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Updated: December 7, 2011 00:46 IST

"Just one slap" comment violent but not wrong, says Anna Hazare

Amruta Byatnal
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Anna Hazare
The Hindu
Anna Hazare

“If a politician is attacked, all get angry, but that is not the case when farmers take their lives”

Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare on Tuesday admitted that his “Just one slap?” statement after the attack on Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar was violent but he did not consider this violence wrong.

In a new blog post, Mr. Hazare justified his comments stating that he had used such strong words many times “for the betterment of society.”

The social activist asked what would make Indian politicians angry, if not the widespread corruption and injustice.

“I admit that I committed violence when I said that [Just one slap?]. But for the betterment of society, I do not consider this violence wrong. Many politicians felt very bad about the slapping incident. Many of them got very angry also. But it is important to discuss why that youth slapped.”

NCP workers had stormed Mr. Hazare's village Ralegan Siddhi to condemn his statement. The social activist later clarified that he condemned violence in any form. “Sharad Pawar's supporters hurled the dirtiest abuse at me. I have kept a CD of the incident for my record. At an appropriate time, I will play it before the public,” Mr. Hazare said in the blog.

Launching a sharp attack on Mr. Pawar, Mr. Hazare alleged that the former Maharashtra Chief Minister's record was not unblemished.

The activist charged that as Agriculture Minister, Mr. Pawar wasted crores of public money when he imported rotten wheat. “Since it was not edible, the wheat was buried in huge pits. But none of the politicians got angry about it?”

The 74-year-old activist questioned why one slap made politicians so angry. “For no fault of theirs, the farmers are lathicharged, shot at and killed when they demand their rights. But this does not cause any anger in our agriculture-based country. This is unfortunate. Many farmers have committed suicide in Maharashtra. But this did not make any politician angry? This is unfortunate,” he wrote.

Recounting an incident this August when a farmers' protest against diversion of irrigation water for a pipeline for industrial use turned violent, Mr. Hazare said: “The farmers protested at Mawal near Pune. They were shot at. Three farmers died. But the politicians still did not get angry about it.”

Mr. Hazare recalled the hunger strike he undertook in 1989 when Maharashtra “went through severe power crises.”

After he was forcibly taken to hospital, people protested, blocked roads.

“The government fired at farmers because of which four agriculturists died and many of them were wounded. But none of the politicians got angry. Sharad Pawar was the Chief Minister at that time. It is 22 years since that protest and the electricity problem is still there,” he said.

“The politicians got so angry with that one slap that many buses were burnt, national property was destroyed, many shops were damaged, many private vehicles were damaged — but this did not make anyone angry. This is unfortunate”

Referring to Justice P.B. Sawant's report in which three Ministers were indicted for corruption, Mr. Hazare said, “Last 5-6 years, I have been demanding that action should be taken under law against these Ministers, whom Justice Sawant Commission has found guilty of corruption. The government is still not willing to take action against them under law.”

He said that after the Lokpal Bill was passed, he would take up the issue of punishing the Ministers.

“Many people got angry due to one slap, but when the people who have dedicated their entire life for society and country are victimised, then no one gets angry.”

Mr. Hazare, who is undergoing traction and treatment for spondylitis at Ralegan Siddhi ahead of his one-day agitation in New Delhi on December 11, appealed to the people not to destroy public property while expressing anger against him.

More In: National | News

Anna, its very difficult to imbibe Gandhian thoughts ....Anna is a
Chinese Gandhi.

from:  Arun
Posted on: Dec 8, 2011 at 20:38 IST

any scam breaks out in India, somehow or the other, Sharad Pawar seems to be connected to it.
Abdul Karim Telgi cited Pawar's name in relation to the 600 billion rupee stamp-paper scam, during a narcoanalysis filmed by various Indian news channels, wherein he also mentioned Chhagan Bhujbal. Telgi also claimed that it was Sharad Pawar's brain to print fake stamp papers across country and mint money.

from:  Sudhir
Posted on: Dec 8, 2011 at 19:29 IST

Annaji sentence was absolutly correct. and he already declared that he is not Gandhi then why people making him gandhi and again blame on him see the new gandhi ... what the rubbish thing this is.
Annaji you are right ...

