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Updated: January 10, 2012 11:29 IST

“Jan Lokpal Bill unGandhian”

Special Correspondent
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Writer Arundhati Roy at a book launch function in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: M. Vedhan
Writer Arundhati Roy at a book launch function in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: M. Vedhan

Describing most of the anti-corruption movements in the country as right-wing and majoritarian in nature, writer Arundhati Roy on Saturday said the Jan Lokpal Bill, which she said nobody had read, was totally an unGandhian piece of legislation. She alleged that it would concentrate power in the hands of a few.

Ms. Roy, who was here in connection with the release of a Tamil translation of her work Broken Republic published by Kalachuvadu, said a very strong anti-corruption law would always be a tool in the hands of the middle class to take advantage of the poor, who had already been alienated.

She stressed the need to view the anti-corruption movements in the country in the backdrop of the attempt to corporatise people's struggles and to turn people's anger into a blind alley.

Asked for a solution to the Maoist problem in the country, she wanted to know what would be the solution to the Indian government and its Prime Minister and Home Minister openly speaking about violating the Constitution, which she said “does not allow taking away the adivasis' lands and handing them over to corporate houses.”

She also wondered how one could preach to a person on giving up violence and following the Gandhian path when his hut was surrounded by CRPF men and women were raped.

Pointing to various struggles launched by the people across the country including the fight against the Nuclear Power Plant in Kudankulam, she said “to me these battles were somehow more profound than the battle for self-determination and ethnic nationalism.”

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I would just like Ms. Arundhati Roy to go and talk to Team Anna and their members. She is not engaging in any dialogue with Team Anna and just bad mouthing them which I think, is undemocratic and unGandhian. Team Anna might have been wrong at times and might have take some decisions in haste but it's the only party that promoted dialogue. Remember the opposition parties coming to Jantar Mantar, the Joint committee being formed. My dear intellectuals, it's not about winning arguments and scoring few brownie points, the cause is much bigger, realize it before a good chance is lost. We need a good ombudsman, doubts of it becoming draconian is like doubting the foundations of our democracy. Moreover, this legislation is not new, the concept of ombudsman has been tried in other countries with good results.

from:  Akramjeet Singh
Posted on: Jan 10, 2012 at 09:08 IST

Corruption is a universal problem.Corruption free society is a desirable universal concept.Anybody who invests his time and selfless effort on steering the society to a transperent destination ,must not be disabled by unworthy and unhealthy criticism.

from:  Radha Kumud Das
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 21:09 IST

I think Ms.Arundhati Roy becomes credible because of the comments against her calling her as "anti-national" by a vociferous section of the middle class -- the underlying reason for this is that she spoke for a majority which is suppressed and which is mostly voiceless namely the tribals and the poor and the minorities.

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 15:49 IST

As someone previously commented... the name of Gandhi has been miused a lot; In this case its Arundhati Roy who seems to have a grudge against how Lokpal movement is taking up the limelight and in her rage she has tagged it as "unGandhian" I have never seen her going into the details of the "hows" and "whys" of her stand/opinion on Lokpal. Her opinions usually make a superficial headline in the media.

from:  Vishwanath
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 10:54 IST

Ms. A Roy has voiced her concern and presented multiple issues: Jan Lokpal Bill,Corruption,Corporatism, Maoist. One may not agree fully with what she says. However, there's some undeniable truth. It's a healthy practice to know both side of the story to be unfanatic in our thinking or attitude. Presenting one's view is one's right. If any one is offended by it, it is suggested that the person may avoid discussion in future or learn to agree disagreeably. My Appreciation to Ms.Arundhati Roy once again.

from:  Shimray
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 10:39 IST

no generic statements!let her tell what is the % of funds(government) reaching the lower most section of society or group from each MLA/MP"S in his/her constituency,then we can listen to her! Its time for a change,no nonsense funda"s!!some reports says till 70s vibrant,clean and discipline leaders was ruling and after that "staus quo"!!

from:  G. Ashok
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 10:16 IST

I may not agree with eveything Ms. Roy says, but she has every right to give her often unique opinions. Mr. Roy is the difference between a vibrant democracy and a communist/dictatorship. Thank you Ms. Roy for putting up with us.

