The Anna Hazare movement is a precursor to an anti-reservation movement that is likely to follow in its wake, said speakers at a seminar on corruption here on Saturday.
The former Chairperson of the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission C.S. Dwarkanath alleged that people, who opposed the Mandal report and Ambedkar's struggles against the upper castes, were now supporting Anna Hazare.
According to K. Phaniraj, a lecturer, the anti-reservation sentiment rode on the back of the JP Movement and the later when the Mandal Commission submitted its report, L.K. Advani's Rath Yatra was organised. A similar sequence of events was happening now, he said. The seminar was organised jointly by Social Justice Forum, Sahamatha Vedike and Democratic Youth Association of India.
Mr. Dwarkanath said that he had refused to join the protestors in Bangalore because till date, he had never issued a receipt to his clients for the fees he charged. He said he wanted to ask the same question to the Bhushans and to Santosh Hegde.
Referring to the last speech that Ambedkar made in the Constituent Assembly, Mr. Phaniraj said that Ambedkar warned of the troubles that “modern India” would face: socio-economic inequalities, disrespect towards the Constitution and hero-worship. If one used these as the criteria to define corruption, then the government's policies favouring corporate companies would be considered as corrupt. According to Reserve Bank of India figures, non-performing assets of public sector banks for 2008-09 totalled more than Rs. 19 lakh crore. He said that it would take 100 crore years for India's poor people to earn that sum. When corporate companies take loans and fail to repay them, banks label them as Non-Performing Assets . “Banks simply write off this amount, nobody goes to jail,” he said.