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Updated: October 28, 2011 02:23 IST

I can't be party to power-broking, says Rajendra Singh

Sunny Sebastian
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Rajendra Singh said there was
The Hindu
Rajendra Singh said there was "no place for decent people in Team Anna". File photo

Team Anna has deviated from goal of fighting corruption

Waterman Rajendra Singh has accused Team Anna of straying from its goal of fighting corruption and turning into a “bunch of power brokers.” The success with the public during the Delhi fast of social activist Anna Hazare made them give up all pretensions to democratic functioning while at collective action, he charged.

Mr. Singh, along with another social activist P.V. Rajagopal, recently quit the core group of Anna Hazare's movement protesting against its taking sides in the just concluded Hisar Lok Sabha by-election.

“There is no place for decent people in Team Anna. There is no inner democracy there. When we demand that the governments function more democratically, how could we ignore this aspect within our movement,” Mr. Singh, who was here, asked, talking to The Hindu on Thursday. “I quit the group because I could not have been a party to the kind of power brokering they did in the Hisar by-election,” he said.

“At the outset, it was decided that the movement would not have anything to do with party politics. Even when the central theme is fighting corruption, Team Anna supported corrupt persons.”

Mr. Singh said the decision to take sides in the by-election was made without consulting all members of the core group.

Mr. Singh refuted the charge that his action was influenced by senior Congress leader Dijvijay Singh and also the fear of government retribution. “I don't have any special relation with any political leader. Also, I am not afraid of the governments. Those who take money from the government may be afraid of the government and I don't take any money.”

‘Too ambitious’

Team Anna forgot that the ultimate power belonged to the people, and started acting in “an arrogant and greedy” manner, he charged. The members got carried away, became too ambitious and forgot their original mission. “Even Anna Hazare seemingly forgot for a moment that power belonged to the people. The phenomenal success of his hunger strike, achieved with the help of the media, made his colleagues turn dictators,” Mr. Singh said.

Mr. Arvind Kejriwal “did maximum damage to the movement,” Mr. Singh said. After having been in government service, both Ms. Kiran Bedi and Mr. Kejriwal showed tendencies of dictating to others, he alleged. Mr. Singh, known for his community work in building johads (checkdams) and restoring nature's balance, said Mr. Hazare's movement was not talking about protecting natural resources, common property, rivers and waterbodies. Similarly, he said, there was no concern shown for the landless millions, for whom Mr .Rajagopal has been agitating.

“On my part, I don't want to harm Mr. Anna Hazare's movement but I believe what is going on now will not help to reduce corruption,” he asserted. “Common property is fast turning into corporate property and nobody seems to be bothered,” he said.

Mr. Singh said initiatives like that taken by Mr. Hazare were necessary in a democratic country. “I believe that there is reason and scope for such a movement to cleanse society of corruption. After the country gained freedom, many forms of corruption have crept into the system,” he said.

“We all want early enactment of the Lokpal. I am confident that the Bill, to be presented during the winter session of Parliament, would lead to legislation on a strong Lokpal. The UPA government has accepted the concept of the Lokpal,” he said.

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from:  Umesh
Posted on: Oct 31, 2011 at 01:57 IST

Mr Rajendra, It's pretty naive of you to think that corruption can be solved without the government's help or without forming a government. Without a politician on your side it's next to impossible for any positive steps to be taken for it's the government that decides who are worthy and who are unworthy, who are the terrorists, who are the naxals, who are the enemy of the state, who get jail time, who gets assassinated, who lives and who dies. It's dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. "In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity."

from:  Chockalingam Ramanathan
Posted on: Oct 29, 2011 at 07:03 IST

I think this person got scared that IT dept guys might visit his office. It is natural to have that fear. Everyone who has done business in India for some period would have done some unethical doing at some time or other. It might be even some petty, minor violation. But now, even minor acts will be magnified by the media, just to weaken the movement. Bhushan had to face the CD issue. Kiran Bedi has been accused of travel bills. Kejriwal has got IT notice for 9 lacs. These people have been disposed off. Now anyone who wants to take a serious leadership role in the anti-corruption movement will think ten times. Can Anna bring on board someone who is totally clean, someone whose account books are clean and someone not a charge can be made? Not a single soul will be available in India if you apply that yardstick. "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." That is what Rajinder Singh seems to have done!

