Today's Paper Archive Classifieds Subscriptions RSS Feeds Site Map ePaper Mobile Apps Social
SEARCH

Opinion » Lead

Updated: October 2, 2011 12:56 IST

I'd rather not be Anna

Arundhati Roy
Share  ·   Comment (1394)   ·   print   ·  
Arundhati Roy. File photo
The Hindu Arundhati Roy. File photo

While his means maybe Gandhian, his demands are certainly not.

If what we're watching on TV is indeed a revolution, then it has to be one of the more embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times. For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you're likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind.

For completely different reasons, and in completely different ways, you could say that the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common — they both seek the overthrow of the Indian State. One working from the bottom up, by means of an armed struggle, waged by a largely adivasi army, made up of the poorest of the poor. The other, from the top down, by means of a bloodless Gandhian coup, led by a freshly minted saint, and an army of largely urban, and certainly better off people. (In this one, the Government collaborates by doing everything it possibly can to overthrow itself.)

In April 2011, a few days into Anna Hazare's first “fast unto death,” searching for some way of distracting attention from the massive corruption scams which had battered its credibility, the Government invited Team Anna, the brand name chosen by this “civil society” group, to be part of a joint drafting committee for a new anti-corruption law. A few months down the line it abandoned that effort and tabled its own bill in Parliament, a bill so flawed that it was impossible to take seriously.

Then, on August 16th, the morning of his second “fast unto death,” before he had begun his fast or committed any legal offence, Anna Hazare was arrested and jailed. The struggle for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill now coalesced into a struggle for the right to protest, the struggle for democracy itself. Within hours of this ‘Second Freedom Struggle,' Anna was released. Cannily, he refused to leave prison, but remained in Tihar jail as an honoured guest, where he began a fast, demanding the right to fast in a public place. For three days, while crowds and television vans gathered outside, members of Team Anna whizzed in and out of the high security prison, carrying out his video messages, to be broadcast on national TV on all channels. (Which other person would be granted this luxury?) Meanwhile 250 employees of the Municipal Commission of Delhi, 15 trucks, and six earth movers worked around the clock to ready the slushy Ramlila grounds for the grand weekend spectacle. Now, waited upon hand and foot, watched over by chanting crowds and crane-mounted cameras, attended to by India's most expensive doctors, the third phase of Anna's fast to the death has begun. “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is One,” the TV anchors tell us.

While his means may be Gandhian, Anna Hazare's demands are certainly not. Contrary to Gandhiji's ideas about the decentralisation of power, the Jan Lokpal Bill is a draconian, anti-corruption law, in which a panel of carefully chosen people will administer a giant bureaucracy, with thousands of employees, with the power to police everybody from the Prime Minister, the judiciary, members of Parliament, and all of the bureaucracy, down to the lowest government official. The Lokpal will have the powers of investigation, surveillance, and prosecution. Except for the fact that it won't have its own prisons, it will function as an independent administration, meant to counter the bloated, unaccountable, corrupt one that we already have. Two oligarchies, instead of just one.

Whether it works or not depends on how we view corruption. Is corruption just a matter of legality, of financial irregularity and bribery, or is it the currency of a social transaction in an egregiously unequal society, in which power continues to be concentrated in the hands of a smaller and smaller minority? Imagine, for example, a city of shopping malls, on whose streets hawking has been banned. A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares to those who cannot afford the prices in the malls. Is that such a terrible thing? In future will she have to pay the Lokpal representative too? Does the solution to the problems faced by ordinary people lie in addressing the structural inequality, or in creating yet another power structure that people will have to defer to?

Meanwhile the props and the choreography, the aggressive nationalism and flag waving of Anna's Revolution are all borrowed, from the anti-reservation protests, the world-cup victory parade, and the celebration of the nuclear tests. They signal to us that if we do not support The Fast, we are not ‘true Indians.' The 24-hour channels have decided that there is no other news in the country worth reporting.

‘The Fast' of course doesn't mean Irom Sharmila's fast that has lasted for more than ten years (she's being force fed now) against the AFSPA, which allows soldiers in Manipur to kill merely on suspicion. It does not mean the relay hunger fast that is going on right now by ten thousand villagers in Koodankulam protesting against the nuclear power plant. ‘The People' does not mean the Manipuris who support Irom Sharmila's fast. Nor does it mean the thousands who are facing down armed policemen and mining mafias in Jagatsinghpur, or Kalinganagar, or Niyamgiri, or Bastar, or Jaitapur. Nor do we mean the victims of the Bhopal gas leak, or the people displaced by dams in the Narmada Valley. Nor do we mean the farmers in NOIDA, or Pune or Haryana or elsewhere in the country, resisting the takeover of the land.

‘The People' only means the audience that has gathered to watch the spectacle of a 74-year-old man threatening to starve himself to death if his Jan Lokpal Bill is not tabled and passed by Parliament. ‘The People' are the tens of thousands who have been miraculously multiplied into millions by our TV channels, like Christ multiplied the fishes and loaves to feed the hungry. “A billion voices have spoken,” we're told. “India is Anna.”

Who is he really, this new saint, this Voice of the People? Oddly enough we've heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern. Nothing about the farmer's suicides in his neighbourhood, or about Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer's agitations or the blight of SEZs. He doesn't seem to have a view about the Government's plans to deploy the Indian Army in the forests of Central India.

He does however support Raj Thackeray's Marathi Manoos xenophobia and has praised the ‘development model' of Gujarat's Chief Minister who oversaw the 2002 pogrom against Muslims. (Anna withdrew that statement after a public outcry, but presumably not his admiration.)

Despite the din, sober journalists have gone about doing what journalists do. We now have the back-story about Anna's old relationship with the RSS. We have heard from Mukul Sharma who has studied Anna's village community in Ralegan Siddhi, where there have been no Gram Panchayat or Co-operative society elections in the last 25 years. We know about Anna's attitude to ‘harijans': “It was Mahatma Gandhi's vision that every village should have one chamar, one sunar, one kumhar and so on. They should all do their work according to their role and occupation, and in this way, a village will be self-dependant. This is what we are practicing in Ralegan Siddhi.” Is it surprising that members of Team Anna have also been associated with Youth for Equality, the anti-reservation (pro-“merit”) movement? The campaign is being handled by people who run a clutch of generously funded NGOs whose donors include Coca-Cola and the Lehman Brothers. Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, key figures in Team Anna, has received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation in the last three years. Among contributors to the India Against Corruption campaign there are Indian companies and foundations that own aluminum plants, build ports and SEZs, and run Real Estate businesses and are closely connected to politicians who run financial empires that run into thousands of crores of rupees. Some of them are currently being investigated for corruption and other crimes. Why are they all so enthusiastic?

Remember the campaign for the Jan Lokpal Bill gathered steam around the same time as embarrassing revelations by Wikileaks and a series of scams, including the 2G spectrum scam, broke, in which major corporations, senior journalists, and government ministers and politicians from the Congress as well as the BJP seem to have colluded in various ways as hundreds of thousands of crores of rupees were being siphoned off from the public exchequer. For the first time in years, journalist-lobbyists were disgraced and it seemed as if some major Captains of Corporate India could actually end up in prison. Perfect timing for a people's anti-corruption agitation. Or was it?

At a time when the State is withdrawing from its traditional duties and Corporations and NGOs are taking over government functions (water supply, electricity, transport, telecommunication, mining, health, education); at a time when the terrifying power and reach of the corporate owned media is trying to control the public imagination, one would think that these institutions — the corporations, the media, and NGOs — would be included in the jurisdiction of a Lokpal bill. Instead, the proposed bill leaves them out completely.

Now, by shouting louder than everyone else, by pushing a campaign that is hammering away at the theme of evil politicians and government corruption, they have very cleverly let themselves off the hook. Worse, by demonising only the Government they have built themselves a pulpit from which to call for the further withdrawal of the State from the public sphere and for a second round of reforms — more privatisation, more access to public infrastructure and India's natural resources. It may not be long before Corporate Corruption is made legal and renamed a Lobbying Fee.

Will the 830 million people living on Rs.20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war?

This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India's representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people. In which not a single democratic institution is accessible to ordinary people. Do not be fooled by the flag waving. We're watching India being carved up in war for suzerainty that is as deadly as any battle being waged by the warlords of Afghanistan, only with much, much more at stake.

RELATED NEWS

U.S. trying to use India to isolate Iran: Arundhati Roy March 24, 2012

“Jan Lokpal Bill unGandhian”January 8, 2012

‘As a citizen, Anna is above Parliament’October 9, 2011

Anna's fast will not help solve crisis: RoyAugust 22, 2011

Anna is not India nor India AnnaAugust 20, 2011

Undemocratic ban July 31, 2011

Corrupt, repressive and stupidAugust 17, 2011

Lokpal: Documents, articles, key reports August 19, 2011

Parents bring children to witness ‘second freedom struggle'August 22, 2011

Anna calls for protests at homes of MPs, MinistersAugust 21, 2011

Ready for talks with Centre's representative or Manmohan: Team Anna August 22, 2011

Ministers, MPs face ‘aam aadmi’ protestAugust 22, 2011

Novel fast against corruptionAugust 22, 2011

‘Acceptable to all’ Lokpal Bill within 3 months: SinghviAugust 22, 2011

Hazare's campaign should be inclusive, says Bukhari August 22, 2011

Manmohan takes stock of situation, goes into huddle with senior leaders August 22, 2011

Pakistan keenly watches India's anti-corruption movement August 24, 2011

Messianism versus democracyAugust 24, 2011

Government seems willing to concede Anna's demandsAugust 24, 2011

I can fast for another nine days: Anna August 24, 2011

Team Anna holds talks with govt; presents fresh draftAugust 24, 2011

Govt. sees ‘some hope’ of finding solution on LokpalAugust 24, 2011

Prime Minister appeals to Hazare to end fast August 23, 2011

Jan Lokpal Bill and ParliamentSeptember 6, 2011

Jan Lokpal Bill regressive: Arundhati RoyAugust 30, 2011

More In: Lead | Opinion

The article is mixed-up, several issues are interlinked to make it sound as if there is a huge conspiracy; one part to which the elite India, government, media, corporates, Team Anna belong to, and the other is where the rest of India fits in. I agree with how the Anti-corruption movement might not have the teeth to address the issue, while the rest of the article is just disjointed.

from:  Abha Kapoor
Posted on: Oct 1, 2011 at 23:23 IST

I would like to know the proof that Anna Hazare "supports" Raj Thackeray and his campaign of xenophobia. The only "evidence" I see on the net is only AR's comments repeated or cited again and again. I would like to see independent evidence.

from:  Lucio Mascarenhas
Posted on: Sep 13, 2011 at 14:35 IST

Arundhati ma'am we respect you as a writer and i must say once again it's very well written article I have read it till end. As you might have got the drift by now what people think about this article and I am not an exception, we all know the facts what you have said in this, its nothing new but the new thing is India is thinking about finding the ways to free itself from corruption. you tell us Is it a bad thing or good?? People of India should thanks Mr Arvind Kejrival and Anna Hazzare that they have raised this issue in every persons mind. which is a bigger side of whole protest.
What you looking is a smaller picture, Who is Anna Hazzare ?? I don't care who he is, what crime he has done, what's his personal life .. I really don't care, every individual has his or her point of view for everything. but when it comes to NATION then we all should have only view that "it's our nation and we have to save it now".

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: Sep 9, 2011 at 12:49 IST

For once she is right. Undermining a democratically elected government by such kind of cheap pressure tactics undermines the role of the very people of India who have voted this Government to power. And do the "flag waving millions(?)" really represent all strata and all corners of citizens of India. An appeal to all Indians - don't be a member of the herd.

from:  Soumik
Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 at 17:37 IST

Hit the nail on the head with this one. Anna came out of nowhere and suddenly was everywhere. And suddenly he develops a great coterie of powerful friends - very keen to jump on the bandwagon of anti-corruption (Anna style). And suddenly a really lethargic media get a valid excuse for being lazy and not doing its job. And suddenly too it became fashionable to protest - a good symbolic continuation of candle-light vigils popularised by Bollywood dramas. Amazing that a nation that has had no dearth of protests rests on this one as the most compelling??! This is purely to keep power firmly in the hands of the powerful...it will do nothing in terms of creating equity or equality.

from:  Vijaya
Posted on: Sep 5, 2011 at 08:48 IST

Ms Roy's cynicism and scorn would've sounded a lot more credible if she had constructive alternatives to offer in tackling the menace of corruption. Let us not be so disdainfully dismissive of a man who has managed to strike a chord among people cutting across the barriers of class, creed,religion and economic status. The movement has been a spontaneous outpouring of revulsion against the elected representatives who have plundered the nation's resources for long in the staunch belief that, once elected, they are answerable to nobody - absolutely nobody - during their years in office. Just look at the way these chaps are now straining every sinew to discredit the Anna team members.

from:  Jayapal Chandrasekher
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 11:06 IST

Some of the points she raised in her article was praiseworthy like the negligence on the part of mass media and civil society in the indefinite fast of Irom Sharmila in Manipur since from 2000 against (AFSPA)and the numerous protest movements in this country which is being overlooked in the process. On the other hand the point which she raises in her article was the similarity between the Jan Lokpal Bill and Maoists which is really provoking. The substantiation which she gave to support her argument to show commonality between the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill is unjustifiable. The fasting of team Anna is not to overthrown of Indian state but to root out the panacea of corruption from the fraudulent system. Jan Lokpal Bill yearns for to work under the preview of Indian Constitution unlike Maoists wants to get rid of it. We cannot damn to a person who is relentlessly fighting for the country against the malevolence of corruption by aggravating arguments of being involves with RSS.

from:  Binod Bhattarai
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 10:15 IST

The RTI Act was the only ray of hope which helped me twice in my ordinary layman (aam admi)life. And at least at that time i could raise a question before those bureaucracy that i too have the claim on my rights.i could shout to their face (and to their conscience) that you are eating my bread. other than this I DONT KNOW ANY ANNA...

from:  Soumya
Posted on: Sep 3, 2011 at 22:38 IST

I don't know whether Ms. Arundhati is right or not but I am sure that the protesters do not represent the class stricken by poverty. I believe that one can't opt for Parliamentary method as and when they like. You need to make change in a way that is acceptable in the Parliamentary System or otherwise we need to go for a complete change in the governance system.I believe that the goals set by Shri Anna is correct and is for the well being of the country but I have my eservation on the means adopted in achieving the said goals. As far as solving the problem of corruption is concerned, we need to have a social and moral revolution.Development, both in economic and social field will bring more transparency in the system. E- Governance has brought better transparency and uprooted corruption to a higher extent than most of the legal measures taken up in the country.

from:  Ng.Roben
Posted on: Sep 3, 2011 at 18:09 IST

Gandhiji believed in satyagraha. There is only truth or untruth. When you deny truth that becomes untruth. When you deny peaceful anti-corruption movement by some technicality you are helping corrupts. Such a scholar are great on papers but she can't provide any solution. She believes our democratic system should not be moved. But what are you doing about corrupt politicians who are making our Parliament a joke. Just don't say Anna is wrong, tell us how to solve this problem... Then I will salute you.

from:  Raj Patil
Posted on: Sep 3, 2011 at 11:54 IST

India will always have corruption-- corruption is endemic. Essentially, it's a very capitalist country that's says it's socialist, but really isn't. The aim of any capitalist country, for each of its citizen's to acquire as much wealth as possible. With this objective, corruption is a tool and not unethical. Until Indians stop equating happiness with wealth, nothing will change. I agree with Arundhati Roy 100%, another scheme by another corrupted social worker.

from:  Asish Kumar
Posted on: Sep 3, 2011 at 08:52 IST

I strongly agree with Arundhati Roy. I will request my fellow citizen's not to be blinded by short sighted decisions and short lived anger. Let's have a more omni-directional, cosmopolitan and practical view of the circumstances. As far as Anna and his campaign is concerned, questions raised by her required due attention of every Indian as well.

from:  Jumman Surender
Posted on: Sep 3, 2011 at 05:46 IST

Inspite of my high regard to the intellect and social commitment fon Ms Arundhati roy, I have to say the article is Cynic to the core. I have also read her previous articles on maoist struggle (Ftront Line); but failed to understand what solution she is offering??. She talks about struggle by the poorest as 'Bottom up' approach while the recent Anna's movement as 'Top down' approach!!!. How can a struggle by a middle class can be catagorised as top class; just because they are better off than the poor?. The whole article and the language used is full of skepticism and cynicism without any discussion on concrete strategy or solutions. I have read the article with interest, put it aside and get on with what I believe -'Fight for my Rights

from:  G. Prasad
Posted on: Sep 2, 2011 at 21:10 IST

Reading the article, I feel enlightened, and after seeing the number of comments, I believe that AR has more fans, than I presume, as mostly or usually I hear people condemning her. They say she finds loopholes, not sees progress. I think it is better to doubt and find mistakes, which if amended and removed, will lead to further and real progress. A real critic has the onus of seeing and telling the drawbacks. Solute to AR!

from:  Pf. HS Dimple
Posted on: Sep 2, 2011 at 21:00 IST

I think Arundhati has struck the nail in the head in the article. I am surprised that people are not able to see through the facade of this entire drama called 'anti corruption movement'and 'second freedom struggle.'

from:  Joydeep
Posted on: Sep 2, 2011 at 15:14 IST

First, is the Ford Foundation a dubious organization? If so, why has the foundation been allowed to fund so many other Govt. supported projects in India? Second, If funding is going on for 3 years, why question it only now when the Govt. is beaten black and blue and is running to hide its face? Is the same Govt. not accepting funding? As regards the source opacity absolutely clouds vision. Should we not have a bill and attempt to curb corruption? The underlying tone of your article stinks of a pro-Govt. bias, which is self-admittedly corrupt! Arousing national-security concern, however oblique, to funding the NGO in question must be backed by concrete evidence. Among other points in charter of the Ford Foundation, strengthening democratic values and advancing human achievement alone are meritorious enough to make contributions to the NGO.

Is it not pertinent to question the Govt. authoritarianism in Hazare being arrested without any case at all!

from:  Soli Shroff
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 18:56 IST

When a farm is infected and insects are feeding the crops , the farmer doesn't worry more more about watering the crop or applying fertilizers. What concerns him is to apply a better insecticide before the whole farm is spoiled. Jan LokPal Bill is like that insecticide to the nation and this system. It can guarantee a better , uncorrupted and understanding government and its systems. Even if it is not 100% full proof , it has surely given a hope to the common people, thats why they are supporting the bill and the movement. It is better to support the movement than doing nothing and cursing the system than to take a chance and hope for its application for good. May be the campaigning is running on the clutches of few industrialists and Indian companies, but if it is so they can't escape from the weapon they are creating because once it is created it will not be slave of any specific big brothers lobby but it will autonomous.

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 18:31 IST

I do agree with Aruundhati Roy's views. It is needless to write about the the spirit,unity and power of the movement but it can be compared to any movement by a popular leader or celebrity.. If a celebrity today asks to make a law which allows which is not in the constitutional framework then we all are against him. The demands should be in the area bounded by the constitutional farmework and judiiciary...

from:  Muhammad Ahmad
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 17:32 IST

Ms. Arundhiti is crying like Manshing and Jiachand who stabbed at the back.Who has given her right to critisize a pesron who challanged govt of india to prove corruption of Rs. 100 against him ,who sleeps in a temple ,does not know even the names of his own relatives .His strength is non violence.It seems Ms. Roy has been nothing more than just supporter of Congress govt and most corrupt govt country ever had.

Thanks
Best Regards,

Vinod

from:  vinod
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 16:47 IST

I read the article, and browsed thru the reader comments. I also had a chance to hear her on a TV channel recently. I find her arguments to be totally incoherent, illogical. Anna's movement against corruption is funded by the people of India. It is a volunteer effort of so many people, which is supported by the masses who have had enough of the rampant corruption. At Bangalore event, we had a poster - Anger Against Rampant Corruption, Triggered This ANNA Eruption. I guess Arundhati needs to take a break and regroup her thoughts.

from:  Gururaj S.
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 16:34 IST

well... this is the take of ms Arundhathi Roy in this movement.. firstly let me make a note that this movement is not Anna Hazare's personal movement. anybody who seemed to be credible could have come up with this idea. millions of common citizens of india were looking for some alternative from current situations. one of the main reasons behind massive support is the clean image of Mr Hazare. even after getting Padmabhushan how many indian did know him..?? so not Mr Hazare but his intention to do something against corruption is the point. Everyone knows even there is Lokpal it will not eradicate entire corruption. but do something and it is very late to start as well. It is interesting Ms Roy's views went in a different direction to Ms Medha Patkar's. they worked together for Narmada issue. Please don't stay against a massive gathering's interest which is definitely with a good intention. Your personality will be questioned.

from:  Bipin T Kurian
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 15:41 IST

Ahh! Another warrior without a cause. Oh no, she is always been like that. IMHO, write stories.

from:  Avijit sharma
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 15:23 IST

Dear Ms. Roy, Certainly well thought article about Anna Hazare. The problems which you have described in your article is primarily due to 'innocence' of public knowing nothing about existing bad policies (across each section of our lives) and good people around us; who have been fighting to keep a selfless agenda alive. Difficult to say Anna movement is good or bad; however, one thing is for sure if you leave out corporates, NGS's, trust (extremely good option to hide black money); you cover only 10%. It is like asking a person to wear an underwear on his marriage day function! Kudos to such a brave article; however, i hope the Anna movement intention is a good start to cover all. However, completely agree with you it doesn't deserve the media hype generated by us, only! I think we Indians make GODS as soon as any person of flesh and bones stands up with interest to show that it will do good for the all countrymen! GOD save us!

from:  Shahab
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 13:04 IST

I think anything which unites India is a fear factor for people like AR. Corruption is a disease and its effect can be reduced by Janlokpal Bill. Punishments like minimum 10 years of imprisonment stops people from doing corruption. And this bill has been pending for last 40 years, tell me why people will not protest ?

from:  vipin
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 09:42 IST

AR and most people like her more in showbiz than social business. Though they are entitled to their opinions still one has to see through all the movements headed by Anna including RTI and other corruption campaigns. She chooses her words so carefully to sound more like official spokesperson of Sonia JI. Imagine had Anna took her sincere advice and started movement for all points listed by her, where we would have been, no where right! Better do something worth while and get into people's heart and mind rather then criticizing one person who is more associated with people than you folks are!!

from:  Anujsh
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 06:59 IST

I think Ms Arundhati should take up the challenge someone has put in these comments and publish a version of her own of the Jan Lokpal Bill. I'm sure she has one such in her mind and consistent with what she has expressed here. I think, many of her points are valid. Do you think, corruption would have survived if the politicians alone were corrupt? Is it possible that all the thousands of 'supporters' and 'flag wavers' are all, every one of them, clean? Or are they putting on an act by joining the few who are genuinely clean? The way corruption is spoken about these days, looks like it is all coming from 'them' and not from 'us'. Who are we fooling?

from:  Denzil Madhavan
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 04:07 IST

I am surprised at this outburst of intolerance here, why is it that we cannot be objective about the issue. People are allowed to have a different opinion and be able to say it out loud. The irony of this people's movement is that anyone questioning its validity is being ostracized and deemed unpatriotic. The point of a civil society and its philosophers is to be able to have open dialogue. Carry on Arundhati. Bravo!

from:  Sumita
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 01:47 IST

I totally agree with the arundhati Roy's comments,lokpal is totally impractical, idon't know why this western centric media is showing more attention towards this issue.these kind of instant revolutions doesn't make any difference in the society, and who are the civil society representative's there is no definition in the constitution 'civil society representative'. 'People don't seem to understand what exactly is happening here. Everybody is under the misconception that creating this Lok Pal will solve all corruption problems. But what they don't realize is that it is a big risk to give so much power to one institution and hope that it does its job.

from:  M.KRISHNA ADITHYA
Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 at 01:42 IST

Arundhati has completely gone on the wrong path and it seems this was a literary exercise to defame Anna and his movement. I am surprised that all pro-Maoists are on the wrong side... first Agnivesh and now Arundhati...I was once an admirer of her views on poor sections in Vidharba, Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal etc but after this article I may have to review my positive thoughts about her and her work...

from:  Dipen Chakraborty
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 22:37 IST

"Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, key figures in Team Anna, has received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation in the last three years."
I wonder who sponsors the Booker Prize that Ms. Roy won? The National Book Trust? Sahitya Akademi?

from:  Swami
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 21:21 IST

She made a very good point: the trio - Kejriwal, Bedi and Anna - have their NGOs and are very well funded by corporate sectors. Is that the reason why NGOs and corporate world been barred? What consolidates skepticism about anna's campaign is that the team anna can't tolerate to exclude PM and chief justices of our country(on lines that it would result in weakening of bill) but are not willing to add NGOs in it. is corruption only exclusive to MLAs, MPs and government officers? Are NGOs or corporate world been run by God on whom we can put blind faith that they would possess no lust for green pastures? If they are so desperate to strengthen the bill - or to weed out corruption from soils of india - they should also bring NGOs, corporate sectors and even media under lights of lokpal!

from:  Gaurav Moghe
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 21:19 IST

As a NRI, I know very well what is the corruption rate in India,from Panchayat office to Secretariat in every where there is corruption. 99 percentage of Govt. employees are corrupted. We are ready to spend some more for Jan Lokpal expences but not ready to give it to corrupted officers or politicians. Arundati Roy, you have given all the comments as a politician against Anna Hajare, but not as a pure Indian. Pls. try to be a pure indian than think the comments are write or wrong for the true Indians.

from:  Ajay Kumar Gayan.Kuwait
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 20:57 IST

I agree to her that each coin posses two aspects,one positive and the other negative, similar in the case of Anna hazare,she had pointed out the negative view point,but compairing Anna's team with Maoist is absolutely irrational,even she had supported corruption for poor ones,but the fact is this corruption cannot be right from any one's side.....so her ways of proving Anna illegal is not succeded.....

from:  Priti Singh
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 15:26 IST

she has raised very important points. No body with little mind should follow a crowd to support a bill which is aimed to control half corruption by goverment and safeguard half corrruption of NGOS and private sector.

from:  mumtaz ahmad
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 14:31 IST

Arundhiti has started talking like Congress agent to defame all this movement. Another Agnivesh in making ;)

from:  amit
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 13:36 IST

I unequivocally subscribe to some of the key arguments made Ms. Arundhati Roy. Right from the day one of the so-called 'Second August Revolution'(as it has been dubbed by the predominantly upper caste-oriented, urban elite-driven media channels) started under Anna Hazare's leadership, I have been watching everything that has happened in Delhi and elsewhere in the name of people's revolution. I've heard people speaking in favour of the movement and people speaking against the movement, its character, composition, tactics, etc. But, in between these two extremes, there are people who, despite their reservations regarding the nature and character of this movement, find some positives in it. Though they don't support the movement and hardly share the passion and excitement of many others culminating in mass hysteria and brought in its numerous versions before millions of eyes glued to the chatterbox, they assume that the movement also bodes well for democracy and governance in the country. What I find most striking about this movement is the mode of protest adopted by Mr. Hazare and his associates. At the end of the day, they reaped its benefits and tasted a great moral victory tactically by pressurizing the Parliament to give a go-ahead to some of their major demands for further consideration by the Standing Committee. No doubt, they have succeeded in taking the first big step towards the goal they had set for themselves and the celebratory mood of Anna supporters reflect it. For all those people who are genuinely concerned about the interests of the marginalized, deprived and oppressed sections of the society, it's time to reconsider their tactics and methods of protest against the Establishment. We can go on condemning media for creating a lot of hype regarding the movement, we can go on criticizing Team Anna for their biased, skewed perception of corruption and corruption-free society, we can question the integrity of the people associated with the movement, we can bill the entire movement as elitist, upper caste-engineered, loaded in favour the traditionally privileged. And still, we can’t ignore the fact that it stands out as an outstanding example of how a movement can succeed today and within the kind of democratic system we have in our country. In spite of all its limitations, it's a trendsetter at least in how it has redefined people's protest.

from:  Deepak Choudhary
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 10:55 IST

I am in general agreement with a lot of what you say in your article. I'll go so far as to say that your concluding remark was spot-on. I am certain that you'd agree me when I say we need more disparate voices in order to come up with an effective bill. But don't you agree that we don't just need critics and cynics who can point to the problems with almost anything, what we desperately need is some solutions to those problems, and we need people who can come up with those solutions. Ms. Roy, my only question to you is: what do you think can/should be done to tackle corruption? What are your ideas? How would you mobilize the opinion and the masses around your ideas? How would you ensure that participation in the movement is not skewed by and for a certain sector of society? Pray enlighten us.

from:  Aman
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 10:46 IST

First, some statistics: Arundhati Roy's op-ed essay has a word count of 1776, and has elicited 1342 comments with a total word count of 1,36,657. That's approximately forty one thousand and three hundred words more than her novel, The God of Small Things. Predictably, a very large number of those comments are not complimentary - including the ones beginning "I'm normally an admirer of Arundhati Roy, but..." - and some of them are downright abusive. (I assume the moderator has removed the more obscene comments not infrequent in these forums). What is it about Ms. Roy that provokes such raw passions? She is not affiliated to any political party nor a member of any organization. She does not hold office or wield any power. She wrote an elegant and rather popular novel 15 years ago, but other than that, seems no threat to anyone. Could it be that her political views and writings, which have won her enormous admiration and a devoted following, touch a raw nerve somewhere in Middle India?

from:  Sajan
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 10:18 IST

The people of India are tired of corruption and they see some hope in the Jan Lokpal. Perhaps it is time to take draconian steps to curb corruption. Let there be some stringent laws to rein in the corrupt politician. Infact the Jan Lokpal should include only the MPs, MLAs and other elected representatives of the people, it is this class of people who have promoted corruption in the country. I keep wondering what is Rahul Gandhi's source of income.

from:  Amit
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 09:00 IST

Ms Roy gives very real insight to the other side of the movement. Many comments express dismay at not receiving any solution to the prevailing problems. Point is that we have become so obsessed with the solution oriented psychosis that any incisive and analytically piece without a solution seem incomplete. Why can't there be problems outlined and expressed. Why can't one could express the faults with proposed solutions without having alternate cleansing mechanism? Mr. Roy is honest enough to express that while she has been outlining the problems at grass root levels for so many years, she is no expert on cleansing process. Anna movements makes her worried with reasons clearly outlines. I may not agree with everything written here but it does give marvelous insight to the other side of the movement.

from:  Udayan
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 08:26 IST

Agree with Arundhati's views; Hazare's intention is no doubt appreciable, that he wishes to have a neat and tidy, straight-forward administrative system in India, but the concerns he is addressing, or rather not, are thinkable; as he is adamant not to talk to the government about the proposed know-hows and the many windy confrontations dominating the modern India bureaucracy..and the worst part..the educated mass of India, without thinking rationally, just jumps on the street and there we have, thousands of people marching and singing 'Anna ke jai ho' without pondering over what realy is corruption and the Lokpal Bill ! And we are comparing the Gandhian era and the great Mahatma to Hazare..the modern Mahatma he is after all !

")

from:  SN
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 01:56 IST

Problems such as the Maoist and Bodo movements are occuring in India because of the corrupt government has done nothing for the well-being of the people. The majority of Indians are living in villages in ignorance and misery because of the government. Had the government spent the millions of rupees which have been smuggled out of the country into Swiss banks on development, India would have been a developed country by now. Clearly, the government is at fault. As long as people have gained national consciousness (even in the rural areas), the movement against corruption can be built up from here. The most important thing is for all Indians to be aware of the corrupt tactics of the government to deliberately try to suppress the enlightenment and of people in order to perpetuate its own power. The Janpal Lokpal Bill, however, must be carefully analysed and an opinion poll taken before it is passed. Hence, Anna Hazare has truly done the country a favour at the expense of his own health.

from:  Alex
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 01:29 IST

Come up with more constructive ideas to fight corruption and bring harmony to the nation. Don't just become a skeptic and criticize everything. Even though Hazare's fast was largely peaceful the way to achieve desired results can always be questioned but looking at the cause it's worth it.

from:  Amar
Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 at 00:14 IST

I agree with Ms Arubdhati Roy; power in few chosen agianst a democratic process -shows -all these individuals supporting the -emotional -sentiments- shuod be focussing in their own local societies-talk about corruption in us and feeding into the society-politicians-(there not foreigners or from other planets) and ask- how did this so called 'GOVT persons get there" if power and access to pwer is the source of corruption- how a few individuals -over a preriod of time be non corrupt. 'power corrupts' i agree with Ms. Roy opinion.
rao ks

from:  rao ks
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 23:39 IST

What is surprising to me is that a majority of the counter srguments to this article ask '..so what is your solution?' rather than stopping to think 'what is this solution I am supporting? and are perpertrators of this movement in a position to draft legislation?', which I think is the spirit of the article. I agree something is better than nothing, but surely nothing is better than nonsense?

from:  A.Rao
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 23:09 IST

Ms Roy, Don't kill the messenger. All the questions that you raise in your article, are in context of the very fabric of Indian society - of Indian people. A nation that hardly accepts decentralization of any sort of power. A country with a majority that does not reach out to matters that don't affect their everyday (corruptions effects all, hence yes to Anna.. a soldier in trouble in Manipur, who cares?) No Anna or Gandhian or bill can change a thing, unless there is a huge attitude shift in India. At-least half of the thousands supporting Anna have at some point used the leniency of corruption to their advantage, being it paying off a cop or a 100 bucks to get ahead of the queue in the passport office. There is an urgent need for an ideological shift.

from:  Kaavya
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 21:40 IST

Was Ms.Arundhathi Roy not in India till time? or somebody banned her to talk against corruption till time? If you really wish to Fight against Corruption, then better you join hands with Sri Anna Hazare and Stand Against Corruption.the logic work out here is; Sri Anna Hazare ready to loose his life in fighting against Corruption and You are saying something against him through this article. i.e. you are supporting corruption. If you mean simply a 'brain wash' it can't bring much changes any more as many tried and failed to do so throughout this movement.

from:  Raja Joseph
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 21:27 IST

It sounds to me that Ms Arundhati Roy is an 'Anarchist' at the core of her heart. She is of course brilliant. An 'Anarchist' by nature abhors order and any effort to bring in order. That alone explains to me her vitriolic views on Jan Lokpal bill and its crusaders. CPI [M] has supported the bill, they may have reservations on certain points but not against the concept. For that matter many have different opinions on the details.

from:  M Prabhakar
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 20:38 IST

Apt. Parliamentary democracy has had days of shame and this freedom struggle added to the long list. Boardroom and North Block intrigues in combination with the weakest executive free India has seen thus far, have inadvertantly created a band of 'True Indians' who are reliving our one and only true usp - hypocricy. Only if we could curb the urge to pay the T.T and get a confirmed seat before the chap whose RAC number technically deserves it - we would not need a charismatic civil society to take up such causes. While I have my reservations regarding "Kashmir needs freedom from India," to my mind, Anna and his staunch supporters running on vested money and clueless governmental strategems need to consider - where are they headed and why? The teeming millions (not the facebook crowd and page 3 socialites) elsewhere in this vast country, definitely deserve a better deal from its top executive and bearers of civil society flag. Let us not all stoop to the same level of medocrity.

from:  KT
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 19:08 IST

What Anna is doing is good and hope it brings a certain change which will make the Indians not have to be corrupted not by choice when he/she gets into d system. Its not in our hand these days to be not corrupted once you enter the system if you are the bread earner of your family we are compelled to do it. From what happened in India because of Anna's fasting we can clearly notice that with backing of media and support from the aristocrats had brought his struggle successful. Issues of Sharmila's fasting, 2G scam, massacre of innocent villagers at Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh etc. and suicide of farmers at neighbouring place could have been in different scenario if they had backing and supporters like of Anna. While Anna's Lokpal bill is being the talk of the town Arundhati Roy did not let us forget about these serious on going struggles and scandals which is also a very important issues which we Indians have to think of to eradicate like the way we are trying hard to do of 'corruption'

from:  tabashree
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 16:04 IST

I was not able to understand her heart burn on Anna Hazare, who has taken up the cudgels, like all other NGO’s like her. Her doubts, Whether it works or not depends on how we view corruption’ are unfounded, since the legislation is still to be passed and before that the bill will be reviewed critically by intellectual people like her, our parliamentarians, few pseudo intellectuals in media and the civil society (not the ‘civil society’ she is referring, which has to defend).
The definition of ‘people’ is as broad as Arundhati Roy’s. Why the people are not behind other NGO leaders is an issue to be discussed with ground realities. Comparison does not work here (and we need not suggest such things to her, she being herself a leading Social activists).
What if he has RSS supporters? Is it a bane for any Social activist? Anna Hazare has that quality of life in which he believes and propagates (transparency and no-hipocracy). We should learn to respect such qualities in Anna Hazare...

from:  KP
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 14:34 IST

Ms. Roy talks about corruption in the corporates, NGOs and Media. Can she enlighten us as to how the corruption in these areas can exist without the active connivance of all those who are proposed to be included in the Jan Lokpal bill? The recent scams involve the corporates (Telecom companies, real estate etc.,) who were helped by the very same persons who were supposed to prevent corruption in those areas and to ensure that the laws laid down in our constitution are adhered to. She obviously does not want to think rationally.

from:  Sharath
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 14:28 IST

Who is this Arundhathi Roy????

from:  Jaimon Joseph
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 11:34 IST

Support for Anna's anti corruption campaign has been unanimous. However this has diverted attention from burning issues like CWG scam, 2G scam and Iron Sharmila's Struggle as Roy has rightly pointed out. We can say hopefully Jan Lok Pal Bill once implemented will fix all these scams. But if it fails some hundreds of corrupt people will get richer because of these 2 scams itself.

