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Updated: October 16, 2011 19:08 IST

No democracy in Team Anna, says Agnivesh

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Swami Agnivesh with Anna Hazare during a fast in support of Jan Lokpal Bill at Ramlila Maidan, in New Delhi on Aug. 22, 2011. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu
Swami Agnivesh with Anna Hazare during a fast in support of Jan Lokpal Bill at Ramlila Maidan, in New Delhi on Aug. 22, 2011. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Describing Anna Hazare’s campaign as ‘brahminvaad’, activist Swami Agnivesh on Sunday hit out at the Gandhian saying there was “no democracy” in his agitation and dissenting voices were thrown out of the team.

Swami Agnivesh also claimed that the RSS stamp was “very much evident” in the campaign and that he had argued for better representation of Muslims and Dalits to counter this.

He said many of the crucial decisions like opposing Congress in Hisar elections and holding referendum in Union Minister Kapil Sibal’s constituency were not taken by core committee and it was like “Anna and Arvind (Kejriwal) were taking all decisions”.

Claiming that he had argued for better representation of Muslims and Dalits in the anti-corruption, Swami Agnivesh said, “It was brahminvaad. They were not ready to treat everybody as equal. We did not see Dalits or Muslims in Jantar Mantar or Ramlila Maidan where Anna sat on fast”.

Targeting Hazare, he said, “Anna is very individualistic. He never functions in a democratic way. It is like ‘if you fall in line, then it is okay’”.

“None of the big social workers from Maharashtra were part of his campaign,” Swami Agnivesh told PTI in an interview.

He said he had objected to building a “cult around Anna” in the meetings but no one listened.

“People used to say we were foot soldiers. Somebody said Anna is ‘Doosra Gandhi’, then there was Anna is India and India is Anna. When I pointed out these, they did not find any fault with it,” he said.

Swami Agnivesh, who was in the eye of a controversy after a video footage surfaced in which he was heard telling someone that Anna agitation should be dealt with strictly, said there was no democratic way of decision making in Team Anna.

A number of Team Anna members, who attended the September 10-11 Core meeting in Hazare’s village Ralegan Siddhi, said that there no decision was taken to oppose Congress, he claimed.

On allegations that he was a “government mole”, Swami Agnivesh said how can Team Anna assume so when he himself opened the doors of World Council of Arya Samaj office in Sadar Bazar in north Delhi to keep the referendum questionnaire to be distributed in Chandni Chowk, Mr. Sibal’s constituency.

“There was no Core Committee decision to hold a referendum in Chandni Chowk. But one day Mr. Kejriwal told me they don’t have space to keep the questionnaire.

“I opened the doors of Arya Samaj for them. Mr. Sibal was upset that I was supporting them. But now they are calling me government mole.

“In another instance, another member asked me to talk to Law Minister Salman Khurshid as I knew him. I did so at the instance of that member. During the whole Ramlila Maidan agitation, I did not talk to Mr. Sibal. Is it a reason to call me a mole?” Swami Agnivesh said.

He also accused Mr. Kejriwal of misinforming public about the role of Standing Committee in law-making process.

“I spoke to constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap and eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani. They both said it was an effective platform to improve the Bill.

“When I presented this viewpoint in the Core Committee on August 13, I was asked why did I speak to these people,” he claimed.

“There was a deliberate misinformation campaign against the role of Standing Committee. One should remember that RTI Bill had 156 amendments in the Standing Committee. This is what Mr. Kashyap told me,” he said.

He said he was the lone voice of dissent against Hazare going on a fast-unto-death agitation at Ramlila Maidan.

“It was recorded in the minutes. I insisted that. But Anna was adamant. He was saying one may die of heart attack also, so what is the difference. He was adamant.

“I was for a fast for 5-6 days but not fast-unto-death. I was concerned about Anna’s health.”

On RSS involvement, he said Sangh itself has come out in open on its role in the agitation when Hazare tried to distance himself from the organisation.


I was seen as a villain: AgniveshSeptember 16, 2011

Anna is not India nor India AnnaAugust 20, 2011

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Who cares Dalits/SC/ST, Muslims or any such minorities to pass Jan lokpal bill. Democracy cant do that we know. Too many heads also problem. A crowd will never kill a snake. Now things are all ok and the core team members know there is good money in the team and if Anna introduce democracy then they can also use it.

Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 19:15 IST

There is nothing new in the accusations made by Mr Agnivesh. He has always been a backstabber. He is intolerant to forward communities and uses the caste card to sow dissension and misgivings within groups. When his views or opinions are not accepted, he easily becomes frustrated and ditches such groups. He is not open to ideas, does not have any ideology or conviction and, instead, sees his convenience to remain or leave social groups. Himself being such a selfish person, he has no business to comment about Anna & describe the latter as undemocratic.

from:  SR Sankaran
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 16:12 IST

The Govt has done it's best to divert the issue on JLPB, in different manners, such as putting a mole in Anna team (Agnivash), through back door entry collect several different LPB to dilute the effect of JLPB, leveling charges against each and every person of the Anna team, making press propaganda that Anna is aiming at Presidential post and lately even disreputing them by encouraging attacks agains them. They will not succeed in their nefarious plans. They will have to come out with a serious bill if they want to come back to power in the next elections. If they happen to cheat like they did fir the first bill, the Congress will be completely wiped out and replaced by others waiting in their wings.

from:  Jonejaop
Posted on: Oct 19, 2011 at 15:53 IST

@P.N.Shreeniwas: Exactly the same logic must be applied to the one who is wearing a Gandhi topi and calling himself a Gandhian all the time! Also all those who are waving the Indian flags seeking all the attention!

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Oct 18, 2011 at 12:55 IST

I don't understand what prevents dalits or muslims or anybody else to join the anti-corruption agitation. They don't need to join Team Anna. They can start a parallel agitation with their own ideas. Swami Agnivesh won't nor will others who criticize Team Anna . They don't have any original ideas of their own. Its much easier to ride their coats like Agnivesh did sometime back or criticize Anna.

from:  Hemant
Posted on: Oct 18, 2011 at 07:24 IST

Please do not bring Dalits or Muslims and try your hand to divide, we follow Indians, wishes you to give "Bramaastre" to remove corruption which has ruined our Bharat.
If not, "Hari Bhajo."

from:  Suman
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 19:52 IST

Mr. Agnivesh, you are too late to give such statement. It would have been better had you exited on these ground before you were expelled . All your allegations against the team seem to be after thought. In my opinion you have lost your creditibility to a great extent which will take a long time to recover.

from:  naipal singh
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 19:14 IST

Swami Agnivesh is a gold digger opportunist, a vain man without any principles available for sale to any media interested opposition. The public should disregard any propoganda and misinformation espoused by the said swami.

from:  B.V.PATEL
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 14:31 IST

When a person wears a turban, saffron coloured dress or a beard, to stand out in a
crowd, he clearly wants more attention and wants to be the centre of attention. Learn
to be skeptical about uniformed men, they have double personalities.

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 14:30 IST

Yes , there was no democracy in Anna team as for as Swami Agnivesh is concerned. A team or a person while searching for truth must travel alone . Crowd if not evolved to task level better they are left out.Swamy Agnivesh lacks the experience needed here to deal with politicians and Anna Team knows it.

from:  NJBond
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 11:14 IST

What Swami Agnivesh mentioned is absolutely correct.

from:  Abdul Hameed
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 10:53 IST

Sad to hear this. I think Ms. Kiran Bedi or any rational thinker will
say the same thing about Mr.Anna and Mr.Kejriwal.

from:  Daniel
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 07:37 IST

The semi-fascist/right-wing elements in Hazare's methods, speeches and campaign
are there for all to see, but have largely managed to escape close public scrutiny.
Now with the apparent link between the RSS and Hazare's campaign coming to light,
the public at large and the media in particular will pay more attention to the
questionable methods used by Hazare and his team, best exemplified by their "my
way or the highway" approach to issues ranging from the Jan Lokpal Bill to the recent
schism created by the airing of Prashant Bhushan's views on Kashmir.

from:  Chaitanya
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 06:18 IST

If swami agnivesh has spoken to kapil against the anna team, there is no need to get him back into the folds of the team, it is better that he remains on the congress side which can probably give him better rewards. At least for the sake of the sacred cause he should not have changed the side at any cost. now he will be remembered as mole and no amount of his statements can prove his inocence.

from:  Jonejaop
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 02:02 IST

He learned the hard way. Many were saying this before. Team Anna is an undemocratic group, which is going to die due to its undemocratic nature. Anna says one thing today, and he changes it tomorrow. God knows what he says day after tomorrow. The manner in which he talked about Prashant is the most insensitive way. More over we have to relook the Lokpal taking into account the occupy wall street movement. Which is a proof that until and unless the corporate-politician nexus is not thwarted, we are not going to solve any of the issues. The corporate looters will continue to loot whether there is jan lokpal or not.