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 23:09 IST

Atlast, I see some reasonable people taking wise decisions and also some comments which are realistic than all this melodrama of anti-corruption movement.Since India is pluralistic democracy, people like Bedi,Kejriwal,Sisodia and others are taking advantage of the freedom and bringing the whole country to a nightmare scenario.If it were China,Myanmar...well no need to go that far...take Pakistan...imagine where and what these people will be doing.First every citizen needs to respect the Country where they live in and respect well educated and experienced people like Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherji, P.Chidambaram...Has anyone even bothered to ask what these people are doing day-in and day-out...No!, because it is not dramatic...people like them are not shouting at top of their voices...not so interesting..but these people are sober and they are working very hard to make this country better everyday.I don't think any of them enjoy being in their posts but they are doing it as a service.

from:  Prem
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 19:01 IST

These are a bunch of hooligans who are hungry of power than our politicians, See how they projected themselves when the media was around them, And see the stories that have come out. Right from travel bills to funds being siphoned to their accounts has exposed their dirty game to the Indian civil society. You also have the RSS standing behind the whole episode. Seems they are pawns of the RSS who are working to get BJP back to power in 2014 elections.

from:  Muthukrishnan
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 18:31 IST

I think Rajendra Singh has been able to gauge the reality of Anna, Kejriwal & Bedi pretty accurately, although ideally he should have had a general sense of the same before he allowed his name to be written in the core committee list of Team Anna.
Anna has not just benefited due to the massive public response during his recent fast but has also gained due to the support received by him from many veteran activists with track records far superior than that of Bedi, Kejriwal, Sisodia and the likes.
Anna is in sync with what Kejriwal, Bedi and Sisodia wants. He talks tough against Prashant Bhushan (even desires to remove him from his core team) for his views on Kashmir even though Prashant had clearly expressed those views (in that Varanasi conference last month) as being personal. The senior Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan, is, unlike his son, slightly more tuned with the likes of Kejriwal and Bedi.
To me, Anna Hazare is coming across a thankless and selfish anti-corruption movement leader.

from:  Rajesh Gajra
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 16:16 IST

Agree with Rajendra singh...
Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi only seem to be enjoying the limelight. Both Bedi and Kejriwal are very arrogant...they have brought more damage to the movement against corruption..

from:  Periasamy Sankar
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 14:46 IST

People should spend some time and read about Rajendra singh. They'll realize that he doesn't need 'cheap' publicity. Anna, keriwal and bedi are arrogant limelight hungry people.

from:  Roit
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 14:00 IST

Mr. Singh is a respected person in the field of water. He should stick to his area of competence and refrain from being overly opinionated about Team Anna. Team Anna is fighting a political battle wherein elected members of Parliament will have to decide on the fate of the Lokpal Bill. Unless the politicians are pressured, they would stick with status quo. If he continues this criticism he will only cast aspersions on himself and his integrity wrt to the anti-corruption issue. We already have seen a mole in Swami Agnivesh.

from:  Rajinikanth
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 13:53 IST

I think corrupt politicians have started purchasing team anna members along with media

from:  priyanka
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 13:14 IST

They are both behaving like Agnivesh (The Great Mole). If they think that Anna team is not serious why don't they do what Anna is doing own their own. They are enjoying awards of Government and Government sponsored corruption like becoming chairman or members of some committees. Remember you cant expect that their hands will not be dirty when eating food. You cant say that they have to brush their teeth daily, and they have to take bath to remove daily dirt. You cant compare robbers to Anna Team and leave them with flimsy ground actualy hiding your fear of Government Machinery.

from:  arun kapootr
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 12:59 IST