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 11:25 IST

I totally agree with MS.Roy. At least we have someone to show the other face of Mr.Hazare. I do not support what team anna is doing. Though they have got initial win over the issue, i don not see it going forward. And people who supported anna , half of them do not know what the issue is all about which is very sad in deed. Please know the issue first before you support something.

from:  Praveen
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 11:18 IST

At the outset, let me point out one common problem here..We are all busy criticizing the person whose views are printed or aired, not the views. This should stop. Just recently the Indian IT poster boy, Nandan Nilekani said that the Lokpal Bill was not a magic wand that can end corruption in the country. Minutes after the interview was aired most blogs and social networking sites were full of comments on deriding him , not his views. Everyone has a right to their opinion. We seem to have reached a stage where we are not willing to even tolerate divergent views, forget listening to them and evaluating them. No one has said that corruption is good, no one has dared to say that there is no corruption in the country or even suggested that it is not a priority - Even the most corrupt who are facing trial have not uttered a word. Now, the problem is with the methods adopted to bring corruption under control and finally eliminate it from our society.Let us allow everyone to air their views.

from:  Ajith
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 11:12 IST

This article doesn't say anything other than blaming everyone for no purpose. Arundhati Roy could have used her time for some other purpose than spent time on this article. Fight against corruption is started by Anna. We usually watch this on the movies, we liked it. Its good see this in real life; it is better than nothing. You are just writer and Anna is the practical person. You are saying that "The 24-hour channels have decided that there is no other news in the country worth reporting"". You did the same thing you didn't have anything to do that's why you wrote this article. Am I right? Please retire or do the good thing. Please don't waste people time by writing poor article.

from:  ramu
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 10:14 IST

There are too many armchair politicians like her who find solace in semantics and punctuation rather than the actual stuff. No one has had the guts in so many years after independence to stand up to a growing corruption economy. Government looks for technical reasons to reject, and our pretty friend looks for Maoist parallels to speak against it. Come down to earth and feel the pain of the common man suffering corruption instead of writing a book about it.

from:  Janardhan Krishna
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 09:34 IST

An interesting analysis by Ms Arundhati Roy. I would like to divide the issues under two caption: (a)Central and State Government related corruption (mainly bribery)issues and (b)large Corporations related corruption issues. The Lokepal is trying to address the Government related corruption issues. I appreciate the one important point made, that is corruption may increase unless the body that would control the "Lokpal" is clean and honest. I mean in future public may have to bribe the Lokpal employees also unless they are a honest bunch. Therefore in framing and implementing the Lokapl law it is essential that proper care must be taken to avoid such a situation (Frying pan to the fire situation).
Lokpal, properly implemented will address the issue of using the Coporate vehicle to loot the public wealth. But other forms of Corporate corruptions need to be addressed by tightening the Corporation law, anti competition law...LOKPAL IS A GOOD STARTING PONT AND THIS A LONG MARCH.

from:  Eric M Paramanathan
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 04:52 IST

We Indians are experts in making laws and do not abide by them, and find ways and means to subvert them. For instance, the bill against Dowry. Has it been eradicated? It goes on and what's more, it has become worse. It is our concience which has to be cleansed and transformed. Well, this may be the beginning. Let us hope for the best!!!.

from:  F. Sunderaraj
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 02:57 IST

Sorry AR, I am disappointed with your attitude towards Anna ji. Everybody, including you, has seen corruption increasing by leaps and bounds since independence, but nobody did anything about it. Those in high positions misused their powers and instead of looking after the poor they crushed them in every way possible. The distance or disconnect between the elected and those who elected them widened, the former living in the lavish world of their own without caring for the latter. Then there came a person, another Gandhi, who without fearing for his own life challenged an uncaring, scam ridden UPA government and galvanized the people of India against the menace of corruption. Like iron fillings, people were attracted to this magnet of probity, honesty, celibacy, an epitome of absolute unselfishness and truthfulness. They came out in thousands all over the country and many stayed with him at Ramlila Maidan for thirteen days, without taking food, just like him. After committing many blunders, the government had no alternative but to yield before the people’s power. Agreed the corruption would not go away in a day, but is a beginning and we should welcome it. We did not see Gandhi ji; we only read about him and many of us were inspired by his deeds, although we could not follow in his footsteps. But there was one person in Anna ji who really followed him; he adopted Gandhian philosophy and principles and has now brought a sea change in the minds of millions of young people who not only have seen him but also actively participated with him. Let us assume that even .01% of Indians get inspired by him and lead their lives as honestly as Anna did. When translated that would be a large number of people and if one Anna could bring that much awareness, that much change, that much goodness what that huge number could do is beyond apprehension. AR, you always think negatively and sometimes it appears you talk against India herself, otherwise how you could share a stage with Kashmiri separatists. I was born in Kashmir and I have therefore a right to have opinion my state. May I ask you what right did you have to hobnob with the separatists and talk about my state in the manner you did?

from:  Raj Behl
Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 at 02:41 IST

The writer seems to project herself as the guardian of Indian democracy. Other than pick faults with what ever Anna did,I dint see any suggestion on how things could have been done better. May be she does not realise how much corruption has seeped into our system and the Maoists that she supports openly are also the end result of the Govt.money not getting to the intended person. I feel the movement opened the eyes of our MPs to what the people expect of them and rather than create a hinderance to the development of the Country, its time they contributed.

from:  Thomas
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 20:10 IST

Respected Madam, I am not sure about the Maoist or Naxalist acitivity. One thing, a system which is ready to cure only at the time of death is of no use. We people want solution in peace way and we cant wait again for another 40 years. We dont have strength to bear this. Saying in the style of Gandhi, if the thing done by Anna Hazare to fight against corruption in peace way is wrong, then we are ready to do that again and again in peace way, till we get what we want in a democratic way. The parliament is a part of democracy system and if that democratic machine becomes repair then it is the responsibility of people to cure it and not to destroy it. Anna ji doesnt want to destroy it. We want to cure it.

from:  J S Krishna Kumar
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 19:50 IST

The biggest problem with the Leftists in INDIA is that are always criticizing the middle class. Yes everyone agrees that the poor are the worst sufferers.But middle class too has too bear the brunt.There are virtually no jobs other than that in 6 big metros(including Bangalore and Hyderabad)most of the middle class people are forced to migrate to bigger cities . And there he can't afford a decent flat due to sky high real estate prices.The worst thing is that the lefties although honest and genuinely concerned about nation are always targeting middle class.They consider the middle class to be villain. But real fact is that no revolution has been successful in INDIA when the middle class did not participate.1857 revolt failed because there was no middle class at that time.It's only when the educated middle class came into picture freedom struggle gained momentum.genuine communists like Bhagat singh,Subhas chandra bose the naxalites(of calcutta) in 1970 stand testimony to it.

from:  Kishalaya Bhattacharjee
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 19:37 IST

What She said is absolutely the truth, but nothing but the truth! If lots of people disagree, they still can, but other voices in this matter must be heard with patience!We believe in democracy, in Parliament, in our sacred constitution all ours! to protect and cherish! Any attempt to preampt our cherished values must be protested!No body is against fighting corruption here in India, all of us support that view. But to force a theory of mass agitation against parliament system and you say here you accept my view and I go on till death strike is dangerous for this country1 We shall fight within the frame work! if you deviate outside the parameter you are invoking trouble for further dangerous repercussions!

from:  Charles Sushil Kumar
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 18:50 IST

Thanks AR for being a perfect argumentative Indian that opened the other side of the Anna movement speaheded by our middle class till other day were the votaries of anti-mandal agitation. But in a neoliberal Anna movement is the only poosible alternative against a corrupt political-economic system

from:  Pradep Nayak
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 18:06 IST

Thank you Arundhati Roy ji for such a well written article - for exploring the truth underlying the insane media hype with Anna Hazare. You said makes sense and fits the equation very well. The strong reaction of the readers (probably closely representing the class for which Anna plays the pawn) to your opinions proves your point!

from:  Kazi N Fattah
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 17:18 IST

Anna and his team may have their blind spots but how can anyone disparage the way people have participated in it. We all appreciate that a single Jan lokpal bill can not put the house in order. But what is significant here is peoples' mood and their resolve to fight it out on the street. The problem with most our intellectuals is that they make sense of indian reality through books and the social class they come from, precludes a direct encounter with the masses.
so if Anna's movement was all about Middle class giving vent to its angst then majority of our intellectuals too, shares the same class. This way it would sound a game where one strand of middle class pointed guns at the other. However, the case is not that simple. let us try to put the whole thing in a bigger perspective: if not for anything else, the movement should be hailed for the simple fact that it eventually forced the entire political class to yield to the PEOPLE.

from:  Buntu Dhatiyan
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 16:45 IST

Imho, this article is not looking at anti-corruption movement. I felt more like question credibility of a person coming forward for a good cause. For me Anna is a common man. There are lots of them out there fighting for justice. Corruption is a common plague which is affecting all parts of the society and hence all the people in nation can relate to it. I agree with the point "This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India's representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people." But think why is it happening? What is the solution? How do we change? Again Lok Pal bill is again a law to control this and implentation matters. Let's hope we dont have to fight to put another bill to control corruption in Lok pal. For me, this movement has brought in a social consciousness and of course for all the people across the nation. Being an optimistic, let us hope for a better tomorrow.

from:  Surjit
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 14:12 IST

I accept most of the comments mentioned above, and want to say that
she seems to be totally against Anna Hazare's movement against
corruption in the government sectors. She did not say why it is so.
Citing many examples of wrong doings in this country could not be the
reason for her opposition against Anna Hazare. Should I presume that
she could not become one like Anna Hazare is the reason for her rage?
Being educated and intelligent she should have put forward her views
in a more mature way than just telling everything in this country is
wrong. She must come out with an alternative solution before
criticizing others for a genuine cause. Also know that to become Anna
Hazare it needs lots of sacrifice of different nature. Very few people
have that guts, will power, stamina, and truthfulness to become an
Anna. Does she have these qualities to become Anna?

from:  Subir
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 13:39 IST

Really disappointing to see such a article from a renowned writer at a time where the whole nation is struggling for SOMETHING better. What's really worth today - To keep finding negatives? or To find a solution and keep the hopes high? Well we should HOPE for a better future of everyone inc YOU & ME for which millions are fighting today rather than pointing fingers, trying to divert attentions to other issues saying why only corruption? Ofcourse we have many more issues lined up but we should not make a mess of everything instead of hammering out one at a time.

from:  Mehra
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 12:35 IST

We are not supporting Anna or Kiran Bedi, but anti-corruption. I think Ms Roy should not take it personally. The article is well written and is an eye opener, but she does not give a solution to the problem which affects all Indians. I think all tax paying citizen of India has a right to protest. We cant be paying bribe to any Tom, Dick and Harry, which is the main problem Indians face. Most of Indian citizens are concerned about daily existence than any other global problem. If there are no day to day tussles then we can be bothered about other issues. People in the higher up may not know a common man's problem and that's the reason Ms Roy is not able to understand what corruption has led to. Might be all the problems will also be solved if we can stand together and make a start. Instead of supporting individuals support the cause.

from:  Merin
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 12:11 IST

I do not agree with Arundhati. Hers is a very negative attitude towards the entire thing... its like seeing tha glass half empty... almost every problem of the country is somewhere linked to corruption of the system... this is a time when the masses have united together for a positive reason... irrespective of caste, creed, gender... it is an achievement in itself... on one side there are people like Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, who have actually put their hard efforts, done things for the betterment rather than those who just find faults.... I say I would rather be Kiran Bedi... and I would rather not be Arundhati...

from:  Sneha
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 10:54 IST

I think India has enough policies to eradicate all her basic problems like poverty, hunger that AR mentions. The problem lies in its implementation, and that is where corruption comes in, forming the root of all problems and that is what needs to be eradicated to solve the rest.

from:  Anoop R Katti
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 10:07 IST

What ever said and done, now we have at least winked in our slumber. The present government has glorified corruption to such an extent that it has startled the Indian " Kumbakarnas". Corruption has been rampant ever since we won independence and it has taken so long for us to react. We should be grateful to Anna Hazare for having ignited the young indian minds to act against corruption. Ms. Roy is entitled to have her opinion about the anti corruption movement but as a recently awakened Indian citizen it is up to the individual to accept it or not. Every Indian politician at the realms of power is benefiting to a great extent by corruption. Then why the hell he or she should bring a strong legislation to prevent it. So it is only natural for the present Govt to dump the bill in garbage.The only way to prevent corruption is by legalizing it as LOBBYING. The other way is that thugs, rowdies and people with criminal record should be banned from contesting elections.

from:  Hari raghu
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 09:18 IST

Completely agree with Ritu Rawat. As I heard from many that this is a good beginning. what if the beginning is towards a wrong direction? I think it is. When there is a problem first need to analyze it and identify the root cause then take steps to solve the problem. How do people think punishing some officials will solve the problem? massive corruptions are due to lack of knowledge about money and how it works. low level corruptions are due to gap between rich and poor. Now, I think, its set at wrong direction because apparently govt. will come up with some system (as ppl expect) which will create more trouble than solving the issue.

from:  Bala Muthu
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 07:41 IST

WELL said, Arundhati.. this will only INCREASE corruption, not prevent it. Now we will have to grease another PALM - Lokpal's, or increase the amount being bribed so that it can be shared - of that I am certain. Let us be honest CORRUPTION has become part of our blood and is as natural to us as the (foul) air we breath.

from:  Vijay krishnan
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 06:25 IST

Well said Ms Roy, if only all Indians were as well informed as you are. Unfortunately, most of us have to depend on corporate controlled media to feed us the news- a lamentable fact of modern India.

from:  VPM
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 at 02:58 IST

Reader Leenika Singh got it spot on. Most who disagree with Ms Arundhati are people who assume that once the bill is passed they can safely go back to their humdrum lives without realizing that the nation's well being is dependent on every citizen's honest individual commitment in every endeavor in a community. We blame the majority that elects the leaders but only communicate to this majority in a judgmental or authoritarian tenor instead of informing and educating them through life's daily events and opportunities. It is we who create the class and the caste differences with our behavior. No sooner had the author mentioned Anna's dark side than you find people out to draw the boundaries of where and how they see Anna fit in their lives which exactly is how corruption begins. Simply put, the majority demands impeccable qualities of another person that they seldom live up to in any simple endeavor that yields little in the way of money or benefits their ego.

from:  N Mantri
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 23:20 IST

I completely agree with Ms. Arundhati Roy. Its good that you analyzed the situation and boldly came out with a strong statement. Glad that i am not the only anti-national that i thought i was since i wasnt suporting Mr. Hazare. Even i have doubts regarding the actual effectiveness of this bill. ' Jan Lokpal' again a term i feel coined by so called 'Team Anna'. Dont know if any 'Janta' was actually nvolved when this was drafted by them. or was it just Bhushan's, Kejriwals's n Bedi's.. and they came out with this. For years Mr. Hazare claims to have proofs of corruption agains Mr. Pawar and clan..but nothing has been done till date. Tomorow this so called "Team Anna" may say..they need a new judicial system..Accepted politicos are corrupt..but then there's a way to get things done..

from:  Vinod S
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 21:35 IST

AR should acquaint herself with the issues involved in Anna Hazare's previous fasts. It is not necessary that everybody should feel the same way about the causes one feels strongly about. It's perfectly alright if corruption is a big issue for some activists whereas Maoists and Green Hunt could leave AR greatly exercised. Remember, India is a democracy unlike what it would have been under AR's beloved Marxist dispensation! Sadly, besides being undemocratic AR also stoops to allegations and innuendo, bordering on character assassination , in her chatacteristically vituperative style.

from:  Ramchander
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 19:47 IST

I agree with your view. In my opinion, this type of act is similar to terrorism without weapon.

from:  Sharad Singh Sankhla
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 19:09 IST

No doubt! corruption is a menace and it should be rooted out. meanwhile lets not be hypocrites but rather learn to support and practice truth in every cause that may or may not relate us. i somehow agree with her, there is always two sides of a coin. this wasn't the whole India movement if it was then it was only the urban class(living in cities with comfort lives surrounded by shopping malls, PVR cinema complexes, metro trains,discotheques etc. etc.) who are frustrated with getting less luxury and comforts services from the government. of course for a movement sponsor by corporates the momentum gets high but how about that genuine many voices of the majority downtrodden in rural areas? i guess we have no takers

from:  dave
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 19:06 IST

I agree with your view. In my opinion, this type of act is similar to terrorism without weapon.

from:  Sharad Singh Sankhla
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 18:58 IST

Some people love to critisize in anyway which is very easy always, and seems that Ms Roy also doing the same. It was a movement and all movements starts for something good, but at the end when we analyze the outcome of movement we always find something good and something bad. Its up to us to see what is important outcome from that movement for us. As a starting phase for a change in system I think the Anna's movement was successfully good irrespective of few bad narrated by Ms Arundhati which I feel are irrelevant at this stage.

from:  Vasudev
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 18:17 IST

I'd rather not be Anna either. I'm not *that* brain-damaged not that elitist. I welcome Roy's brilliant (as usual) deconstruction of the Anna hype.

from:  Manoj Pandey
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 17:55 IST

Aruna jee,
You can't get grip on all issues. Single human can't solve all problems and single human can't understand all complexity of systems. I am certain that Aruna don't know all. Anna is simple but daring man who understood simple fact of corruption draging the country. People's frustration reached peak level and just raised movement at right time. If the corruption stoped at higher level, system revamps itself. The need of hour if powerful lokpal. After 20 years we might come to a situation where the presence of lokpal causes the smooth functioning of democracy - at that time we need to reform again.

from:  S R Bandi
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 17:32 IST

An interesting article from AR so typical of what I call as the "learned" class of India who view every move in an analytic way without offering any solutions. We have a democracy where we elect leaders to work for the nation and it's constituents and not to siphon off Crores of Rupees for themselves and their party coffers. And worse, we have institutions like the UPSC who are given the responsibility of recruiting so called Public Servants into elitist services who then spend the rest of their working lives making the Public their servants. Where does the common man turn then? Is he not entitled to better his lot by being a hard working person wishing to better his lot and for his family? Does he always have to pay Money to get a Ration Card or Passport or a Driving License? Or a widow has to pay money to get her pension? Reading AR's comments only reinforces my belief that at the root of the malaise today is this divide between the so called learned class and the Common Man.

from:  Suresh
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 17:29 IST

Looking at the article & comments, I would interpret it this way. Had it been someone other than Anna, at some other place and at some other random time, Roy would have still questioned him. Actually we should question anybody and everybody all the time. On the other hand Lokpal may not solve things ,but its a start. This demonstration was cry from the ppl who have seen so many scandals. Having said that , I would interpert that this article mainly means we should be careful in giving any person/organisation a idolatory place & a hegemonic power. What I would strongly take exception in this article is maligning someone's character. My advice to Ms Roy would be to not write such unnecessary remarks which takes focus out of main point which she wants to convey. If she slings muds, most likely ppl will see mud in her hands first and then on the person she is throwing at.

from:  xisal
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 17:10 IST

I support Irom Sharmila. I stand with her. And so do a lot of other people who also stood up for what Anna did. Secondly, Anna did speak of decentralization of power, he did speak of the farmers, and so did Medha Patkar standing along with him.
All the issues that you mentioned, all of them, have one common enemy, an enemy with predators- Corruption. The egregious inequality you talked about also has the same enemy. People stood up this time for that one enemy. They do, and will stand up for others too. Whether your prediction of 2 oligarchies is true, time will tell us; but I do not think being so negative has good effects. It would be great if you could send your model of governance/ Lok Pal to the standing committee too. If you impress us, we stand with you.Lastly, there is nothing wrong with the Anti-Reservation, and all is wrong with no scope for removal of the creamy layer. Remember, that all anti reservation crusaders stops when OBC creamy layer concept was introduced.

from:  Abhijeet Kaplish
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 15:46 IST

I have misgivings on your argument of Anna's methods in tackling corruption. India is a unique democracy. It does not follow the rigours of 'Western democratic traditions'; just need to see our parliament sessions to understand how effective our law makers behave during discussions! It will be nothing short of a miracle if parliament will act suo moto against corruption. The sad story is that the institutions of democracy in India have failed to tackle corruption effectively. Corruption in India affects everyone and Anna's methods though debatable, has made a strong pitch to address corruption. The parliament was made to take up the issue. To this effect I have only admiration for Anna and his team. Democracy is a fine balancing act between people and laws. There is no supremacy of any institution in a democracy; as the aim is only practical solutions for the individual and society.

from:  Prabhu Chellamuthu
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 15:27 IST

In a manner of support and enthusiasm for what is happening in India. I would subject and focus on issues I am directly impacted. There are million and one issues in India I could deliberatly ignore and probably subject it to courts of India to do a good job. You could fast and make a point for yourself and also do the same to prove a point for a whole nation. Complexities in other issues just have to get a bigger audience which ineffect has direct correlation to the intensity of the problem and the urgency for its change or alternative. Some of the matter mentioned in Ms. Roy's article have a genuine reason to fight for but to prove a point you simply have to cry loud enough to get MY attention! So just ask and get in line!

from:  Chandy John Samuel
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 15:07 IST

My respects to Roy.. Glad 2 see someone finally analyse the situation at hand instead of practicing herd mentality..! The portrayal of Anna Hazare's so called 'India's second struggle for freedom' and 'Gandhian' is what has disturbed me the most. To make your actions look pleasing and acceptable it is sinful to quote it as something totally incomparable. Yes indeed i am against corruption. But to look at this overtly exaggerated adamancy on the part of a few people, who were once a part of the very same administration they are protesting against(Anna & Kiran Bedi), as the only means of achieving zero corruption state is not sane in my opinion. Also, blaming everything on current govt and that too in a ridiculous way cannot be termed as effective.

from:  Ritu Rawat
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 14:31 IST

To assume that this Movement's objective is to overthorw the State and is supported largely by urban Middle class is completely missing the point. While Lokpal bill will not solve every single problem we have, we need to make a beginning somewhere sometime towards systemic Change. This is as good a beginning as it can get. Long term and sustainable change can be brought about only if larger sections of people are involved in the movement for change and reforms to address many issues we face as a society and country. There is hope for change if we are involved in a constructive dialog and joint action rather than mere critisim of Anna's movement.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 13:24 IST

India and Pakistan both have been unlucky to start with the "unbridled and unfettered" democracies. So what else could people expect from the sham and puppet regimes. This nonsense can stop by Supreme Court Chief Justice taking suo motu action and after redefining democracy's bona fidie and ordering the new version to replace the utterly misused one. At same time Rule of Law should be established with its ruthlessness. All past and present crooks should be dealt with the law and the ill gotten money should be confiscated through legislation.

from:  Sher Mohammad
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 13:08 IST

I think Arundathi Roy has confused the issue with the person. It does not matter what his core beliefs or whether he views on Marathi Manoos or where his team is getting the funding from. Arundathi has espoused several causes in the past but there were primarily 'her causes' than larger nation's causes. What is important is the cause that he has espoused is for the next gen. Lets face it, not many will have the courage leave alone will power to take on an establishment through peaceful means. The fact that nothing has united the nation more than his hunger strike is an indication of an underlying support that his cause has got. It has to be noted that the support that he has got is an issue based support.

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 11:52 IST

Ms Roy belongs to the special species of activists and writers, who consider it fashionable to swim against the popular tide. When people seek tough steps to control Maoists or eliminate terrorists, she will demand rights for them to behave as they like and freedom to spread chaos. Now when most of Indians are one with Anna Hazare drive to eliminate corruption, she ridicules Team Anna. She is deliberately blind to the way thousands of Anna supporters have been rallying for Anna all over the country. They are not bought or brought crowds of the Congress but turned up on their own to back Hazare. Just because you are heard or read, Ms Roy, do not think you can talk any rubbish.

from:  R. Vasudevan
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 11:04 IST

Why did not you start the mission, while you seem to be solution provider and a right minded person? Do majority of MP's and MLA or any people's representative keep their 'sworn in oath', don't they massively profit from the public resources, do they bother about the grievance of the public?, are they considerate?, are they patriotic?, are they service minded?. If your reply does not favor the representatives, then stop writing such articles. You, others and me can speak million, but only few dare to bring changes. This is the best approach to bring changes in the "given political environment and to deal with the majority of the unpatriotic, corrupt and arrogant politicians".

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 10:13 IST

I agree with most of the comments here that this kind of irreverence on the part of A Roy is predictable and not welcome at a time when a man has been making a sacrifice to bring about some improvement. Of course, the Lokpal is not enough but it's a start. There is no need for a spoiler when so many people are toiling away to do what they can to clean up the nation.

from:  Justin Berrings
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 01:40 IST

Do you know the Indian governement is for serving the people and it exists at the will of the indian people? For 60 years, Politicians of this country and their cronies like you have failed to take cogniscense of this monster called corruption and did nothing. Now, that a leader like Annaji is raising the voice in a peaceful manner, people like you, who have pen in their hands write such useless articles!

from:  Tamil
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 01:06 IST

Please do not compare Anna with Naxalites. This is a non-violence movement. And it is not a fight between group of people against corruption. It is a fight of WHOLE COUNTRY against corruption. Group of people who are sitting in the parliament are not supporting it. Please do not undermine opinion of (whole country - few people like you) What we are asking is not extortion,it is our RIGHT. We have waited long for this, 30 YEARS. How many years more should we wait and see looters looting our country ? Time has turned now,people can think themselves. Era has ended for so called philosopher like you. Anna and whole country is fighting against corruption and not for selfish causes. Try to understand this. This is not a rally of a minister where ppl are bribed to come and protest.Indians are on the road now just because they care for each other and their country. I hope you get the broader picture.

from:  Punekar
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011 at 00:22 IST

Thank you Arundati Roy Ji and The Hindu for publishing this article.. The responses say it all, what the people of India really feel about Anna's movement. If not anything this movement has i. Educated masses on their democratic rights ii. Projected what a common man feels about the corrupt iii. Exposed our political system and politicians iv. Helped people realize the "Power of Unity, Integrity and Ahimsa" v. Created awareness about the magnitude of corruption that has made inroads into our life. I had only read about the Gandhi's movement, today I can visualize it and realize the power.

from:  Prashanth Konaje
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 23:17 IST

I think this article is not a 'Brian washer'. It's an eye opener. We Indians should be aware that apart from the Anna’s movement against the corruption in Ramllia maiden, there are many other important movement and issues goes unnoticed by the general public. Media plays an important role in bridging this gap and give equal credentials to all the major and crucial movements in different parts of India. Regarding the Anna's movement it is very difficult to decide whether media is in need of Anna or Anna is in need of media. But the onus lies on media/press to bring the real facts of both the sides (Anna's team and government) to the general people and start a healthy debate on the Lokpal without any preconceived notions and being neutral to both the sides. Arundhoti gave her opinion about Anna's movement which is rightfully hers; she didn’t urged or provoked the general people to go against Anna. It's the responsibility of every Indians to carefully decide his support to a movement.

from:  soumen
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 21:26 IST

Brilliant article but unfortunately this is all going to fall on deaf ears. The people commenting here are pizza-eating, tech savvy, tv-driven, chest thumping nationalists who are completely oblivious to what is happening in hinterlands of India, the North East and Kashmir. Please, please don't get disheartened by the comments of these people. We need creative thinkers and writers like you. You are the Noam Chomsky of India, your place is in the hearts of millions of oppressed and abused for whom you speak and hopefully would continue to. God bless. Keep writing.

from:  Misbah
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 21:15 IST

I want you to ask a question that in your opinion what should be a possible solution to check corruption in India. Have you got any other solution. how can you compare shri Anna Hazare and his team with with naxalites. Kanu sanyal, who was one of the founders of the Naxalite movement commited succide because he thought that the movement was not on that path where it should be. do you think that you are the only intelect in this country? why the majority of the population is following Anna?

from:  Rahul rai
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 20:30 IST

I find a lot of sense in what Arundhati Roy says. This Anna Hazare drama seems to be not an honest thing, sponsored to exempt the NGOs from coming under the LokPal Bill. People are being taken for a ride by some TV Channels which made me doubt the whole thing. Now Shri lalu Prasad Yadav has clearly exposed it in the Lok Sabha. Let us only hope that these NGOs who are now in the eyes of black money are not let out.

from:  S. Sankar
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 19:39 IST

Jan Lokpal Bill is attempting to overthrow the Indian State? It is not even trying to overthrow the government! Government is shaky because of its bad governance and inept leadership. Jeez, she got to get her basics right, and stop trying to write something to be in the limelight.

Not even the opposition would want to overthrow the government and rule in the current scenario as they would have to be totally clean. She's probably jealous Kiran Bedi is getting a name. She should stick to fiction.

from:  Senthil
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 19:26 IST

With due respect to the people of our country who are bent upon passing the Janlokpal bill,I think that we never fail to make ourselves the laughing stock of the civilized society!The irony is that the people who we are now saying are corrupt are in that position of power because of us.We have elected them from among ourselves,so will the Lokpal notbe prone to the same corruption?Who'll the Lokpal be accountable to?In the future when the whole Lokpal machinery is corrupt we'll need another bill to correct the Lokpal!and another Anna to fast unto death for that!Please people wake up it is high time we realise that if the whole machinery of the Govt.can be corrupted so can the Lokpal.When we point one finger at someone the remaining three point at us.We elect people from among us to be our leaders.The corruption lies within us.We have to mend our ways,try to act according to the rules,even when doing a simple thing like driving a car. If we are not corrupt the govt.will notbe corrupt

from:  Leenika Singh
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 17:17 IST

Is it an editorial on the movement by Anna Hazare or an article to highlight all the evils in our society...the author just seems to be confused and depressed that she had not got the same level of popularity or support for her movements against the Government...what is the author trying to convey here..just add one more evil to the set of existing evils in our society....

from:  Jijulal
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 16:13 IST

I liked Roy's book and writing style at first. But the lady is far too skeptical on this issues. She started of listing the things that Anna should have spoken for or against and stating that he is somehow not a Gandhi. Even Gandhi had his faults and there are whole books written about it. You cannot except one person to be superman. The truth is that an old, strong willed and committed man came up and stood up against the government for a cause. The whole team was cheated by the government when they put forward the government's useless Lokpal. They needed financial strength and they got it many ways. As long as it was for a good goal I don't mind it. And I don't why this lady doesn't get out there and fix the problems that she sees rather than sitting here and weakening the movement by finding faults.

from:  Mugdha
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 15:59 IST

Title of this article is a misnomer ... She can't be Anna, even if she tries her level best ..... She can only be a person, who can sit in the shadow of her self proclaimed intellectual ego and pass few comments at her leisure .... To be some one Anna, you need to have few desirable attributes as an individual. To few of the people who have praised her courage,in their comments to this article... should say I really sympathize their understanding. In India to pass on comments without any substance, as she has accomplished in this article, one do not need any courage.. you need good vocabulary.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 14:46 IST

Ms Arundhati Roy may not agree with Anna ji or anybody else on the issue as we are familiar with her views/temperament on other subjects.Everybody has to agree that Anna and team has provoked the public minds, moulded the public opinion against corruption and bent the neck of a spineless Government and closed the mouths of Sibals and Khurshids. Had the UPA II conducted itself properly in several alleged scams, it would have stood on stronger ground. Now exposed as culprit and stood alone

from:  V V L Narasimha rao
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 14:17 IST

Arundhati Roy you think you have to contradict popular opinion / movement to make yourself standout. I have not seen you contributing anything positive to any movement. Are you capable of taking similar burning issue and building momentum that anna has built ? i do not think so. You just think you are smarter and better than many other but you are not. Any sane person will not contradict such a noble movement. you could what Aruna Roy did at least well…you just want to stand out from the crowd so that you can talk to BBC or NPR show that you have something different to say about as always.

from:  Thinker
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 13:29 IST

At the risk of going against public sentiment, I would like to express my displeasure about Anna Hazare and his team attempting to bulldoze their version of the Jan Lokpal through Parliament, without proper debate and discussion. Though I am convinced about the need to weed out corruption immediately,if Annaji manages to get his version passed by Parliament in the manner he has vowed to, it would be a dangerous precedent, open to emulation by others in the near future. Ms Roy has indeed done a commendable job by highlighting what we all seem to be forgetting amidst this "India is Anna and Anna is India" euphoria.

from:  U Bhattacharyya
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 13:04 IST

To Ms Arundhati Roy and the others who comment on this essentially on these issues: - comparing Anna to Gandhi or somebody else and saying how Anna is not as good as Vinoba Bhave or Mahatma Gandhi - There are so many other problems, why take up this issue of corruption only - Jan Lokpal bill is not going to solve corruption by itself. - Anna and team are holding the govt to a ransom, they are undemocratic and their intentions are to undermine the constitution / parliament etc. etc.
STOP this nonsense. Pl. understand one thing. DO SOMETHING about the burning issue of corruption or STOP making such senseless comments / articles and aid the corrupt. Unless, you have been corrupted by the very corrupt against whom this agitation is..Understand that left to themselves, these MPs, ministers etc. who have literally raped the common man, never do anything on their own to solve this. why would they? So, such tactics are necessary. otherwise it would have been done by now.

from:  Raghu USA
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 12:53 IST

I am grateful for the timely & critical views of Ms.AR. She has torn the masks of the groups with the vested interests, who are behind this massive organising project. Clearly the 'people' participating in it are mostly those of anti-reservation,RSS sponsored crowds, multi-nationals.Gathering crowds is not a sign of democracy. Any politician and moneyed person in India can do it. Did these 'people' ever come to the streets when so many of our SCs and Tribals were sexually assaulted, exploited and massacred? Did these 'people' ever raise their voice when thousands of our Muslims in Gujarat were butchered in 2002 under the leader of 'Vibrant Gujarat'and hundreds of our Tribals in Kandamaal were forced to leave their homes and live in fear even now? Have the voices of the lakhs of the massacred Tamils in Sri Lanka under the guise of war on terrorism caught the democratic attention of these 'people'? Why this organised frenzy behind this Anna phenomenon? >Thanks to AR for provoking us think.

from:  Raj Irudaya
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 12:51 IST

All issues raised by Roy are right and equally urgent. Now,Corruption took prominence, let it be clinched. Yes corporates, NGOs and every section has to be included .. later Lokpal can be a constitutional body, representing all sections. Certainly some check will be there on rampant corruption if not totally eradicated. Later we can turn this upsurge towards attacking other evils like land / mines mafia, adivasis issues, poverty so on. let there be no conflict now ..

from:  SV Reddy
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 12:39 IST

What Ms Arunthati is saying is absolutely right.whoever live in north east or somewhere close to nuclear plants or where the land issues are going they only can understand the pain . But who lives in urban areas and going office in morning and discussing cricket in office, they dont understand the feelings of you Ms Arunthati. But dont give up due to this senceless comments of these fools. They will never understand the core problem. They are slave to nationalism policies.

from:  Vijaya kumar
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 09:22 IST

It is difficult, almost impossible to disagree with the article. This anti-corruption movement is also against only one section of society - the governmental one. The larger slice of society - the non-governmental - remains untouched.A simple illustration - a large majority of those who have bought or sold property/house/flat in this country have, over the ages, shown one figure on paper and accepted or paid a different amount actually. Corruption is ingrained in Indian society and its removal, as its existence, begins and ends in our homes.

from:  agnayeswaaha
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 08:55 IST

I too would rather be not Anna or Arundhathi Roy or Manmohan Singh. Anna has consolidated the people's anger and distress demanding action which is good but he is holding the nation at ransom. Violently nonviolent! He(inadvertently?) is serving Modies of India who want to set up an 'upper' class dominated country that they call HINDU Rastra. Ms. Roy is anti establishment problem identifier( which is OK) but has no solution. She sees only minus (-) sign; never a positive (+) sign. In her quest to play the role of (uninvited)champion of the poor she is in the camp of terrorists leaching the blood of the dalits and tribals motivating them to kill innocents mercilessly; a failed method that the 50s communist did in Vayalar later in Nxalbari Pulpally etc. Manmohan Singh allows corruption by others as long as the economy improves and nation's growth rate is about 10%
India's problems are compounded by confused political social and civic leaders. Thamaso Ma Jyothir gamaya...