from:  ketan
Posted on: Dec 8, 2011 at 18:28 IST

These politicians just by one comment think can take on Mr. Anna Hazare.
Let the time come and people will show to these politicians that who is
going to ride whom. Today, Anna has just made a comment. Tomorrow,
people will literally slap all these politicians naked that they won't
be able to even be able to make any comment.

from:  Shikhar
Posted on: Dec 8, 2011 at 16:51 IST

Recent slapping incident is nothing to be proud of but it does indicate the mood of the people. The common man derives some kind of pleasure when any powerful politician gets the kind of treatment that Pawar got. It is something that should never be encouraged. It is a mere reactionary attitude that will yield no results. We must fight tooth and nail against corruption in all forms. Politicians in this country deserve no sympathy for it is them who have brought disgrace to this country. Nevertheless, in a democratic set up where people are the ones who decide their 'masters', it is the voters and the public who should take the blame. Ultimately it is our apathy and nonchalance which have brought the country to this pass.

from:  Andy Knotts
Posted on: Dec 8, 2011 at 15:41 IST

Anna Hazare is not a Gandhian. A Gandhian won't be able to put an end to corruption here. I'm with Anna.

from:  Narendhranath
Posted on: Dec 8, 2011 at 10:21 IST

Well, if one does not respect the minister, one should at least respect the position of minister. An individual can get angry, and go out of control, however, a leader should not give way to emotion, something higher is expected from Anna.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 22:20 IST

They are ever ready to say is this what a gandhian is supposed to say, but on one ever asks is this what a politician is supposed to do.People are trying to gag Anna by saying he is a Gandhian. He might be following Gandhian principles, doesnt mean he has to match him word to word. The society which existed when Gandhi alive was totally different. The politicians were honest people. But now??? . Even Gandhi ordered all foreign made goods to be burnt,that is also violence in normal sense, but he did it for freedom of his mother land. You have to do what you have to do. So hypocrites please dont try to compare anyone.

from:  Sai
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 22:15 IST

Another slap from anna on sharad pawar...

from:  Mitsha
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 20:04 IST

Dear Annaji, Really it is very rare to very boldy say the truth irrespective of the cadre. I apprecieate your courge for the cause of the largest democracy (?)

from:  Natarajan Subbiah
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 19:29 IST

Anna would have hoped that the offended party to turn the other side for one more slap.Gandhi while traveling in a train,when hit by a person turned and asked him whether he was hurt.Anna as a Gandhian wanted such reaction from Pawar.

from:  doodu
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 18:38 IST

Only one slap incident has provoked Anna Hazare and Sharad Pawar to exchange more and more slaps through media. Sharad Pawar accuses Anna giving new concept of 'Gandhism' Anna alleges that Pawar's record is blemish. He wasted crores of public money by imported rotten wheat and buried in huge pits and none of the politicians got angry to slap him. Sharad Pawar's supporters abused Anna with dirtiest words. Anna preserved the CD of the incident to show public at an appropriate time. All this reveal their soiled personal equation while in the guise of public service.

from:  Prem Anand
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 18:36 IST

Annaji you are the kind of leader that our country requires most, not those kind of hoodlums that speak those fine words about democracy and keep looting this country, infact the very sight of our Parliament makes one extremely sick and disgusting.

from:  xavier surender
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 17:59 IST

Concept of Anna's 'remove the corruption' is based on wrong premises. He always think punish the culprit send him to jail corruption of India will finish.On this premises he insisting for lokpal bill appreciating just one slap to Pawar.He don't understand corruption is very deeply rooted in our psyche.We are afraid too much to breaking the law of religion but not afraid for breaking law of government.This is a struggle between old values and new values .Here no one ashamed for breaking law of government.but feel tremendously guilty when we are breaking rituals of religion.

from:  Ramesh Raghuvanshi
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 17:27 IST

I have failed to understand ANNAJI's statement.How could be it possible that some violent action cannot be considered as wrong? So far I understood that whatever may be the cause, the violent action could not be a remedy for that. Though his anger against corrupted politicians may be genuine, but being a follower of Gandhiji, it is much painful to hear such type of statement from him.

Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 16:27 IST

Dear Anna, Any voilent action on politician is a sin in this democratic country becuse they are only the people of this country. The one who elected them are slaves with no rights expect to vote for them. These voters can be prone to any type of voilent activity by any body, politicians,goondas etc., but that is not a danger to democracy. only any action on politicians is danger to the democracy. May God save this country

from:  SATYAM
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 16:05 IST

Dear Anna you are the real leader India is looking for. You have shown the courage to explain why politician has to be punished publicly. The entire politician has to be injected with a lesson of haunting fear that today or tomorrow final judgement from the court of people would be pronounced as bolt from the blue.

from:  musthafa ck
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 12:02 IST

Anna has made valid points in a valid manner.Instances like the ones quoted by Anna are countless...common man is frustrated.It is a miracle that we are at least at this level of peace.We are not world's largest democracy , but largest autocracy in the guise of democracy.

from:  tkpnaig
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 12:00 IST

You are right Anna ji.He is responsible for high prices of agriculture stuffs. He and his family owe the major land property in maharashtra. Magarpatta city, lavasa project and many others are his property which worth many no of crores.Most of the sugar mills in maharashtra are his property. If someone remembers,sometimes back Price of sugar was increased was he, who did all this for his benefit. He control the prices of goods. His daughter Supriya Sule for Rajya Sabha elections shows her to be one of the richest politicians in the state Rs 41.52 crore. This was also a fake figure, real property of these looters are in many crores. All this money is of poor.A country where 41.6% of the total Indian population falls below the international poverty line.Country where many people are dying due to lack of food and such politicians get one slap definitely any one who care for poor will say that 'only one slap?'.

from:  jitendra
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 11:10 IST

i agree, what above comment is given by mr anna.It should be.

from:  mahewar dalai
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 11:08 IST

Big thanks to Singh Harvinder Singh, the man who slapped Union Minister Sharad Pawar at a public function. 'This is the right answer to corrupt politicians'. Every Indian should slap stupid politicians, This is the starting. All Indians should give support to Mr. Anna Hazare

from:  Naresh
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 10:59 IST

anna you are absolutely right,after becoming agriculture minister sharad power has opened innumberable sugar mills of his own or on his relative's name.

from:  vishal r shah
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 10:29 IST

I wonder how this man call himself a Gandhian. He is justifying the use of violence to acheive his goals. He is doing exactly opposite to what Gandhiji had taught.

from:  Shahid
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 10:00 IST

Jesus Christ had said that,if you are hit on one cheek ,turn the other one also to the striker.Intelligent people may not agree or apprciate this.But men of wisdom would agree and put that in practice also. Gandhi did it in a train once.When some one hit him.he asked him whether his hand was injured in the process.If needed he would turned the other side to be hit.He was a man of wisdom and is still worshiped as Mahatma and Father of nation.Hazare is Anna but not Mahatma yet.
7 th dec

from:  T.S.Gopalakrishnan
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 09:44 IST

I would rather react same way as Anna reacted to the news. Every one knows the Sharad pawar is a big goon and if you fight against or do any thing against him will be big problem as this too all of us knew and even Annaji too knew this that's the reason he clarified the matter.

from:  sagar
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 09:43 IST

How can the brazen attack on a Minister by a citizen that too within the premises of Parliament can be justified? Harwinder Singh had no propriety to slap a senior politician and Minister- Sharad Pawar., by doing so he had shown all disrespect to our basic foundation of democracy, diminished the value of its establishments and disgraced our legacy.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri.Chennai
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 09:43 IST

so now as per Anna Hazare, something can be violent yet not wrong. i am finding it difficult to understand any of his statements these days, they are just loaded with contradiction and neither indicates a clarity of thought.

from:  arun mony
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 09:41 IST

one day, Anna will be slapped. then he will realize what he is speaking about.

from:  jothi xavier
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 09:25 IST

I do not have a problem in Hazare's 'just one slap?' comment or his other whimisical comments.What I have a problem is with him being called 'Gandhian'. It is an absolute shame that an icon like Gandhi has been reduced to hyperbole in this day and age.

from:  Benjamin D.
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 09:03 IST

This guy resemble Ellsworth Toohey character in The Fountainhead. He is never been an elected candidate and I seriously doubt that he really did anything good for the society. He is just the talker not the doer. People can be decided as mainly 2 types, constructors and destructors. He is definitely not a constructive human being.

from:  Ravinder Matte
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 08:57 IST

Thrashing people from Bihar and UP is non-violence??? Did any politician get angry? Did any party do anything meaningful? Were the culprits brought to justice? No, rather, each party was calculating its vote bank. Neta's blood is blood and common man's blood is water. Ironically, politicians said, 'there is no place for violence in democracy' after the Pawar incident, but how hard it would have been for them to issue such statements given their past/present deeds.