Fight for a elimination of corruption devil taken deep roots requires determination and lots of mental strength. It is not possible that Rajender Singh & Rajagopal Ji did not understand the logic behind convassing against a party not provided written assurance of supporting Jan Lok Pal Bill. They have played tactics for some benefits as a try to disarray the movement against corruption. Its not ANNA and Team or Ramdev and team or BJP, anti-corruption call is from the Indian People and it cannot be white washed by any one now. Indian masses will win whether some leaders support the movement and play RAVANA role. Choice is theirs for generation to recognize.

from:  Kanwar Lal Fauji
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 12:58 IST

Yes, it is time that 'Team Anna' should remain intact, fastened together otherwise the 'Corrupt People in Power' will be able to succeed in their game plan with the help of these small time social workers, who could not do much for change in the social system.

from:  AKU
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 12:55 IST

Hi all,
I completely disagree with the comment quoted as "Anna,Kejriwal,Bedi has done much more for the nation". What they did?
People of India given support, hence the movement against corruption was not done only by these 3. Rather there are many more clean personalities in India whose name is not yet disclosed. Is team anna a political party? in Hisar by-poll do you think only Congress candidate was corrupt and other candidates are super clean 100%? Its great they started india against corruption and i fully support team anna but don't support their arrogant voice and dividend politics. Kind request to you all don't forgot your original mission. Again would like to say team anna should not be against a party rather to fight against corruption only.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 12:53 IST

Anna, Ramdev, Sri Sri, Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, and other members of Anna & Co., are 'above Parliament'. So, they are not subject to the law of the land. They cannot be held responsible for any wrong doing when they fudge records and swindle taxpayers' money. After all it is a matter of only several millions, or at the most several hundreds of crores, of rupees. All patriotic Indians should allow them to raise a hue and cry against corruption by other ordinary mortals, of course except BJP !

from:  abhimanyu
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 11:42 IST

I think Team Anna should be now more careful in choosing their team members. The timing when Mr. Singh and Rajagopal resigned from Team showed that there was something fishy. They resigned only when Team Anna's strenght was proved against congress. Why did he not resign when Anna first declared that he wud oppose congress in Hisar. And what does he mean by 'decent people'. People like Anna,Kejriwal,Bedi has done much more for the nation. If they are not decent, then no one is decent in India. He is just trying to make some cheap name for himself just like Agnivesh

from:  sonali
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 10:16 IST

I agree that Hisar campaign will be an important turn in the Anna movement and the support it gets from people at large. The only point I dont agree is about Mr. Hazare's movement not talking about water resources or the landless. While these are no doubt crucial for our sustenance, these were not core issues in the movement and Mr Rajendra Singh knew very well that it is not going to be so. He shouldn't be talking about it when he is talking about differences w.r.t Lokpal campaign.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 09:47 IST

A honest and candid opinion. The strength of movement was Public. Now the public is driffting away from Anna.Now his each action will be viewed with doubt. ALL his action compell us to belive taht incharge of movement is somebody else and Anna is MUKHATA only. The movement has failed

from:  bhupendra
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 08:52 IST

Rajendra Singh, the public valued your suggestions and contributions for
Anna`s team. However you seem to be out of feel with the times. You are
most welcome to have your views on Annas team and happenings there. Yet
do not forget the the wider picture of the fight against corruption.This
needs to be fought together.Rather than pass unnecessary comments which
reflect the turmoil in your mind support Anna`s movement from outside.

from:  p c chopra
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 08:30 IST

Mr.Rajendra Singh is talking sense. But I think mistakes made by
Kejriwal or anyone else are rather inadvertent and a result of over
enthusiasm. Yes, Anna's team might have been carried away by their
success and acted with over confidence. Involvement in Hisar elections
is clearly a case of indiscretion.

Anna's team would do well to try its best to bring back Mr.Rajendra
Singh and Rajagopal, two wise and committed people, keeping in view
the country's well-being and not their personal feelings.