from:  Kuriakose Varkey
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 08:37 IST

Your views are absurd.whoever comes forward to fight against corruption,he should be supported by all.Everyone has his merits and demerits by nature .Don't see the person but his goal.people like you are distorting the movement against corruption.Indirectly you are supporting and encouraging corruption.corruption is a cancer,it is slowly killing our people irrespective of caste ,religion ,etc.can you cite any gov't office where there is no corruption or any honest politician.Everyday hundreds of crores of rupees are looted by bureaucrats and politicians of this country.

from:  Chinnayyan
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 08:09 IST

Anna has given a gift to India. A ray of hope that it is indeed possible to end the cancer of corruption that is so endemic to Indian life. One cannot expect any progress with government officials without bribing them. As if it is not enough that they are getting a salary from hard working people who pay taxes to keep these rogues employed in the first place. And as if they are indispensible!! However, with deeply seated corruption, there is a kind of fraternity these government folks belong to that until now was impossible to break up. But with the Lokpal Bill and all that it stands for, it is possible that the glory days of corrupt officials and politicians may go the way of the Last Emperor of China!! Long live Anna Hazare and his brave stand against corruption. Let us all give the man a strong show of support and kick down the theives and blackguards who come in his way to end corruption!

from:  Rajeshwari
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 07:41 IST

"A freshly minted saint" is how Arundhati Roy describes Anna Hazare.This man has been working since 1978 in Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra and has been awarded the Padma Bhushan for his efforts.The man is considered a legend in Ralegan Siddhi.The 'freshly minted' comment reeks of pettiness and envy.Hazare was involved in a poverty stricken remote village while Arundhati Roy was still an overgrown school girl in her pig tails.This remark exposes her own ignorance and prejudices.It probably rankles Roy that a person who managed to study only upto the 7th standard and sold flowers to sustain himself and his family because of economic hardship is now a symbol of the struggle against corruption.Perhaps she feels some erudition,a clever turn of phrase,a penchant for seemingly saying the right things at the right time or perhaps a Booker Prize are in order?

from:  Anand .M
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 07:33 IST

i for one am happy to hear a different voice. I won't question the intentions of Anna but the means sure does feel anti democratic. The power that this committee can wield is much more than anything to be entrusted to a select few if we still want our country to remain a democratic one..

from:  Sreejith
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 07:22 IST

This is for all who are bashing AR here.1. Corporations, Media and NGOs should be brought under LokPal as she has rightly pointed out. 2. It has become evident from the 2G scam that politicians will get in bed with corporations. 3. The media is a powerful force that can be controlled as is evident in the USA and TamilNadu (Fox, CNN, SunTV, JayaTV). On a side note...Burkha Dutt was the reference to journalist-lobbyist for those who din't get it) 4. NGO's are in a grey area when it comes to accepting donations and the type of work they do...bordering on lobbying. 5. All references to the Maoist war are well founded. 6. The branding of Team Anna - Gandhiji blow ups, the unnecessary stop over at Raj Ghat, repeatedly changing the reasons for fasting, projecting that Anna is India (from Kiran Bedi no less) - is just a prelude to starting a party, a third option. Who wouldn't vote for the 'Team', after all we give chances to everyone don't we? Atleast those commenting on this forum would.

from:  Kiran Swaroop
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 03:45 IST

Interesting article.If the people are so corruption conscious why do they keep watching and supporting Indian movies when they are sponsored with black money ?
Silence .... I thought so , learn to use your brain and then get to complex social issues like corruption. It wont go away if you cannot think for yourself.

from:  Lloyd
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 03:39 IST

I support the views of Arundhathi Roy. Anna is a social activist and Arundhathi is a political activist. We have to see the difference between the two and gauge the issues. At least one has come forward with some solutions and may be with some flaws. We have to discuss all these and arrive at one solution which is not above the Parliament. We have to accept the supremacy of the Parliament but not the corrupt parliamentarians. All the leftists and rightists as well as social activists and political activists should come forward and join hands to arrive at a solution to have corruption free India.

from:  Raghurama Sarma Bondalapati
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 02:39 IST

A thought-provoking article that forces you (atleast some) to think beyond the sheep-mentality that seems to be gripping the nation. Many of the comments are critical of the article, for being too critical and not proposing any solutions. Isn't the first step acknowledging that there is a problem with the so called solution?

from:  Suma
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 02:02 IST

Please see the context madam and its benefits of accomplishing it. Who cares you’d rather want to be Anna or not want to be Anna.Work towards the foundation Madam! If you correct the foundation, you can correct and adjust the small... small things. Yes there are people who may be audience now, thanks for the feedback, we youngsters are striving to make more awareness towards people, we’ll continue to be..And as usual media is playing their part (this is the right cause/place to do coverage, not while Mumbai attack, and hope the media getting matured).

from:  Yashraj
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 01:34 IST

I really disappointed with Hindu for publishing this article.Persons Like Roy have no idea about problems of common man .Why she is writting?publicity ..?

from:  indian
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 00:04 IST

Thumbs up miss roy for a brave artical in the midst of annagiri. The so called middle class which is said to be behind this movement should see to it self. Who has given social acceptence to bribe and corrupt practices. In a decade or so indian middle class need a booster dosage of such social soap operas, be it in the name of temple, reservation or what so ever. tv channels are brain washing the people. For corruption free India we have to over haul our souls. Jan lokpal or any other bill is not going to help us.

from:  Anoop singh
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 23:43 IST

amazing point of view by one of the finest writer of India. I am not supporting Anna nor the government. But the approach is certainly not democratic. And even the protest and stuff which are happening with a strong backing by the BJP and RSS are not at all peaceful. With this bill our democracy is at stake. I fear what our more than 50% illiterate population is going to do in this matter. Things are going from bad to worse. And certainly as pointed out by Miss Roy we do not want a leader to be so narrow minded.(supporting MNS in its Marathi Manoos propaganda and what not) i wish India wakes up to your call.

from:  Salman
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 23:10 IST

How many of the protesters who are behind anna with flag waving have got their driving license without giving bribe to the RTO? how many of those educated upper class people got the seats from a reputed educational institution for their children's education without giving single paisa as capitation fee? now school, college students are protesting in favour of jan lokpal with the help of education institution. How many of these school corresspondents given the seats for the hav-not pupil? corruption is everywhere. within every one. let us start with in.

from:  Ragunathan
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 23:10 IST

Ms Roy doesn't mention why the "better off people" or PLU's as described by P Sainath are out on the streets but it is pretty obvious.All this time it was the silent poor and the working classes taking the brunt of Government policies.For the first time the PLU's are getting hit badly.They have suddenly realized that with double digit food price inflation,job losses and mounting credit card debt, that the Great Indian Middle Class Dream is coming to an end. The appeal of a film like "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" was in its portrayal of 'Gandhigiri'.Anna Hazare in his very earthy style has captured the imagination of the middle classes in a similar fashion.He has tapped into a deep well of frustration of a very critical section of society .The Indian public connects better with someone like Hazare who Ms Roy describes with more than a tinge of envy and resentment as a "freshly minted saint" than the erudite Ms Roy herself.All this shows that one doesn't need a Booker Prize to have mass appeal.

from:  Radhika Munjal
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 21:34 IST

No body should be allowed to kill democracy, even if it is Anna. Anna"s followers say they have the right to protest, but what about the right of others. They are not ready to listen anybody else and think they are only right,and every body else is corrupt. They are criticizing other by name but if any body criticize them he is labeled as corrupt. This country is flourishing because the honest efforts of most of the govt, servants and politicians. Kiran Bedi should have continued in service and served the people with honesty.

from:  bansal
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 19:49 IST

I would Rather Not Read this artice!

Though I tried, but only after a few lines came realization, that though God of Small things was master piece, the author sounds so trivial & ignorant when she talks of matters other than literature.
Misplaced sentimentalism.

from:  S Parth
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 19:30 IST

For once I appreciate the stand taken by Ms Arundhathi Roy. At least on this issue she has seen reason....
It is a pity to note that the media, be it print or visual, are vying with each other to cash in on the so called Anna wave. They do not seek the opinion of the millions who are not on the roads, but they think the thousands who are out in the street decide everything in the country! And how many of those who are on the roads supporting Anna have voted in the elections? If they believe in the democratic system, that is what they should do first. If they do not believe in the system, their first demand should be for electoral reforms in the country, which will automatically take care of the rampant corruption. The corruption by the politicians and through them the bureaucrats is the direct result of the money involved in the election process.. Why doesn't Anna talk on this issue?
And has anybody thought of the credentials of others who are closely associated with him?

from:  b c u nair
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 19:13 IST

All power to you Arundhati for being a voice in the wilderness. To those who demand 'solutions' from her - please set your education and indoctrination of the if-then-else binary reasoning aside for a moment and give
an honest look at the points raised by her. You should then be able to see the 'solutions' embedded in the 'problems' themselves. Structural injustices will be 'solved' by dismantling social and political structures of domination and exploitation, corporate land-grab by stopping the corporations dead in their tracks, farmer-suicides by keeping WTO and free-trade out of our lives .... and so on ....

Corruption is much more than financial accounting frauds. Simplistic bullying to hijack causes and agendas must be called out for what it is.

Stay strong Arundhati - there is a huge contingent of Indians that appreciates your insights and analyses, the internet lynch-mob notwithstanding!

from:  Annie
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 17:52 IST

Miss Roy on one hand refers to and brands a mass movement an "embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times." and on the other hand she presents herself as pro-people . Now that's a laughable and lamentable stance . Frankly ,it's her who is being elitist not the ones she's referring to . Some of her concerns are valid but even those are misplaced in her forever angst against Indian system . Had it been not so , she would have proposed a sensible solution . But all she does in her article is cry , cry and cry ....... as always .I feel & we all agree that Ombudsman is a "Necessary but not sufficient condition" to address our issues . Its one necessary step to curb the menace .Its laughable when she hints it would be an autocratic authority , will super cede constitutional authority and paranoid while stating that it would lead to yet another oligarchy . Ms.Roy , Hope , dreams and striving to.

from:  Pushkar Kumar
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 16:38 IST

The author is mixing up various issues. It is nobody's contention that Anna is the perfect man with the perfect (?politically correct) views and solutions to the problems ailing India. That however does not mean that you do not support him in the fight against corruption.

from:  Dr. Philip Umman
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 16:15 IST

Arundhati Ma`am..... we have lost our trust on that god of SMALL things.....which u are better known of. May be the way of supporters of Team Anna is not amicable but this is the only thing which can bring some heat in the overall Movement.Sitting in a couch and making statements suits all elite people but Mr. Anna Hazare is making the change by being a voice. I Totally disagree with u ma`am.

from:  Sid
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 16:11 IST

Although I am always generally against her leftist thinking,I found her views on this subject agreeable except for her trademark rant against the US and corporates usurping sovereign countries' resources.
All of us need to think a little and do a background check on any movement and the credentials of its leaders rather than be gullible enough to heartily accept media hype and join the herd. Being knowledgeable about the facts and issues at hand and contributing to an effective and practical anti-corruption bill rather than a blunder is what achieves real progress.

All of our disgust with corruption and desire to root it out should be channeled into the right response in forcing the parliament into a special session if necessary to debate the bill,have the standing committee deliberate in detail and pass it before the end of this year. we also need measures against corporate corruption.once these are done,we can move confidently forward to second generation reforms.
God bless Ind

from:  Dr kurian
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 16:04 IST

see people wants name and fame. so they are make different opinions. any way support a effective lokpal

from:  nazar cheeral
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 15:43 IST

Miss Arundhati Roy, I am sure that there are lot of people (including me) who will appreciate the fact that you stand for contentious and important social issues. But in my opinion, your means or solutions to address those problems or issues are not proper. These solutions are too harsh and non-implementable sometimes.

from:  Amit Kumar
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 09:23 IST

An xcellent presentation by AR. The JanLok pal bill is the short cut to dictatorship and authoritarian ways. The UPA must not let itself be blackmailed to submission.It may better demit office and face elections to see what the real WE THE PEOPLE want (Not the TV group)

from:  B.Raghavan
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 08:17 IST

I know the method is little bit incorrect but Arundhati jee ,Where is the solution , Before criticising anything you should have solution for same.Right now Corruption become national issue after a long time . Corruption and Anna are discussing in villages also , Even some people in villages know the basics of Janlokpal Bill , So , this is great for our democracy

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 07:45 IST

As an intellectual of international repute, you should have understood that Anna Hazare's, even though through a media whipped up frenzy, is not a simple 'lokpal Bill' fight. The very word and deed of fighting corruption in India has been equated to a Freedom struggle and a Rama-Ravana Yudha. Dont you feel ashamed that most of the aid meant to help poor sections of the society ends up lining the pockets of the Netas and bureaucrats? Dont you feel repulsed by the fact that Indian Politicians have swiss bank deposits enough to run this country twice over? Havent you faced situations when you need to "pay-up" even to save a life of a beloved child? If you cant identify yourself with any of the above, please dont bother to respond or write. You don't know my India.

from:  Venu
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 07:19 IST

If more government(Lok Pal) is the way to less government(less corrupt for a start), Ms Roy, so be it. If this is a new way to introduce laws in a political system, let it set a precendence.

from:  Veena
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 06:58 IST

Personnaly anyone must be allowed to pick and choose his revolution and I would not like to concede to Kiran Bedi's "Anna is India and India is Anna" which sounds more like 1970 emergency slogan "Indira is India and India is Indira". Again personally I can't build my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion and in the current context I expect no major iconoclastic victory other than the birth of another icon.I hope I am proven wrong but in the current context I see that the mass movement sparked by Anna Hazare's hunger fast cannot be anything more than a welcome tool to raise national consciousness about the issue of corruption. The real issue is not the want of a new law. It is about under-enforcement and poor administration of India's existing stringent anti-corruption laws. Yet, it is easy in our country to trigger an uninformed mass movement to capture the imagination of society.

from:  Prasoon
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 05:51 IST

The only way to reduce the corruption to a minimum level is to change the system completely. Remove the current system from its roots and implement a complete new constitution. I wonder if privileged classes of democracy would ever let that happen. Nonetheless, i think Anna is just starving and not fasting.

from:  Yasir Khan
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 04:08 IST

Any corrupt government and corrupt politicians must be overthrown. The corrupt politicians whilst holding office must be investigated and punished. Under the constitution all should be treated equal. There should not be any concessions for the PM, ministers, the higher judiciary and the bureaucrats. India needs a corrupt free government. Jan lokpal is the nation's call and Anna is the representative of the people.

from:  N. K. DORAISWAMY
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 03:43 IST

Nice!! A well thought out perspective in the midst of mass hysteria.

from:  Chandru
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 03:28 IST

Mrs.AR we are also following the same thing, PM is right Lokpal is not a magic wand, corruption is a very complex thing and cannot be solved just by making only one stronger law and by shifting all the power in another hand and also by making so many people police, corruption again cannot be solved by sending all the ministers to jail. Corruption is a very complex situation existing in every country and is to be handeled at different levels in this country, again i m not saying that i m against this movement - it is just tht their concern is justified, their anger is justified but their means are not....

from:  Rohan Kanungo
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 01:09 IST

Just waiting for this Anna mania to end. Does anybody think this super-bill will decrease corruption?...Or rather increase it after 20 yrs...It will be more better if this Anna team simultaneously educates people of not to be corrupt instead of pointing out to the usual politician only.. Where is the priority to sue Manish Tiwari? Why are Tata and Radia still out in the open when others are in Tihar?..Atleast,bring them to court. This is corruption.

from:  Fred
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 00:52 IST

Thats the beauty of India as a democracy. Here is one person who cynical of everything that is happening and she find space in a big news paper to voice here views. I am positive about this whole movement as it is step in maturing democracy where people are becoming more and more involved in the political process. This will throw up new leadership, also get people thinking who they should be putting up to represent them. It also draws focus on ourselves that while we are now fed up with Corruption but it is now time for us to change and introspect

from:  Rahul Misra
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 00:44 IST

Well written article by Ms. Roy. Its true setting up of a parallel separate authoritarian body can hardly solve the problem of corruption and vesting so much power to one organisation can be dangerous.

from:  Sumana
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 00:12 IST

AR, You have lost my respect. Not for the points you made against the Jan Lokpal bill which are quite valid. But the manner in which you are denigrating Anna Hazare and his team. Anna has a far longer background in social movements than you.

from:  Mukesh
Posted on: Aug 26, 2011 at 00:03 IST

Let me ask u something Ms Roy, isn't corruption and inefficient governance one way or the other, responsible for the injustices that u talk about? didnt the naxal problem arise due to rampant exploitation of the natural and forest resources. Many bhopal gas victims have still not received any compensation becoz they dont have money grease officials palms. So Miss Roy rather than just complaining why dont you too take some action, why dont you offer a solution. If you feel Anna's is not the right way, then come forward and show us the right way. Why dont you use the media to highlight these causes, after all thats why they are there for.

from:  KP Prathish
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 23:58 IST

A different perspective from her side against popular belief. Unfortunately,we need more“rebels” on many spheres in this Country; but what I notice such mass rising is due to various reasons such as: A litre of Milk is over Rs.35/- in Delhi. Any where and every where corruption now - earlieri.e, during 1950s to1980s - only few clerks and may few officers are caught and punished for corruption. But then,Bofors came and there after no going back; off late,judge,chief judges, C&MDs, Directors, IG of Police, Dir. Genl. Medical,etc. Top level politicians have started appearing and that too mind bogling quantum of corruption. On the other hand common man is forced to wait even today for Aavin Milk,Gas connection,etc., Long and huge filled up pressure is being let out and Anna Hazare happened to be there today that’s all..

from:  Vembu
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 19:33 IST

Arundhati Roy has put it well and to the point. The agitated replies are mostly from people, who don't want to do anything personally to change the situation, but want to show that they are doing something by lining behind someone. They fear that that their pseudo patriotism will be blown away, if all this Anna thing is proved wrong.

from:  Jojo
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 17:49 IST

Thanks Ms Roy for the sensible write-up in midst of all the medieval madness. If the existing infrastructure including the CBI, Police, Courts of Justice etc cannot do anything to curb corruption, how would Jan Lokpal ensure it ??? Does it have a magic wand or is it going to be run by Gods? How would it not become an additional entity the people would need to bribe as Ms Roy points out?

from:  Joydeep
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 15:47 IST

I'm sorry. I have to disagree with this editorial. Its not at all unusual or far-fetched for a democracy to have a robust independent anti-corruption ombudsman with the powers of investigation, surveillance and prosecution that she is objecting to. We have them in Australia. This institution I believe enlivens democracy and makes our bureaucrats and politicians accountable. Her views are misguided and uninformed.

from:  Sweta, Sydney
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 15:07 IST

Mrs. Roy seems to have gone a step ahead by putting the Maoists and Jan Lokpal Bill in the same bracket. With all the criticism directed against Mr Hazare, she looks to have forgotten that he was the one man behind the development of Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra. Arundhati Roy who mentions about the arrest, failed to have noticed that it was the premature arrest by the Government that brought lakhs of people onto the streets. One man cannot be everything and ideal and it has to be remembered that Anna Hazare is just a catalyst for people to collectively voice their protest against the corruption. If these critics and writers bring out more ideal and convincing version of Lokpal Bill all of us will support it.

from:  Deepa Nagaraj
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 15:02 IST

I am extremely disappointed with the article.... Anna has not promised to remove all the ills of our system. He has picked up one most relevant point of corruption at the higher places because of which it percolated to the roots. Whether it is farmer suicide or Bhopal gas tragedy ..aren’t they also first victims of corruption. If the 280 lac crore was not lying in the swiss bank it would be creating more jobs, infrastructures..bringing prosperity...who would benefit even the 830 million people living on Rs.20.

from:  Pragati
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 14:44 IST

Arundhati has no sensitivity to the fact that an old man is brave enough to place his life at grave risk by fasting for a cause that means immensely for the livelihood of the poorest in this country who suffer most due to the scourge of corruption of gigantic proportions never witnessed in the history of any nation. Secondly, she has brushed aside in one stroke all the recent himalayan scams by trivialising Anna's rising movement and casting unfounded aspersipons on him. A social activist has to have guts to do what Anna is doing. What credentials does Arundhati have to question Anna's movement?

from:  A Ramasubramanian
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 14:38 IST

For people who intend to look just through a Key hole and make judgements or even dictate actions, I appreciate Ms.Roy's effort in actually helping us see the same events from a larger perspective. Today many in the name of being an 'NGO' have fattened themselves and sadly present rosy pictures of their dropping the pittance to the poor. Why does Jan Lokpal bill exclude NGO's from its ambit of scrutinising corruption? Points to ponder.

from:  Sathish Simon
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 14:29 IST

The points raised by Arundatti are pertinent. Very few of us are at least able to analise the staunch reality of the Anna movement, and those who have understood are not proteigests of "bribe should stay" campign. We are looking at the larger gambit of corruption to which the UMC or Anna cannot provide a reply. And will make them speechless if this issue is poked.This is from practical encounter with Anna in earlier occasions. The need of the hour is distraction from the ongoing investigations and probable arrest of the Radia and her group.This is a movement in short of the haves for better and the best of living.

from:  Raja Madhukar G Appaji
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 13:55 IST

In a society where the gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider every day, Corruption is an alternate means of wealth re-distribution. It works and that is why it exists. Either create a welfare state and let people rob the government, or live with the corruption as it exists. Creating tougher anti-corruption laws makes it easier for the rich to get away with the corruption becuase they can buy their way out of it.

Anna Hazare is the Indian version of Forrest Gump. He is trying to stitch a cut with a sword- either with no idea about what he is doing or doing it without understanding the consequences of his actions. His bill will create criminals like Ken Starr who harassed the hell out of President Bill Clinton and paralized a government for political gain. Indians should learn from the experience already learned by Americans who got rid of the special prosecution laws. Do not re-invent the wheel to fall of it.

from:  Praveen Sinha
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 13:26 IST

Fight against corruption is necessity of time, Miss ArunDhati should understand this fact. people want change in our political system not to destroy our parliamentry democracy.

from:  Pranay Singh
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 13:07 IST

Ms. Roy, I rarely agree with your writings, but this time you've hit the nail right on the head. Conspiracy theories do abound, but the one you've shown is plausible, to say the least. Question: is this piece as part of a counter-revolution by educated Indians (&, apparently, 'minority intellectuals', to quote one of our papers) against a middle-class driven anti-corruption 'revolution'? The elitism of it is hilarious. I mean that not as a criticism, rather as a reflection on the contours of this movement.
Anna's movement has done one good thing. It has fractured the myth that systemic change can only take place slowly and painfully, and only through an opaque parliamentary process. People are now willing to dictate terms to Parliament, and given our Parliament, this is undoubtedly a good thing. Take this newfound conviction, Ms. Roy, and shape it to answer your own questions: about the welfare of the millions living under 20 rupees a day.

from:  Ameya
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 12:45 IST

You seem to be one of the sensible human beings out there, who understands the double edged sword that hangs above our country. I hope people understand the meaning of the word 'patriotism' in its truest sense.

from:  Vidyuth
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 12:05 IST

It is difficult to legislate morality but threat of enforcement should act as a deterrant. To enforce any law, we need a strong judicial system. Indian judiciary is broken and has too much of backlog. The lokpal bill will only add to this backlog and politicians will use this bill to settle scores with opponents. Not sure how far this bill will actually change day to day life for the common man. The intent is lofty and noble but what is being demanded may not be practical. Nevertheless, it is a good start as inaction and indifference are not going to result in anything.

from:  A.S.Prasad
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 11:55 IST

It is good to see that there are people who want to fight corruption, supports the movement but oppose the methods. In spite of her habit of seeing everything from the negative side Ms. Roy has brought up critical issues to surface. Thanks. Think about the cost of maintaining the parliament. Think about the panchayats where all the revenue created is not enough to pay the employees. Yet the average employee indulge in corruption to pocket illegal money. Now the Lokpal will have a parallel system watching each Govt employee!. what will be the cost and where the revenue will come from? Caution Caution Caution. Please think of pros and cons from all angles. Roots of corruption should be identified first to root it out. This is not an issue that can be solved by holding the nation on Ransom.

from:  Kuriakose Varkey
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 09:57 IST

It does not matter who are how he is doing it. The danger for this country is that it may be ruined by these corrupt politicians and officials. So the best thing is not to criticize a person who is fighting for the right cause. We the people of India cannot any further tolerate such political nonsense.

from:  Shankar
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 09:47 IST

You must realise that at least the people of India are standing up against the misrule of 64 years. You have the right to dissent. But I hope that people of your stature must have a positive role. Every time you have guided the nation against misdoings of the system, this time your presence at the national scene is urgently required.

from:  vinod Pande
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 08:21 IST

Dear Smt. Roy, I liked your first book, and you are a talented writer. The problem is that you delve into issues in a very compartmentalised way, I need not mention your unfortunate Kashmir verbal adventurism, and some other incidences. You should understand that in a democracy, the people are supreme, and the parliament consists of people's representatives who are supposed to serve the people. Now, if thy don't represent the people but only themselves, what choice is there for the people? Talking of elections: what choice do the people have when there is no difference whatsoever concerning corruption? India should be proud of Annaji and the powerful movement. Bickering is something for submissive minds.

from:  Marla
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 08:16 IST

Appreciate the real spirit of being an Indian, AR has shown. The hype for this emotional issue is mostly generated out by those who want to bring down the government. Yes, we are in an Oligarchy, and people like Hazare who can lead masses, can think about how we can strengthen the existing governmental machinery, than crying for new 'Babu's' whom also 'Aam admi' should make happy. Let us hope that the government and politicians take a lesson from this movement, and be prepared to pay attention to the issues of common man. I see Anna is successful, in getting this common issue into the ruler's minds. But do not want the government conceding to all his demands, as that may create a bad tendency for any emotionally sensitive issues, in the future. That may be detrimental to the existence as a nation.

from:  Jiv
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 08:11 IST

The points raised by Ms Roy is indeed very rational. The fact that Lokpal being being given the power of policing over everyone is a step where a parallel government will run. And who can assure that Lokpal will not play foul and will be corruption free. Unless we, the citizen of India change our mindset, no Lokpal or any other institution can make the country corruption free.

from:  Rajesh Sen
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 08:06 IST

Rather then keep adjusting with the system, we should try to bring useful changes in the system. sitting in room saying that jan lokpal bill will not remove all the corruption in one day, cant we just see that it is one of that little changes that we have always been hoping for , and maybe it would bring the horizon for changes. Today even the school authorities from good schools are charging more then Rs 1 Lakh for admission. Do we really have to close our eyes ? do we have to be really sad for Anna's status. Cant we see that what he has achieved. He has stirred our souls, our adjusting nature, our desire to keep it quiet as far as possible , which no one has been able to do since independence not even if we clump all the social activist like Ms Roy together. He is the winner, a leader. It is always interesting to be against the tide, Ms Roy, but be careful this time.

from:  Tarannum
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 07:38 IST

I agree with the essence drawn in the article. I only live according to majority.This is how Mahatma handed over this country.Freedom struggle was also without understanding what is freedom.so also now.

from:  Shivanna
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 07:29 IST

Very good English and provocative article, typical of AR style. It falls short on giving a solution or direction, again typical of AR style. But what it does bring forth is that corruption is due to inequality in the society which we need to realize. Steps should be taken to bridge this inequality and in all cases we need stronger representatives of people, be from NGO world or in the Government.

from:  Senthil Kumaran
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 04:39 IST

If this Jan Lokpal bill has the majority,then lets dissolve the government and have fresh elections so that next Government can pass this bill. So, anyone has any idea on the amount of effort and resources required for conduct elections?

from:  srk
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 04:34 IST

What is the cause of corruption? Corruption is caused by lose of publics trust in the judicial systems of this country. One bribes an official because if you go to court to get some papers cleared, it will take nearly a decade. We need a new judicial system that does not slow down justice but a system were cases are dealt with promptly and efficiently.

from:  John
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 04:22 IST

Thanx god, i could find someone in the list of Indian intellectuals who could dare become an anti national.Since last few days i used to wonder how could the lokpall bill get such a big priority to the millions of starving Indians. i went to the rally once and as expected i found most of them were really not aware of what is a lokpall bill.Then what were they doing there? It did not take much time to realize that these guys r the part of the same bunch of Indians who have been voting for the criminals, for the incapable rich(who might not be capable of looking after themselves)enabling them to decide the future course of our country.In reality the same ppl were showing there frustration against there own chosen representatives. Still i have one solace from the whole of this rally that the same ppl are perhaps awakening,it may not end corruption but lets hope that its the beginning of the end of such anarchic chauvinistic thought ever existing in our society.lets pray nd hope for best.

from:  Shamim Anwer
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 03:27 IST

If Team anna's Lokpal bill is over powering the government and is giving an impression of stepping over the Parliament duties, then why is this not atleast being discussed on a serious note!... if the 'brightest minds' in the government don't agree with what the bill constitutes then, what makes them to think that the answer lies in the lame alternative they presented??!! This shows how seriously they have taken the matter to begin with (corruption)- matter, not the method!!!

from:  Chandni Kumar
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 03:23 IST

I am a regular reader of you articles. You have some good points here. I do not agree absolutely with all your arguments though. People especially newly-formed leaders change due to the environment and circumstances around them. I hope Anna changes with the mood of the nation. On a personal note: Ms. Roy I firmly believe that corruption will be there until and unless people have fear of God & His judgement.

from:  Salman
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 02:59 IST

The bill allows an elite group increased control over the representation of Indian people, designed to circumvent democratic principles. The bill is an institute as ethical as the people who run it. It would be good to make a comparison to the Patriot Act and the Lisbon Treaty, in particular the content and their introductions. Because of these bills, the relative power of the few super-rich is increasing to totalitarian levels. Going through history, it is hard to believe that German hegemony was only expressed during a few isolated periods. The fight for control of the world's money and for the freedom of individuals seems a Nash equilibrium played by a few families. I sincerely hope that incredible India's policymakers will not fall prey to the temptations created by the world's upper class and their work horses. I urge India to remain a counter movement to prevent full control in the hands of a few: avoid institutions that advertise how to collect the king on the chess board.

from:  Jan
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 02:17 IST

I would like to congratulate Ms.Arundati for writing such an article which many INDIANS would reject.In an emotionally charged situation,she is attempting to talk a sane point of view. That corruption has to be eradicated is everybody's point of view.The issue is on what has to be done and how it has to be done.No doubt that there is a great urgency.But does it mean we take any step?Our efforts should not result in creating a super power which is above everyone including the higher judiciary,the parliament.Let us think carefully. Most Indians have either paid or received bribes or done both.I am sure a large majority of those taking to the streets are guilty of giving or taking bribe or even guilty of both.
Let us not create draconian institutions.Let Anna launch a movement to educate all Indians against corruption.Let us not solve behaviour problems using systemic solutions. What if a carefully chosen LOkpal becomes corrupt?Who will choose the members of the Lokpal?

from:  B Bhaskaran
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 02:12 IST

Ms Roy I do agree with you about corporate corruption. However, I must point out to you that I as an individual have a choice to work with/for a particular corporate house. If morality of the company in question is doubtful I can choose to work elsewhere. The notion that all corporates are corrupt is probably not true. You talk about Anna's lack of knowledge about several important national issues. It is my belief that this is also what captures the mind of rural and middle-class citizens, his simplicity. I don't think he claimed to be a "know it all" at any pint of time. He discovered corruption as the root problem to erratic power supply to rural parts of Maharashtra and so he decided to fight it.Lastly,and this is absolutely my personal view , but the system/structure should be designed such that : "honesty is convenient".

from:  Anirudh Balakrishnan
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 02:10 IST

A sound and rational opinion and well put. I am not your fan, but after distilling the article and separating your personal agenda your critique of this misguided, naïve, and panacea movement is right now. In the same breath you lose credibility for accusing the movement for not fighting other socio-economic issues, this argument is fallacious. Apathy is as wide spread in India as corruption! So to see some involvement from “common man” in a social movement (no cricket or movies) is encouraging. Unfortunately, this involvement is misplaced. Most supporters fail to realize that belief does not equate to action, and hope that just doing something (even impractical and completely herd driven) will result in positive outcome. Anyone that believes corruption is simply a political issue is gravely mistaken – Corruption is a human problem! Until Indians realize this there will neither be an easy fix nor lasting change in India. Suggesting solutions is not a requirement of critiquing.

from:  Archana
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 01:52 IST

Its a very good and precise article by Ms.Roy. It is very true that few people are trying to build up a situation and using the media as a weapon to totally hypnotize the common man.Reading the above opinions i just wonder why can't people think at micro level rather than thinking macro level.If by fluke total privatization comes what this country will have to face?? And if today Anna Hazare stood against the govt were all the people sleeping till today? I won't criticize anyone but why can't the common people think logically.It is a proud feeling to get united for a common cause and i too feel proud but have the people thought over it? Who knows the pros and cons of it? Why people never consider that they are also responsible for corruption at the same time.We can never clap with a single hand the same thing applies here.I am just afraid that hardly few of the protesters must be knowing what Lokpal bill is all about.I just wish people should think from both the sides..

from:  Sameer
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 01:13 IST

I don't think Arundhati Roy has the capacity or right to comment on Anna. While she has taken care to highlight and glorify the plight of the nation, she has failed to provide the details of her actions in tackling these. Every Indian having a functional brain knows that the LOKPAL bill won't make the country 100% corruption free. But is there any other alternative? It is rather easy to criticize the honest effort of others than lead one. If you can't be a leader at least be a follower. There is no space for fence sitters, at least not now. It would be better if she devoted her time in writing fictions or biographies. The nation is certainly not crying for her (dis)service.

from:  RK
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 00:47 IST

Please don't compare THE freedom struggle to the farcical, myopic pop-patriotic opera of Team Anna. You will only end up embarrassing yourself (actually, too late). The sheep have bleated and the sheep have heard. There is a shocking lack of transparency in what this mysterious bill is all about and how it will, magically, rid India if it's 'corruption'. I mean, if this bill is successful would they also make a magic anti-corruption pill? But the future most entertaining moment will be, when the same ignorant plethora of masses, desperate to be a part of something (ANYTHING will do!) will demand the dissolution of this Civil Society Wizardry after being harangued by it. It must be pretty amazing to support lynch-mob diktats against others and take no responsibility, whatsoever, for the corruption people daily indulge in themselves. Plus, is the mass endorsement of an idea validity enough for it's soundness? By that, admittedly perverse, logic 'corruption' must be right?

from:  Saif A. Khan
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 00:45 IST

Questioning the credibility of Team Anna or their chosen-approach to fight corruption is easier than to come up with alternate solution. Surprised to know Why the author didn't realize that 830 million people living on less than Rs.20 a day is because of the evil corruption.Jan Lokpal bill may not be a panacea to remove poverty but this bill if properly implemented atleast will act as a right step forward to root out corruption and eventually poverty. It is better to act now before India go bankrupt like Greece.

from:  Pradeep Ganesh
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 00:39 IST

A 74 year old man becomes the poster boy for the average Indian's fight against corruption. He rallies millions of people against a common and vicious enemy yet intellectuals decide to poke holes in his proposal. Here's the truth - I don't deny Ms.Roy's literary ability nor her social activism, but to poke holes in the one mass movement in years that has united a large part of this country in its fight against corruption is...ludicrous. I have issues with the Janlokpal bill as well. It has its flaws. But instead of pulling down someone who's doing something about corruption and getting our fat cat politicians stirred up, suggest an alternative! If you don't have one Ms.Roy, I'd suggest you join the movement or just continue to deal with the corruption that stops India from being the country it really can be! And as a public figure, if you choose the latter, please give up your other social causes, because you subverted a movement that could have changed it all.

from:  Kunal Joshi
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 00:28 IST

Let me commend on your brilliant article, Arundhati. I had agreed with Anna on his corruption stand- how ever his blatant disregard for the democracy and holding the parliament to blackmail is certainly not Gandhian. Anna has been capitalizing on the discontent among masses fuelled by the uprisings in Middleeast and North Africa. This is merely a fad an will wear out soon.
Anna has a valid point- Corruption. However his means to achieve and the proposed solution (Jan Lok Pal Bill) is not right. This bill is very complex and needs to be studied in greater detail to implement in many section. I am by no means an expert on this subject but mere commonsense can suggest - there are two sides of the coin- and needs to be carefully studied and implemented to avoid pit falls. The representatives chosen by us are also studying the same- We need to consider their delimma too.