from:  ram
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 08:38 IST

Any act of violence against is a condemnable offence. Why one slaps or kills other is not open for debate. If such an acts ends in a fatality, Annaji you wouldn't be so considered about the motives. Acts of violence deffers in degrees but not in kind. Annaji, admit that you wanted at least one minister of this government to be rough-handled. Sub-consiously you wanted this and your were not happy with 'ek thappad.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 08:26 IST

Respected Anna, u r extrmely correct.

from:  shivaji
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 08:03 IST

So much for the Gandhian....

from:  Hypocrite
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 07:41 IST

I believe Anna Hazare should take one strong stand and stick to it when it comes to fundamentals of violence and non violence . If he thinks using strong, violent words are 'for the betterment of society' then he is deviating from fundamentals! If everyone starts giving their opinions rather than sticking to fundamentals then there is no point is such agitations. It will be soon gone !

from:  Vishal Jagtap
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 07:24 IST

All are born equal yet this hue-and-cry over one slap is because the person is in power and unfortunately, that power was given to him/her by other people (the public). We all can have the power, only if we realize that we have it and use it (the vote) wisely.

from:  Murali
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 07:21 IST

There is nothing wrong with the slap. Harvinder Singh was merely helping Mr Pawar recover from his facial paralysis.

from:  Priya
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 07:18 IST

If slap is good, it should be two - one on each cheek!

from:  M.V.Muthu
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 06:38 IST

why are u making hero out of an opportunist? This old man is given to his emotions. Gandhian heroes never vent out their personal emotions, they tried to bring about change by passive guidance and non voilent resistance. they made the british to see their suffferings because of their authoritarian policies which was harmful for the survival of Indians. this man is not gandhian, he's just an opportunity seeker. make create a lot of problems if given authority.

from:  yeshna muzzafir
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 05:13 IST

I have several questions. Why is that the political class condemn the act of slapping the very politician who claims he is freaking busy and cannot do his work for what he is here? Why wouldn't people slap a politician who has the nerve to go against the Supreme court ruling for freely distributing the rotting food grains(he did claim in media that its just an advice from SC and not an Order and he needed SC to clarify that. mind you, you can just figure out how many would have died out of starvation for the lethargy he showed)? Why has the rotting grains never came to people? Why the grains are first of all rotting? So why wouldn't the food prices raise? We see this politician in every big game of cricket happening in India while we work our *ss off!! Why should there be a riot/bandh for just slapping a politician which are absolutely encouraged by the political class? Why wouldn't the ever sorryful PM condemn this in media?

from:  senthil
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 05:00 IST

Anna lost his mind it feels. He is a slave of the so called core commitee. Time for his retirement.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 04:14 IST

Annaji is army soldier, He is not Gandhi and I Like this soldier more than Mahatma Gandhi. He is Bhagat Singh + Gandhi.

from:  Ajit Singh
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 03:14 IST

well said Mr Hazare, the politicians and their cohorts behave like India is in a dictatorial rule. Shame on those who keep voting for these people who value their prestige more than the lives of innocent farmers.

from:  Ravinder Reddy
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 03:00 IST

What a pure follower of more hypocrite......

from:  Mp Asok
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 02:25 IST

Dear Hazareji You are asking the right questions that are in the heart of every Indian. Vandemataram. May God protect you.

from:  Murali
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 02:19 IST

Politicians have only themselves to blame for the poor immage that they have amongst the public.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 01:49 IST

your good characters

from:  r.prakashvel
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 01:31 IST

well said Anna ji,you are correct

from:  simbu
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 00:35 IST

If reasons of violence need to be discussed than, why not Violence on prashant bhushan nd Kejriwal ?? why not discuss justifying acts of violence on alcoholics ?? why not discuss justifying and propagating hatred against most important pillars of democracy i.e. politicians ?? Mr Anna Hazare should not turn Indian youth against any class of society whether it would be politicians or bureaucracy . He has no right of doing it. And he should understand the fact that this country's do not support or discuss acts of Gundaism.

from:  Dharmesh Dixit
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 00:29 IST

i m proud of this soil that this given birth of god like Anna hajare and gandhi thanks anna ji u r showing us the hope and path please continue it and long live

from:  sandeep pandey
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 00:15 IST
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