‘The demand that Lokpal should cover PMO to the lowest government officer will create a second oligarchy'
Even as the ongoing fast by social activist Anna Hazare reached the sixth day on Sunday, writer and activist Arundhati Roy said it would in no way help solve the crisis.
“I feel rather uncomfortable over the developments in Delhi (Mr. Hazare's fast) and I am not wearing a cap as that of Anna. It is fundamental to understand what corruption is. Is it an accounting problem, financial irregularity or bribing?” she asked replying to queries at a press conference here.
The demand that the Lokpal Bill should cover the Prime Minister's Office to the lowest government officer would create a second oligarchy.
At a time when a majority of government's functions had been taken over by corporates in the liberalised era, questions on whether these would be brought under the Lokpal still persisted.
“The situation is indicative of collapse of representative democracy and there is not a single institution where the poor can go to represent their problems,” she said.
Ms. Roy said the country was at a dangerous place where all kinds of battles were underway for supremacy.
The revolutions taking place at the top and the bottom were being interpreted through a ‘hysterical media' which was trying to bombard and control public imagination.
Recalling the developments over the last one week, she said the government which agreed for constitution of a joint committee to draft the Bill in an unprecedented manner, however, tabled the Bill later. The arrest of Mr. Hazare had resulted in the movement losing its course and getting converted to ‘right to protest' rather than struggle against corruption.
The same attention was not given to victims of Posco, Kalinganagar and other areas who in fact lost their right to protest.
“Alternatives cannot be suggested in a six-second television byte,” she said when asked whether she was suggesting any alternatives.
Ms. Roy was equally critical of the government for its announcement on spending US $ 45 billion on weapons at a time when it could not wage wars with neighbouring Pakistan or China which were nuclear States. “There is no clarity on what and who these weapons are used against. Army is being deployed against the poorest of the poor and owners of small and marginal holdings are being asked to give their lands,” she said.