from:  Sajeev Shivshankaran
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 00:10 IST

The voice of dissent should always be heard in a democracy, hence i agree that Arundati Roy's divergent views needs to be heard. But from the article i could only gather that she's v critical of the movement, however we also request her to offer a solution too. The lack of credibilty on part of the govt has to be exposed and the masses dischantment with the politicos has to be conveyed.Voice of the people on such basic values has to be heard. I'm also glad that this time the political parties have failed to divide the movement on the basis of caste,religion, region etc. The crusaders of this movement have used to educate the people about the bill. Similar awareness needs to be brought about by the activists in respect of other imp issues like farmer's suicide, Maoists etc. Madam pls learn from this agitation rather than being so critical of it or is it ur habit to go against the popular perception.

from:  Reetu
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 00:10 IST

The masses gathered at Ramlila Maidan are real, so are, perhaps their reasons for joining the mass protest. This makes it even more poignant that the end result will hurt the common man the most. The one things most Indians agree about is that Anna has managed to galvanize the nation against corruption. And it needed an Anna to do it. If I had tried to lead a protest, I would be thrown in jail without anyone hearing about it. Anna's Lokpal is no doubt not going to be a democratically elected body. But what about the umpteen Commissions, JPCs, Fact-finding committees, Task Forces etc? Do they fair any better? No side has concrete plans to tackle corruption, the Govt. because corruption is its currency to cling to power, and Team Anna because they think a Kangaroo Court kind of solution will do it. In the end, this thing is going to fizzle out in the media, like everything else. Coca-cola or Nirma are not going to pay for an year of Anna on TV! The Govt. will wait it out. Peace

from:  SP
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 00:04 IST

Most of the supporters of Anna movement are supporting the causes taken up by Anna rather than Anna, the individual. Let us not be confused by slogan – “I am Anna”. It is natural that there could be an element of hero worship, but then a 74 year old person taking up the biggest malady facing the country against all odds needs to be appreciated, though we may have different perspectives.. Also if one try to understand the psyche of the movement, call it by the name of Urban army or else, this is the movement of the middle class, who have been ignored by the political system & who have been the most affected with the Corruption on a day-to-day basis.. Rightly said, the crisis has been caused by failure of India's representative democracy, made up of criminals who have ceased to represent its people. If the middle class voice was heard by the political system, the crisis would not have emerged; and the very same people would have thrown Anna & his movement into the dustbins of history.

from:  Naresh R G
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 23:39 IST

Corruption will always remain Corruption no matter what changes on paper. If Anna wants to bring change, let him get into the Parliament not sit on the street!!! Who elects these corrupt officials - its US!! If Anna has identified those sacred un-corrupt people, let him get people of India to Vote those 'un-corrupt' people into Power! I agree with Arundhati has written here.

from:  I Williams
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 23:35 IST

Ms.Roy - Differing with some one for the sake of differing with some one seems to be the basic essence of your personality. As such your intellectual prowess is being overshadowed by what appears to be a 'fatal flaw' in your inner personality. Perhaps you should seek some psychotherapy for your ills before your pen off nonsensical opinions on major issues that affect civil society. Thanks.

from:  Ravi Narayanan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 23:28 IST

Arundhathi, you are not Anna and you cannot be him. You are one of those well educated illiterates who talk for the sake of talking, who argue for the sake of arguing, but never ever take any meaningful position for the betterment of this country. We all know your propaganda gimmicks, so we are not for it. We are ordinary citizens, who want meaningful and real change to the governance of this country.This is an inflection point in modern Indian history, and only leaders are going to be remembered and not jokers any more. Better luck to you next time.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 23:22 IST

I agree that the article doesn't provide any way out from the situation this country is in. But if there is no other way at the moment, does that make Anna's methods right? He is just another wannabe Gandhi, who has led the masses into the delusion that they are actually contributing towards something by sitting at a designated spot screaming slogans, disrupting traffic and law and order in general. These are the same people who'll reach for their purses, the first thing if they ever get caught by a traffic policeman. They are the ones who'll bribe officials to get a driver's license, a passport, you name it! His campaign is akin to a bath in the Ganges, join him and you are free from your sins. I can bet that more than ninety percent of the people claiming that Anna as god, haven't even read his tenets, namely the Lok pal bill. Apart from introducing another layer in the already monstrous bureaucracy, this bill wouldn't accomplish anything at all.

from:  Anshul Sharma
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 23:21 IST

Dear mam,this is my heartfelt request to u to first know the details about jan lokpall bill and then make any comment on Anna's movement...what you are saying is rather a manipulation than truth...please don't try to mislead people....

from:  surabhi sneha
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 23:19 IST

hi mam great respect to you .. but i think you are becoming more confrontational than thinking ideologist.. don't try to be over smart..

from:  arun
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 23:16 IST

She is very correct . Anna is conducting a media festival.More over there is no use with LOKPAL in long term. lokpal is appointed by politicians like present judicial system. So i will be corrupted. We need a Negative voting System. That is include a option like 'none of the above' in Ballot paper. If that get more votes conduct a re polling provided Ban all the previous candidates for 10 or 15 years from all type of elections. How is it?

from:  PRATHEESH MARTIN
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 23:05 IST

I agree with Ms.Arundhathi rao that Jan Lokpal is not the solution for weeding out corruption. It is time that every one listen to the song 'Thirudathey Pappa Thirudathey' written by Pattukottai Kalayana Sundaram in the film Thirudathey starring MGR. The Transalation of the those lines are as follows The Group that is stealing is keep on stealing The Group that is preventing by law enactment is keep on preventing unless the thieves realize and stop their actions, stealing cannot be stopped forever. Though this song was written for a particular situation in the movie Thirudathey, the meaning of this song is definitely suitable for corruption not only in our country but across the world. It is time that everybody realize that sense of professionalism should be inculcated into the minds of everyone through education and other social awareness programs.

from:  goutham
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 23:03 IST

There is a definite risk of this movement losing tracking and falling prey to right wing politics. We don't want another Tea Party in India. All I can say is I agree with Anna's aim but totally totally disagree with his methods. Arundhati has rightly pointed out selective consciousness of India audiences. No one care about someone fasting in Manipur for decade now! Justice can't be selective. If I am violated that should be a concern for you. We are still long way from there.

from:  Varun
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 22:48 IST

Freedom of expression and speech is what we all enjoy today but that too with a grave fear in our hearts. But the day wont be far when this is also taken away from us (just like our hard earned money paid in taxes are) unless this all so needed uprise to curb political aggression and right to corruption by MPs doesn't happen. The ways might not be right but the goal is very much right... have we got a choice left anyways after 65 years of political 'democratic' anarchy?? What do you want? Another 6 decades of loot or initiating a fight for keeping hopes alive of becoming a developed country?? A huge portion of our country suffers from the oppression caused by a handful and I want this to change. My servants have become my audacious kings and its high time I teach them a lesson, remind them of their duties and ways of delivering what they are elected to do. Jai Hind

from:  Piyush Jain
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 22:45 IST

Even if it is coercive i don't see anything wrong. LokPal bill has be put in the back-burner for too long.Unlike other bill this can implicate,punish a politician or bureaucrat much faster and nail their offenses. Politicians will defer this for ever saying it is not fool proof. I think a tight Lokpal with police reforms and a independent CBI would ensure a greater reduction in such crimes. This country's constitution needs a overhaul. Let this be the starting point for better things to come. May god bless us all!

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 22:39 IST

Looks as though people like Ms Arundathi Roy consider it their sole prerogative to sit on dharnas and fast.Strange that she accuses Anna for not having spoken against other issues that plague our country - does that mean that he shouldn't speak about corruption either? To attribute motives to this non-violent movement spearheaded by a lone, old man who has no stakes or hidden agenda- but is only steadfast in calling for more effective judicial measures against corruption- is downright cynical.Anna is accused for his alleged disregard for parliamentary democracy and constitutional ways- talking of parliamentary democracy,how many MPs have upheld Parliamentary democracy? Delving deeper into technicalities and methodologies is merely an attempt to sidetrack the issue.It is neither Anna nor his methodology- It is the CAUSE he upholds,that thousands of people out there on the streets passionately espouse!Let us support,if we truly aspire for a better India; if not,let us keep off please!

from:  Sudha Varadarajan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 22:39 IST

I don't agree with u...Going through the article what i find that u want each and every problem to be solved by a single person or he should be marching against all the problematic issues.

from:  Lalu Yadav
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 22:29 IST

How ever in our democratic country , every one is entitled to express their views. But in this regard miss ARUNDHATI ROY better stop commenting at least , if she is not trying to bring any social changes.. Anna is really our hero..

from:  Niranjan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 22:25 IST

I Know Ms Arundhati Roy will get lot of criticism for this article from a section of Indian society who is blindly following TEAM ANNA.Anna has become a Brand name.Following Anna become matter of prestige.Youths of any country always has tendency to go in favour of LATEST,POPULAR BRANDS and INDIA is no exception to this.I doubt,most of the youths who are following ANNA know what actually (JAN)LOKPAL BILL is all about?No one can deny that TEAM ANNA is going for sacred cause but at the same time no one can accept that his demands are not unconstitutional.I think this is right time for judiciary to intervene,suo motu,in this matter of utmost public importance and prevent Government from giving-up to this unconstitutional demand.I thank Ms ARUNDHATI and THE HINDU for providing such a wonderful article and at right time.

from:  Prashant meshram
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 21:48 IST

You are good in writing Novel and I like your `God of Small Things' I want you to write many more Fictions and get more awards. Please do not spread pessimistic thoughts around. If it (Anti corruption laws) is not now then when?

from:  Biju Ittira
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 21:30 IST

Going by the comments in response to Miss Roy's another master piece i am getting the idea that most of the people have misunderstood her, yeah it is true that some thing should be done to curb this menace of corruption that is entrapping us whether intentionally or by force but that does not mean a monopolistic approach should be the only way out. People are just looking for the immediate consequences but that will >surely not be sufficient instead a farsighted and a more dynamic approach that will not be a victim of the time should be sought out so that we dont regret later at what we have chartered for ourselves.

from:  Arshad Dar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 21:25 IST

Hi Mrs A. Roy, are you remembering that you are also a member of the family of Mary Roy who struggled against the inheritance legislation of the community? Anna is carrying the Light... for every revolution if it is a bloodshed or non violence there must be a leader. India was waiting for a True leader.

from:  Deepa Mahendran
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 21:24 IST

Very poorly researched article and many of the arguments can be beaten to death in a minute.The problem with Roy is that she feels that she is the ultimate intellectual and it is her views that should lead mass protests in India. If you guys followed her comments on Maoists and Kashmir, you would know. However since she is insincere and she knows that, she can never have the guts to lead a mass movement like that. She cannot go and work at the grassroots as Anna has.

from:  Chetan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 21:13 IST

It is said that, over-scholarness is hardly practically useful. A different and intelligent view by AR, but I am not completely agree. Specially, no need to comment about Anna's lack of knowledge of other issues. We should simply look at the ongoing movement as, though many 'people' don't exactly know what they are demanding, they all are fed up with the corruption (sometimes, of which they are unwillingly part of) they experience in day to day life. And somehow due to Anna's efforts they have gained the confidence to express that anger and hoping for better, corruputionless India.So,we should support it.

from:  Swanand
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 21:11 IST

After reading your article, frankly I did not go mad as most others would have been. But I was puzzled. Why was I puzzled? Well your article does not convey anything at all.You are critical of the current political system and yes if team Anna (and his tactics) is not a remedy then it would have been good had you talked of some remedy. I am a common man who is struggling to lead a good life. Life will be easy for me if there is no corruption around. For example, I need not pay 1000 rupees for a DL, I need not pay 5000 for marriage certificate and so on.....I did not pay and hence in this nation I am living with out a marriage certificate( marriage happened in 2008 ) ...there are thousands like me. I will support Anna because he is the hope...I will join any one who will start anti corruption drive including you if you come and fight for comman man like me.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 20:57 IST

From what I can tell by reading the previous posts, people who generally disagree with Ms. Roy's views agree with her when it comes to Anna Hazare and vice versa. Does anyone else find that strange? Perhaps an indication of where sanity lies in this particular context..

from:  Aditya B
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 20:57 IST

Arundhati Ji, I went throught of your column and will say thanks to you for being critics of the current movement going on in India. I would try to make you wrong one by one in my simple language. 1) You said that Anna's ideas may be Gandhian but his approach and intent definitely not. My view that why should we always support only a person who is a zerox copy of Gandhiji. Before 1947, we were a colony of Britain now we have a democratic Govt. Whenever some one goes against to the Govt policy, they said that we are manadated to make the law or deal with any situation. And they are actually correct in saying that because it is us and our constitution decides who should be at the helm. The issue of corruption is sucking everyone's blood expept those who have gained power. So to get rid of this menace there is no option other than blackmaling the Govt because politician would never make a law which creates a barricade in their way. We shoud stop investigating the personal lives of Anna.

from:  Govind Keshari
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 20:47 IST

The Indian Tea Party Movement?
Though Anna’s Gandhian endeavor appears like a fresh anti corruption struggle, it also has a pro-business, small government, meritocratic, center right agenda. This is in line with the American Republican Party thinking which is largely responsible for the collapse of America and the miserable life of lower class (and now middle class) here in the US. Thus Anna’s struggle to rout out corruption could end up as a Faustian Bargain. Arundhati is doing a great job pointing out the inherent fallacies in this new ‘hope for India’.

from:  A Pillai
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 19:27 IST

1) It's a question of faith.
2) Granted that Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and the like are fully clean and transparent (at least in our minds) ; but what is to happen when these people leave power? a few politicos and judges will decide national heroes to run the lokpal.
3) Middle class passivity. shocked? yes, PASSIVITY. gathering in an open stadium to sit around all day doesn't really help. peaceful candlelight protests don't help. That's the LEAST the middle class can do and that is EXACTLY what they are doing.
4) The outstanding point i found in the article was about corporate corruption. petty politicians are pawns in the hands of corporate giants where politicians get a handsome chunk out of the corporate's giant profit cake.
5) When constitutional methods don't work, we take to the streets. there is then, a lack of confidence in democracy. This is sad because, in a sense, the so called 'second Gandhi' is bringing down what Mahatma Gandhi built.
6) It's a question of faith.

from:  Anirudh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 19:19 IST

I fully agree with Mr. T.N.Kumar's comment. Just like the freedom
struggle where the people of India united for a common cause, this is
another example of solidarity displayed by the Indians. This is much
better than being an arm chair critic.

from:  Geetha
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 19:04 IST

"Imagine, for example, a city of shopping malls, on whose streets hawking has been banned. A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares to those who cannot afford the prices in the malls. Is that such a terrible thing? In future will she have to pay the Lokpal representative too? Does the solution to the problems faced by ordinary people lie in addressing the structural inequality, or in creating yet another power structure that people will have to defer to?" MY vote definitely for this LOGIC! whats wrong if i pay a bribe so that i can get a job? whats also wrong if a pay a bribe to get contract so that i earn a livelihood? My vote definitely for this LOGIC!.... and ms roy waiting eagerly for your articles on 2G/ 3G scam, CWG scam, telengana agitation which gathered momentum under similar circumstances.........waiting!

from:  K Srikanth
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 19:01 IST

Anna is definitely an egomaniac who has been able to manipulate the gullible public into this chaos. One question no one has been able to answer - Can you legislate morality? There is lies another huge problem with this so called movement. It seems like people just want to play at politics and bring the country to a halt rather than calmly figuring out how best to achieve a corruption free (there is no such society in this world) ... I mean reduced-corruption society. This civil society nomenclature does not belong to these uncivilized groups.

from:  RJ
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 18:51 IST

The problem is there are too many laws and very little responsibility.
We are taught to only succeed, compete, top marks in everything and then
we fail as human beings. We all need to change as a people and a nation.
As far as the visual media is concerned they need to be checked, its
just mass propaganda at its worst. Period!!!

from:  Philip F Tariang
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 18:45 IST

Brilliant article - finally a sensible voice of reason in the mindless chaos that has taken over India today.

It would be interesting to see how many of Anna's supporters actually know anything about the bill. The media-generated circus reminds me how a crowd of people always gather to stand by the side of the road anytime there is an accident - without bothering to do anything to help - it's really just a show for the majority of the folks who are turning up at these rallies. Imagine what a real transformation it would be if even half of them would strive to be better citizens themselves - with or without a bill.

from:  FS
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 18:43 IST

I am utterly disappointed with the tone MS Roy has taken.... Anna might be carrying a magic wand , but the Govt of India, slowly and steadily reaching out to a silent mode! where a spokesperson is asked to speak on behalf of everything ! and co incident he is a lawyer ! so alogn with it comes an abiltiy to talk !! i really wanted to abusive ! but all I feel we as citizens know there is a gap of rs 20/ day to 1.75 laks crores ! just imagine if the system was transparent and all the losses this govt caused was used ! in a right manner and u wouldnt see number of billionaires ( where 8 of them are politicans courtesy Forbes) and rs 20 would have definitely changed ! his bill is the first step towards anything ! .. if u dotn want the common to pay lokpal and police Then why would govt free CBI of its clutches and give them absolute power ! why will govt not sentence the belvoed kalmadi ! and why would govt give room to explain !

from:  Vish
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 18:42 IST

Arundhati, It is OK to be a devil's advocate but you cannot downgrade or take away credit from a people's movement..As rightly mentioned by many here, Corruption is the root of most evils in India now. Anna Hazare recongnises that and is persistently trying to get people to focus their attention on a strong Lok Pal bill. Please do not steal his thunder. You are trying to undermine his efforts against a major evil, that is coming to define modern India. I think that is not good for any good citizen who wants to see India progress. When and if you fight for a particular cause or against a specific social malady, how would you feel if other activists tear you down, saying there are so many other important things to focus on, why take this up in this fashion? Whatever Anna is fighting against, has done unimaginable things, like getting a usually politically shy middle class out of slumber and take to the streets, it has put a manipulative Government in the spotlight with deadlines to meet.

from:  Shalini
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 18:36 IST

I detest her views.
Anna Hazare already told that the fight will continue for the other
genuine issues like land acquisition etc.
Unlike others Anna is suggesting the specific remedy for the
problems, e.g AR spoke about Irom Sharmila. AFSPA is imposed due to
specific reasons & purpose. Could she draft/suggest an alternative
for AFSPA without compromising India’s security ?. She is
criticizing practices Ralegan Siddhi. Is she able to run at least a
cluster of homes self reliant?. In her words we can easily feel the
jealousy towards Anna the way he getting media attention .
I personally feel AR after getting convinced that she will not be
in the limelight if she enter the “team Anna”-which is already
occupied by Kiran Bedi etc,

from:  Aniel Raja
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 18:34 IST

I am not sure whether I support Anna or not, but Arundhati seems to convey a fear that Lokpal institution shall become an out-of-control, powerful creature which normal political or other processes would not be able to control. Well, isn't the present day governments the same? What's her suggested solution then? If she has a better idea, why not use more words about that? And seriously, is Arundhati wishing for corruption when she cites a small wares hawker example?

from:  Shavinder
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 18:22 IST

I am mildly amused by the forceful tone of the above article. I am not writing this to debate, per se, the merits or demerits of the agitation being carried out by Mr. Anna Hazare.
Firstly, over the last 60 odd years, the only link of the governing class with the populace was the 5 yearly tamasha called elections. Some might wonder why the word tamasha, but I am pained to note that only people with money and muscle power are able to sustain their election campaigns in large parts of India.
Secondly, the ruling class and the bureaucracy have become so complacent that some politicians have made their turf as fiefdoms
Thirdly, the people are watching with frustration democratic institutions crumbling under the onslaught of these forces
Looking to all these and given the awareness and rising education levels, it is not surprising that the people have been given an opportunity to vent their frustration on the rulers by the campaign mounted by Mr. Hazare.

from:  T.N.Kumar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 17:53 IST

This was a good article. A "Critic"al article to be precise.
I agree with some of the points mentioned. Yes having a single entity, apart from the government, control the whole system may be a wrong thing. And yes, like Kapil Sibal said, it would be like a parallel government which is not a viable option. Agreed.
But, what do you propose for the Lokpal Bill. When it comes to solving problems, you cannot have one solution to all the problems. Each problem needs to be dealt with as an individual problem to get a solution. Likewise, Lokpal Bill is for Anti-Corruption alone. It's not to cater to any other possible issues. For the issues that you mentioned, there needs to be other Bills/Laws made. Like we have different sections in IPC to handle Legal Issues, we would need different Bills.

from:  Sasikanth
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 17:44 IST

Very well written indeed.Corruption is in the mindset of the people.We already have a no. of organisations,CBI,the Judiciary,Vigilance etc to name but a few to curb malpractices but was finally maligned with corruption.To tackle corruption we have to find a solution at the grass root level. Creating another huge bureaucratic machine with draconian powers at a mammoth cost will not help in any way other than draining more of the taxpayers money.It is extra constitutional,threatens our democratic setup ,more like the military dictator ships where power gets concentrated on a select few.You cannot compare this publicity drama to the gandhian freedom struggle.Mahatma was fighting to get rid Of an oppressive foreigh regime on our soil.he did not write down a constitution for india and fast asking the british to either accept or leave.He exhorted the indians to shun everything british to the right of self expression,dignity and self sufficiency.Anna's demands are a far cry from that.

from:  Annie Cherian
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 17:30 IST

I had the great respect for The Hindu. I used to believe they believe in content not by glamor. But I am highly disappointed by this article. If one person is fighting for biggest problem of India which is the root cause of other 100 problem which Ms Arundhati mentioned in her article; he should fight for all the problems of India. What an argument?

Why don't "you" fight for other cause. How can anybody criticizing a person who is fighting for noble cause without alternative solution. Because Janlokpal person can also be corrupt so we should not make strong laws. I think, she want make law and appoint God then only she will support strong law otherwise everybody should happily live with corruption by seeing disgusting brighter side of corruption. (which she mention as ferrywala example).

from:  Akanksha Jain
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 17:27 IST

Its not the system that is having an issue it is the people & their mindset. An incident...a friend's passport was stuck for police verification she had to repeatedly go to the police station to remind them to pass the file but alas police would until 'something' is given. She didnt & stood her ground imagine hundreds of people doing the same. Corruption is an issue to be solved, but as the media & team Anna are propogating JLP is not the only solution. Again its the people who constitute JLP

from:  JMV
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 17:21 IST

I am afraid a lot of what Ms Roy is saying is valid.However, I have a suggestion: Shouldn't we, the people, elect the members of the Lokpal.

from:  One suggestion
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 16:56 IST

If Anna is adamant about having his point of view there is a reason. The Government and political parties will fool the public by trying to get everyone's opinion and delay the process. Is Team Anna inflexible? I do not think so. Once they get the right signals that the Government is serious they will also demonstrate flexibility. Is Team Anna displaying brinkmanship? Maybe yes. But, when the Government displays brinkmanship do they have a choice? AR, While you are free to have your views do not denigrate others. You seem to be behaving like a politician who does not offer any solution other than shouting down others. And like someone wrote earlier if any one of Team Anna had even a speck of doubt about their cleaniness the Government would have crushed this movement with an iron fist. They tried their best to scuttle the drafting committee. And how are your allegations connected to the anti-corruption movement?

from:  Mukesh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 16:47 IST

Arundhati Roy's questions are hard to answer for Team Anna, even harder to digest, that someone is exposing you to the core.Hitting the bull's eye. Happy to stand on the other side of the river, considered as wrong by majority.

from:  Karthikeyan.M.K
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 16:33 IST

Arundhati Roy is not jumping from one band-wagon to another. She in fact is one of the few Indians who sees democracy the way it should be seen. It is absolutely right when she is more bothered about HUMAN LIVES than CORRUPTION...Corruption is not the end of the world but having the largest military occupation in Kashmir and maoist killing is the end of democracy... She is no nathuram godse [hope you have read India's History] but she is the one who wants to save human lives before she manages to bring a halt to corruption. If the people cant see the pinpoint perfect political timing of this movement, for me they are blind or simply not aware.. For 40 odd years corruption is there in this country but this ANNA thing starts only after 2g and CWG...not to mention that the UPA won the election in 2004 and 2009 and if i was BJP wat other option i could come up with....AND THIS TEAM ANNA HAS BEEN VERY SLY. ROY HAS A BRAIN WHICH NONE OF US HAVE, WE CANT DARE THINK THE WAY SHE DOES..

from:  Arjun
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 16:26 IST

If Anna had not initiated this revolution, you wouldn't have even thought about this issue. Don't try to get negative publicity by dishonoring Anna. What are you doing for this nation?

from:  Dadapeer
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 16:11 IST

How can you be so ignoratn about the fact that while nation is supporting him. Have you ever seen as you wrightly put - urban -educated people supporting a leader of any kind in India after independence. You have the right to make your opinion and so do I. Every (even ahimsa!) has two sides right and wrong. It's only the perception of people looking and of course the final outcome. What's wrong in having deadline for a bill which has already taken 42 years!

from:  Saheer
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 16:04 IST

A Neutral comment will never be posted it seems. You either have to Support Arundhathi Roy or have to oppose her. Nobody is interested in finding a solution everybody are looking for someone to solve the problem rather than taking an initiative. They just want some supporters and a few opponents in order to be in the news be it Anna Hazare or Arundhathi Roy.

from:  Anand Veturi
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 16:01 IST

Although I do not agree with Ms Roy, I am concerned about the way Anna trying to achieve his objectives for two reasons: 1) Basically he is holding the democratically elected government, however bad it may be, to ransom; 2) Lokpal is not necessarily the ultimate solution for all corruption problems.

from:  karan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 16:00 IST

I fully endorse, what Ms. Roy had written and salute her for the courage shown to write such an article. We are very fortunate to have such a vibrant democracy. We should to ensure that how it can be made more effective. Further the role of media in this protest, specifically electronic media has been very worse. Each of them was trying to improve their TRP as if the protest is a thriller drama. They have projected the protest as if it is the Great revolution of 1857. Thank God these media was not present, during protest against Mandal commission, otherwise self immolation by the student would have been 100 times more than what have actually happened. I will call this protest as 'Movement of Fast Food era' which wants instant solution. Further, listen to the speeches of few speakers; it is so inflammatory and absuive. I hope this protest will not undermine the democracy, otherwise we are in the process of becoming a Nazist Country, hope this is not the first step towards Nazism.

from:  J James
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:58 IST

She has raised valid points. As I understand, Anna wants reduction in corruption. Everyone know how one can do business in south east asia. Formula is bribe. And Why, because the entire state structure, in India and Pakistan, is being constructed by English men through bribing or looting. The purpose of the system is extortion for foreign rulers. When Englishmen left the region, the Gora Angrez in the form of Bureaucrats, industrialists, feudal, and traders. This is why all these people have money and homes abroad like Englishmen. Whenever I think about them a song keep popping in my mind that reflect mindset of these people "sala mein tu sahib bun gaya". They all are sahib. Anna should stop this drama because people will go in depression when proposed bill will not actually reduce corruption.

from:  Farhan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:53 IST

She has her views, and she is free to air it on any platform. This is the kind of debate that must be raging in the Parliament. Unfortunately, all our elected representatives are doing is staging walkouts every day. How can the government be expected to function is such a state?

from:  Divya
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:49 IST

Anna is a not a new saint as Arundhati Roy has mentioned. Ms. Roy must go thru Anna's track record before making any unnecessary comments or comparison. His contribution to social reforms, in building a self-sufficient village - Ralegan Siddhi and his efforts in putting in place the RTI are all well recorded. This Lokpal movement is a logical extension of his selfless crusade for betterment of our nation. Unlike people like Arundhati Roy who jump from one bandwagon cause to another, Anna is focused on his demands for Lokpal not now but from a long time. And there is nothing wrong in using the media - many including Ms. Roy has done it in the past. The objective of Anna's current crusade must not be lost - an effective Lokpal to root out the malaise called corruption.

from:  Viswanath
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:47 IST

Arundhati...Why would you criticize Anna? I think there are still many Nathuram Godse present in this very coutry. Congratulations!!! You almost made it to the list.

from:  Nikhil Yeole
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:47 IST

I was taught there are 3 kinds of people: the fallen,the mediocre and the great. In the current situation,the fallen would be the people who pose the draconian problem of corruption. The mediocre would be the acquiescent ones who cope with it. The great would be the ones who do something about solving the problem to benefit not just themselves but everyone. After reading this article,I am inclined to invent a 4th category of the utterly abject and inane who try to impede and rebuke the attempts to solve the issue and in that way are no different from the perpetrators themselves. The only sane content in this article lies where it is said that corruption indeed is a problem(thank God). But that is no virtue!Please suggest a viable solution to it rather than damning the thousands(take your conservative pick on the number.it will still be huge) who believe in a solution and are trying only to stir up the insensitive and mostly corrupt parliament into action(obviously not to overthrow it!)

from:  Sindhu
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:47 IST

I love to read Ms.Roy always and she sounds right. But at the moment, what is needed is to be optimistic and practical, which unfortunately is not Ms.Roy. Its better keep her writings in archive and read it later.Right now what we need is to move in the way where wind takes us to not forgetting the direction and destination. If you sit and think, this is how we have always progressed and Proceeded. And still when you see a convincing article like this piece, just pause and say "See you later". Let it stay in your archive.

from:  Prakash
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:39 IST

I agree with all the subtle and important points that AR has made in the article. Her main accusation is that Anna and his team are insensitive to other equally important socio-economical issues that effect people's lives. But anti-corruption movement should be seen as a progressive movement that has caught people's attention. It may not be quite right to equate it with anti-reservation protests that took place not too long ago. The mode of anti-reservation protests was regressive and sectarian in character -more like a communal uprise of one religious group against other. It polarized the rich and upper class section of society against the deprived lower caste. The corruption on the other hand has effected middle as well as working class people. So why not support it? I think all the progressive people (including AR) should take lead in fighting both monetory as well as structural and policy level corruption. Varun Gandhi and S. Swami would be bad choice at this point.

from:  banyal
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:33 IST

Wat u'r doing madam...be happy someone is doing something..if u compare him with mahatma gandhi..also do remember that at those time there were people who were not in his support...even gandhi stayed silent in lot of issues.. and about media...thanx to today's media...its way better than dd news of ur tym...

from:  Sambit
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:26 IST

I think, writer became 'statue of Law' which is blind and emotionless also. Writer is not trying to think that why most of people are united on this issue. We all are facing this problem of corruption at every level and in future this corruption will definitely increase. If writer have any solution to solve this problem then she should mention here.

from:  Parul Tomer
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:20 IST

Dear Arundhati Roy, you seem to be mistaken. Let me give you a simple model. Just as there are 'small claims courts' in the US which make justice 'cheap, fast and easy', in the same way Jan Lokpal will make it cheaper, faster and easier to sue government bureaucrats. Does that sound like a 'two-tier corrupt system' to you? Maybe it can become one down the road....just as USSR and USA have become something other than what their founding fathers intended. This bill has been discussed on the 'India Against Corruption' website and other forums for years and generated discussions where former Supreme Court judges, lawyers, activists, constitutional experts and ordinary people have all helped in its drafting. Many of these people who drafted the bill have studied systems in developed countries with better governance. More importantly, they have an understanding of the poverty in India and the problems faced by farmers and other oppressed classes.

from:  Uma Dongre
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:20 IST

The Lokpal Bill has been pending for the last 42 years. Though it was passed in the Lok Sabha in 1969, the Rajya Sabha rejected it. The Bill was re-introduced in the Rajya Sabha as many as nine times and yet it could not get the nod of the upper house of Parliament. The Rajya Sabha saw the Bill in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and 2008. The Bill is still pending adoption into law. Where were the Team Anna all these years and what were they doing? Arundhati Roy is very correct when she asks "Will the 830 million people living on Rs.20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war?" In a kingship, it is Yatha Raja, Thatha Praja. In a democracy, it is the other way, i.e., Yatha Praja, Thatha Raja. We get what we deserve or what we have chosen for through the ballot box. We can ill afford to encourage a group of people to over-turn the parliamentary democracy system.

from:  Kannan Raju
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:19 IST

Totally agree. Very well put and valid points that are now getting drowned in people's over zealousness to support Anna and his so called 'anti-corruption' movement. Its really not as simple as it seems and whats alarming is how people are blindly following without a clue on what the demands are, the methodology of going about it and the repercussions. Blackmail is not a form of Gandhian behavior by any stretch of imagination. This is all a well planned propaganda with the media too playing along.

from:  sharon
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 15:12 IST

the article makes some valid points , but we ,blinded by our own point of view, dont want to see and analyse them, poor we..

from:  Naved
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:59 IST

MS Arunthathi is right in most respects. I congratulate for her outspoken views. Anna Hasare has no right to misuse the press for his popularity and to mislead the people of India. Also it causes delay of implementations of so many good projects of the Government. The Government is elected by the people and should be left to rule. When there are corruption it will be under scrutiny and the responsible persons will be brought to justice.

from:  Hafsath
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:58 IST

Wonderful Article.An Eye-opener, i would say.We,Indians are of herd mentality.Each and every line pointed out by her stands true.Did you know that the movement is purely of Hinduistic color as feared by our Muslim Brothers.My point is what is going to happen after Lokpal Bill is tabled.Is the corruption really going to stop?The answer is 'NO'. The bill is just a drafted policy to take charge against who are accused of Corruption.It doesnt guarantee that Corrupted ones should be arrested and they should get all the money earned by corrupted means. Added to that many who support Anna doesn't even know why he is fighting for.No one knows what Lokpal bill is.No one knows the real face of Anna.This article is AWESOME

from:  Madhu
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:39 IST

Arundhati has raised an extremely valid point...in that the media also needs to be monitored and thus needs to come under the purview of the Lokpal/Jan Lokpal bill...remember the media's role in the 2G affair...even the current reportage of La Affair Jan Lokpal bill, the media has yo-yoed depending on which way the wind was blowing...

from:  Gopesh Singh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:34 IST

This is sad Arundhati Roy, this man is fighting with pure conscience and i can't imagine anybody who support corruption. Please introspect.

from:  santosh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:34 IST

Awesome Arundhati.... Way to go !! In this hysteria , at least few people have courage to speak truth.... God bless u !!

from:  brijesh mishra
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:30 IST

I fully agree with Roy. Anna should hear others also. He should know that there are more experts AND committed people who work against corruption.

from:  Rajiah P
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:28 IST

I support Roy.Her opinion about Anna is exactly correct.He is doing all these campaigns to gain popularity.

from:  reja sulaiamn
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:25 IST

People like Arundati Roy and original drafting member of Lok Pal Bill Aruna Roy should become more visible on media to counter the present unrest created by Anna and his team. For me every citizen is a civil society. How can dictators like Anna and his team stop Aruna Roy to present her bill or stop govt. from holding standing committee meeting on the bill. Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kajrewal should be taken to task for compelling Anna to sit on fast. Why don't these two people also sit on fast?

from:  Rama vijay
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:24 IST

Your thoughts reflect the feelings of thousands of academics and intellectuals in India. Millions of people feel good or bad about something but only a few of them can express their views so logically. You have done a great job by expressing your views in the nick of time. Well done.

from:  MISBAH ANZAR MANUU
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:24 IST

Why should congress alone have to earn all the money. Lets give chance to BJP or some other third party. They also need to earn no? We are paid because we work for a Govt. or a Private organisation. But politician?? They would earn only if they come to power. Atleast for this reason Jan Lokpal Bill should be passed as per Team Anna's View.

from:  Singaravel
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:17 IST

it is a universal recognized rule when you decide any thing you must hear both side, so the the comments of Roy can not be discarded that she is against the voice of mass but we should be rational to understand hidden side of bill and credibility of the persons who are supporting the bill. however Roy is very much right about this bill will create state within state.

from:  ghulam Madni
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 14:00 IST

The people coming up against gov are people who are actually affected by corruption in their day to day life .i dont feel that corruption will completely eradicated after this campaign and lokpal bill .but there should be some initiative,bravery act against corruption .

from:  AHMEDGULKHAN
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 13:55 IST

Corruption is a big issue in country, there is no doubt movements like this are necessary for social regeneration.Arab spring in middle east countries higligted this particular issue, but the movement there failed to produce impact in sense that only regime change happened. Media is responsible for changing the character of movement.It created a frenzy and the main issue lies burried somewhere. Issue is corruption and not any particular person or any particular team.The sight of main issue should not be lost.

from:  pankaj chaudhry
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 13:50 IST