from:  Mahmut Maha
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 08:56 IST

Ms Arundhati Roy opinion is an old wine in new bottle and perhaps the media and Prannoy Roy may agree with her, but it is deeply flawed. First, Gandhian system/party has brought this massive corruption to Indian and Gandhi family is responsible for corruption cancer. In fact, they are not doing anything to fight corruption and come out clean, as many of them hold black money. Indian democracy and constitution failed to arrest corruption for the last 65 years and majority Indians do not trust the present system to clean corruption, thus Ms Roy argument is wrong and senseless! Moreover, it's important that Ms Arundhati Roy or Prannoy Roy may disagree with Mr Anna Hazare, but they have not put up even an iota of effort to fight the corruption due to vested interest. Finally, writing articles and debating on TV will not solve corruption and hope media realize this before it is too late!

from:  M V Chilukuri
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 08:07 IST

"Majoritarian"?? "Team Anna"'s flag wavers are a tiny bunch of people who are little more than a personality cult. Hundreds have been fighting corruption including the main members of Team Anna like Bedi, the Bhushans and Kejriwal since we've got independence and a draconian institution is hardly the best way to combat corruption. I admire them but they're just barking up the wrong tree. And who takes care of corruption in an anti-corruption agency? A Lokpal-like institution is an attraction to corruption. Instead of increasing transparency and accountability in the government, Team Anna wants yet another layer of auditors. Great idea for creating positions that's almost designed for spectacular abuse but bad idea for the way my taxes are spent. The Lokpal IS indeed a tool that can be used against the poor simply because the poor will never have access to it. It can and will be used against them as every institution in India is from the police to the judiciary is.

from:  Nirmal Kumar
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 03:00 IST

Has Ms. Roy provided any constructive criticism or a viable alternatives to the rampant corruption problem? At least for all the worts and all Team Anna tried to do something about it even when faced with opposition from the entire political class (off course they want to maintain the status quo as they are major beneficiary of the system). Ms. Roy should try doing something constructive before critiquing others.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 01:43 IST

The only way to combat corruption is to give a sever and equal jail term
for the person who is bribing and the bribe taker.
This way people will be scared to death of being in jail for a criminal
offence (bribing).

from:  Satish Kumaar TR
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 01:26 IST

Every educated Indian citizen would agree that corruption is the cause for many dismal
social parameters in our country even compared some countries like Sri Lanka, Malyasia
etc. I think Arundhati Roy should think before making any such statements, which probably
only for getting attention. Also she should do some reading to understand the causes why
India is still a third world country after 65 years of independence.

from:  Prakash Savanur
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 00:40 IST

@Nurul afrin,i don't know either you are politically inclined or writing from across the border(in that case doesn't matter) but if you are outraged by the statement of someone about Ms.roy,then let me remind you there many people who have this very firm view about her.
@Rafa,a middle class still has the choice in hand to escape but not your adavasi,funds for whom have been swallowed by politicians.
@Ajay baseless allegations?
@Rehan,bring corporate under lokpal,no problem.But Indians should thank god people like roy gives democracy its broadest band of color THE BLACK.@Krishna k singh,Maoism is an ideology and not a fight about few land grabbers@To all the supporter of Ms.roy's view do you know what Anna did wrong.He try to raise corruption issue in a country were 95% are corrupt and 99% will do it if it benefit them any how.

from:  Himanshu
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 00:37 IST

Good one, Mr Abhimanyu!
Mr KK Singh, may I remind you that the Jan LP Bill envisaged a 3-tier
check on the LP - as well as an expeditious process of removal of
corrupt LP's, via the Supreme Court! Your argument, that the LP is
above all, falls to the ground. What the Jan LP Bill did was that it
destroyed the Govt majority on the selection and removal of the LP,
not that the Govt was absent, but it was not a majority - it would
have to present its views alongside the CVC, CAG, SC judges etc. If
that is too much for the Govt to bear?
Inclusion of corporates would be excessive strain on the LP. Maybe we
can have another team to check corruption there. But doesn't it strike
people that if the LP can clean up the political scene, wherefrom will
the corporates get the muscle to get their way?
If the Govt is clean and firm, corporates, media houses, NGO's, civil
society groups, all will have to follow suit. Because it is the govt
which runs the country, not the corporates.

