Ashamed for what you ‘ SO CALLED GANDHI’S’ have done to MAHATMA’S Legacy..

    I so wish GANDHI JI had Copyrighted his Name!

    Meanwhile, I would request Sonia Gandhi to change her name to $ONIA GANDHI, and you could replace the ‘R’ in RAHUL/RAUL by the New Rupee Symbol!!!

    RAUL VINCI : I am ashamed to call myself an Indian.

    Even we are ashamed to call you so!

    P.S: Popular Media is either bought or blackmailed, controlled to Manufacture Consent!

    My Guess is Social Media is still a Democratic Platform. (Now they are trying to put legislations to censor that too!!)

    Meanwhile, Let’s ask these questions, for we deserve some Answers.

    For we are all Gandhi’s. For Bapu is the Father of the Nation!

    To know more, Try looking for Dr. SUBRAMANIYAM SWAMI. He is the reason today 2G SCAM is being Investigated!!!

    YOURS SINCERELY

    NITIN GUPTA ( RIVALDO)

    B.Tech, IIT Bombay

    Like

  41. omrocky786 Says:

    No Muslim in India is even told that Hindus in Pakistan are now being forced to consider seeking asylum in India. Owaisi, in fact, seemed to spread disinformation on the influx from Bangladesh. He told parliament: “I would say that the population of Bangladesh, when Bangladesh was created, Muslims were three crore; Hindus were three crore. As of now, Muslims in Bangladesh are 13 crore; and Hindus in Bangladesh are 1.5 crore. Sea cannot swallow so many Hindus of Bangladesh! Where have they gone? This is the question I leave it to the wisdom of Mr Advani.”

    http://www.firstpost.com/india/mumbai-violence-reinventing-the-muslim-victimhood-stance-416071.html

    Like

    • omrocky786 Says:

      jinhe naaz hai commnistaan par , woh kahan hain???

      Like

    • Asaduddin Owaisi is a toad — his party is a descendant of the Razzakars from the 1940s, with newfound legitimacy in independent India because many members of the minority community end up voting for him in Hyderabad even if they’re not necessarily on board with everything he stands for, on the grounds that he is the only one who’ll stand up for them (especially true in the Old City)…

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.