I totaly disagree with Roy. She cannot understand that people of india are frustated with corruption everywhere. Corruption does not only means bribe people have to pay. it includes the money ought to spend on development is deprived of the beneficiaries. It has chain effect on life of people. For them it is very hard to make both ends meet for them. the political bureaucratic and corporate nexus has made the people of india under tremendous burden of poverty and frustation. it is unbearable for people to even live. the situation was not so grim 20-30 years back. the black money which goes out of india in foreign banks is again routed through Mauritius. This cycle eats up tremendous chunk of india's money. What anna is doing may seem unconstitutional to some but in democracy what majority of people want is constituitional. And at present Indians are with anna

from:  NITIN MITTAL
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 13:33 IST

she is right,no one knows implications of creating a frankenstein,at the same time reform works but revolution shattered the very foundation as this has been seen.

from:  ashish
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 13:32 IST

I dont believe the jan lokpal bill will be a permanent solution to corruption. It may set some new turbulences in the existing system till it also gets corrupted. wHat has to change is the people.

from:  Eshwar H
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 13:25 IST

You are very misinformed, or maybe you choose to present wrong information to the people. You have said that 'Kabir' is an NGO run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia. Actually Arvind Kejriwal does not run Kabir. He is an executive member because Manish Sisodia is an old associate from Parivartan, but he does not manage it, or intervene in it. It is managed by Manish Sisodia. Arvind Kejriwal’s foundation is the PCRF. They have received no donation from Ford. Their balance sheets are available on their website for public inspection. Have a look at all the money this foundation has. Arvind started this foundation with 14 lakhs, the money he got with his Magsaysay Award. He used it for public cause and to support RTI in India.The PCRF maintains complete accounts for the present anti-corruption movement too. Details of all incoming donations are available on the website of India Against Corruption, and expenses are detailed too. You should have a look at that.

from:  Abhinav jain
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 13:24 IST

It is a fool-proof criticism against Anna with excellent intellect and scholarship. No doubt, the audience of media is now made up as 'people' here and are multiplying for the simple fact that they could not freshen up their rationality in challenging the powerful media report. Media persons in collusion with other big corporates will try to run the parallel government with the help of Jan Lokpal Bill, which will make our whole system mockery and dangerous.

from:  C Prabakaran
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 13:18 IST

Arundhati Roy ji, I find your suggestions(like including NGO's, all private organisations which provide public services) in the ambit of Lokpal bill but i dont understand your sceptic comments about Anna's character. Specifically i dont think you can comment on any body's behaviour unless he is asking something from you personally. He might not have a word about posco,nadigram and singur. If you are aware of the problem in those issues, please go ahead and work to solve them. Why do you want anybody to solve all the problems of the country. If one wants to solve a problem we should let him do. Dont ask him to comment about all the other issues. If he finds time he might get to solve them also. His praise about Narendra modi is about the development of gujarat but not about 2002 riots. We should start looking/supporting events/themes/agendas/methods and stop supporting/criticising/crying individuals.

from:  Vamshi
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 12:58 IST

I think the movement is good. The method horrible. We will create a monster that no one can stop. Or he will have to fast again to stop it. I hope the Govt does not buckle in. They have made a mess of everything else, at least let them be complimented in standing firm on constituional procedures.

from:  Mario Dsouza
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 12:21 IST

'Jobless Indians Jumping in front of the Camera' was what I heard someone saying and I mused at that; I wonder how many of the Fanatics waving the tri colour have read and understood the 'Jan Lokpal Bill' (i haven't read it myself)to show such gusto in thier support? Yes, we all want corruption to End but not at the cost of losing our logic, and certainly not at the cost of sidelining 'those issues' that Roy has Pointed out. Such sensible writings as the one before us can only be misconstrued and criticised by those fanatics who think that might is right. Looking forward to more writing as this. Roy, Keep it Up!!!!!

from:  Sani
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 12:14 IST

Roy is correct in her views. It is the corrupt who make the officials corrupt. In RTO offices, 90% people who get Driving Licenses do not really know proper driving. They themselves approach agents to corrupt the officials. If we the public, who breed corrupt officials and politicians, change, corruption will naturally meet its slow death. In my view the most corrupt are those who kindle religious feelings, instigate violence and capture power.

from:  J. Alex Motilal
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 12:05 IST

I am glad that Miss AR has said these things. I am of the view that if we the people are not willing to brush away corruption, not A SINGLE Government can do anything!

from:  Archeet
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 12:03 IST

"Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people." You decide which category Ms. Roy falls into.

from:  Krishna Reddy G.
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 11:45 IST

I strongly support what Ms. Arundhati said. Nobody is thinking about - what if 11 member Lokpal itself is corrupt or biased. They can blackmail anybody in the judiciary and parliament. After all Lokpal is again human being only but remember the very fact that they are not being elected by the public. Today we have Anna. What about tomorrow? What we really needed is a tech supported judiciary system. Govt. should pump enough fund to modernize the Indian judiciary system. Or let Anna float one party and get it done in parliament itself. Nobody is blocking him from that.

from:  JOBY
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 11:45 IST

what have you ever done for India other than generating and fueling controversies, he is at least doing something why couldnt you initiate any movement for this evil corruption?

from:  parmil singh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 11:38 IST

Certainly very good argument but shrouded with personal prejudice, anger and frustrations. In any case, it will be wise for her to join the movement and help to refine the bill, instead of getting lost in the flood of support Anna gets. In order for a spear to work, it has to have very sharp and narrow point(objective) to puncture the corruption CAN of worms, otherwise the CAN will be intact and gets stronger every year.

from:  Senthil Selvam V
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 11:36 IST

Having lived in India, my take has been that Indian people have always blamed Indian state for their misery and have not owned up their responsibility. Part of problem has been that Indian govt or state has too much power to decide all aspects of Indian life. One of the key lesson of 20th century has been decentralization of decision making across various stakeholders have generally produced superior results. Lokpal bill creates a new incremental power center besides Indian state, thus a move in a right direction......we need many more such power centers...so there is a competition in power and ideas. Nobody has a monopoly in best ideas and morality .......if there is competition...inefficiency and corruption will be rooted out.

from:  SP
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:30 IST

The problem with all of us is to prove that I am right.But the point is WHAT IS RIGHT. If this entire episode be termed as 'tamasha' watching movie, then we should better be sorry and feel pity on ourselves. What was wrong since last so many years, should we all allow that to go on?? Atleast some one has the courage and spirit to take up this issue and move. Maybe, its a bit long but instead of making criticism lets atleast support this man who is trying to take an initial step to this issue!!! But may be we dont have backbones and thats why we love to be in the comfort zone...Jo chalta hai, chalne do....Right?? Well, atleast ask yourselves about this tamasha. If our freeom fighters have adopted this attitude of criticising and keeping quiet, we all would have still been under the british flag...Keep up Anna...

from:  Durba
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:20 IST

Everyone has the right to express their views in a democracy. You can discuss the pros and cons in the Lokpal or Jan Lokpal bill and that will be a healthy argument. But, undermining the cause (fight against corruption) is nothing but absurd. It is not the middle class alone who are with Anna. The real sufferers are the so called lower or poor class. For example, they depend on govt. hospitals and rations. Have you ever been to these places and experienced the hardship? Why you are bringing in dirty community politics here. Anna's cause is for all people. I want to ask all critics of Anna what you were doing as the politicians dragged the issue for more than four decades? Lokpal is an effective first step towards ending corruption. It should be independent. It doesn't mean that it's beyond the constitutional boundaries. You look like jealous with the unprecedented support Annaji is getting. Don't close your eyes to what is happening around and say something for the sake of popularity.

from:  Murugan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:19 IST

The whole Indian pouplation is moving with out knowing where they are going in the era western-forced globalization. Globalisation is nothing but fast destruction of nature which will in the end anihilation human civilization. The so called corruption emerges from insinceretiry and endless desire for money&material from vital world which was again a evil thrown by the west. Even if the propsosed Jan Lokpol does not bring the desired results but definetly a forum created for the youth and common man of this nation to express their discernment. Article looks to me completely biased and perverted.

from:  Guna
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:16 IST

Dear Arundhati, Whether you have time to read this or not, but have you at any point of time in ur life did think of ending corruption, I do agree when you say people of India leave even today for Rs 20/- per day, but who is the reason? Is Anna is the reason? You are mixing it reservation and other stuff...but when you go to corporation office to get birth certificate of a baby do you know how many days you need to run around the piller...is it not the benefits of reservation that we are seeing...people want money and power and DO NOT WANT TO WORK. I cannot go into road and break glass panes, nor tourch buses like goons do since my parent gave education to me and told me what is right and wrong. I came on merit and know how it is when you acheive something. Reservation has destroyed many rather than benefit. Can't you think giving free education to those who are need is more to do and ensure they get more than 80% marks and then earn jobs for themselves. God Save Our Country.

from:  Satish K S
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:08 IST

Welldone Ms. Arundhati roy, But one thing you should think that a person can't talk agressively like you but evrybody has their own cause to fight. But telling them what they are missing is always must be making them realized , not just criticising them at peak. I am happy to see the People's revolution against the corruption , not against the Govt. Once you were also accused of sedition. But in reality things are pretty different. Its not 10,100 people show where News channels are using their Camera tricks. I accept the News channels playing multiple roles. I just request you to study the Indian politicians history and their nepotism , you will come to know how many steps are taken by Govt. against them, surcastically it self consists of such politicians.

from:  Praveen Kumar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:08 IST

I felt Arundhati is comparing Anna's and all Indians fight against corruption to a lot of irrelevant things. First of all we should understand how to compare apples to apples. As she tried to explain that Anna is not intelligent or creditable but there is a good patriotic man in him who wants to see a clean India. I, you and she know that very clearly. The step against corruption should have been taken long back ago, anyway this is the right time, if not now then never. Every step towards the goal of anticorruption will have some bad sides as well, doesn’t matter, we have to keep on improvising them. We Whole Indians are supporting him because he is standing for one big dream every Indian has, A Corruption free India.

from:  Naiju Vaikattil
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 10:02 IST

To start from top - 1) she compares Maoist and Lokpal Team, this is like saying Bhagat Singh n Gandhiji were from the same school of thought 2) she is talking abt urban n better off ppl being involved in this, well it is the middle class tht is doubly affected by the corruption - they pay a good part of their salary in taxes which is eaten up in the scams ... plus they have to pay bribes whenever they r dealing with a govt official 3) ppl were allowed to go in n out of the jail carrying his messages ... not a privilege allowed to every other person but which other person can inspire most of the under-trial prisoners as well as jail officers of Tihar jail to fast along with him 4) this is not jst 3rd phase of his fast ... this is also third decade of his protest against corruption, not to mention the last ten fasts he hs been thru in the past decade for this issue

from:  karuna
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:57 IST

Dear Mrs. Roy, do revere your social views on your point of understanding. But so afraid my conclusion reamin contradictoy still. We know, Rome was not built in a single day. Everything Needs time and further practical changes makes things perfect. And most inportantly, for such every actions an internal fire is mandatory. Exactly that what Mr. Anna is doing. He is just making a Pre-firing to stop this egregious Corruption.Trying to Aweking our sleeping Government how seriously they have foiled our faiths on them, etc etc... I believe once this Lokpal gets its authorization in the center soon then necessary amendations will be made with its every wrong possiblities. For decades, you are been a most considered active part of this Country. But never such a step has been taken from any of you which was highly expected and now when someone with his wrong stpes marching ahead to prevent such immoral actions you are trying to build a stop to it. Instead you can demand neccesary changes in it!

from:  Prasanna Gopal Panda
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:52 IST

Arundhati Roy' key statement.. "This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India's representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people" ..throws light upon US and THEM. We are to blame not them. THEY are OPPORTUNISTS (clearly)..but WE are the OPPORTUNITY(not clear to everybody). The representatives in the Parliament are supposed to represent US. Imagine some GOONDA sitting on a swivel chair is representing me RIGHT NOW. Education (not only academic) can change ALL of this.

from:  Manmohan Singh Gill
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:41 IST

Because there is no independent police body to probe parliament members, I do not accept its authority, even though I elected them. I only voted for governance, not for the unlimited power over finance.

from:  srinivas
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:39 IST

Can you propose an alternative solution? Come on AR you seem to know better...propose something.. put it up on the public platform ...up for a debate on the pros and cons!. But simply been critical of a 74 yr old man's intentions doesnt seem to solve the problems at hand. We dont live in a perfect corruption free world...but someone's got to start somewhere and even if it makes 1% of difference- thats purpose served.

from:  Pradeep
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:39 IST

It is the common mass that elect the people ruling us.....and history will repeat again if now people go for hero's worship and make the Jan Lokpal bill pass...Thank u Madam for generating so many opinions on these whole scenario.

from:  maman
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:30 IST

I completely agree with MS. ROY. I salute you mam for this wonderful write-up. You have revealed true facts with utmost intellect and sincerity. India needs more thinkers and writers like Ms. Roy. I admire for taking this stand and congratulate for being brave and honest.

from:  Mudasir Bhat
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:28 IST

One can expect Ms. Roy to offer negative comments on any good development. That's just who she is. She criticizes Anna Hazare, and his followers for doing good things, BUT as usual she never sees the positives, offers no solutions and claims to be an expert.

from:  Rakesh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:28 IST

One fine morning, Anna gets up and started hunger strike against corruption, leaving many issues at present India facing. Never in my life, I heard this Anna. What a VIP treatment he got even in the jail, the paradox is that he is a Gandhian. I salute Ms Roy for the postmortem she did in this pseudo-revolution Anna leading now.

from:  Ayyoob Musliyarakath
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:22 IST

It's an absolutely mindless article by Ms.Roy who compares this anti corruption crusade by Anna Hazare to the bloody armed struggle by her Maoist friends. Both might be against a corrupt Indian state but the word 'armed' is the key, it's not a struggle,its terrorism.

from:  Prasad
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:20 IST

What happened to CBI? Who is misusing them? So did CBI help reduce corruption? Today CBI is a puppet under govt.'s hand. When a railway minister who has just 1% mandate of India, proposes a railway budget, it is democratic. And Anna is anti-democratic? Atleast try to support Anna and his team who are doing much better job for the sake of the country. Don't u think eradicating Corruption in India is good? Who is playing games here? Every day there is one new statement by the govt. like Anna is corrupt from top to bottom, anti-dalit, anti-muslim, anti-democratic, parallel govt., etc. Did u ever go thru Jan Lokpal bill? Do u support Govt.'s Lokpal bill? I think Ms. Roy needs to answer these questions from her heart. Then she wuld realize the answers. If she still doesn't agree with strict anti-corruption laws then she is corrupt from top to bottom.

from:  CSS
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:18 IST

Thank you very much Arundhati Roy For you such strong support To Anna! yes You are supporting Anna! As whenever someone like you criticize on Anna,Janlokpal and Anna movement which truly voice of India ,crores of people join the movement!Please be firm on your views till death !Your name will be written in golden words in History for Supporting second freedom fight!

from:  Deven Bhole
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:17 IST

Agree with Ms. Roy... Unfortunately the so called educated and respectable people like Kiran Bedi, Santosh Hegde, etc. in Anna's team do not understand the definition of the word Citizens' Representatives... They assume themselves as Citizens' Representatives... In that case who are MPs and MLAs???? The Bill is a wonderful idea... However it is being finalised in the Parliament by the elected representatives of our nation... Team Anna should not act against the interests of the citizens of India, since the MPs represent our nation and not any civi bodies... If every day a new team like Anna's come up with fasting and new demands, what will happen to our governing system??? Can the government be a puppet in the hands of civic bodies? Utter foolishness... I welcome and assure my votes if these representatives are ready to contest in election (only if they can assure to have the same spirit in the Parliament as well - which is likely not possible!!!)

from:  Godly Shalom KC
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:16 IST

Ms. Arundhati, I share the views, regarding the govt. action against the Naxalites, with you. I oppose the idea of creating the SEZs at the expense of a farmer's land. I oppose the idea that our people are beaten to death by their chosen govt. just like you do. But, I do have my opinions on how to change that, and if I go on public complaining about it, I would definitely make sure that I show the solutions that I believe would work, and I would definitely ask for constructive criticism or improvements to the solutions. I would definitely urge people to work for the solutions to all the problems that I find. Unlike you when You say "I don't support Naxalites, but I understand why they are fighting, and I am against the govt. for what they are doing with them." I say "I understand their plight, I support their cause, but I am totally against their actions, and I would prefer govt. to spend money in developments for them rather than fighting." Hope you understand my point !!!

from:  Umang
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:08 IST

I am representing a naive man, so Ms Roy could you explain criterion for revolution. Although as Aam Admi now I hesitate to pay bribe,is it not enough to realize that things are changing at personal level.If it is a tamassa, not a revolution although it fetches good as mass awareness against corruption, doesn't matter for me, what is it. Article also explores many truth about Anna, which try to impose a stamp over his persona.These kind of reading is always interesting to reading point of view, but sometime it is far from current scenario. Moreover It doesn't undermine necessity of strong law against corruption. Hope to see you at jantar-mantar with true ideas of revolution.

from:  Harsh Vardhan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:03 IST

Well written, thoughtful, and objective article. It shows the deception behind the Anna Hazare movement. Only those who have no respect for rule of law and democracy will dump this article.

from:  Vargis Jos
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 09:02 IST

It reads like a professional jealousy and lot of malice towards Anna. A case of sour grapes for Arundhati Roy

from:  Anurag Sinha
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:57 IST

Well , this article truly reminds me of the classic Indian crab story , wherein a container with crabs does not have a lid since there are other crabs in the container which will ensure that none of the fellow crabs escape but pulling each one who dares to even make a change .The greatest achievement of Anna Hazare movement is that India finally getting rid of West-influenced; English-speaking activists such as Arundhati Roy from the traditional leadership role of people's movements. If Arundhati Roy criticises Kabir for accepting financial support from the Ford Foundation while forgetting the fact she was an integral part of the organising committee of World Social Forum in India sponsored the very same funding-agency.Everyone has a point of view , but the point of view in this article is also one sided from Ms. Roy .This article is full of cynicism.Looks like Ms. Roy is jealous that she has no audience , hence this article to atleast grab a few eyeballs .

from:  Radhika
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:54 IST

The entire Indian system of governance has been borrowed from the Britishers. It is adapted to their mindset of RULING the NATIVES. The colonial masters could never be questioned. Our Rules and Regulations appear to be built around that premise. Now over a period of time time, sensible Indians are realizing that PARTICIPATION is an impotant element in running a democratic society. Further,what we need to preserve is the right to PROTEST. We need to highlight the virtues of protest and make it sacred, deify it. Our country, fortunately, has had innumerable intellectual giants, and by that measure Ms Roy is a midget. What we need now are people who will act. Good compassionate people. The kind of popularity that Anna enjoys can only be a populist's dream and it has not come out of cynical writing. Being muddled in the head is no good,leads to all manners of troubles. Next time you take up an issue, please build up a lobby and then act upon it, you may write about it too.

from:  VKumar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:47 IST

It is interesting to note that people are definitely on a 'utopic' ride just as AR mentioned in her article. Strangely, I am not a big fan of AR's writing but I can tell that her writing is definitely maturing with time, as she faces more people and incidences in the deep and rural parts of India. Thanks for the very well thought out article. It is easy for most people to talk about how they are in the side of 'good' without fact checking on themselves or their immediate surroundings. It is easy to cry fowl because most people have never held a position of governmental authority. In fact, the self-assessment seems to have gone straight out of the window and instead the louder and more well-funded voice suddenly seems to have caught the limelight. An interesting and sad twist in Indian democracy. I agree, privatisation of everything is just a stone's throw away! It will be interesting to see who the 'people' will hold responsible then!

from:  Vineet
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:42 IST

We have seen democracy for more than 6 decades. These politicians talk about constitution and democracy when somebody like Anna is fighting the government against corruption. These so called elected leaders have long forgotten the fundamentals of democracy. They are least concerned about the people of this country. For somebody like Manmohan the post of PM is just a job . He WORKS for a company called CONGRESS and his boss is SONIA. Why would he care for the common man. For someothers it's a gold mine to mint money for themselves. ANYBODY WHO COULD UNDERSTAND THE SUFFERINGS OF POOR AND THE DOWNTRODDEN WILL DEFINITELY SUPPORT ANNA AND HIS MOVEMENT. All others who criticise are irresponsible and useless to the NATION.

from:  VINAY
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:41 IST

In continuation of my previous comment I feel that even if one were to make sensible,reasonable, effective laws and have an institution of a Lokpal, yet I am not sure that corruption would blow over. In fact I have encountered more corruption in the private sector- from Managing Directors to lowly purchase executives who are prone to be far more brash and fearless about indulging in it. Corruption is a moral failure of an individual and as a society as a whole. The level of corruption in a society is determined proportional to the level of societal tolerance.Crimes such as rape, theft, dacoiity, receive zero tolerance. Yet the way things stand a corrupt person's own family, friends , neighbors and community all accepts it and is happy to flaunt the wealth and money it brings it. It is not uncommon for a father to marry off his daughter to a prospective bridegroom only because "upaar ki amdani bahut acchi hai" Anna needs to strike at this root to make India more honest.

from:  Ranjit Pradhan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:38 IST

Kudos to Arunadhati. It is good to know that there are sane voices still out there. There is definite merit in her article. We are all fed up with corruption but does it mean that we should undermine our constitution and parliament to achieve what ANNA wants. The present situation of chaos and youth movement is not the creation of Anna or his team but due to our Media which is creating a superhuman for trp ratings and selling. Do tell me how many of us would have bothered to support the Jan lokpal Bill if it was not reported in the front pages of every newspaper or the 24 hour TV channels. As a matter of fact 99% of the AA AADMI on the street does not even know what JanLokpal bill is or that is what Anna is fighting for. They believe that Anna is fighting against the daily corruptions, like the bribes they give to the local cop or the local hoodlum, which will go away with a stroke o f a pen once Anna achieves his aim. What a disillusionment.

from:  mustafa
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:17 IST

AR, Why don't you go to Ramlila Maidan and express your opinion there? The Hindu should stop publishing such worthless comments, it is waste of time.

from:  Sada
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:12 IST

One may or may not agree with the conspiracy theory propounded by Arundhati, but I certainly agree that the Lokpal as wished by Anna and team will make a super oligarchy. We may make a medicine that may be more dangerous to the body politic than the disease. And this is not surprising as the best forum to legislate, the Parliament seems to have abdicated its responsibilities and in its place we have 'thinkers' who behave and act as army generals. I do feel that corruption is the root cause of inequality of opportunity and wealth. It deprives the needy of education, health care, sanitation , civic amenities. It makes it possible for land grabbers and hoarders to influence land policies. I am not sure however that Ms Roy's conspiracy theory would have us simply accept with passivity what is being done to us or does it imply that a bunch of extreme radicals/anarchist ( of any one end of the spectrum) strive to do away with the State.

from:  Ranjit Pradhan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:10 IST

Ms.Roy has conveyed what is in the minds of millions of Indians - the helpless spectators who watch a self-appointed crusader and his so called team seeking to subvert democratic institutions. If Mr.Hazare and his "Team" are sincere and have the support of the "entire nation" as they claim, they should form a political party and contest the next lection. They will sure score a sweeping voctory in the general election as the crowds claim that Anna is the saviour of India. When they win the first thing they can do is to pass the Anna bill and all will be well. For the present Anna is certainly not India. He has no right to paralyse the country.

from:  Harry Gan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 08:03 IST

Jan-Lokpal is being poured as an elixir , a panacea for all our ills...which it certainly is not. Anna movement is doing more harm by hijacking the sriousness and gravity of the issue and making it more of a frivolous weekend event . Mood of the people is already against corruption and after a long time (since Bofors ) has come to the centre stage but Anna movement by taking it to hyperbole and pandering to the emotional pitch of men on street is deviating from its path. Any new power structure or new law on already overgoverned society will not help which soon common men will realsie. What we require more is a societal attitudinal change and this require constant long term efforts. There are no short cuts for deep rooted malice. Anna and his Civil Society is missing this point and history will not treat them kindly for this.

from:  Dinkar Chopra
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 07:50 IST

She has raised some valid points that I have thinking and reading about it. The country should move away from power structures to people structures. We should privatise a lot of Govt functions to private/semi govt. We should focus more on open Govt.; such as making every govt function readily available to public for scrutiny/put it on internet or put all the old files in a public library so that any body can visit and check them. I think this movement is going to create an Autocracy structure not a democracy institution. Unless and until people change, we will not see much change, we will just have more laws.

from:  srinath p
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 07:48 IST

Ms.Roy, the comments on the Jan Lok pal bill reflect YOUR opinion. It's a free country and you are welcome to air them. It's upto the general population to form their own opinion after studying the bill.

from:  Ajit Malangi
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 07:34 IST

I am equally confused about the Jan lokpal bill, but not the intentions of the Anna movement. It is nothing but a mere desperation against the corrupt india. And to Ms Roy, India is plagued with a lot of issues and corruption is merely one of them. There should be a start somewhere to eradicate the problems. We need to evolve policies. But the first step before evolving is to draft one and team Anna is doing just that. Also I would like intelligent critics like you to try and guide the people instead of beating around the bush.

from:  KNarayanan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 07:05 IST

Not sure why Ms Arundhati Roy is making a big fuss about a bill. Please realize that Anna is not enacting a law. He is exercising his right to protest, to have a tougher bill. If any one has problems with the bill, please point out and lets fix the bill. I dont understand why Ms.Roy is lumping up all the problems in India with this bill. Please understand the bill's intent, purpose and scope. This bill IS NOT A panacea for all problems in India and there can always be amendments to the use-cases Ms.Roy put forth. Finally, Can you suggest an alternate bill Ms.Roy for the corruption problem ? I am waiting for your next article !!!

from:  Prasad
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 06:56 IST

Corruption is spreading like a cancer and certainly needs to curbed. Anna ji and his team have to that extent have done a great service to this nation. His methods though are very questionable. The solution should not create a monster so big that soon he may need to go on another fast to control the monster. Also to see Kiran Bedi waving the National Flag as if she got India Independence was quite deplorable. The National Flag needs to be treated with lot more respect than that and she who has worn a uniform needs to know better.

from:  Mario Dsouza
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 06:53 IST

The article assumes that Gandhi was right in his ways :/

from:  Sidd
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 06:47 IST

Arundhati, I believe that fighting corruption is fighting on behalf of all the people you’ve named, and not against them. If you believe otherwise, give me your reasons. You are also very misinformed, or maybe you choose to present wrong information to the people. You have said that ‘Kabir’ is an NGO run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia. Actually Arvind Kejriwal does not run Kabir. He is an executive member because Manish Sisodia is an old associate from Parivartan, but he does not manage it, or intervene in it. It is managed by Manish Sisodia. Arvind Kejriwal's foundation is the PCRF. They have received no donation from Ford. Their balance sheets are available on their website for public inspection. Have a look at all the money this foundation has. Arvind started this foundation with 14 lakhs, the money he got with his Magsaysay Award. He used it for public cause and to support RTI in India.

from:  Kris
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 06:15 IST

The next bit is very cruel. She craftily tries to separate Irom Sharmila, Bastar, Jaitapur, from the fast and implies by extension that Anna Hazare does not oppose Posco, or the farmer deaths in Maharashtra, or any of the other myriad problems that our country is battling right now. This couldn’t be furthest from truth. Unlike Arundhati, Anna Hazare has recognized that too many of the problems that our country is facing are a direct result of corruption. That's why a Madhu Koda is able to earn thousands of crores in graft money directly depriving the adivasis. That's why Yeduyarappa is able to give illegal miners a free hand. That's why Bastar and Irom, and Niyamgiri exist. Because of corruption. If our framework made the responsible people accountable, it would create a huge difference in all of these issues. Imagine a bastar free of poachers, miners and land grabbers, a maharashtra village where the government's benefits schemes are truly implemented. Forget all the other instances, just imagine what MNREGA can really do for the people if it is implemented honestly.

from:  Kris
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 06:09 IST

To all pessimistic people in here who are against Anna's or rather it is India's movement - Get a life, do something for the country, don't just debate whether you're right or Anna is. The whole country is at stake, start from Gram Panchayat - Indian Parliament, every one is corrupted. I would just say one thing every citizen, be responsible for your own actions, watch your own actions and correct them rather than pointing out mistakes in others. A country's social & economical health starts and end in your own household. Someone has the guts to raise the voice against the government for its corruption which has lead the whole world to see our nation as the weakest one. @ Ms Arundati Roy - If you were so clever & brilliant, why don't you start a party and lead the country rather than starting a flare amongst people and dividing them. If you are worried about people, educate them rationally. If you cannot unite people, don't divide them by your comments.

from:  Sharad Mali
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 05:40 IST

We have to appreciate the good qualities of the protest than merely criticize whether it will achieve the objectives by implementation of the bill or not. IT is the voice of the people that wants corruptions rampancy in ordinary life and how disgusted, they are with same. What did Miss Arundhathi Roy do on this aspect of problem facing the common man? Why she has herself not started an agitation?

from:  Ranmmohan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 04:36 IST

Ms. Roy, not only valid your opinion is, it also succeeds in capturing most of the picture on a broader base. The sorry state of affairs is represented by the fact that a handful (1 million at best out of 1.2 billion, i.e. 0.0008%) of people choose to support one hero, instead of the many fighters you talk about. The situation is worsened by the inflation of the figures, a role that the media has played flawlessly.

from:  Himanshu Kansal
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 04:35 IST

Arunthathi Roy's most sensible article.Before anybody supports the anna hazare's way of dealing with lokpal bill, please read this article

from:  mansoor palloor
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 04:11 IST

This is the most sensible article I have read on this subject. The Jan Lokpal bill and the means that are being used to get it tabled are both undemocratic. We do need to improve current mechanisms to deal with corruption- Jan Lokpal will only add another layer of babus to be bribed.

from:  Ajit
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 04:09 IST

You can't be Anna,for that requires selfless dedication to a worthy cause.People of India have had anger against corruption for a long time but it was strength of Anna's character that people found reason to come together under his leadership.You did not get an idea of fighting against corruption as people like you are in a different world of your own.You will not be able to carry even five persons with you so forget about sea of humanity backing you; unlike Anna.You can't imagine leading simple life like Anna;so stop day dreaming.

from:  P.H.Bhanage
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 04:09 IST

Ms AR has certainly stirred the hornet's nest. Sadly the responses are all subjective. Maybe, it needs an outsider for an objective outlook and offer alternatives. First of all an overview of opportunities enabling corruption in India. In antiquity: religion and caste. Then, Mogul: patronage of the converted, British: dividing in order to rule and currently,the transnationals and multinationals permeating the socio/political/economic fabric of the country. Petty corruption is the least of India's problems. In order to eradicate corruption, one must not rely on figureheads for, they are inevitably ensconced by sycophants, lickspittle, toadies, etc., who take charge. Indian aptitude in information technology ought to be exploited for disseminating information, enabling individuals and groups to address any wrongdoings. The Constitution, Parliament etc will be strengthen when the general public are better aware. I love India, the land of my ancestors regardless.
rajagopal raman.

from:  rajagopal raman
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 04:07 IST

The very fact that this article has received such a good response shows how the people of India are reading material speaking both for and against an issue. I salute Arundati for her painful research into the issue and agree that merely forming an alternate body will not save all our problems. But somewhere that awakening in the general public that corruption is evil has to happen and this movement has resulted in that. No law or no administrative set-up can alone eradicate this deep-rooted menace. The people manning the administration and the people using services should really work hard to get this out of their minds. Now, about those sponsors behind the movement, why should we blame Anna or the people, if they want some mileage out of this movement and may have ulterior motives? Did Anna go and beg them? Did he seek for publicity? Why would a person who was silently working for some cause for so many years try such cheap tactics? Let us ponder!

from:  Sudha Narasimhachar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 03:12 IST

Though I have mixed feelings about her writing , I congratulate Ms. Roy, for once again stimulating our mind with this article and thanks to 'The Hindu' for publishing it. With all this ostentatious display of patriotism caused by the Anna Movement , it is so easy to get carried away with the belief that we can restore faith in our democracy with the passing of this bill. "..Irom Sharmila's fast , the thousands who are facing down armed policemen and mining mafias in Jagatsinghpur, or Kalinganagar, or Niyamgiri, or Bastar, or Jaitapurhe victims of the Bhopal gas leak, or the people displaced by dams in the Narmada Valley , the farmers in NOIDA, or Pune or Haryana or elsewhere in the country, resisting the takeover of the land." Is there any hope of justice for them?

from:  Maanasi.R.Sridhar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 03:05 IST

The Title says it all.. In her introduction paragraph only she compares the two groups that protest for justice. One being her favorite Maoists and the other is Anna's Jan Lokpal Bill. Finally she titled her article as I would rather not be Anna, which is as equivalent as 'instead I would rather be a Maoist'.

from:  Senthil Kumar.D
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 03:03 IST

I agree with Ms. Roy to some extent, though some of the points mentioned by her are totally baseless. I do believe that Anna and his team has crossed certain limits by imposing deadlines and asking only their version of bill to get passed.

from:  ajay
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:59 IST

It is heartening to see the people of India stand up for a cause, and I think the protest is a landmark achievement. What we need to be very careful about is not making the protest itself an achievement but help it positively impact society. In this regard, coming back to th Jan Lokpal, I fear bringing a fourth arm does not resolve issues related to day to day leakage of money from the system and frustration we face. The methods discussed in the bill proposal seem to be authoritarian in measure with no clear view of how it is implemented. How will these 'supercops' be appointed. How can we ensure they in turn don't become corrupt? Let us all think objectively about what we are signing up for. I salute Anna Hazare's efforts to rally the people. Yes, it is a struggle to make even basic conveniences seem like a favor we get. But let's be educated about what we are wishing for. As the world's largest democracy we owe ourselves this.

from:  Aparna Rao
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:59 IST

I agree with the sentiment but my biggest issue with this bill is that it is making a new structure much more powerful than the existing structures but with much less accountability. The problem will not arise if a dishonest man heads this structure but if a very honest man with an agenda gets to the top.. The person believes in himself and is sure that he is doing the right thing , gets the public support and then he becomes the man on the mission. Anna changed from demanding his bill be tabled in parliament , to pass my bill in 8 days to get out of office. If this can happen to Our simple Mr. Anna, Imagine a situation where our Mr. All powerful Lokpal goes on a crusade !!

from:  Ravish Mehra
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:50 IST

I agree to a lot of points raised by AR..My thoughts on this agitation is 25% are students, out to have a good time, 25% want to be on TV, either showing their poetic or sloganeering skills, 25% just to have a look at the tamasha going on.. I concede that 25% people are there to support a movement against anti corruption and out of this 25% there are 10-15% people who actually understand the bill and then support it.. This talk of millions and billions is rubbish, I support the sentiment behind the movement but not the actions, It is a very dangerous precedent, the media is unleashing a power and a sentiment which makes the Govt take all the wrong decisions , a case in point Kandhar Hi-jack..And to all those who say that those who don't support Anna are either pro corruption or anti India, Just sit back and think, you want your right to protest but you dont want to give anybody the right to protest your protest..

from:  Ravish Mehra
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:35 IST

I agree with Roy. She has got valid points. This whole tamasha is like watching movie. People are getting swayed with emotions. They feel that Lokpal is cure all medicine. At this juncture no one has cared to go through the nitty kittys of the lok pal law. Most of the protesters don't know what is there in this law.

from:  S ARUN KUMAR
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:31 IST

Way to go Ms. Roy!