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 00:27 IST

recent international research on internet commenting has shown that many ideological groups esp those with rightist-fascist tilt have started paying people for writing comments so as to influence public opinion...maybe such research is needed in India too!!

from:  Karthik
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 00:20 IST

She is right. How can you fight corruption by making laws when whole society is corrupt in many ways? Gandhi's way of fighting corruption may be at the social level. The movement in current form will fail miserably. Even after passing the law, 5 years from now we will be talking the same thing.

from:  Keshav
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 00:19 IST

Why people like arundhati always say that no one have read JanLokpal. Those who are in favor of it, are majorly from middle/higher middle class. And they are educated. No one will come on road, for no-reason. Those on roads, have read it, then only they are supporting it. She is making such statements because she has not found any supporters.

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 00:14 IST

She never fails to elicit reactions, even when she says nothing at all!!

from:  Sajinder
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 23:23 IST

she said it, got attention as arundhati roy wrote some thing and do read it in tamil. Talking about lokpal in a book release means a free advertisements across media for her book.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 23:05 IST

The poor are used by all including intelligensia to further their arguments. I truly fail to understand how Jan Lokpal is going to be anti-poor! We are not talking of FDI or income-tax levels here. Anna's stance maybe tilted more to the right in the eyes of Roy but that does not mean the issue is a right-wing issue! Corruption has become a way of life in the country and needs to be uprooted.

from:  Monica
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 22:58 IST

Its not mandatory that Gandhian Principles should be there for everything, but everything should have its own policy. Passing of any bill is nonsense if the concerned do not make the points in bill in practical. How many culprits still shining in the public though they are criminals....!

from:  Shihabudheen Kadangode
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 21:57 IST

I read the article and listened to the interview. Ms. Roy has some important points to
make. But she is clearly prejudiced. I recall her comments that Anna ended his fast
and was immediately admitted to a private hospital where, as she puts it, "you are
charged one lakh rupees for breathing in and out." One can level the same criticism
against Mohan Das Gandhi who frequently accepted the hospitality of champions of
capitalism. Her crude references to the fact that some of the members run NGO-s
that derive financial support from Ford Foundation imply that they are mouth pieces
of World Bank and the like. One would expect someone like Ms Roy to stop
mudslinging and offer constructive criticism. Yes, the plight of Adivasis is important.
Yes, the suicides of farmers is important. Yes, the case against the military atrocities
in some cases in Kashmir and other places are important. No one sincerely following
Anna's campaign condones the status quo in these matters.

from:  R.VENKATARAMAN
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 21:02 IST

What is wrong with the middle or the rich class taking advantage in the matter of anti corruption through Jan Lokpal. Do the poor not want a corruption free society too? Is she trying to justify the right to corruption in the name of the poor - as though they are the only citizens of the country? Enough is enough. The general public is fed up with this corruption. This must be ended at any cost.Instead of criticising the good intentions behind the bill, she should rather concentrate on her writings.

from:  S. Narayan
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 20:49 IST

I cant agree more. Thankfully there is a voice against the right wing 'civil' society.

from:  Srikar
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 20:14 IST

Arundhati is right. Why Team Anna refused to include in the Jan Lokpal the suggestion made by Justice Santhosh hegde to keep corporates under the purview of Lokpal? Why they are silent about the corporates misusing the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Funds ? In the age of Globalization the role of the government is shrinking day by day. If we want a clean governance we have to monitor the Corporates first.I request Arundhati to take up the issue of CSR and force the Corporates to use the huge money for the welfare of the poor.

from:  Ravikumar
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 20:06 IST

Dear Arundhati Roy,
Jan Lok Pal Bill was unGandhian according to you. What is Gandhian according to you? Have you ever drafted your own Lokpal Bill? It is very easy to criticise. You seems to belong to the Parivar of Aruna Roy,Harsh Mander, N.C. Saxena, Agnivesh,Diggy Raja, Mallika Sarabhai etc.who can find fault with any scheme, suggestion,programme or speak against against any person.