from:  Roopesh
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 00:06 IST

Being a responsible news paper why do you want to cover such reports which are against people betterment. Instead people would have been happy if you had covered the services this Swami has made to the society. Mode of funding, what he has done to the society should be showcased.

from:  Sundar
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 22:44 IST

Now that the true color of "Swami" Agnivesh has been exposed and him relegated to the position of a door mat in Anna movement, he is now talking like a true disgruntled "employee". The movement under the color of "democracy" will do what it has done to the progess of Hindustan. The politics of "consensus" has not only kept Indian progress slow but outrightly kept it from its position in the world. The leader has to be strong to make any movement suceed and if Agnivesh has problem with that, he should continue with his failed "bonded labor" movement.

from:  RAm Sharma
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 22:41 IST

Swami Agnivesh was virtually thrown out of team. Had he not joined Team Anna, his words would have commanded more respect. If Anna Hazare is not reasonable in his demands then people who acquiesce with him are either cowards or foolish. Either Sh. Swami Agnivesh did not know true character of a man who is in public life for decades or he was simply looking for something that he did not get and now has resorted to cry foul.

from:  vivek singh malik
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 22:37 IST

It is good Agnivesh is kicked out of Anna team after his link with
government was exposed.

from:  Nilamkumar Buch
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 22:15 IST

I do not know why it is being made out by Congress that Anna movement is backed by RSS. What is wrong if some political group supports. Congress is trying to malign the anti-corruption crusade by bringing name of RSS and is trying to achieve twin purposes of defaming the Anna Movement and RSS. Why doesn't it make its unequivocal stand on corruption? All the ministers incarcerated are from other than Congress Party. Why not the tainted ministers whoever they be, asked to quit/removed pending inquiry?

from:  ashok
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 22:10 IST

Agnivesh has revealed his real colors. When a person wears a uniform one has to beskeptical of his real motives.

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 22:01 IST

I would like to see better grammar in the articles in this newspaper. Like the use of articles, for instance.

from:  Subhashini M
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 21:56 IST

Good try, but not convincing. Sorry Agnivesh. I cant help but see you ONLY as a traitor.

from:  Manoj
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 21:44 IST

now avginesh showed his true colour..

from:  santosh
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 21:24 IST

Then Agnivesh should explain how Anna got an entire country to rally behind him. Is there corruption? yes. often to the tune of, (hold your breath) tens of thousands of crores of rupees. gone are the days of lakhs. It is not thousands of crores, not even one or two crores. When there is corruption to the tune of $40 Bn, in an economy of about 1400 Bn, and one scam is as bid as 4% of GDP, we have stern measures to take.All these blame games cannot go on forever.

from:  Binoy
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 21:20 IST

Agni is proxy for cong

from:  bala
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 20:35 IST

Kiran, Kejari and Manish are the dominating voice in the gang hazare. And Hazare is only a prisoner in their hands. They want to save their NGO;s from govt. scrutiny thats why have roped in Hazare.

from:  surendra sharma
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 20:25 IST

Is there democracy in the way the Congress party is run by the Gandhi family. Has Swami Agnivesh ever criticised the Congress party for this? Anna Hazare definitely can do without a person like Swami Agnivesh in his fight against corruption. He has the people of India with him. Fight on Annaji! We are with you.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 20:12 IST

Sorry, Mr Agnivesh it is too late for you to come out with all this. If you were in disagreement with refrendum to be held in Chandni Chowk, why did you open Arya Samaj building to keep those questionnaires ? You should have refused at that time. You were very much a part of Anna team until you were exposed of having your own agenda within the agenda. Your irresponsible utterances with words like Brahminism, Dalits and Muslims etc point towards your being a ruling party agent to sabotage and defame the war against corruption.Team Anna's crusade against corruption is the most serious and significant effort to eradicate corrption. Those who say it is not flawless are impractical.Even Indian democracy and secularism is not without flaws so why Anna has to be perfect? The scams like 2G spectrum and CW games have shaken me very badly and I fully support team Anna despite all its imperfections.

from:  Raman
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 19:58 IST

If Agnivesh was really concerned with Anna's health he would not have have uttered what he did on telephone to Sibal.

from:  P.R.IYER
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 19:29 IST
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