Spot on. Agree with your views. I have similar views on Hazare's campaign and his means to achieve anti-corruption India. I would love to hear your solution though.

from:  Bhanu
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:29 IST

Criticism from the side line never helped.

from:  Manu Houston TX
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:29 IST

Reading through most of the comments I feel Indians are only emotional rather sensible. We don't think with our brains but with our hearts and live for the moment. Most people who have addressed this and commented are of course from the middle class who have an opinion. We always forget about the opinion of 830 million people who do not have a voice. We don't care about them either. Anna is fighting for the middle class now synonymous to the aam aadmi and not the poorest of the poor.
The timing of Anna and his teams outcry against corruption is well timed after a gap of so many years. Why did Anna realize corruption only now when he had 42 years to hold a fast unto death and bring a lokpal bill which would have saved trillions of rupees by now. His motives are good and I thoroughly respect him but his agenda dictated by his team is utterly erroneous seems like it is directed only to destabilize the govt. Anyways everyone has an opinion -if possible try
from:  Raja Ram
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:28 IST

Well done Arundhati ji. But first para is much aggressive.

from:  satyendra
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:26 IST

I am strong believer that great changes can be made if one has the right attitude towards life. Unfortunately, the article seems more of a personal opinion of Ms. Arundhati rather than taking an open-minded look at all the aspects of the fight against corruption.
There has to be a beginning and THIS IS IT!
'THE HINDU' being such a great print media, certainly needs to do a better job in filtering the kind of article it prints. 'THE HINDU' has to shoulder a great responsibility in the makeover of the country.

from:  Vikas Kumar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:26 IST

Madam, your article is so irresponsible. You just can't call a person who was awarded a Padma Bhushan way back in 1992 a "Freshly Minted Saint". And as every other kid in India knows the fact that corruption is the root cause for most of the other issues that you have mentioned, Anna ji needn't address them individually. And all you have done is criticism, you haven't even tried to suggest any other alternative.

from:  GopiKrishnan
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:25 IST

What Anna Hazare and Arundhati Roy were doing when 40,000 innocent Tamil civilians were massacred 20 miles from Indian shore? Where was humanity of these people? what is bigger evil, lack of humanity or corruption?

from:  Dr. Sammy
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:21 IST

A month ago, i was stopped by a policeman for something which he said was a red light jump. his tone was rough and he talked in such a typical rude way that i instantly knew he wanted money from me. i asked how much.. and he started abusing me. i offered Rs. 100 and he started to abuse me more and more, of my mother and sister (it meant he wanted more money). as a student and being belonging to a honest family i felt it wrong from side as well as from society side. i could have done something but had no options. now this lokpal bill is bringing some hope for people like me who want this society to be corruption free. certainly bribe is very minor part of corruption, but considering the number of people affected by it, it is more important to tackle this than any big scam which does not directly affect so many people. Lokpal Bill is not just a hope for me because i was forced to pay bribe, but also because it was forceful and abusive. many people want lokpal bill owing to this reason.

from:  Sukhcharan Singh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:19 IST

Overall they are fighting against the corruption, and it's good for the country. Isn't it? I expected an author like you to be a part of this. If you say you'd rather not be Anna, then it means you can not be Anna. You might not have the courage or sufficient abilities to bring out a good cause which Anna will bring very soon, but it's not good to see one voicing against such efforts taken in a good cause. Won't you be happy to see a corruption-free India? Don't make me treat you like a school kid.

from:  Sathish
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:11 IST

Overall they are fighting against the corruption, and it's good for the country. Isn't it? I expected an author like you to be a part of this. If you say you'd rather not be Anna, then it means you cannot be Anna. You might not have the courage or sufficient abilities to bring out a good cause which Anna will bring very soon, but you should not voice against such honest efforts taken in a good cause. Won't you be happy to see a corruption-free India? Don't make me treat you like a school kid.

from:  Sathish
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:07 IST

Here's a guy working day and night to get a better deal from the govt and we are blaming him for not taking other major concerns! I mean how myopic can u be to say that! Why are farmers commiting suicides? Bcoz the govt is selling their land without their consent at high prices to pvt companies with low compensation.Is it not corruption!

from:  Divyansh Vashishth
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 02:01 IST

Corruption is omnipresent in India without which one cannot get access to the basic needs like house plan sanction, electricity/water/gas/drainage connection, school/college admission license to drive/start a business, getting a job etc.
The general public would have faced all or one of the forms of corruption, and if people introspect they’ll know that they are also responsible to the sustenance of corruption in India.
If the supporters of “anti corruption” disagree, are they ready to be totally corrupt free? For example how many of Anna’s supporters have constructed their houses as per approved plans? Have they not bribed the municipality since there house construction is not as per approved plan? Are these supporters ready to demolish the unauthorized part of their houses? If not these people are hypocrites who would like to indulge in selective corruption.
The lokpal bill will not solve any corruption, it’ll add another level of corruption.

from:  Sohail Ahmed
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:59 IST

Can AR make Iron's issue or Maoist issue as a national wave with her pen or words? It is simple to criticize, is it possible to her put an alternative suggestion against corruption? It is not a problem at this time who is Anna or where he is coming from. All over the nation victim of corruption and now a days the Indian news are related to scam as she mentioned. The same time Anna's team came with an acceptable suggestion and we agreed him. There is nothing unusual or no need for comparison with other matters. Dear AR, this article is not in keeping your standard. any how thanks for the information you passed.

from:  Vasanth
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:56 IST

Never appreciated Arundhati more.
In the larger interest of society,succumbing to "My way or High way" will not be good. It would set wrong precedent and anyone who has the capacity to draw large crowd would get things done.
Just because Anna Hazare has no account balance does not make him a Saint. Its not the wealth but the intent which makes one corrupt.

from:  Manish
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:54 IST

As others have also pointed out this article just aims to hit at Anna's way but doesn't offer or propose any better solution. If Anna ji is not the right person to take the lead then please give us the name of the person who is more suited for this role. In my view one should not write just because his/her writing skills are better than average person. It's the idea or the content which matters most.

from:  Devachal
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:53 IST

I didn't like the way Anna is criticized in the article. But I also accept that lokpal bill is really not necessary. There are three organs of Govt. viz., Executive, Legislature and Judiciary(which are independent from each other). The proposed lokpal bill if passed would automatically control the above organs of the Govt. (though it may not be in a written form).
No one can guarantee that the officials of lokpal won't be corrupt.
It is a well known fact that, change is inevitable, but one should not forget that changes never comes in rush; it is a slow process.Corruption is within us, we should first eradicate it.

from:  Manzoy Sitang
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:52 IST

I want an apology from Arundati Roy for hurting Indians sentiments and denigrating them with this articles.

from:  kumar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:47 IST

Problem is Severe.
Anna's Intention is Pure.
People are Fed up with Corruption.

from:  ThePeacePotato
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:47 IST

Ms. Roy, I read your article and I find it on "What Anna didn't do??". Why is one man responsible for uprooting every kind of evil form a country? If he is removing a part of it, should he be blamed for not removing the whole of it as contrary to his fellow citizens who are doing nothing??

from:  Gagan Gupta
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:46 IST

Dont be...who cares !

from:  Kalu Kalan Kaaliya
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:41 IST

I agree with AR in this, we cannot counter corruption with laws. every individual will have to abide by law and not bypass the law, get favours, and pay bribe for it... i know that there are genuine cases in which the people are made to run from pillar to post for days before they realise that the officials are doing it for bribe, then pay it.
This is bad, but again, how many of you will actually go and file a complaint? Even now we have system in place to address such complaints, but how many people exercise this right? Why dont we fight this, it is because, most of us dont have the time to go behind this.
So, what is taking up all the time? it is the courts, they take for ever to come to a conclusion, so when we consider all this, we feel it is better to pay and keep quite. now my reservation to this bill and to the means by which anna is protesting is that, the bill is not 100% foolproof. wont it give space for the accused official to appeel in the court on his stand?

from:  Reiju
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:41 IST


I am not sure why Nandigram or Naxal movement or any other issue be clubbed with corruption.

We should instead go about solving one issue at a time. Corruption is a big problem in our society. Its money lost which can be used for the very causes mentioned in the article. I do not understand why Arundathi Roy is indulging in mud-slinging.

The article is out of place and is trying to sabotage the person, the image of Anna Hazare. At the end of the day, it is going to be the institution (irrespective of Anna) that would be accountable.

This article unfortunately is just a waste of space.

from:  Vance
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:41 IST

Ms.Roy, while your criticism is welcome but it carries a value only if you are able to provide an alternative to what Team Anna is doing. What we need is an independent commission against the corruption with powers limited only to scope of investigation and actions against the corrupt officials, I'm sure it's not going to take over the country. Election Commission of India is an autonomous body why can't we have one for anti corruption? The reason why Naxals are waging war for decades is exactly the reason why we need to pass Jan Lokpal bill right now because if not now it's never going to happen.

from:  SR Selvaraj
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:32 IST

Ms.AR Having some thing is better than nothing. So please you can't support/ if you dont want to support don't do it.

from:  Kiran Kumar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:15 IST

Some suggesting ..Stop giving bribe. One question if anyone of you can answer. You are taking your wife to a govt hospital for delivery becasue you dont have money. If the doctor is asking you to pay 2000 Rs to attend her..will you wait or will you sell your wedding ring to pay the doctor. If you have common sense ..think..All the bribes are given by common people. Big people does everything by recommendation. And the common man gives money because he dont have another choice..it is not becsaue he dont have space in his purse and he is happy to give his hard earned money to others for free !!!

from:  Bency
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:09 IST

I support any Indian who fights against corruption coz I want to see my India as a developed country. I love my India.

from:  Shaji Trivandrm
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 01:04 IST

Unfortunately Arundhati Roy has received more brickbats than bouquets. This was expected. But I congratulate The Hindu both for publishing the article and editing out abusives and vulgarities on the author. I would request the author to delve on the international aspect of the Hazare agitation, too.

from:  K.R. Surendran
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:58 IST

I have been following Arundhati Roy over few years over the media and through her books. I do believe that some of the causes that she works for are genuinely human and worth social support. But over years I feel that she has a blurred and aberrated vision about humanity, human values and even democracy. I would have to accept to many of the people that say Arundhati is a glory hound ! One thing all fellow readers might have noticed, other than loud noise and shouting over her writings, she has never suggested a solution to any of the social issues that she has been supporting. When she is talking about the poorest of the poor over and over again as well, she has has never put forward a valid suggestion that can lead to a solution. Let's just ignore her and focus on the real issues/solutions that can help common people! PK Nair, Kerala

from:  PK Nair
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:57 IST

I just wasted my 15 mins reading this filmy gossip.. rather I had listened to the blackguard of Mr Kapil Sibal. At least he has something to say rather than hallucinating and constituting conspiracy theories..

from:  Anshumali Singh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:55 IST

The whole campaign by Anna's team seems to be media engineered. Good to see a counter point by Arundhati Roy , Hats OFF to Hindu for publishing this article.

from:  Karthick
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:53 IST

Why you write something that discourages us. I have always believed that you work for the people but this writing of yours put big question on
it.

from:  shashiranjan jha
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:49 IST

Makes sense to me.

from:  Pratik Biswas
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:48 IST

It is true that creating an all-powerful group with unlimited power over government officials and bureaucrats can be risky, but it is for all to see that the present structure is a vast failure. When the present system does not work, then what is the harm in trying a new structure? Ms.Roy is talking about vast economic disparities between the classes. This inequality (to a large extent) has to be blamed on corrupt politicians, who failed to implement scores of welfare schemes for the poor and pocketed the money themselves. If Jan LokPal becomes a success, in addition to eliminating corruption it will also bring relief to the poor. And last but not the least, Ms. Roy seems to give an impression through this article that let things continue the way they are. That is totally unacceptable. Whether Jan LokPal will work or not, only time will tell, but we have to continually strive until we find a workable solution.

from:  Raj Singh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:45 IST

Thought provoking comment!

from:  Shiv
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:44 IST

I am thankful to God that Ms. Roy would rather not be Anna. If she cannot distinguish between the Maoist movement that is characterized by an armed rebellion, an utter disregard for Indian state and Indian constitution, mindless killings of innocent people and a nefarious aim to overthrow the state authority and the present movement spearheaded by Anna whose means, interestingly, have been described as 'Gandhian' by Ms Roy herself, then more than anything it only points to intellectual bankruptcy of her.

from:  Vimal
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:41 IST

I hope AR will read all these comments and come to her senses and change her views about Anna and his/our movement!

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:36 IST

I agree with Mrs.Roy.
And also I think lokpal cannot solve the problem of corruption. Anna and his team must get a clear idea about how does it work and what are its limits and what type of cases can be solved by it and in what time.

from:  RANADHEER
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:30 IST

anna may not know how to write an award winning novel or a long article. but he knows what people want. he knows what people want is their right too. and he knows what possibly he can do for people. thats what a leader needs to know. good that somebody like him is leading this movement. this country needs people like him. sophisticated intellectuals can be produced in tonnes and tonnes. a true leader can not be produced - he is born thru self enlightenment. you probably are too sophisticated to understand all this. try to think simple and you will understand what all this is about. world is not as complicated as you imagine it to be.

from:  amal
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:25 IST

Anna is not using guns like Moist. Also Anna Haraze is working for a bill to check officials at top, not Indian state.

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:23 IST

I would partly agree with Arundhati Roy and partly not. I, of course, agree with her that there is no guarentee that Lokpal reps will not indulge in corruption. So, people might end up facing one more autonomous body requiring bribe to solve corruption!
On the other hand, I would like to see the positive side of this movement. Whether the Lokpal representatives including Anna is fighting for people of India or for their self interest, one strikingly good thing is that Team India (better world than Anna India) is united after a long hiatus, which is really encouraging.
I can only pray to God that Team Anna is true to its intention and not otherwise..

from:  Saravanan Balasundaram
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:09 IST

Its a well written piece. I agree entirely. The facebook revolutionaries have proclaimed themselves to be experts on policy/governance and 10th class drop outs wielding the TV cameras and mikes keep telling us how right they are. The hysteria amongst the youth that is being misread as somekind of a revolution reminds one of the Anti-Mandal agitations.I fear the situation can deterioate anytime as it did in the anti-Mandal agitations that saw horrors like immolations by impressionable teenagers. Placing the media under this new Superhero/ Lokpal is a fabulous idea. I wonder why the Government dosent propose it immediately.

from:  Amitabh Dhillon
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 00:01 IST

Don't completely agree with Roy's article. But Hey, its a democratic country and she has every right to voice her dissent peacefully. Though she has gone a bit far in her assault on Anna, I too feel that there is everything right with Anna's END but he has gone terribly wrong with the MEANS. This will set a wrong precedent. Many groups would lift their heads, raise their voices, organize Fast unto death to get even with the Govt. Now what ? For eg SC/ST group from North East demand 60 % reservation in Govt jobs, and protest just like Anna, then what does the Govt do ? Accede ?

from:  Ashhar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:56 IST

Are you willing to put the fate of over a billion people in the hands of 11 people? Whats your solution when a Lokpal or Lokayukta is corrupt?
Question the working of Lokpal or Jan Lokpal; compare it with the English Anti-Bribery Act, and see where both drafts are seriously lacking. Debate the law, dont be led by rhetorical activists, civil societies, or anyone else. We need WORKING anti-corruption legislation, not another work of fiction - THINK FOR YOURSELF.
Where is the corporate liability for giving bribes - hasn't corporate India "funded" the corrupt mechanism?
We are a young, but a working, democracy. Blatantly disregarding parliamentary procedure will result in us turning our country into a banana republic - are we sure this is the precedent we want to set?

from:  Sanam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:55 IST

The amount of taxpayers' money that leaks out from government is mind boggling. The annual budget of the World Health Organization is around 4 billion US dollars. Around ten times that amount is estimated to have leaked out in the CWG and 2G scams (though Kapil Sibal believes that number is zero).
India's childhood malnutrition rate is around 48%. Close to HALF of our children under 5 are STARVING. That money could easily have fed all of India's starving children if there was a way to curb the leakage.
Unfortunately intellectuals like Arundhati Roy find fault but do not act. A solution depends on people who go forward and act - however imperfect they are. I would rather be an imperfect Anna than a perfect but ineffective Arundhati Roy.

from:  D. Sarma
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:51 IST

It is difficult to see any practical sense in this article and sounds quite nutty. India has long needed a selfless person to provide leadership on this moral and economic issue that hurts the poorest and the least priveleged among us the most. It is great that a simple person like anna has risen to the challenge and captured the nation's imagination and stirred its conscience.We will all be better off if he were to succeed in his crusade.

from:  Vir Gupta
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:46 IST

In my view if the corporate people, ngo's, all business people and every body who are making india a corrupted country should be included in that bill so it will be meaningful.

from:  Raghu nadhan reddy
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:46 IST

Well said Arundhati; kudos! There is thus no equivalence between Gandhi’s satyagraha against the British ruling us and Mr Hazare’s hunger strikes against we ruling ourselves.
The problem with Jan Lok Pal is that it’ll make the problem worse. Does anyone seriously think we can hire tens of thousands of absolutely honest officials who will constitute the Lok Pal? Who will keep watch on them? Maybe we need a Super Lok Pal, and then a Hyper Lok Pal to watch over the Super Lok Pal and so on…This isn’t sarcasm, this is the logical extension of the Lok Pal argument.
There are umpteen places in India where the polling percentages are below 50%. Why do we have a democracy set up here. The armchair intellectuals who blindly support Anna here; why don't them with Anna and his team try to come into rule through our well built parliamentary procedures by making people vote and implement their views. Trying to override the parliament is simply unacceptable.

from:  Sujay Kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:46 IST

Arundhati Roy has forgotten the spirit of nationalism, or rather never
had inculcated it. Hence whatever we readers comment will fall in deaf
years. The slogans 'bharat mata ki jai', 'vande mataram' and 'jai hind'
has much more deeper significance than its literal meanings. Hope she
will realize it one day.

from:  Ajith Rama Varma
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:45 IST

I agree to the authors view..although this time the cause is correct
but this can set a precedent where everything goes this way. This is a
huge boost to the Maoists and other separatists organisations which
may just start protesting demanding a separate state. Worse this
methodology can be used for creating vast support for sensitive issues
like the Ayodhya issue.

I am sure that Anna who has a wide following now can get 542 clean
honest members to stand up for elections and then bring in all the
good laws in the parliament instead of forcing his bill on the
government.

from:  Nirmal
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:40 IST

Ms AR.....the criticism here is not justified. One who is a disciple of
Gandhi cannot behave entirely like Gandhi. I'm happy the youth is
thoughtful enough to follow the wave. If a person takes a stand for the
right cause and does things selflessly, he/she should be respected.

from:  MVB
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:40 IST

Dear Ms Roy,
I am glad to see that not all of us are ready to jump in with the herd without seeing things clearly first. All of us must understand what the Jan Lokpal Bill actually says before we pledge undying support to anyone. I do not, however, appreciate the part about street hawkers. In this part of the world, we are okay with corruption. We have grown up along with it and it is a part of our world. In fact all of us are corrupt in our own ways -little or big.
It starts with our education system. Our teachers are the first people who introduce this into our world. By not doing their jobs - either because they can't, don't care or don't know how to. Before we jump as far as we are trying to right now with our so called support for this bill and Anna, we need to re-look at every thing that we do ourselves. Unless we are completely clean ourselves, our name calling and slogan-shouting protests are just another cowardly act of a bunch of hypocrites.

from:  Shruti
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:38 IST

All said and done... Anna's movement is a start at some "accountability" in the system at every level... The Aam aadmi knows that the pros and cons... all they are doing is chosing the "lesser evil"... After all the "mango" people have run out of patience and Anna is giving them a reason to feel good about it !!!

from:  reji joseph
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:36 IST

AR gives this example "A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares..."
Now, looking at the scams that happen everyday in govt. a rich millionaire looking to sell his items bribes the minister and that's in a sense similar to AR's example, difference being now you are directly affected.
Corruption in no way should be tolerated, there is a concept of tips here in US which can be incorporated in Indian culture but otherwise you should not give bribe or accept, its that simple.

from:  SP
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:32 IST

This is article is of-course from an extremist point of view and is very biased, however
the disease of corruption is too greatly spread and ingrained in our society to be exorcised by just the legislation of a bill, Anna Hazare's heart is in the right place, he needs to understand that such issues can only be decided upon after much discussion and debate. The fact that people of all walks of life have thrown in their hat into the Anna ring goes to show how desperate the people of India are for a change in the system and how willing they are to follow a national leader devoted to bringing this about. Sadly, however I doubt Anna has either the intelligence or the shrewdness required to deliver the goods. One only hopes that the unification of the country brought about by Anna's initiative, translates into a goal oriented, practical movement towards eradication of corruption and alleviation of the country, socially and economically.

from:  Supriya
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:28 IST

Thanks Arundhati Roy for standing up for sensibility. Your article makes complete sense and has great wisdom in it. What we are seeing now with Team Anna's movement are just bloated egos trying to get at the same structures of power that they feel alienated from and to act in the similar way like the government, ruling and using power to control.
Hope better sense prevails among the middle class of India.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:27 IST

With due respect to issues you have raised Ms.Roy, I think the only thing you have understood about the issue raised by Anna Hazare is(a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind. I am not a Anna follower but the corruption issue raised by him is understood by almost every Indian,I know most of them must not even have understood what Lok Pal Bill really is, but this is the issue where everyone have directly or indirectly been a part of this corrupt system. I feel instead of doubting the intention behind the agitation, why dont you support the issue together, instead of diverting it somewhere else. I dont ask you to follow Anna, but atleast show some support to the initiative taken by him, atlast we all are really concerned about the end result, so let us please handle the issue one at a time.

from:  Vikram. Jadhav
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:27 IST

To Arundhati,
I am sure amazed by the great awareness that you bring by this article about other
issue's which have been left aside! But why haven't you got this into light time to
time, a person of your stature can surely bring light to it and create a stir in the
media. And by what anna is trying to do is eradicate corruption, once the corrupt are
out, then and only then real public benefit policies will ever come into implimetation.
When you target elite people, please don't forget India's national freedom movement
was also funded by elite people during its time, I can name the Birlas here, but I'm
sure you know more.
Please reply to comments on your article!

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:27 IST

The article is not at all painful to read. What is paining is that a handful of TV anchors, to beat one another, fooling lakhs and lakhs. It is not fair to stamp as not a true Indian, if you are not following the mass, like sheep. One's faith has to come out of reasoning.

from:  Radhakrishnan.K
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:26 IST

This is another thoughtless diatribe from Arundhati against India and all things that genuinely seek to improve India. The arguments presented by her are severely banal and flawed. Doesn't she realize that exploitation of tribals and farmer suicides has everything to do with governmental corruption? That the crores and crores eaten away by corrupt leaders could easily be channelized for the development of the downtrodden? What's the big deal if corporates have funded Arvind Kejriwal? Does she mean to say that everything funded by corporates is evil? She talks about the supposed connections between Anna and the RSS. How does that (even if true) have any bearing on the current movement which seeks something beneficial for all people, irrespective of caste or religion? And how come she so easily forgets her own association with a character as sleazy as Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a person responsible for mass structural violence in Kashmir. Shame on her dodgy, selective amnesia!

from:  Ajit
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:23 IST

I think a lot of people are glad that Arundhati is not Anna. Her rants are getting more and more bizarre. Perhaps she is trying to curry favor with this government so that they dont charge her with sedition. If she were to fast to support one of her supposed causes, I doubt if she could get 10 people to support her let alone hundreds of thousands.
Before castigating people for using the phrase Vande Mataram, she should understand the history and the sacrifice behind these words! It is not a phrase that speaks division, but one that seeks to unite. Hindus and Muslims say it in one breath! In any case, her attempts to divide India along religous, economic or caste lines will not work. Perhaps the issue of corruption spares a famous pseudo-intellectual like her, but this is an issue that affects one and all - the middle class and the poor, and we are all united in supporting Anna. Jai Hind! Vande Mataram!

from:  Avinash
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:21 IST

Arundhati is right in pointing out the corrupt and dubious nature of corporate India and even NGOs, but that cannot be cause for not demanding and implementing reform at all levels of government first! To discredit the protest movement because it is 'middle class', 'elite' or 'well-off' is blinkered to the extreme - corruption still hits the poor the hardest. The Swiss Bank Association disclosed in a report in 2006, that the staggering sum of 16 billion USD was deposited in Indian-operated accounts in Swiss banks! A sum that has certainly doubled by now and is obviously stolen from the people and the nation. Think of all that could have been achieved (and still can be) by exposing the account holders and confiscationg the money! But above all, the clan-like structure of Indian society, where nepotism and corruption are logical results and hinder quality and prosperity, should be transformed.

from:  ramesh biswas
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:17 IST

I am really disappointed with this article. I was expecting more intellectual arguments and a solution to the situation that we have right now. But instead of that,like government, she (Ms. Roy) is happy to attack Anna Hazare and his team. I personally do not care about Anna Hazare's past, what he did or did not do is irrelevant. What matters is he has started a debate on a very important bill. If you have problems with Jan Lokpal Bill then please come up with another version of it and present it to the people or parliament.

from:  V Gadge
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:16 IST

When one has a bad headache a pill is necessary. When it is fever a
course of antibiotics is necessary. When it is deep rooted cancer a
painful process of chemo-therapy along with surgery is necessary. We
all know what corruption is today in our country. Some may complain
all they want about Anna's methods and demands, but the cancer is so
deep rooted and has become systemic. All this warranted some drastic
moves by the Anna and team and the people responded to the call. I
feel people who are questioning Anna's methods and his ways are
missing the plot just as the government has been these past few weeks.
What the situation is begging is for a dialog to happen and some
serious intent on part of the government to lead the change rather
than trying to subvert or push the issue forward for another
day...year...decade. The government still has a chance to make history
here, lead from the front and look at Anna and all the people like him
as partners in the process.

from:  Praveen
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:14 IST

Ms. Roy: I think you could have presented your very plausible views
with some empathy, in order to be acceptable to even the easily
impressible middle class. You have not touched upon the reason 'why'
the evidently superficial approach of the reformers, who would at best
try to give more elasticity to a rotten system, have been able to
touch the heart of these 'adult' class of children. We, in our state,
have seen recurrence of these kinds of 'heroes' every five to ten
years, who promise finally to deceive. One of them is in Anna's camp
right now. It is not that he is not hardworking; he certainly is. But
he has to deceive as he lacks the ideology. Anyway, your piece was
brilliant, as usual. Some people hate you for your guts, and because,
they do not understand that national barriers are actually man-made.
They are at cross purposes: being rabid 'nationalists' of the old
school singing paeans to a false globalization that helps only finance
capital. Thank you.

from:  Uttam Kumar Borthakur
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:13 IST

Respected Mam, The Article written by You on 21st August in The Hindu is about second side of the coin minted exactly true to mind as what Anna Hazare says is true to ears only just one side of story, What You have written here may not be acceptable to many people but I believe Your rational facts may not be paid heed by everyone but continue Your work as there are like me some who tend to find all possible views of every situation myself being from Ahmednagar just 38 km form Ralegan Siddi and the District where his village is.

from:  Ashish Jaggi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:12 IST

let me ask all the supporters of Anna a few questions
1. how many of you own a driving license and how many of you havent
paid bribes for that
2, how many of you are paying your taxes properly
3 how many of you have paid all the stamp duty while registering the
land you have bought, I know everyone in INDIA just shows one tenth
of the land's price
4 how many of you never took your train tickets from booking agents (
agents bribe the railway officials for you
5 how can a man who has fought in india pak war be called GANDHIAN
6. How can a man who says a that he doesn beleive in parliament because
electorate can be influenced by money and liqour claim he believes in
democracy. friends that simply belittles you and me
6.if his movement is going to succeed, tomorrow if somebody with one
million followers (thats a huge number but maks only 0.1% indian
population)make some ridiculuos demands and take the streets , how can
govt tackle it.this strategy can be used by fundamentalist in kashmir

from:  joby k thomas
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:10 IST

I never thought that I would actually agree with something that Ms.
Roy opined about, however partly.
Anna (or the entity that goes by the rather juvenile 'Team Anna')
is undemocratic and arrogant. It has arrogated itself the mantle of
civil society and is blackmailing the Government (of course, the
UPA Govt is doing its best to undermine itself).

But, Ms. Roy takes off tangentially from there and goes off into
her latest conspiracy theory. The whole world knows that she is a
great writer, but her line between fiction and reality is rather
blurred.

Its become a fad to call anyone who says "Narendra Modi" a fascist
or some such ephitet. Its doesn't irk her ilk that Team Anna goes
to meet the Shahi Imam to "explain" their stand. But, if any Hindu
right winger (of varying levels of nuttiness) gets anywhere near
Anna then he is a closet Swayamsevak, which by extension means anti
national.

La affaire Anna, is a theatre of the absurd, rapidly descending
into a Greek, nay, Indian tragedy.

from:  Bala
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:07 IST

Ms ROY,I have come this conclusion after reading your article that you have written and seeing Anna Hazare peaceful protest on television that with a population 1.2 billion people we can never agree on everything and we have developed this habit of calling everybody or anybody who doesn't agree with our views stupid or utter crazy.Nobody has a perfect solution as to how we tackle corruption and but we need to discuss among ourselves and find a solution here.Lets stop labeling people with terms like RSS,GODHRA RIOTS and focus our energy on finding a solution for a common man who can obtain his license/passport without bribing the officials.We all have been corrupt at some point of life and this lokpal movement I feel has made people aware that yes they can redeem themselves and give a more truthful and honest society to the next generation.I would say here going forward we as Indians should lend our support to anybody who is fighting against this corruption whether its Mr Anna or not.

from:  Manish Shukla
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:05 IST

If I could write like Arundhati, I would have said exactly what she
said, because that is exactly what I feel! Please scratch the surface
of the Anna Hazare movement and try and understand what is going on.
This is not a representative of civil society. Most of civil society
sit at home, Most of those showing their support are in it for a picnic. Ask them
what the bill is all about and they would not know.The "millions"
they see are RSS and BJP cadres whose only agenda is to bring the
Government down.They are achieving their agenda by hiding behind
"civil society". If civil society is interested in putting a curb on
corruption,they should adopt methods to prevent it at their level, in
their life.And what, may i ask is Kiran Bedi doing here? Enjoying the
public glare? The Department from where she comes, is reportedly the
most corrupt. When she was holding a high office there, what did she
do to stem corruption in her own Department? Nothing.

from:  suhasini Fredrick
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 23:01 IST

Fighting for corruption ??? or Name ? I hope this is not the second freedom movement but it is the techniqe of dividing India into Religious parties by not including muslims, as he is using the slogans which are not accepted by Muslims. in this way he is compleately supporting the RSS, bajrang dal and BJP, indeed if the govt even handed over to these fellows, they cannot avoid corruption , first let them sack and jail the CM of Karnataka and other ministers who have swallowed thousands of crores, let them return that money to the govt funds.

from:  sharief
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:58 IST

I usually read most of her articles in an attempt to demystify why she has a considerable follower base.But each throws me further in to the dark.
If a fight against corruption is being perceived(or conveniently interpreted and publicised) as a fight against the existing government, what does that speak about the government?
And Lokpal is bill is not gonna be withdrawn the moment another party gets in to power, neither is it custom-designed to suit any particlar party's agenda.
It will stay till these filthy politicians lose some weight and the poor and the hungry gain some. It has to.
And madam your writings give us a lot of energy to stay united and support this cause, so keep posting!

from:  Sudeep
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:48 IST

I welcome this alternative thought from Roy in the midst of hype created by the influencing powers. This is the time to look back the world history & economy and find parallel events. In the western countries the powerful forces have mastered the art and science of social engineering to control public thought process. The same is being practiced by Indian mass media for the past decade on different occasions. With the advent of social media into the mix now it is able to generate support from the educated mass. Once it reaches a point the influencing powers will ensure it benefits its own interest while having an anti-corruption face to that.
After the western world economic collapse, conservative powers in India is trying to hold back the liberalization. But the influencing power from the free market economy wants to make further inroads in the liberalization to expand their growth. It is sad that people’s frustration on the current political setup and corruption is being used for it.

from:  Ram Ramaswamy
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:43 IST

Ignoring the personal attacks on Anna, I agree with Arundathi Roy (I never thought i will say this:)).Anna is attempting to subvert our parlimentary process. However justified the cause is the process of coercion is deplorable. I hope better sense prevails and Anna ends fast and enter into constructive discussions on the Lokpal bill. As a foot note, everybody who claims to support Anna should sign an undertaken not to accept or give bribes. If the movement suppporting Anna is so large this by itself should end corruption.

from:  Natarajan T
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:38 IST

Arundhati Roy's articles always come up with that same volatile combination of insight, polemics and exaggeration. While she is right about many things,one also has to take into account the real anger against India's most corrupt government which has exasperated one and all and burst forth in a carnivalesque manner which would always move beyond manipulated boundaries.Ms Roy does not do so and the references to Maoists continue to be misleading as the violence they have unleashed has actually ravaged most, neither the state nor the corporates but adivasis themselves.What she and others like her should instead propose is a fusion of multiple struggles so that corruption, AFSPA, terrorism, unemployment, price-rise, forced acquisition and such maladies may be confronted unitedly.It is the absence of such national movements which has created the void now being exploited by powers behind curtains in a classic stroke of ideological obfuscation o produce new marketable version of the 'real'.

from:  Abin Chakraborty
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:38 IST

I don't find anything aweful in Anna's remark over Gujrat. Actually other states need to learn from Gujrat but we don't, why because we have developed a habbit of nitpicking, we only see the riots not the development there. and even when some one is fighting for us we don't support him but start searching weak links..And for your example of street hawkers you would have known if only 10 of them would have started their business in front of your home, and then a small market crops up.....just mail me your reaction if it comes true..

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:35 IST

Wow.. Amazing view... I respect you for you understanding and knowledge. You have seen through the facade.
There are always people who drown a sane voice ( because its unpopular). Gandhi was a wise and genuine. I cannot say the same about Anna.

from:  Amit
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:32 IST

I definitely agree with Ms.Roy and the way the war against corruption is being staged makes us delve more into the problem and its fall out. But here again we see that the whole nation especially the youth and the city dwellers have come out in thousands to express their solidarity to this cause. No where in recent times as such an awakening happened from this class of people. So atleast we can hope that a small beginning to the larger issues at hand is being carried forth. Maybe only then India will emerge as a nation who did its citizens proud and everyone is treated equally and fairly irrespective of the divides.

from:  KALA NAYAR
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:27 IST

Though the Lokpal Bill is not an end in itself but there is no doubt as to it being a means to end corruption. Those who are advocating the cause of poor in India will not disagree the fact that corruption in any of its forms falls harshly on poor people. If one is to oppose Anna and his way of doing the things then state very precisely the alternate way one is thinking to achieve the same result, if one is not able to do this should better appreciate and also support for at least what Anna is doing.

from:  Abhijit Rohi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:01 IST

A truly eyeopening article especially the fact that gram sabha elections haven't been held in Anna's own village Ralegaon Siddhi, looks as if democracy is not something important for the 'crusaders against corruption'!

from:  Vilas Pavithran
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:00 IST

Kudos to Arundhati Roy on a courageous article going against so called 'popular opinion' to remind us of some inconvenient truth. Of deep concern are the forces arrayed behind Anna and their extreme intolerance for alternate views like that of Aruna Roy and her team on the Lok Pal bill and the corporate sponsors that are funding some of Anna's close associates.

from:  Anirudh Prabhu
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 22:00 IST

It is high time that the media has to take a reasonable stand when it matters to the good of the nation. Now it seems that the media is after masses not knowing that what they had to do actually.The article has put some light into the actual scenes behind the 'drama'.

from:  Thomas Martin
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:59 IST

No doubt Anna's struggle against corruption is in the right path. Every Indian should support his efforts. Otherwise our country will be destroyed by the corrupt people. Curbing corruption is an utmost necessity now. Till date nobody in India has taken this much of serious steps to curb corruption as Annaji.

from:  ARULSELVAN. K
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:57 IST

Mam,with all sincerity..i beg to differ.I do support IAC and I will.our country has lots and lots of problems,we cant even state all of them here,but in IAC's movement for janlokpal,its the third option peace loving people are polling for.Ofcourse this protest has been staged very intelligently to gather mass support,unlike the other cases of irom sharmila chanu and people of kashmir.but every one cannot go out like the maoists,all aint so brave.As for the flaws to the bill even I want some reformations,but that is for you madam,you are a responsible Indian too. We all respect you,go out there and put your views,I am sure we can create a better place to live in, starting from this...ending some where.

from:  Sourajit Mukherjee, Poschim bongo.
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:56 IST

The article by AR is really painful to read. This was not expected of a writer of her status. Where was she all these days when the struggle started. She should understand that one person may be a fool, ten persons may be fools but not the lakhs and lakhs of supporters are fools. Why nobody came forward to spearhead such a revolution? Is it that they waited for somebody to start the andolan so that they can show the might of their pen. Lokpal bill was drafted in 1969 and nothing was done all these years. What was the Govt. doing all these years? It is always easy to criticise others.I think AR as Mr.Prem says should leave behind all her prejudices and as a true Indian join the crusade against corruption.

from:  prema
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:48 IST

In true sense this is the perfect time for all of us to join the second freedom struggle against corruption. Corruption and corruption alone is the major limiting factor for the development of the nation.
It has been deep rooted since independence and no government was able to stop this for one reason or the other. Take for example; Singapore, a small country where law is very strict and implemented also with out any corruption. People fear for doing anything else wrong. NO doubt the present agitation by Annaji is really a welcome fight, we should all join with him at this right time to do something positively against corruption in India. What is not available in our country?
Only this cancer is the chief problem. Miss AR I strongly differ in your views and hope you may also soon join in this stream.

from:  Natarajan Subbiah
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:47 IST

No individual activist can single-handedly fight all the vices that plague the society and, therefore, Arundhati's argument that why Anna didn't raise his voice against farmers' suicide or Operation Green hunt doesn't hold water. However, I totally agree with her that an unelected body with the right to investigate and prosecute and without any accountability doesn't augur well for a democracy. We have enough laws to check corruption (for that matter other crimes), all we need is systemic change to ensure their implementation. We don't need a new system ... we need to overhaul the existing one

from:  Khimi Thapa
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:44 IST

She can't see the whiter side of things. he can't see the darker side of things.

from:  Satyajeet Mohanty
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:44 IST

It's the common man who feels the heat so she better not comment.

from:  gaurav garg
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:42 IST

You are very clear in your views. Anna has been deemed as ANNA INDIA. He recently came into limelight with this foolish and abstract movement. I don't think that the younger generation of this era is aware of him at all. He should be taken to task for provoking social violence with his unconstitutional views.

from:  MARIA PRASAD
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:42 IST

I wonder why Hindu got her to write the article in first place?

from:  Anubhav
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:39 IST


She has gone down more than a couple of notches in my esteem for the stand she has taken on the corruption issue. So....., supporting Maoists (who I also support in their just struggle) and other violent protesters with similar causes/means is very "constitutional" while Team Anna's NOBLE, non-violent, selfless, harmless means and methods are not, is it? Who does she think is setting a bad precedent? Opinions such as hers only confuse, and not clarify, the issues for the people, but give a boost to the corrupt.

from:  Nanda
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:38 IST

Ms. Roy, I do agree that there are many protests that goes unnoticed by the media and the ppl. that doesnt mean that anna is not right in pursueing what he thinks is an effective way to start weeding out corruption.And why may I ask anna should fight the battles of Irom Sharma or the farmer of UP or ppl of Kudankulam. Each has to fight their own battle and this is his battle.
I would also like to know why you think that jan lokpal will not benefit the poor? All the money that should go into the social welfare policies are robbed. Don't you think Jan Lokpal will at least do something to stop that? Your idea is absolutely absurd.
There may be a lot of controversies with this. but this protest by the people of India is genuine. do something to help. if you can't,then atleast dont embarass the Indians who are fighting for the anti corruption law by making controversial statements.

from:  saranya kumaresan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:35 IST

I hope Roy had enough time to go through numerous comments that people have put and has realized the views of Indians. Anna's movement is fight against corruption, fight against evil power. Each and every Indian should support it for the betterment of our country. Jai Hind.

from:  Nayana
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:34 IST

This movement has definitely created an awareness among general public and a sense of fear within the people in power to rethink their acts. Ms.Roy should understand that most of the problems faced by our country are the by-products of bad governance during the last 50 years and corruption in every level. The so called rebel organizations came to existence because of this reason as well.

from:  Venugopal V.G.
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:32 IST

Before we can conclude on whether Ms. Roy would rather be Anna or not, it is pertinent to examine if she has the ability to be one. Specifically, is she willing to fast unto death for any thing? *Anything*!