from:  S.C. Aggarwal
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 19:55 IST

It is claimed that crores of people are behind Anna Hazare In support of the Jan Lokpal bill which would eradicate corruption from India.If this supportive crowd determine not to pay bribe of any kind to any official,corruption would stop automatically.It is the people who make the officials corrupt.The people who want their jobs done quickly and out of normal rules & regulations are willing to pay anything to avoid long wait and related procedures.If the party has some political connection then the pressure on the official mounts,to such extent sometimes threatening the officials job itself.What should an ordinary person do under such circumstances,except budging even under loss of pride and dignity? where one official is corrupt, hundreds of citizens are the beneficiaries through corrupt means.Only if they decide to stop
giving bribe,corruption can be stopped.There are forums to complain against a corrupt official to stop his/her corruption,but what can be done about the people?

from:  Raju varghese
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 18:52 IST

all in all decent article but I am amazed by response shown by some journalist & that to be as Mrs Roy level. I don't know why people keep on criticizing anti corruption crusade by Annaji after all he has bring people demand in lime light. And secondly I have heard from many people stating that corruption will not eliminated by a Law, referring this I want to all those, that do we anticipate corrupt that their soul will purify some day, certainly not. It is same thing as to expect small kids to keep mum in a class in absence of any invigilator, then why we need laws, rules. They are part of this custom so that people follow them eventually can live peacefully. Friends we can't initiate then at-least shouldn't criticize, doing so can derail flow of motion. I think we should favor each and every movement which is for us with which our nation can ameliorate.

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 18:19 IST

If Ms. Roy is against the Jan Lokpal bill, what does she suggest? does she have an alternative to fight corruption? Also i request her to do not question the security of our country and study the Gandhi principles properly before misusing it.

from:  Shruti Priya
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 17:59 IST

"A very strong anti-corruption law would always be a tool in the hands of the middle class to take advantage of the poor, who had already been alienated". Really? I am sure Ms Roy's comments would be welcomed by all the corrupt politicians in the country.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 17:40 IST

She has rights to make a statement and we have rights to ignore that. What Anna Ji is doing to curb the corruption is absolutely correct.We need a strong Lokpal to address such issues.Any way when somebody started criticizing you that means you are on the right track.We are with you Anna Ji.

from:  Abhimanyu
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 17:39 IST

I do respect Arundati Roy for her comments on the Indian state and its authoritarianism. But of late she her views seems to have gone haywire, especially ever since the Anti-corruption movement started drawing the attention of the media and the people.By no stretch of imagination is the Jan Lokpal Bill "majoritarian" or authorirarian. It has maximum safeguards unlike other investigative agencies such as the CBI. Any citizen can move the courts against Lokpal members and get them investigated.It is time her bluff is exposed.

from:  Narasimhan P
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 17:31 IST

Arundhati has rightly said. I am also of the opinion that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Jan Lokpal Bill of Anna and company private limited is realy a dictatorial piece, keeping it above everything our Constitution, Parliament, Judciary etc. I Share the views of Arundhati that middle class will take another advantage of crushing the poor people. Middle class and upper class are worse enemies of poor in India! In the cover of doing good for poor people, middle class gang up with upper class to exploit the poor in India. As regards the solution of left or maoists agitation, Arundhati has rightly said land of poor and landless must be restored to them only than naxal problems will be over!

from:  Krishn Kumar Singh
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 17:29 IST

I couldn't agree more with Ms.Roy. I am happy that we still have
citizens pointing the naked Emperor and even more happier that the
message is being reported by THE HINDU. We seems to have lost our
focus and trying to solve corruption which is actually a symptom of
bigger issues like poverty, inequity, illiteracy among a host of
other dreadful problems. Added to this, it is heart breaking to see
Team Anna use the same tactics and methods which they are trying to
eradicate like Baseless allegations, blackmails in the name of
putting pressure, expensive campaigning etc.

from:  Ajay K
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 17:18 IST

Ms. Roy's concerns about adivasis and the other marginalised sections of the Indian society are commendable. When the entire media of the country are focused on the concerns of the rich and the middle class, we need someone like her to bring to our public memory the lot of the marginalised and the shame of poverty in the land.