I consider it rather uncharitable on the part of Mr.Rajendra Singh to
call Anna's team "power brokers". Being much elder to Kejriwal he
could have admonished and counselled Kejriwal. They ought not to have
left the core committee. They could have impressed upon them the need
for internal democracy. They too should have kept in mind the
country's well being.

For a perfect understanding of non-violence I recommend Tolstoy's The
Kingdom of God is Within You-on net- which inspired even Gandhiji.

from:  Narasimha Rao Jakkamsetty
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 08:04 IST

A year after President Obama was in office, George Bush was asked to comment
on of Obama's statements. His cryptic reply was "He deserves my silence". It is
appropriate to mull over this, vis-a-vis the cacophony that Anna Hazare's
movement has generated.The movement has indeed veered a trifle, but that is not
reason enough to smother it. Mr. Rajendra Singh has set himself a gigantic task
and I wish him luck. But to publicly criticise the movement and it's leaders smacks
of a king size ego. These social workers have every right to be at variance with
their colleagues, but should sort out matters in private, so as not to disillusion the
thousands of people, especially, the young, who finally saw hope that their India
might indeed be free of corruption, and move forward! Too much to ask?

from:  Leela Krishnaswamy
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 07:19 IST

It is now the "gang of four" Vs the "gang of three"! Kejrival,Bedi and Bhushan are self-appointed spokesmen for "team Anna" and operate willy-nilly with no clear mandate or message. At times, it is an embarassment to watch the gang of three make fools of themselves, just to make the news. Fighting corrution is like seeking cleaniness! We all want lots of it. In a Country where the License Raj has caused people to become corrupt and everything works through influence peddling, cleaning this up is not a simple matter that can be achieved through a "lokpal bill"! The reason why this theatre has survived for so long is because the BJP is desperately looking for an issue which will tarnish the Congress. Their own corruption scandals are not helping,but at least they are deflecting presure through the efforts of the gang of three!

from:  gita
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 04:56 IST

We, the general public,are in full agreement with the views of the above individual. Both Mr.Kejriwal and Kiran bedi would by now have realised their mistakes and follow hereafter the example of shri Anna Hazare who,by his Mauna vrat,has retained our faith in him to do good for the ountry.

from:  c.g.venkatesan
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 01:52 IST

It is good that this people leave, they have been either influenced, scared or both by this Diggy dude and congress, and obviously they seem to miss the point completely. Ghandi did not rely on anybody and I do not think Anna should. The movement's success will ultimately depend upon the passsage of a strong and I emphasize strong lockpal, and the agitation has to use any possible means (provided it is peaceful- the only requirement) whether you class that as political or not to get it done these people above all should know that congress does not want to bring this bill to pass for obvious reasons, it has been more than 60 years why would you do it now! Anna should be self sufficient and all Anna really needs is the support of the people and as a people we will support you Anna. GOANNAGO

from:  Desi
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 01:41 IST

I agree with Mr.Singh

We need to concentrate on building a true democracy which lies in distribution of wealth.

Empowering the common man should be the objective than trying to act like kids who have been snatched their candies to seek attention and being in the limelight.

Cheers to Mr. Singh to continue his good work. We need more people with focus like him than distracted individuals who seek attention constantly.

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 01:35 IST

In any people's movement, there will always be one or two central figures like independence or JP's movement, like you are the central figure in your movement. There may be a collective decision making in movements but ultimately buck stops with central figures. As the movement grows, some people may have bigger aspirations and that is when the central figures are labelled as un-democratic, arrogant or greedy. They clearly explained the reason in Hissar? Did Annaji not say that the power of land acquisitions should belong to panchayats? Does this not mean that Team Anna is concerned about the common man's needs?

Why do you want Annaji's help on the issues you both are fighting for? If you both are engaged in these, you inspire and mobilize people same way as Team Anna was able to inspire and mobilize. It is like the devil and deep sea for team Anna. If they act they are crucified and if they don't act they are willified. It is essential Team Anna be focused on anti-corruption now.

from:  Lakshminarayana
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 01:22 IST
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