An ounce of practice is worth far more than a tonne of talk!

from:  Srini
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:31 IST

Ms. Roy, outside of several factual errors, your flaw in logic is particularly striking. If you had taken basic political science you may have come across the twin principles of 'branches of government' and 'balance of power'. Following such principles the creation of two immense power structures should actually serve to reorient and re-balance a very dangerous concentration of power and wealth that already exists. Secondly your concerns on decentralization are unfounded. Take a closer look at the Jan Lokpal bill - you'll see an intentional focus on state and local level decentralization. Finally, accountability. You are absolutely founded in your fear of a Lokpal inevitably subsumed by a more deeply imbibed culture of graft. This is why a) this social movement itself represents a change in norms surrounding graft and b)the Hazare team seems to finally be yielding to the requirement of a strong Judicial Accountability Bill. Finally, consider your own demagoguery before accusing others.

from:  Mihir Chaudhary
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:31 IST

I think Ms AR wants to vent out a feeling rather than a structured opinion. If you don't show an alternate King don't question the King. BTW why are we reacting so much for this, article, 153 "Page down" of comments, Astonishing!!! Just ignore her!!

from:  Pavan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:31 IST

You can never be Anna even in your wildest of dreams!!!

from:  Ajeet
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:29 IST

Arundhati, I wanted to hear your views on this but after reading am deeply disappointed. I am an ardent fan of yours and read ur essays but feel let down now.

from:  Nalini Nair
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:27 IST

Ms Roy,

The unfortunate reality is that there are two Indias - one of the rich and middle classses and one of the poor and deprived. Anna's efforts are directed largely to ameliorate the nuisances that the former group face. Even if Jan Lokpal does not do much to help the plight of adivasis at least it won't do any harm. The fight for the poor may perhaps be more important than the fight for Lokpal ... but an empowered and thriving middle class is the only force that is capable of going on to defend the rights of the poor. At this moment in history, you are better off supporting Anna's fast instead of berating it.

from:  Subramaniam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:27 IST

What Ms Roy has done is leave no stone on her part to demoralise and create doubts in the minds of those thousands supporting anna's protest in Delhi and several millions in their homes who are at least believing that a change is not too far. She appears to have written the article only for the sake of inviting controversy and trying to be in the limelight without having too much knowledge about the black economy and corruption. The example of a hawker bribing the local beat cop and the municipalities and its endorsement to prove her point against the anti-corruption movement of team Anna only shows her amateur and childish nature.she criticizes but offers no solutions.
Why? coz she does not have any!mam "EITHER LEAD OR FOLLOW , ELSE GET OUT OF THE WAY"

from:  Dr GUNAJIT TALUKDER
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:27 IST

Arundhathi, One man has the guts to raise his voice and do something. He has a wonderful reputation. Do something or follow the movement instead of writing useless articles.

from:  Vishwanath
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:20 IST

That was a thought provoking article. As usual Arundathi Roy showed the guts to publish her views, how ever annoying it may be to the prevailing mob mentality. Those who follow Anna had a feeling that Anna is India ..India is Anna . that is not true. There is a kind of threat like situation prevailing now, where, if any one raised their voices against Anna's method, they are accused of anti- development, congress spokesmen or enemies of India etc(and most derogatory abuses are heaped on them. is this INDIAN CULTURE they are speaking so high about!)In such a scenario it was a relief to see such an article from Arundathi Roy. I salute her for her individuality and the courage (which many didn't have).

from:  Sherule
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:19 IST


This is the most pathetic argument I have ever seen in this prestigious newspaper. I do agree that yet another body that oversees might not solve any problems. But this is not the way to argue the case. "Whether it works or not depends on how we view corruption." Does this mean let us make corruption legal, then we have nothing to complain about? "for example, a city of shopping malls, on whose streets hawking has been banned. A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares to those who cannot afford the prices in the malls. Is that such a terrible thing?" Yes it is. It has two terrible things if I might point to. The attitude that it is somehow 'ok' to bend law and order to suits one’s wants. The second one is more a grass roots problem, the legitimate needs of a layer in our society as consumers and vendors have to violate the law to even make a small business establishment.

“In future wil

from:  Aravind
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:17 IST

Dear Ms. Roy, I can relate to your pain behind many other crusades (and crusaders) in the country going unrecognized. But I am quite certain that Anna has nothing to do with them not being recognized. Every person can only do so much in his life. Anna has selected to fight the issues that he has come across in the same way that you are fighting the issues that you felt are appropriate. I do see a noble intent in both your fights. But we may need to understand why Anna's fight has struck the chord with every Indian. I do not presume to know every thing, but may be there is something we can learn from this. In any case, doubting the intention of Anna (or someone involved in the fight) does not achieve anything but to belittle us. I am sure Anna is as committed to the cause that he is fighting as you are to your own. Having read your first book just a couple of days ago, I have a lot of respect for you and I will continue to have it..

from:  Prashanth
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:15 IST

Liberals are biased towards any movement which involves flag waving and nationalism and Ms Arundati Roy is typical Liberal.Idealogues are out of touch and clouded with prejudice that they not even acknowledge genuine movement which will benefit the same 20 Rupee/Day people, the author is talking.

from:  Pavan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:10 IST

Thanks for clearing my thoughts

from:  mathew
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 21:04 IST

I am a lawyer. As far as I know, law has lot of limitations in curing an evil like corruption.
Corruption can only be cured by non-legal means like change in human behavior and
attitude towards one's own interests and while dealing with the interests of others. As they
say, charity begins at home, Anna Team should start from their own homes and lives. By
doing so, they can set an example for others to follow. Gandhi fought the aliens to secure
freedom from slavery and he adopted a certain path. The present 'revolution' stands no
comparison to Gandhian values. Who in Anna Team follows 'satyam' and 'dharmam' as
taught by Gandhiji. No movement led by hypocrites will ever succeed in its goals. First,
let them follow Gandhi's simple ways of living, eating, clothing, speaking the truth, and
working for poor and the underdogs. In my view, none of the so called fighters against
corruption can be called a Gandhian, much less true Gandhian. Lokpal bill is not an end in
itself.

from:  T V Padmanabhan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 20:53 IST

Being an ardent admirer of AR, I beg to differ with her on this count. The surging crowds at Anna's sena, only show the extent to which our people have been victims to this cancer of corruption, which has demoralised the psyche of almost every Indian. Again, the fact that Anna doesn't give a siren call for terrorism or unemployment or any other issue, is just because, Anna is a crusader against corruption - and that's his single-point agenda, which, as the millions behind him feel, is the clarion call of the unheard masses.
This is the time that Indians have to put up a brave front to battle corruption with Anna leading at the helm. So, setting aside personal prejudices, we hope AR too joins in the bandwagon!

from:  Prem
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 20:49 IST

Team Hazare has been using the fundamental right to protest in getting their bill passed to fight corruption. They started with few persons and now has swelled to astronomical proportions. If there was no substance in their stand point, this would never have been a movement that it has become. There has been no attempt to destabilize the government. The government did not agree for video- graphing or live telecasting of the deliberations of the drafting committee for the public to know the views of both sides. Now, all that the government is saying is that it is the elected MPs who can make laws. The government is forgetting that the MPs are just puppets in the hands of the public when there is a mass and spontaneous uprising as this one. If the government thinks otherwise, why don't they go ahead legislating their own version of the bill ? Where is the comparison with Maoists to destabilize democracy. If Ms A Roy thinks otherwise,she better organize rallies to "stabilize" the govt.

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:44 IST

You can wake up a person who is really sleeping but not those who pretend to be sleeping. People like A Roy fall in the latter category. They are fully aware of the ground realities of corruption in the country, how the successive Governments have not done anything for decades to establish Lokpal and how the present Govt cleverly managed to have it's waterdown version of Lokpal bill introduced in Parliament. Anna's efforts did not commence from April this year as the author trise to make out. It all started last year. At various stages Government by various methods either ignored the Team Anna's efforts or brushed aside as it has doe now. These tactics of the Govt. forced Anna to go on fast twice recently. How can anyone blame Anna for this? Unless this issue of strong Lokpal is forced now this Govt will manage it's version of Lokpal Bill passed and will go into a deep slumber.

from:  Sridharan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:41 IST

Loved this article...

from:  Sherry
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:39 IST

The greatest achievement of Anna Hazare movement is that India finally got rid of West-influenced; English-speaking activists such as Arundhati Roy from the traditional leadership role of people's movements. Arundhati Roy criticises Kabir for accepting financial support from the Ford Foundation while forgetting the fact she was an integral part of the organising committee of World Social Forum in India sponsored the very same funding-agency. If Anna has managed to unite the entire nation in less than thirty days, it is simply because he spoke the language of the ordinary Indians, not the language of the elite and the affluent class of this country. English was finally replaced with Hindi; academicians with activists, hypocrisy with simplicity; cowardice with courage and finally words with action. Victory or failure is not very important in struggles for the goodness of a nation.

from:  Sethu Das
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:37 IST

What surprises me the most is the fact that the urban youth participating in the campaign, taking leave from their offices to support the fasting man, is unfortunately the same which produces fake medical bills, HRA claims etc to save their income taxes. This day, they stand with candles in hands against the corruption spread in the bureaucracy. Ask 10 of them and you'll find 7 out of them having problem in getting their IT refunds. The point is that they simply "forgot their duty, but they fight for their rights". The right to protest against something wrong has to be EARNED.
The India which is protesting in Ramlila maidan is not the same which elects the govt. How many of this youth turns out to vote when it comes to choose the govt? Congress knows this very well, that's why Rahul gandhi is visiting families of farmers who committed suicides in Maharashtra few days back. Their vote banks are secure and that's why they are least bothered.

from:  Harmeet
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:35 IST

i think you are right.. i mean the the government was formed by the collective voting of the citizens.. we only elected our ministers and now shouting at their wrong doings.. i think its better to first think if we ourselves are corrupted before joining the cause, after all we(citizens) are the what constitutes the nation.

from:  John
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:32 IST

830 million people living on Rs.20 a day? What are you smoking?

from:  Sujith
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:31 IST

She definitely has a point, but has not expressed it very well. Too many negatives and no space for the slightest diversion in views allowed.

from:  ZPakistan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:30 IST

"The ultimate show of power on the part of the ruling ideology is to allow what appears to be powerful criticism". There is no lack of anti-capitalism today. We are overloaded with critiques of the horrors of capitalism: books, in-depth investigative journalism and TV documentaries expose the companies that are ruthlessly polluting our environment, the corrupt bankers who continue to receive fat bonuses while their banks are rescued by public money, the sweatshops in which children work as slaves etc. However, there is a catch: what isn't questioned in these critiques is the democratic-liberal framing of the fight against these excesses. The (explicit or implied) goal is to democratise capitalism, to extend democratic control to the economy by means of media pressure, parliamentary inquiries, harsher laws, honest police investigations and so on. But the institutional set-up of the (bourgeois) democratic state is never questioned. This remains sacrosanct.

from:  Prabhat
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:08 IST

Those who doesn't have courage to stand against government, expresses their in the same way as Ms arundati does. Infact, she is happy to see a malfunctioned democracy ruled by robbers rather than having a strong accountable government. She had forgotten history. Changes are brought by revolution not by lamenting others or sitting idle. happening in Middle east and the arab worlds are example of it. And about Anna, i does not care about his personal integrity, i only care that he started a process to root out corruption, and we citizens have full support to him....

from:  Vinay Sinha
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:06 IST

Dear MS Roy Please give the solution for the miseries of Corruption and Inflation beleaguring this country. You please dont complicate things with the statement rather Try to give public service atleast rather than being called as so called 'intelligentia'. I m really disappointed with your thoughts abt it. Those who really want this corruption thing to weed out seriously will come forward . I rather respect Aruna Roy ,atleast there group also hv come up with some suggestion in there own version of lokpal. Please let all users know about ur actions and committments to solve this menace. All conspiracy theories come up all of a sudden. There a 74 year old reputed activist his fasting for tough Anti Graft laws here you are just trying to get (in)famous bt this article.Is it not trying to get media attention . Even our respected Prime minister whose integrity is no doubt well established wants the solution.Those with vested interests are opposing it.. or those who themselves involved?

from:  J GUPTA
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:04 IST

It's good to see people having differing view points. It can never be my way or no way. Great thoughts here. True, India stands united against corruption. True, Anna Hazare has evoked a sense of anti-corruption in the hearts of many in India. But the means to achieve it (fasts, deadlines, etc.) leaves a big question mark. No one can or should override the democratic process. If the government succumbs to the blackmailing tactics of Team Anna by blindly agreeing to everything, that will be a black day in Indian democracy.

from:  Dr.Jacob
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 18:01 IST

Maam, its not that "you would rather not be Anna", it should be 'you cannot be an Anna'. The Indian mass - this includes the commoner, as well as a section of the elites - will never be able to relate with you, but they can easily gel themselves with Team Anna. We all agree India has hundreds and thousands of problems. Not all can be taken care of in one shot. And also one person/one team is not enough to do everything. Why are other leaders/activists not doing something which moves the public, shakes the government and forces them do something.

from:  Namami Ghosh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:51 IST

I absolutely agree with what arundhati has to say.......!! we need to pause and look at the hysteria and view arundhati's comments objectively....they make great sense.

from:  Habeeb Khan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:48 IST

I would like to object against the kind of language being used against Anna Hazare...This simple man has done what no one has dared to do before....Agreed that may be his means are wrong but the cause is noble....And he deserves our full support....Such article was certainly not exepcted from someone like Arundhati Roy...

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:47 IST

Here is a fact : I am fighting to get back my income tax return of 2007 since January. There has not been a single communication from the department. I have made atleast 10 trips so far. Tatas, as against, have written to me recently about the provident fund I still hold with them and they have asked to provide me the account number to deposit the amount. For common man expectations are minimal. Get what we deserve without useless efforts. That simply is missing in this country. I can understand genuine problems and poverty. We could fight that, but not these crooked ways of people from government. They just want control - what value addition are they doing really? Narayan Murthy once said it nicely - 'IT industry could achieve this much despite the government, probably because they did not see the amounts involved.'

from:  Atul Kumthekar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:46 IST

I think the article makes a number of excellent points. Clearly, it's been written by someone who has a deeper understanding of the issues at stake. I suspect most of those who support Anna haven't read either his or the government's Lok Pal drafts. What drives them is the desire to stand against corruption -- understandable since there really doesn't seem to be much else that the general public can do. Ms Roy, you're well within your rights to criticise Anna. But you should also have suggested an alternative(s). In that sense, your column is incomplete. I look forward to reading about your thoughts on how this country can eliminate/control corruption and go forward.

from:  A Yell
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:41 IST

Welcome views. The path of non-violance shown by Gandhiji seem to be diluted for the internal chaos of the land. By fasting unto death,any person can set a precedence that anything can be achieved by this means of threatening. It is absolutely ridiculous to expect a major bill of this Lokpal/Janlokpal nature be resolved and passed within a very short period of around 10-15 days. More than corruption the corrupted-mind of the citizens, officials, politicians, and so on, need to be corrected. Is there any solution for this! I am afraid 'No'. Only self-discipline and determination is the answer.

from:  Natarajan S
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:40 IST

Ms. Roy, I agree with certain notions of yours regarding creating another humungous institution which does not decentralise power. I also agree that not supporting Lokpal, deems an individual anti-Indian. The scope of dissent against the bill has diminished to drastically low proportions. But if I am not wrong you too are involved in certain form of corruption; if I am not wrong specifically illegal acquisition of land in Pachmari. We should certainly exercise refrain in commenting so critically about a movement that has captured people's imagination. If this movement, does help us inculcate right attitude and attributes towards citizenship as a whole, we should not discard it as a mere provocation that would fizzle out soon.

from:  Parag Nathaney
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:38 IST

Good start to the article but bias and jealousy comes through in rest of the article. Why can't world cup celebrators, anti-reservationists and RSS support a good cause. And why should anything supported by them be automatically be labelled bad. She is entitled to her opinion just like people are entitled to their opinion about her.

from:  Dr Arun Prasad
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:38 IST

Do not totally agree on this but nevertheless if Ms Roy is worried that NGO's taking control of the Lok pal bill then there should be some intelligent people in this country of billions who can come up with sensible wording on the terms and conditions column of the bill. She is correct on the inequality, but who is to blame for that? Anna's ideologies? is he a Hindu nationalist? Remember Gandhi had a great education and knew how to put his words correct. The problem is Anna being so simple. Jai Hind

from:  Sony
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:33 IST

Good Morning MS AR. This is how you greet someone you want to wake up I guess. Please get your facts right. Anna Hazare did not just wake up on one day in April or August, there was a copy of Jan Lokpal sent to PM, SG etc in Dec 2010 or Jan 2011 with NO response from them... I guess you were sleeping then. From April to August there were multiple communications by "Team Anna" as you call them stating how all meaningful debates over democracy were crushed by few leaders who thought being dictators is their right after winning an election by corrupt means with less than 11% votes. Cannily is an adjective I would like to use for the government who at 7am on August 16th morning decided that Anna Hazare is a great threat to the nation and 3pm on the same day decided otherwise. What Anna Hazare did on that day and the following three days was from an Indian point of view 'Bravery'. I dont see any Xenophobia in Sri Anna Hazare ji when he works with Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Hegde's.

from:  Tapan Vaidya
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:26 IST

I fully agree with AR, comment.I strongly believe that anna strike is a international conspiracy.We r all know America and Europe face serious recession .All investors believes India and China are strongest country. western interest want to down India so they used for anna small tool. they want to demolish our strong democracy like Syria, Egypt Or London violence.Lokpal bill can do nothing change for our society .How can we change grass root level and middle class level corruption.80% Indian peple facing these type of corruption.Lokpal can do any change?.Media and corporates want to rule our country for their own interest. That's why they support annas strike .

from:  PHILIN
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:24 IST

I still can't understand why so called intellectuals support Janlokpal Bill, Its something like in a school to appoint a set of selected students to prosecute teachers and principal!! yeah seriously how can a person who has been elected by 1.25bn people can come under an ambit of a someone who has been nominated by a self proclaimed elite group of 10. How many people standing in Ramlila maidan know about the JLP. Ya guys plz help in passing the current bill..Always amendments can be made to our convenience.

from:  Sriram kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:23 IST

The article is lessons in 'how to write four pages of utter nonsense'. by the way poor hawker on the road is selling apples at Rs 120 per Kg( cheap) and reliance fresh on the same road is selling it for Rs 100.!!!

from:  surinder singh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:22 IST

I strongly agree with author's view. Formation of such an independent body which excludes corporations and private bodies will encourage more and more privatization in the public life, which i would say is even bigger threat than corruption. The bill will cause the people loose faith over the government and will develop trust over private players. This will lead to more and more investment from the private players there by leading to ever increasing inflation. See what happened in Bolivia which is one of the poor countries in North America, when the natural resources like water was under the control of the private players the rate of drinking water became more than the average income of the Bolivian people. We can see the same thing happening in India. That poor is becoming poorer and rich becoming richer. That is the motto of capital forces all over the world. The proposed Jan Lok Pal will directly or indirectly benefit the capital forces. Be careful before supporting.

from:  Mahboob
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:21 IST

Fight against corruption is most exhausting and eventful subject. Ms Arundhati Roy is searching through out her report the modality of fight against corruption rooted in our entire society. One Mr. Anna Hazare can't wipe out the decease spread on us as like a Banyan tree. I think the Jan Lokpal Bill to be tabled in Parliament and debate the same. After that the outcome should be placed before the people for their opinion, because the majority of elected people are corrupted sitting in Parliament.

from:  ps
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:19 IST

I truly agree and go by Arundhathi Roy.....this movement is a farce created by modern day Media....and people r not reasoning as to wht is the truth....they just r herded like goats...by the media

from:  Nithil Dennis
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:15 IST

Ms. Roy i had a great respect for you and ur works.... but unfortunately, after reading ur opinions on the ongoing major event in the country, u compelled me to believe that the so called 'sanest' ppl of the country have become so ignorant and biased becoz they truly can't empathise an ordinary Indian and his 'routine' sufferings merely sitting in their air conditioned homes and offices... It's a pity! it is becoz of dis that the ordinary Indians r moving out of their houses to fight for themselves.... Cheerz to their spiritz.. Cheerz to our spiritz..

from:  Aaliya Susiwala
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:14 IST

With everyone saying and quoting how Team Anna's protest is the first step towards the battle against corruption, I wonder how many of these well-thought of people truly know the meaning of fighting for the greater good. They talk of how Gandhian Anna is. But AR is spot on in pointing out that an all-powerful Lokpal Committee is the last thing Gandhiji would have wanted since he always promoted decentralization of authority. Though this article does not provide the right alternatives for the ways it condemns, AR is very correct in pointing out the mass hysteria and over-hyped attention given to Team Anna and 'India Against Corruption'.

from:  Sharma
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:12 IST

To an extent AR'S article makes sense...after hearin so much about lokpal in these many days i have a simple doubt....is janlokpal some kind of magic that'll wipe out corruption in a day? I hope not and i am very sure this will in no way make the lives of the lesser fortunate indians[the same 830 million]any better or easier.

from:  sanaah
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:12 IST

Please, we should not look at the class, society, religion, organization or its banner who behind it, we must respect its ground, one voice and one expression. I know, you have seen the public anger and frustration, every corner of India, much before, Anna's movement. You must agree why -because the root cause is our non-belongingness and the corruption is byproduct of it. We can't question every thing what happening now is not better for us. I know, Jan Lokpal bill will not end *all* corruption but does that mean we should not take that first step and wait for anther 40 years. Please be careful while writing something so critical we all are people who follow what you writes.

from:  jp
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:11 IST

This piece would easily match P G Wodehouse in hilarity only if it was not monumentally incoherent, misdirected and diversionary. A few samples of the specious logic on display: She chides Anna for not taking up issues like AFSPA, Bhopal gas leak, Singur, Lalgarh, SEZs, Operation Green Hunt and many more, helpfully suggesting that he should divert and distribute the attention of the populace over a multitude of issues without making headway in any one of them - just what the current government would prefer. Anna is faulted on praising the 'development model of Gujarat'- no doubt a disconcerting fact for Ms Roy given that this model is threatening to create a state where we wouldn't have widespread miseries to talk, write and protest about. She declares that this fight against corruption would not benefit the 'people living on Rs 20 a day', her fallacious argument conveniently forgetting that it is this very graft which has maintained nay exacerbated this internecine inequality.

from:  mahua kar chowdhury
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:10 IST

Corruption, the giant evil of the time is definitely the issue to be address and like we used to sing in the sunday school, 'so let's dig the hole and kick the devil (corruption) in'. After years of patience, one can now see outbursts everywhere on anything, everything. But to make any decision in haste for the issue like corruption which is already deeply rooted in our system may take us one step forward and two steps backward. I agree with Arundhati Roy, 'I'd rather not be Anna'. I am afraid among those lakhs of people shouting slogan indeed how many are brave and sacrificial people willing to die for their land and beliefs or loyal patriots with nothing to give but their lives.

from:  Shem Raomai
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:08 IST

Actually this is one article where arundhathi managed to keep her expressive language under control and not without reason!! the moment someone says something against the movement he is branded traitor pro government or a conspiracy theorist !! absurd as it may get the situation in india today , the blind annamania is actually powered by the middle class who just want to put all the blame on the politicians and take the moral high ground!! distancing themselves from the issue of corruption seems to them the next step to appearing 'holy'. associating with a gandhian is like being declared saint.that's the logic behind most of the people who are supporting this, and as for the bill,...even if the government does pass the bill as team anna wants i don't think it will solve all issues or even solve more issues than the issues it will create. any ways this is holding a nation to ransom using an emotional middle class, a class whose support is at the most ill-informed!

from:  jeff joe
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:07 IST

I totally agree with AR view. My Gut feeling is that gr8 politics is being played under the mask of Anna to erase the scams created by congress and his allies. I have also have the feeling that the centrestage is being created for Rahul Gandhi to take over the throne of his ancestors as india is not democratic country but a country ruled by dictators(congress and Gandhi). In all the scams corporate world is included then why the corprate world and media is not included in the jan lokpal bill.

from:  raj kumar agrawal
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:05 IST

Are you jealous of the support Anna garnered so far? The cause is just. You will know that Anna is for decentralization of power if you were able to see him on TV on Marathi channels lately. He is definitely aware of the issues in current system and more importantly knows how to prioritize them for solutions. Why Anna should voice his opinion on each and every matter that you listed; Singur, Nandigram,Posco, Sez, etc? Even saints do not have opinion on each and every thing under the Sun. If you seek his opinion on those, meet him. That's irrelevant at least today. He seem to be pragmatic enough to accept ignorance, if really that's the case. Isn't it exceptional that Team Anna, instead of lobbying for the benefit of their financiers that you have listed, is striving for their current cause? I think you are looking at every other activist with certain prejudice.

from:  Ajit
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:03 IST

Ms roy, your opinion seems completely out of context and not more then a personal attack on anna.For your kind information he is not fighting for his personal issues. moreover his personal life and opinions have nothing to do with this jan lokpal bill. He is merely a leader who is raising the voice of aam aadmi. my suggestion for you is to find some other way to get popularity because everywhere it is Anna.....

from:  bhanuprakash
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:01 IST

ARUNDHATI ROY - I'm losing trust in you. If you cannot support Anna then atleast don't oppose him. We are with you or without you.

from:  Sandeep
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 17:01 IST

I respect Ms Roy's opinion but atleast Anna Hazare is trying to bring the bill which seeks to bring the corrupt to book. He is not like you Ms Roy, who is intelligent enough to find loopholes in his bill but not bold enough to find a solution. Same was the case with you and Maoists. When Govt. was willing to appoint you as a mediator between Govt. and Maoists, whom you seem to support a lot, you declined the offer. It is easy to be an armchair critic. Atleast Anna Hazare is protesting peacefully, not like Maoists who with their violent approach are gradually losing sympathy in the people. You are entitled to your personal opinion, but when critcising a bill like this which has enormous support of the people, you should be bold enough to suggest an alternative.

from:  Nikhil
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:57 IST

May be the demands of the bill may lead to severe consequences but I believe that the Hazare team is strongly determined to fight for a good cause so as to change the fate of the country and there by that of the poor. This is appreciable. I wish people like A.Roy must also come forward and take an initiative with their rational ideas to solve the problem than just writing an article and distracting the public when the movement is at this peak intensity.

from:  Loukya Chowdary
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:55 IST

what is your credibility Ms Roy? what have you done for the country..I have all the reason to believe this 74 yrs old guy who has got guts and who is fighting with Govt than an author whose claim to fame is one Prize and many controversial statements. If you so desperately need attention try some saas-bahu serial but DON'T even try to malign some good soul's deed.

from:  Vineeta
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:54 IST

Miss AR, So much for your booker prize credentials ! you are contradicting yourself. "in which the legislatures are made up of
criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people.?" The entire effort is to overcome this statement of yours. In current scenario of corruption from birth certificate to death certificate.. any effort in elimiating corruption only be beneficial to any indian of any class ( ofcourse to whom corruption is not beneficial !!) Sad to see such articles from 'eminent authors', perhaps the international awards have blurred their idea of true democracy.

from:  Vineeth
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:52 IST

Arundhatiji ,Annaji may not be correct in all issues but at least he has taken as issue and protesting against it.If the Jan lokpal bill is not the solution then why don't elite like your's come forward and give a more appropriate solutions.You people wouldn't do it you know why ,because your first line of protest would be to secede from the country.Annaji is uniting the country, he is not against the government ,he is protesting against the system, he is not at all protesting to overthrow the Indian State as your so called innocent maoists are doing by killing.

from:  Rohit Dhangar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:50 IST

Coming from someone who gives sedition speeches it cannot be taken seriously. It is a clear case of sour grapes. She could never get such attention herself. That is the main reason.

from:  Yogastha
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:49 IST

Ms. AR - This is indeed a good article, but I'm not sure whether your realized that Anna's point of focus is corruption and he's fighting to get this country free from corruption. Billions and billions of people's hard earned and paid tax is being looted by corrupt hands (politicians, govt officials, few administrative officers). 60 yrs of indian constitution was not able to tackle/stop corruption. Hence such a strong law should be in force to bring change. With this law in force, 80% of govt alloted funds would be completely spent for the cause instead of going into corrupt hands. This will lead to better living conditions - good food supply to poor, better living conditions/facilities and lot other things. Agreed that there are lot other problems like nuclear deal, maoist, naxals, farmers' land aquired etc... But this currently is one of the serious issues to be dealt.

from:  Vignesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:48 IST

Dear Roy, we do not want you to be Anna, because roots of corruption are extremely deeper then your analytic thoughts. It's unreasonable to compare Maoist and Anna movement. People are not looking at Anna but at the break through which india desperately needs.

from:  Nishant Vaishnav
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:47 IST

Looks like Arundati is biased... she is more worried on the corruption of fifty rupees and not of the million & billions... I agree that more governance will create more hiccups for the development... but the country like India and the present level of maturity we have in the politicians, bureaucrats and the bad nexus between them with the corporate circle we need a strong governing body with full power to punish the corrupt in time. Remember justice delayed is always justice denied...

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:46 IST

faults can always be found in any individual or for that matter, a group.There can always be different viewpoints.As in this piece,the writer has raised one or two areas of concerns, but on the whole i find this article a bit cynical,aimed at just finding faults first with the people pushing through the bill,their credibility,then intentions,and then the bill.why support this, why not stand up for the issue is such a futile point,as there are 100 issues to handle and all cannot be raised at the same time by the same person.There is no onus on anna hazaare to fight against every problem the country is facing.THE POINT IS :- Corruption also needs to be fought with and since a lokpal bill is to be passed,it should be strong enough.And for that,positive points from different viewpoints should be taken after due discussion.The only problem being,people are busy criticising each other rather tahn doing something fruitful.

from:  neetu bhardwaj
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:43 IST

Miss Roy i'd like to congratulate and thank you after reading the article. I read a few of the comments thereafter , and realised that though after a single read, the article may seem too pessimistic, and though people without wanting to think about what is the right thing to do, just want to be told what is the right thing to do ; your article , according to me , perfectly potrays the current situation from the best 'possible' neutral grounds , coz now the choice is really between whether we agree or disagree with the approach undertaken by this 'freshly minted saint', his intentions being totally good and justified.

from:  Abhijeet Gaddagi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:41 IST

AR raise some good and very important point. Thanks to 'The Hindu' for bringing out various point of views. It cannot be my way or your way. Everybody want strong anti-corruption bill, including the government, at least through their sayings. As such, it is good to give a fair chance to the Standing Committee, if nothing happen as they said, then protest it instead of doing it in the middle.

from:  Bill
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:40 IST

Excellent observation and comment by Shilpi. I second that. "Even the biggest revolutions in the world have their own flaws...it lays the foundation for changes."