from:  Rafa
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 16:10 IST

The Ten commandments given thru Moses in the Bible has been summarized by Jesus in two commandments. "1. Love GOD with all ur heart, mind and soul. 2. Love ur neighbour as you love yourselves." If all people follow these commandments all the problems in the world will be solved. Take each incident in your life and try to understand the meaning of these words. You will find all the answers you were looking for. LOVE by nature is giving, not receiving.

from:  Ajith
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 14:05 IST

It is outrageous to read the comment of one of our friend citing Ms Roy as anti nationalist.One drawback of
the Anna movement is the view that anyone who does not voice with Anna is anti national.And this is
ludicrous to think so. Ms Roy is not against the corruption but she held another opinion for the ongoing
mechanism, and a lot of people do share her idea,and this doesnt mean even a less patriotism to those who
throng to the Ramlila maidan. We must have credo in our parliament and the supreme democracy we own,
rather than prophetism.

from:  Nurul Arfin
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 14:01 IST

I am fully agree with Ms Roy and her vision perhaps her view not getting fitted by many number of head but majority can't be right on wrong point.Her serious thought is not based on shallow knowledge however her serious points tends many of us to think in differently and thanks god we have people such Ms Roy in our country. She is not with corruption but her vision directs and underlined many serious concealed fact which is cloaked under so called civil society designed frame of Janlokpal agitation. We need a corruption free society as whole but where many of us may not aware that corporate houses are not under janlokpal why? And moreover definition of corruption set by so-called civil society is incomplete or is not correct if corporate is not incorporated in Janlokpal . It is nothing but serious illusion for entire nation.

from:  Rehan
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 13:35 IST

The world cannot be divided any more into left and right wing thoughts. Many issues have become context-specific. The commoner is able to articulate a non-cliched-mindset by dethroning a political party that ruled the roost for more than 3 decades non-stop, as seen by the last state election in West Bengal. It is the leaders of almost all major political parties in India, who lack vision and >courage to show their far-sightedness in the interest of the nation.
Sometimes, we also see the ilks of Arundati Roy, joining the mainstream political parties' bandwagon, contributing to raising empty decibels. They cannot help it, of course, as most of their life is spent on protesting without a positive alternate agenda. Protesting by itself does not create any social good, if the alternate is not seriously given shape and dimension. Arundati's arm-chair intellectual opposition to Jan Lokpal adds to empty decibels to the Lokpal debate, it's fault-lines notwithstanding.

from:  Govind Srinivasan
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 12:39 IST

I am not understanding the philosophy of Jan Lokpal bill to Middle level people. I believe Ms. Roy is not looking the corruption in India. If she so she can say like this way. The way corruption cancer is eating our country we need to heal it soon otherwise we will be no where in future. And most important are we going to give this to our coming generation?. Also Moist problem is born from the lap of corruption.

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 12:19 IST

This is very true. every one is saying about lokpal bill but who is going to implement it. in India there are so many good and rights based law, act but no one is implementing it. all law and act are in it self is anti-corruption. what is going to do this bill i don't know where the corruption is in people mind set. Who are going to implement it they are only corrupted. Giving all power to lokpal committee is also leading to other kind of corruption.

from:  jayshree
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 11:50 IST

The general people's movement against the corruption can't be an unGandhian . The agitation is in peaceful manner . The mass of the people is keeping fast in solidarity with the Anna team . It seams the writer has used an untimely & undue word (UNGANDHIAN) for the true sensed GANDHIAN movement.

from:  sunil kumar
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 11:43 IST

Its good to welcome such comments made by Arundhati Roy on the Jan Lokpal Bill. But the point to be considered is the plague of corruption which is haunting India's future, growth and its people. Instead i request Arundhati Roy to provide ways to eradicate corruption and not tamper the steps taken against corruption. Please do not diminish the fire among Indians against corruption but request you to provide alternate solution to tackle this plague.

from:  Sairama
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 11:38 IST

Why do you have to publish an article of Roy and give her all this popularity?She has to be made irrelevant considering her views on Kashmir.

from:  Sudipta
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 11:30 IST

It's better not to pay attention to her. She has every right to hold such opinions and we are free too to ignore her.

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 11:27 IST

Maoists killing innocent adivasis and govt officials is somehow 'morally correct' (as per Arundhati's view but middle class protesting against corruption is un-Gandhian and hence wrong. Hard to believe that The Hindu is stooping so low (publishing sensational but trashy opinions to grab eyeballs).

from:  Sunil
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 11:04 IST

I am one among the millions who can take Ms. Roy seriously only when she stop at merely writing and talking critically about social ills without offering any viable solutions. Instead of being an arm chair pundit opposing every thing under under the sun, she can be a silent foot soldier adapt a backward village and forge a progressive change. Example of Hazare is always there as beacon of hope for such noble deed.Or get consigned to dust bin of history as irrelevant cynical chatter box.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 10:34 IST

I didn't understand her philosophy behind the "Jan Lokpal to be a tool for Middle class to take advantage of poor men" In my opinion the ultimate beneficiary of most of the funds and policies provided by State and central government are poor and lower class.MNREGA and many more are examples of that but still they suffers most.Why..?? We can't put curtains on loopholes of our system which is more responsible for non-implementation of every policy.No middle class person goes to poor men to snatch their food from them but still they are deprived of basic needs.question is why?The government also knows that they are sanctioning enough funds for them which didn't reach to them.who is responsible for it??this needs to be looked into keenly. Taking the benefits of democratic independence to comment on these critical (corruption,maoists,religion discrepancy,caste discrepancy) issue without proper analysis is worthless.

from:  Praveen Kumar
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 10:33 IST

Kudos to Ms. Roy for daring to think and expressing the views that defer from the so called mainstream thinking. I fully agree that there is a bias in media to talk about and cover Anna and neglect Manipur or Chhattisgarh or Dr. Sen and But I want to know--1. How the poor's interests would be affected if the middle class gets its version of Lokpal bill? 2. Does she support the Govt. version of the bill? 3. Why doesn't she suggest amedments in the so called draconian Janlokpal bill so that the middle class who are also the citizens of India like dispossessed and powerless aadivasis may live corruption free dignified life? 4. Can Ms. Roy lead in One Movement both the middle class and the adivasis? If she can we are ready to follow her but she can't then Can't we have two parallel movements or revolutions , one for the middle class and the other for the adivasis? Actually we already have two.

from:  Wikrant Kumar sharma
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 10:07 IST

In this fight between so called 'middle classes vs lower classes' the political class is the winner. And lower classes lose more than middle class. For Ms. Roy's desire of seeing lower classes on top of the pyramid it has to go through the waistline and Jan Lokpal actually supports it!

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 09:56 IST

Ms Roy, you know corruption is every where.I know, when fish rots,it starts from the head.What is your suggestion ,to contain it,in Gandhian manner and protecting the poor?Be practical....keeping in mind the present political/social system.

from:  Kern
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 09:04 IST

The Lok-pal bill cannot be by any stretch of logic construed as anti-poor or un-Gandhian.Such a suggestion is aimed at vote-bank.If rule of Law has to be enforced the power to do so should remain only with a few but can be questioned by Judiciary. The bill when enforced would put the middle class more on notice in fact.The Indian public requests the politicians not to divide the populace on these lines.Corporates are more liable to be on the scanner .Common man can do a lot by keeping himself away from corrupt officials.Thus everyone needs to do his bit.

from:  Raghavan
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 08:56 IST

Who is certifying that? Arundhati Roy?!! Is she a Gandhian?!! How does it matter anyway? Is promotion of Alchohal by Congress Govt in States is Gandhian? Are we not living with it? Is taking bribes and involving in multi million scams is Gandhian?

from:  MSN
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 08:45 IST

The reality is that today power IS concentrated in the hands of select elite group of people. The group consists of the so called "high command" of major political parties that dictate terms to the MPs/MLAs and powerful industrialists who can influence decisions with the money power. The number of people in this group can be put at approximately 250. Arundhati Roy being a member of the NAC is part of this elite group. Ms. Roy's statement has to be seen against this context.

from:  Natarajan
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 08:35 IST

It is the same way I was thinking. Even the right to information act didnt reach poor people. It is the middle class which got benefits out of RTI act. Until otherwise the anticorruption movement reaches the local Tashildar offices it will not benefit poor people.

from:  T.Subramanian
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 08:30 IST

I know not why every statement of Arundhati Roy is opposite and Left-Wing biased.Being correct and being non-correct are not the same thing. There are many hue's between white and non-white,not every non-white is black.On the basis of reservations if the quota is granted for equity then by default it does not becomes against equality.Certain rational conditions are also imposed. No Right is absolute and no law is perfect. Being Gandhi and being non-Gandhi is also different from being unGandhi.So also,if Anna leads the anti-graft movement ,though imperfectly, she should not out-rightly reject the cause-as unGandhian-just on basis of class or group of supporters.
Anna campaigned before and the supporters joined him later. isn't she missing the link ?

from:  Shivam Agrawal
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 08:21 IST

Corruption hurts the poor more than the middle classes. The Left should have taken more vociferous stand against corruption than others. The opposition to the Jan Lokpal Bill would only make the ruling class breathe free. Roy's focus on the Adivasis' problems is the need of the hour but she should rethink whether the uncritical support of violence would help the adivasis' cause in the long run.

from:  J.Ravindranath
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 08:10 IST

I understand her feelings, talk in correct forum, separate each issue such as fight for more compensation for advasi or for jobs in the corporatism

from:  kalyam
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 07:46 IST

CRPF men are not rapists. Ms Roy must know this. All anti-nationals are only left with this single arguement to remove CRPF and Army. So your special correspondent should be very careful in publishing what such anti-nationals say against our armed forces who serve the nation selflessly for nation and nationals protection.

from:  harshi
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 07:10 IST

When likes of Arundhati Roy hate something, you can take this to bank that that something is good for India at large.

from:  kp
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 06:35 IST

What she suggests, power directly in the people's hands, amounts to anarchy and civil war. How on earth will the middle class oppress the poor through the LP? The LP is about checking corruption. I fail to see how via checking corruption the poor can be oppressed. Checking corruption is all ABOUT ensuring that everyone get what they are entitled to. Oppressing the poor is the polar opposite. Seems she is the one who hasn't bothered to take a glance at the Jan LP Bill. Rampant seizing of the adivasis' lands isn't that prevalent now. Plus the violent uprising won't do any good over time. When it started, it served a purpose - it defended the adivasis temporarily and drew people's attention to the problem. Now there are a plethora of solutions. The adivasis have to have their representatives sent into mainstream society to lend them their voice. It will take time, but it will be a permanent solution. The violence stopped being a solution a long time ago.

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 06:03 IST

I am really lost with your statement that Jan Lokpal bill and other anticorruption movements are going to be tools of middle class.But do you realise that curbing corruption in india will be the only solution for all the antipoverty programmes to reach the poor to alleviate their utter poverty. I sincerely pray that please do strengthen the Jan lokpal bill and related movements if you have a genuine desire to help the poor!

from:  syam
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 05:45 IST

You support the terrorists but condemn the wish of people to have clean government. By saying it as majoritarian, you are going against the basic definition of democracy since democracy is based on majority, though currently the majority suffers for the benefit of few in India. By saying the wish of the people to be unGandhian, are you insinuating that corruption, exploitation and vote-bank politics are Gandhian? I have never heard of this definition for 'Gandian' before.

from:  Bharat
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 05:38 IST

Significant majority in India are fed up with corruption in public life and want it eradicated. Anna ji provided a focal point around whom people could rally around, raise this issue and seek action. Jan Lok Pal Bill is one such effort. It does not need the genius of Ms.Roy to tell the people that Anna is no Gandhi. Instead of rubbishing well intentioned efforts to eliminate corruption, Ms.Roy should employ her brilliant mind to offer constructive criticism and suggest alternative ways forward.

from:  Kappalotti
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 05:17 IST

Perhaps it is time to put Ghandhi quoting to rest. It has been misused too many times , that people smell an unrealistic tint of honesty or just plain misuse.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 05:14 IST
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