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:31 IST

This is english a... licker, just ignore. Not to bother. There is always some poeple like this in society. Not knowing anything, thinking in negative way. Another example is thapper who is now staying in US.

from:  mallikarjun
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:31 IST

India is largest democracy everybody has right to speak. Only suggestion to Ms ARUNDHATI ROY is understand the difference between Apples and Oranges.

from:  Amit Sharma
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:29 IST

It is very sad that the democracy is driven by media only.As per AR why we are not including media in this bill? Because media is driving the whole show. It is media who sensationalize an issue please refer to murder of BJP MLA in Bihar by a lady teacher. Media termed this lady as mentally ill. Soon after same sort of things happened in UP media made guilty to MLA.The audience should be sensible to choose and decide by analsysing the fact.I would again point to different encounters took place in india for media one is fake(Please refer to Dara singh case) other is not.

from:  Ayaz
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:28 IST

Dear Madam, I totally disagree with you. Corruption is national issue no political parties initiated these movement, because almost all parties are corrupted. If respected Annaji and his Team raised his voice on this problem by bringing Jan Lokpal Bill certainty you all Indian see some progress and positive development of our nation. We all love patriotic slogans there is nothing wrong in these slogans for any Indian: a)Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind. It's our fundamental right no one including you should object to these. You article is very sad and disappointing. Thanks.

from:  Uday
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:25 IST

Regret the issue of corruption has taken centre stage,and Governance come to a halt.While we know it was always there, it is now finding its spot under the light.No amount of legislation will curb this.One way to resolve a part of this is to have a central website where money is allocated to various ministries the ministries in turn display the heads under which they allocate this tree keeps growing down until it hits the root,which is the last point of disbursement.It is here that any member of society can verify if what is mentioned at the root is spent or not.This is the best way to root out corruption from its roots.This one act will change the face of the country and within 3 years of implementation we shall be within the Global Top 10 of honest societies.We also need a law to be passed that if any Public servant/ Businessman/Professional is caught with money beyond his declared source of Income/wealth, then this money is credited to an account of the Central Government.

from:  R P Roy
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:24 IST

For a change I enjoyed reading this article of Arundhati Roy. It is detailed and highlights the fact that is made to overlook very carefully. I have personally seen the mass supporters of Anna Hazare and trust me they don't care a dime about whether the Jan Lokpal Bill is passed or not. Most funny though,they are not even aware what and whom on earth are they protesting or supporting for. Well,that is the irony. At the risk of sounding inhuman for not supporting Anna Hazare totally, I personally feel that this so called mass revolution is nothing but another very good stint for hiding many political and social dirty facets through spin doctors.

from:  Tania Banerjee
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:23 IST

Ms Roy does make a point. While the urgency and need to tackle corruption is important, can we forget the means and pragmatism. There is no point having institutions and laws that would be hard to implement. I am reminded of the introduction of cranes to tackle parking problems in Delhi- the reason for the problem was forgotten- poor urban planning and implementation but a fresh source of livelihood was created. If the ability to gather crowds is wisdom then we do need help.

from:  Jaideep
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:22 IST

Dear Ms Roy Anna Hazare is less 'freshly minted' as you are when it comes to social activism. You should let the readers know of your experience in the field. This piece is nothing but a jargon filled sarcastic pessimistic view of a wider issue. I wonder if all the examples of 'real life' issues would have arisen in the first place if people were not forced to react due to chronic corruption. Another point of view. Let us assume that Anna and his team do not have the merit to project themselves as the leaders. Do you think that it in any way or form demeans or dilutes the issue of corruption at hand? If such is the case then you should be the last person to point any fingers and withdraw yourself from any and all of the so called activist projects you are involved in. Your hypocrite ideas are also evident from the Kashmir issue in which your stated that the protest of 'people' is a sign that they dont want to stay with union of India. Why is this any different then?

from:  Brijesh Singh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:21 IST

Ms Roy It is very easy to complain, very difficult to come out with solutions. I wonder Ms.Roy has ever attempted to rake up issues that affect public, one prize and people will become expert on every thing.

from:  Mahesh N
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:20 IST

Can't agree with so called social activist Arundhati Roy at all. Nobody has said Janlokpal Bill is the solution for everything, for making controversial arguments you are looking in totally different way. Janlokpal bill is the first step to curb the corruption. Trust is the core of democracy, old man with spectacles as you joked, got that from the people that is the reason of overwhelming people all over the country turned out to the streets and that trust people like you don't. You can call it by any name from the oxford dictionary you refer, but being a social activist how you can shut your eyes on corruption and speak only about azad kasmir and maoist struggle. It is very fortunate for this movement that people like you don't supporting it. Otherwise people will have totally different perspective.

from:  Retheesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:20 IST

A different perspective finally....Many of these thoughts have been brewing in my mind too. I agree that the govt. did commit a political suicide by arresting Anna and that corruption should be fought. I do, however share the same thought as Ms. Arundhati Roy on this one, "Does the solution to the problems faced by ordinary people lie in addressing the structural inequality, or in creating yet another power structure that people will have to defer to?"

from:  Mimi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:19 IST

My humble question is "Who will monitor the Lokpal Officials?" If i need to do something illegal in connivance with the Govt officials, i may even corrupt the Lokpal. One may consult Dostovoyosky. A man was disgusted with all sorts of corruption. He was sent to a distant planet by an angel. There he found all residents honest. But unfortunately he introduced corruption there. One may accuse me cynic, but sorry, if you are really serious about Anna, please discuss how the JanLokpal will be able to erradicate corruption? Please answer the points raised by Arundhuti.

from:  Arupsankar Maitra
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:18 IST

I totally agree with AR's point of view. With this bill coming into picture we might ourselves give birth to a demon. Instead of wasting energy, money and most importantly time on Jan Lokpal Bill.Tomorrow we our democracy will become like western democracy, where parties are funded by corporate houses and in turn inflation will rise. These corporate houses in turn ask for permission to allow corruption.

from:  Atif
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:03 IST

Ms. Roy, when I read your article, the first thing which surprised me that you feel that Anna's revolution is not strong enough which can change the fate of our country. Can you tell me one revolution in history which was a fool proof revolution? Even the biggest revolutions in the world have their own flaws. We can't assure what will be the fate of Egypt or Libya? The deep rooted problem cannot be changed in overnight or in a revolution, but it lays the foundation for changes. Whether it will be beneficial or not only the history can tell but it's the way where common people say "I also keep a watch on your leadership. I am not a mute spectator"

from:  Shilpi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:03 IST

We never learn anything worthwhile from a person who always agrees with us, good that arguments and counter-arguments have been made. Team Anna to be credited for mobilising the nation on a very relevant topic; 1. some to come on the streets, 2. some to watch over TV 3. some to think and express for and against 4. but most importantly for us (Govt.,People,Parties,Media,You & me) to think afresh on our own 'stand'; on it. Arundhati Roy to be credited for bringing her views on it. Let's 'Debate' people and ask our Parliament to 'Debate'; too. Leaders are just "champions of any cause" and Leaders with "Mass and Media" behind them only get 'Heard'.

from:  Saurav Kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 16:01 IST

The fight against corruption is just the beginning to have better governance ,which will affect all of us one way or the other. We have to be optimistic and prepare ourselves for a long drawn battle against the corrupt system.

from:  C D Bhargava
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:55 IST

Its unfortunate that Arundhati Roy had made such a negative approach to the whole issue - Anna is not the main issue, its the movement - aganst corruption! The article is full of excuses rather than means to the end!

from:  S. Abraham
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:52 IST

I truly feel real sad about what Ms.Roy is trying to acknowledge. Team
Anna always kept there doors open when the actual debate started.
Well, that is a different thing altogether that in some or other way
this bill was presented in parliament here before. But never brought
into effect and nothing has been yet done to stop Corruption. If
Ms.Roy is trying to tell that there is no corruption in politics and
the that only few people are ruling the country though as common man I
am able to see various parliament members. Is she trying to deny the
fact that there is need to fight corruption or is she trying to say
that those who are willing to fight corruption are just fool followers
of Anna and they do not have there own logical reasoning experiences.
I would like again emphasize Ms Roy that if Govt is not willing to
fight or take action there is no option left to common man. Please Ms.
Roy needs to realize that nothing can achieved unless you try for it.
Remember, this just a Start!

from:  Pallavi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:50 IST

there is a lot of difference in sitting in your dining room and discussing about corruption and going out there and fighting against it. why criticize somebody who is at least taking a step further. if something good happens out of the movement, it is going to be all of us who would get the benefits. moreover, no body is being forced to join this movement. why hasn't anna spoken about farmer's sucide, or about Operation Green Hunt,about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh,etc etc !! atleast he is addressing one of the problem. at least he is addressing the root cause of all the problems. perhaps, why do we "The People" need to be the victims first to support such movement? why can't we just be the million of spectators who are watching the corruption which has become an everyday routine? why can't we just be the people who want the generations to come to lead a better life?

from:  Prachi Vijay
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:49 IST

Expression of fear about surgery! Do you have an alternative medicine ? I see that you have chosen to do nothing. strange isn't it!

from:  Siva
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:48 IST

When a person moves ahead with a good cause there will be thousand fingers raised on him,and Miss. Arundhati Roy, before asking who is this
Anna, if you haven't heard of him, its your ignorance. he is been there
doing his social work for last more than 25 years,If you get some time
please go to Ralegan siddhi village in ahmednagar district of
Mahaerashtra. The only thing is that media brought this campaign first
time in limelight like never before.

from:  mandar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:47 IST

India being a democracy everyone is entitled to their opinion. As a common man I see no good intention in the article opined by her. It is very pathetic to see an 'intellectual' like Ms Roy stoop so low to garner attention.The parliamentary system in our country is flawed and this is evident from the numerous scams seen in the country. Each one of us at some point in our life have bribed somebody to get something done. Now when a team come forward to cleanse the system I think we should chip in and support the movement so as to help promulgate a law against corruption .We have won half the battle if this movement can at least make people think twice next time they bribe somebody or get bribed. As Indians corruption was a way of life but there is somebody there educating the people against corruption. Now isn't tat a good thought? Why go against such movements? Nothing ventured nothing gained! Ms Roy next time when you advocate a cause people will think twice to support you.

from:  Prema P Nair
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:45 IST

She (AR), who doesn't have any respect among educated, is a paid-writer and so corrupt. Congress is using people this lady to distract the main point. Let people ignore such unwanted figures in the public life.

from:  ys
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:44 IST

Fasting is also a form of suicide blackmail!

from:  Kovendhan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:40 IST

I feel this is the time when we should start boycotting such writers.

from:  Alind Gupta
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:38 IST

She is only very much confused.Jan Lokpal bill will not find solutions to problems like poverty ( Rs.20 per day , I really do not where you can find a Rs.20 a day labour to work for you)and the woes of displaced population when Govt. babus grabbed their lands at Rs.2/= per yard just because poor people did not know how to bribe high-class babus or revenue officials who like grey hound dogs salivate all over for a bribe.
Team Anna as it is called , and their demands for a Jan Lokpal Bill is not a solution for all. Arundhati should not confuse herself and try to confuse others. When Mahatma Gandhi did his fast unto death many times on a single issue , there were indeed many other pressing issues which were really burning, but he chose only one issue.
There will be many issues at one point of time and now the issue at which middle classes give their full support is about corruption in public places,that is all.

from:  Venuraja Gopal
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:33 IST

Why I am not a Roy? That is how I look at it Why I am also not a Teesta Setelvad?
That is another way of looking at it.The issue bugging the common man today is that a law abiding (This includes those who pinch on the sly, I am one of them )citizen has nowhere to go when he is harrassed.
The mighty get away by power. The rich get away by bribing The average suffer and at times take advantage of the system. When they get chance to raise their voice like the one now we find an overwhelming response. Why does Roy campaign for the Naxals ? Why does she want the group to revolt against the state with the GUN . Anna is not using voilence. He has taken to peaceful means What is wrong with his means .
If Teesta were to write why she is not Anna then I will explain why I am not Teesta

from:  P.R.IYER
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:29 IST

I do not agree with you. Some of the points are:

To brand this as an better off people protest is very ignorant of you.
Do you categorize Mumbai dabbawalalas as better off?
The Jan Lokapal on the contrary will dilute the power structure which
is currently concentrated in the hands of ministers.
Also lets take up one issue at a time then only we can achieve
something. The issues which you are taking about are also important
but have to be taken one by one.
See the media shows what people want to see as they feel connected to
the issue of corruption. No one is being forced to join this protest.


from:  Anil Singh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:27 IST

It is 100% sure that in the future people have to bribe the JLP members to commit wrong in this country.

from:  John Thomas
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:27 IST

Ms Arundhati Roy has proved my apprehension. I had long theorised that the Nehru brigade had corrupted the
mindset of India and created perverted mindset. Such that patriotism is a crime. Such that betrayal is freedom odf expression. Destroying Indian culture is secularism. and that the Nehru's secularism- socialism, denigration of all things that is native to Bharath ! Miss Roy exemplifies this corruption of our mind and soul in unadulterated form. Annaji has to launch another, bigger movement against the corrupt minds and souls!

from:  Satchi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:27 IST

Although what she has wrote is largely against the popular mood, it
reminds one of the consequences if by somehow the agitation goes out of
control but I would rather still be not Roy.

from:  Avaneesh S
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:24 IST

Why is the So called intellectual class not coming ahead with these matters. Are they all satisifed with winning their Booker Prize monies? Ms.A, I don't think the Indian Juntaa is ignorant about what they're actually fighting for. Team Anna has been very vocal and has been telling the crowds about the exact nature of the bill they're demanding. Everyone knows the a bill or a law cannot free this country of the loot but we've been sitting and doing nothing about it. All credit to the man who is figthing and uniting the country ( under whatever banner). Please do not mix this cause with other protests around the country. This is needed...our governance has become too arrogant to be handed any lenience

from:  Sandeep R
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:24 IST

Madam!Anna is now fighting for corruption & his focus is only Corruption.Don't you agree if PDS and other GoI scheme would be implemented more efficiently then it would benefit everybody!Once corruption gets addressed it would benefit from so called Dalits to Upper caste and Muslims to Maoists.Do you want to ANNA to raise 100s of issues to confuse ppl and provide Govt opportunity to take 2 five year plans to propose bills and put system in place. My request and advise to you and other NGO's is to learn a bit or two from Anna to keep your focus on individual problems one at a time and fight till the problem get's solved rather than jumping from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Gujrat to Manipur.Anna is focused and he will bring change unlike others.

from:  sunil
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:21 IST

Thank you, Arundhati. A refreshingly original take on the I-am-Anna-
Hazare hysteria, and the way the government gave Anna a huge gift by
arresting him. I agree with the lines of force that you have depicted
here -- the takeover of the economy by corporates etc. etc. However, I
don't buy the conspiracy theory; it's just how market forces operate.

from:  Krishnaraj Rao
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:20 IST

Thanks for comments on Anna .I dont know any creative thought given by you in favour of nation . But Anna put & forced government to pass the RTI bill .Because of that bill today we could know & pained by big scams .On basis of this succesful achievement , Anna & Arwind Kejriwal prepared & trying to introduced first time this Jan Lok Pal Bill . A man who is with clean image wants this bill for us & FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATION Without any self expectation . If this bill will not come , our country will be on same path for another 100 years. Mistakes can be rectified . Some-one see the dream & takes every efforts to complete his [our] dream.Thanks to media which is supporting , otherwise these white collar bureaucrats will present different story about Anna.

from:  vithal
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:20 IST

It's hilarious how this article written by Mrs. Arundhati Roy has been supported here by many, typical high class people who cannot go on streets and protest and write anything they deem fit. Well, First for people who think that points that she puts forward here are indeed true are totally blinded by her stature as a writer. Think again.
She says Anna Hazare has been crowned as a leader, does he really represent a leader of the common people?. Mrs. Roy you are asking this question in a nation where only 50% people vote or may be even less. And I question everyone here who support Mrs.Roy somehow, RTI was passed because of similar protests, did Mrs. Arundhati Roy contribute anything till now in improving life of people ,as she puts forward ,non-urban people.

from:  Wow
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:19 IST

Stop resorting to cheap sensationalism... We know you enough to see through your pseudo-secular credentials.... last time you hurt us by questioning J-K's accession to India and now you are trying to play the communal 'dis'harmony card by stressing on words which the Shahi Imam Of Jama Masjid harped on yesterday

from:  Mandira Tewari
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:19 IST

Where crores starve, a Gandhian owner of a multi-crore Trust wants to fast in public for a month to magic-kill corruption. Government says can fast only for 3-5-15 days; then permits beautifying of the Venue at public cost. Middle class bourgeoisie, RSS and foreign-funded NGOs support him. Money allegations against his ‘Team’ are forgotten. ‘Team Anna’, because it is only a game! 24/7 reportage is done, arranged by Avaaz.org with malicious credentials. Hazare asked Delhi Babus to take leave in support. With Babus out of offices, that much less corruption would happen. Current anti-corruption laws only put Indira and Rao in the dock. Selectors under Jan Lokpal Bill are to be Nobel and Magsaysay winners, darlings of the West! After Egypt-Libya, the MNC/American agency involved might have balance cash to crack off here. French defence-ware deals refusing American might have influenced them. PM’s ex-Boss WB’s agenda is to weaken sovereign governments to boost Capital power.

from:  R.Sajan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:18 IST

Arundhati Roy is someone who loves terrorists from Kashmir more than normal Indians trying to bring about change.

from:  Satish Vijaykumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:17 IST

I think the arguments in this article are well put.
There is no doubt that over the last 60 years governments and the political class did precious little for the country and we, the people of India should be angry about it. The solution in my humble opinion is for more and and more honest, well meaning people to enter active politics. Not an overnight solution, not a revolutionary solution, but possibly the only solution. To that extent, this movement has done a great job of getting a lot of such people, who were otherwise politically inert, out on the streets.
But the lokpal Bill of Anna will create two centers of power. One which is chosen by the people of this country and one which will not. What is worse, the second one will have more power than the first. This is dangerous and this is certainly not democracy.

from:  Koustuv Chatterjee
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:17 IST

What about corporate corruption? whether these Lokpal bills included corporation corruption in their provisions as in UK bribery Act 2011?

from:  Gopichand
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:16 IST

Totally agree with Ms. Roy, it’s a movement created by chance and hype, it’s a dangerous trend because people supporting Anna have become totally intolerant and have lost faith in democracy and its institutions. Just because there is no violence does not make this movement peaceful, the fact that there is this mass hysteria which is unwilling to accommodate and which is ready to sacrifice the institutions created and given to us by our freedom struggle this movement is morally a violent movement. We need to fight against corruption but not by ourselves becoming morally corrupt. There can be no debate in an atmosphere charged up with people frustrated with tier lives and looking for an easy exit by sacrificing our cherished constitution it’s totally selfish. Congratulations Ms. Roy for standing up against this mass hysteria. I am sure there are more people in this country who agree with you than there are in ramlilla ground.

from:  Adi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:15 IST

Since when has Arundhati Roy become an establishment activist? The establishment should be happy to have her on its side. She is doing a great job for it! But her erstwhile fans must be disenchanted.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:13 IST

Your writing appears totally flawed and lacks logic and reasoning. When you say that The People' only means the audience that has gathered to watch the spectacle' - is a gross miscalculation. Don't you see crowds of supporters from Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and smaller cities like Bhopal, Allahabad, Ujjain, Nagpur and lot many places etc? Why are you sending alarm signals on Lokpal being an independent outfit with draconian powers? Are you afraid of corruption being wiped out? I am sure your answer would be NO. Do you want this corruption to keep on happening? Your answer would be (I believe) NO. Then Ms Arundhati, please take lead and come with suggestions or solutions to tackle corruption rather than being an armchair intellectual seeking publicity. Mere branding this movement as a threat to democracy would not suffice and does not suit stature of people like you. I am an ordinary citizen and am doing my little bit.

from:  saptarishi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:13 IST

Thank you so much for the article. Glad that there is someone to voice out and remember Irom Sharmila and others. Today people are so blindly engulfed in the Anna mania.

from:  jasmin thomas
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:12 IST

What you have said is mostly of not any value and will qualify for an attention seeking behaviour. But you and your articles make me feel good to know that Indian society allows people like you to be there and express thier views.

from:  Rakesh Ravi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:12 IST

Corruption is not just a matter of legality, of financial irregularity
and bribery, but about the social transformation and equality. Of
course, the Gandhian and his team will not touch the issue of mental
or intellectual corruption, which divides the society and largely
responsible for all kinds of violence, including corruption.
This is just a media hype and for the interest of the few (certain
community) who have been in power (corruption for generations). I
would be the first person to join the stir if the same is included in
the so-called lokpal bill and the media, corporate and NGOs are brought under its purview.

from:  ramanath
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:09 IST

Taking a step to support this movement of lokpal bill is better than doing nothing.. If the bill is pro middle class and well to do section of the society, then please observe the class of 'criticising group' - majority are from english known intellectuals! We could see some insecurity and identity crisis among the critics. Pity them.

from:  Suresh M
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:09 IST

No wonder that the person who has historically supported the Naxal 'movement', Mumbai terror attacks, and Sayed Ali Geelani, should oppose the Lokpal bill and Anna. After all, Mrs. Arundhati Roy has a regular column in a Pakistani daily. If she stops opposing anything good for India, she might lose her regular income.

from:  Manjul
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:07 IST

This is a great read, and according to the many comments I personally do
not know whether Ms. Roy is trying to get extra attention or whether she
is just a pessimist in life, but actually the article just emphasizes
that we all need to keep an open mind and be able to look at things from
all angles. Stop freaking out people, even she has a right to
speak her mind

from:  Neha.G
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:02 IST

By writing this I dont mean I am not against corruption. But what i felt is what was written in the above article by AR is completely true and serious. Of course Anna is doing something that looks good in a first and quick view. But while detailing the points in Jan Lokpal, ofcourse there are different views. Some says it is good and some other after serious examination says it will lead to a more dangerous situation. If such a different opinion arises from different parts why cant we look for some other alternatives. Nobody is supporting corruption, then why not?? Why Anna is hanging on to the same bill? Why is he not defending the criticism over his Bill? Why he is challenging the Parliament which should be the most powerful in a country? Why Anna did not raise his voice against various other problems (Some of them mentioned by AR herself) before? These are surely serious questions which are worth a thought..

from:  Sohail
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 15:00 IST

Many people here seem to ask Ms.AR for an alternate solution. It’s very simple - we need to stop being corrupt ourselves, stop bribing people, stop taking bribes, do our work properly, learn to get thing done the hard way. These are simple activities from the people; that the nation could benefit from rather than protesting for something which most of us have limited knowledge about.

from:  Harilal
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:56 IST

After the Great Independence our National leaders have already made
enough laws to limit all misbehavior anticipated in every walks of life
and all the governments from 1947 to till date enacts amendments and
accurate shortfall rulings to plug the holes in the democratic system.
As is the public same as the Government and as is the Government same as
the Indian. To control what so called corruption the extra amount
involved should be legalised and made taxable by enacting a special
rule. Mr. Anna will become President of India soon.

from:  Nagarajan Nagalinga Ramaswamy
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:55 IST

Roy is correct in pointing out the consequences of this one sided campaign. It diverts attention from the havoc which the corporate world is causing to the masses. It directly blames the democracy and the elected representatives and not the economic system as the root cause of all problems. In the recent elections, voting percentage was as high as 75 to 89 per cent. What right has the predominantly non-voting elite to caste asperations on the representatives of the people?

from:  B.C.Mehta
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:55 IST

For the things quoted by her in relation to not covering all the departments under the purview of Lokpal and in addition Anna's desperate instance of including Prime minister in its ambit, she is making a very good point. If every one is supporting against corruption, why should not include NGOs and corporations in its ambit and why not non govt(Business class) it is not covering.Corruption should be eliminated at each levels and there should not be any illogical discrmination. Public sentiments should not be used for personal benefits.

from:  Gaurav Nand
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:54 IST

Anna has not sat down on Fast unto death as a first step ! He gave the govt. sufficient chance for debates and the govt. itself has tabled Lokpal bill 8 times before in the parliament with no results ! This evidently proves that the so called democratic (aka parliamentary) system (or the means for its implementation) have failed miserably.
Continuing to hope that this flawed system that could not give us any results in last 64 years, would give them now when most of the polity is itself corrupt is naive !

from:  Neel Tyagi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:53 IST

I am thankful to you for raising your voice and for expressing your views on this matter, which I believe are really in the interest of our nation. I am a true patriotic person and I don't have any doubt about my patriotism, others may doubt it, but I don't really care. I just care about this nation and people of this nation, including those who have criticized your views.

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:51 IST

As a citizen of India, I appreciate your view and your democratic rights. But the point is, maoists or Anna or any revelution in the country happens only because of the inability to handle by the Government. If there are any such laws already in place why there is a need for a fast. we are tired of hearing news 1lakh crore scam, common wealth games scam which disturbed the respect of the nation. if you see this fast as a democratic evil, i would say all these scams are democratic evils. This is the first time i am seeing somebody fasting for a public cause. you do the same, if we feel you are right we will follow u......we are hungry public and we need change.

from:  Venky
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:49 IST

Arundhati for President!

from:  Bunty
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:45 IST

Anna Hazare: God of Small things! Thanks to Ms Arundhati & The Hindu.... at least some sane piece of article giving respite from the media propelled “Bandwagon effect” and "Nationalism Fad" popularly associated with ANNA!!
Common-man Does not want corruption to stay!! But who is this "COMMON MAN"?? In light of demographic setup of our nation, majority of our population is still hungry and without very basic amenities and barely surviving. The present waves certainly do not represent them.

from:  Mamdooh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:40 IST

Some points raised by Mr. Roy are very valid.
Team Anna is creating this illusion that "Jan Lokpal" is Answer to all our problems(which actually won't be).We have enough provisions available with us through existing laws but implementation is missing.
who would provide for resources?How would the lokpal members be elected?How a panel of just 10-11 people preside over all the judiciary,executive,parliament etc?Do we understand resting so many powers in a single institution?Are Team Anna true representation of civil society, as has been portrayed?
Question are many & Team Anna, very cleverly, are shirking away in din of sloganeering "Vandemataram" "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" etc. And we common people are making fool of ourselves..
In the end, We continue our sojourn as diabolically hypocrite paradox as a society.We don't want to struggle it out,rather always look for quick-fix.And This "JOKEPAL" is just an illusion,as has been presented by Shrewd ppl frm Team Anna it is a Big blunder in making.

from:  Surinder Singh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:37 IST

Anna found corruption most irritation issue now. He promised he will raise farmers issue soon.So, if you cannot support support, dont discourage. Otherwise, suggest an alternative. Anna has captured the space where politicians failed to act. Either Anna or anybody should raise the issue. Where were you? Why you did not raise your voice? You mean Anna should withdraw the cause since corporates support him? Corporates may have their own agenda. Those are who did not get their share from the government. When they will realise they wont get their ambitions fulfill they will turn against Anna also. So, forget about them. Even at the time Gandhian struggle, there were landlords, politically ambitious behind him. Gandhi did not kick them out.They are now...

from:  Bhaskaran
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:36 IST

Its look like personal attack from Arundati. My opinion is that the movement which is started now against the corruption will become a role model for all the movements to come.

from:  Durgesh Acharya
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:34 IST

The comments expressed by the readers itself proves we can have our own opinion. To support or not to support Anna is our choice.
It seems these lines "For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you're likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind." are borrowed from the Cyrus programme on TV where he makes fun of everything and no one bothers to comment on him because audience are matured enough to understand its all about comedy.
I hope great writers understands this too and do not mix comedy with reality to insult peaceful protesters on the streets.

from:  sumit
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:32 IST

Ms. Roy has presented good logic in support of her opinion but i dont believe drawing parallel between the ends of Maoists and the present movement for an effective lokpal was, by any standard, correct. Moreover, it can hardly be believed that recent movement is aimed towards overthrowing the "Indian state". We better attempt answering a few question before we buy her ideas. Whether demanding reform in government is tantamount to challenging "state" ? What should people do if the government of the day turns out to be repressive and does not provide any avenue for democratic protest? What if government in the name of establishing an effective organisation does a cruel joke? Furthermore, unlike other agitations like NBA, Irom Sharmila's, Bhopal Gas victims' it could mobilise public opinion throughout the country and the venue chosen for Anna's fasting was also appropriate. These are the reasons why the movement is gaining strength and hopefully it will bring some positive change.

from:  d. bardhan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:30 IST

Also, coming to technicalities of the bill, we all know govt will not bow down to accept Jan lokpal bill “as it is” BUT to “negotiate” both parties put their extremes and agree on middle ground…which is win-win!
Few questions to ponder….
Do you think the version of democracy we have is perfect and doesn’t need any further refinements? Remember times are changing faster than anyone can imagine….if religions can adapt to changing times, why can’t constitution?
Who do you want to believe in? Political class or bunch of people behind this movement!
Remember when British came to India they came in as traders….Since Independence, power has been in the hands of handful who are not letting it go and their arrogance is unpalatable……so if you don’t curb it now then nation will have to fight a real independence war again!

from:  Bithal Bhardwaj
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:28 IST

I concur to some of her views, as every coin shall have two sides and we never get to choose which side shall fall; when we flip the coin, until and unless we tamper with it. However the phenomenon(fighting a(bloodless)battle against a govt normally referred as a coup) that is happening now really is an awakening in positive sense, but, is that at the cost of a nation? (opening out a trend for trivial battles). The media, the politicians are all dramatising the scenes of this possible humble start, gaining mileage (TRP's and image). I give my aye for accountability at work; but a big brother watching the grand father,may not work in the right spirit; instead this may be a killer to the little progress in an otherwise huge machinery with less grease. An utopian world is good to read and dream and we should tread this road to the making of one utopian country thinking "are we opening up a pandora's box".

from:  K G Joseph
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:27 IST

Miss Roy supports the militants back in Kashmir who are killing people and is against the person who is juct doing the peaceful protest against corruption.The jan lokpal bil is juct a part of protest against corruption whic will continue.I think congress is moving ahead by producing these deviance characters like Roy to deviate our movement aginst corruption and save Politicians .

from:  Nikhil
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:25 IST

This step from Anna and company, is flawed, but a
first step to root out corruption at grass roots level. This has a
chance to do what RTI did a few years back. Maybe we cannot eliminate
2G and mining scams with this legislation. But the hawker who
consistently bribes a hefty fraction of his daily income to the beat
cop (and condoned by Ms. Roy) may be spared. Then again, Ms. Roy is a
champion poverty-monger. She would be out of her speaking engagements
and writing grants if we progress.

from:  Naveen
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:23 IST

I think we should not give much importance to her statements because it is just diluting the cause I agree that there must be some loop holes in Jan lokpal Bill but after going through in details the both the bill I fill that Jan lokpal bill will act as much better to monitor the incidences of corruption .And as far as Ms.Roy is concerned we should ignore her statements because after 65 yrs of Independence she is not aware that Kashmir is integral part of India.

from:  Mayank
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:22 IST

Arundati represents the highly read,affluent,so called secular,know all, publicity seeking people. This movement is for the affected common man who can take on the elected representatives who is seen only during the election time and protrays as the custodian of the constitution. these guys have to be dealt correctly showing them that they are not above law. this rampant corruption if its not checked then India would join the failed neighbours.I think its time for Arundhati to concentrate on her fictions than meddling with real time issues affecting the common man.

from:  Nagesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:21 IST

Totally agree, and well said Ms. Roy. This Anna mania MUST stop... most hooligans who are out on the street flag waving do not have any idea as to what the Bill is all about and how it differs from the Government Bill, or indeed what should be the real content of such a Bill.

from:  Jiten
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:06 IST

I completely agree with what Ms. Roy is saying. Team Anna and the crowds supporting him seem to have developed a US/Bush like - 'Either with us or with the terrorists" approach leaving little or no ground for any another view. So much for the validity of other opinions! All who question any part of Team Anna and its "movement" are now looked upon as traitors or supporters of corruption. In a country where public apathy has reached its worst in its indifference to Iron Sharmila's fast, such a movement seems extremely disturbing ad disappointing, specially when the man at the center of it calls himself a Gandhian and yet invokes Shivaji! Also how can Team Anna that for all its support is not equal to even 1% of this country's population assume to represent India or the Indian sentiment? I applaud Ms. Roy for her astute and courageous articulation. It is at times like this that we need to take stands with thinking people like her.

from:  sonal
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:03 IST

It is indeed saddening to read the article by Ms. Roy. Whose truth should the common man believe in? Certainly not yours. The charisma of a person is reflected in the following that he brings about, and we can certainly see that in Anna. On the contrary, the comments on this page shows that you have a dearth of it. If you believe in our parliamentary democracy than Jan Lok Pal, then a question. When only around 50% of India's people vote in any national election, and when of the 50% votes, those who gets 51% gets the power, how do they represent the common man? In effect, the representation is just around 25%. And why does 50% of the common man stay away from voting? Just because, they have lost faith in the political machinery of India. He would have voted if he felt his views and thoughts matter for India. Anna would have come as the ray of hope for these unrepresented people, and we wish to stand by him.

from:  Prasanth
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 14:02 IST

I totally agree with AR - I am glad that there few atleast few sensible people who are still thinking and not getting carried away by this frenzy that has been stirred up. Creating an all powerful institution is a sure threat to democracy in a country like ours which has very low human rights, equality and ethical standards. Corruption cannot be fought with any law unless the core values are regenerated - in homes and schools, starting from childhood. Corruption is very much ingrained in Indian gene as are discrimination, blind faith and hero-worship and many other social evils. Much of corruption can be fought by using RTI and forgoing benefits of paying bribe but of course it not has media-gogging as being part of this rally! It is sad to read people not listening or allowing different view points to be put forth. Democracy is about each ahving right to their thought and view point. I do not support/agree with Anna Hazare and shouldnt feel threatened by voicing it.

from:  Archana
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:58 IST

Let us not be biased against Ms.Roy and term this a vengeful voice striking down a champion of morality. She has raised some valid concerns, especially about the suitability of the people who will ensure the implementation and eventual success (?) of the Lokpal. In a country soaked in corruption over ages such as ours, it will be a tremendous challenge indeed, finding candidates to represent the people and check acts of corruption. What is the guarantee that our "leaders" will not buy these candidates? Lust for power and money has always, sadly, triumphed over our ideals and notions of right and wrong. Perhaps, Team Anna should validate the passing of the Jan Lokpal. This does not undermine our faith in his initiative. He has started a long pending movement. But let us not get carried away and indulge in meaningless hype. As responsible citizens, we should take precautions and remain vigilant to ensure that the ultimate ideal is not lost in terrible, flawed trivialities.

from:  AnxiousIndian
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:56 IST

After reading this article and the comments posted in reply what strikes me as very odd is that I was directed to this article from another news website which claimed that the response to Arundhatis' article have been negative. What i see in the comments section is that Indians have not lost their mind to this Anna hyperbol, there are a decent number of comments which support Arundhati and her point of view. Other leading intellectuals should come out and speak their minds but alas the tv media will only play what bollywood celebrities tweet. The credibility of Team Anna has to be questioned, they cannot be in public space and expect not to be questioned.

from:  Arvidan Kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:55 IST

While I agree with some of your skepticism, do let us know what are the practical options and solutions to Indian society's problems.If I am convinced I can join hands with any organization you recommend.
Raj-Bangkok

from:  Rajgopal Soory
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:54 IST

Finally some one talks sense, Just witnessed kids from certain school
in'I Am Anna' cap shouting 'Rahul Gandhi fraud hai, Rahul Gandhi bhaag
gaya', I am really fed up with Anna Supporters acting like tyrants who
think they are the only saviours of this country!.

from:  Santosh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:54 IST

Thanks AR for creating awareness to the second side of coin. But, would like to know if you have any other option that can lead India to a better country? You write well, so it is a request to you, please do write, with which people of India could see the truth and decide accordingly. Guess, you are not taking side to the politicians who have taken granted to the silence of mango people and has made their bank balance up to no limit. Yes, powerful has always sucked the poor, and the remedy is to distribute power among the people. But direction of distribution should be correct and optimal.

from:  Shailendra
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:52 IST

I dont think this Bill is going to abolish corruption in India, but it is definitely going to change the future of corruption in India. And the sleep of several politicians. In order to abolish corruption it is not Hazareji or Gandhiji who has to stand up but every Indian, who before going to vote should go through the biodata of each and candidate whom he or she is about to elect. If we sell that right for materialistic or other gains then our plight is going to be much worse than what we are today. Jago India Jago

from:  Arun T
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:51 IST

I guess you have view points about everything but you dont do anything. Its better to have somebody who does not claim to be an intellectual like you but is at least trying something

from:  anupam singh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:51 IST

I don"t think this is the end of the road rather the begining of it.We
have to begin somewhere and this well intended movement is a good thing
to start with.It is better to be optimistic rather than critical
only.The public will to do something to eradicate corruption is by
itself a great achievement and nobody should undermine it.

from:  p k purkayastha
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:51 IST

Criticism is the only thing that has been reflected throughout the article and nothing constructive.Firstly,if anyone needs to solve the issue of low production in agriculture is it necessity that he should be bothered about all the problems of the country and should keep on giving his views over others?If he is fighting for corruption,then what's the point in commenting on his concern over other issues.If anything constructive cannot be come from your side then it's worthless to write on the weak part of the bill only.Is there any alternative you can suggest???

from:  Narendra Singh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:51 IST

I totally agree with Roy, that is the fact... it is a media propelled circus... and the one channel that is supporting this movement is Rupert Murdoch's channels - giving 24*7 coverage - has he also turned into a saint... if not people should realize why external powers, would like a weak Govt in India....

from:  Aiby
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:50 IST

Anna Hazzare fast is civlian movement. For example - 2G Scam Raja, Dalit Politician, along with his Muslims friend - Sadiq Batcha, in his home town Perambalur, used police station to GRAB-Agri lands belongs to Dalit, then they sold the same land to MRF for 10-15times more cost.

So Dalit Civilian people who suffered in the hands of Raja or Muslims who lost lands to Late SadiqBatcha will support Anna Hazare movement. Because it is a Civilian Movement. Dalit Politcal Leaders like A.Raja or Muslims leaders like Sadiq Batcha, who always lookout way to loot others property will Oppose Anna Hazzare - referring it as forward caste agitation etc.
Even to resign I need 3months Notice so I could not come to Delhi in support of Anna. But we all civlians - even now inside the office support Anna Hazare and Team Anna. Arundathi Roy is SoniaGandhis friend in NAC, and now playing politics with Congress against Anna. it is one more trick to cheat Anna hazare & Civilians.

from:  VasuMadan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:49 IST

Ms Arundhati, I'm a Kashmiri and have many a times differed from your views about Geelani and Kashmir. But this article of yours is very nice. Anna is a media creation, definitely (I also posted it on my facebook page a few days back). He is for setting up a parallel government in a democratic country or he believes India is not democratic. I believe he is just a puppet in the hands of opposition because they think they can never come back in power, and are using every possible way to 'Coup' the current government. I don't support any of the political parties, but yeah 'guilty should be punished' and for that we need to amend laws of the land, law enforcing agencies redesigned, etc. and stop politicizing law enforcement agencies. God save India and people of India from GREEDY POLITICIANS!

from:  Musbith Rasool
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:48 IST

Somewhere deep inside your heart do you harbor a strong animosity towards non-quota hindus? I was born into one of those so called "upper caste" hindu families. I hate that word because there is nothing "upper" about us. We are just ordinary humans. My family was so poor we have gone hungry several times. I was unlucky to be borne into a non-quota caste. Some one needs to revisit the current caste based reservations. Reservation needs to be income based. Why dont you take the lead?

from:  Modern Chanakya
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:35 IST

It is the utter frustration that Ms Arundhati Roy is suffering from which helped her to vend out to Indian public through this piece. She tried to extend some support to Narmada bachao Andolan (NBA) which Medha patkar has been heading for quite a long time. When she felt she cannot get credit of NBA, she changed the foot to problems being faced by Adivasis with the brand name of MAOISTS. When the whole country learned that Arundhati Roy is a Maoist sympathiser, she tried to grab attention in Kashmir issue. Dear Ms Arundhati, we, Indians, love you as an author. We appreciate your int. Believe us, we would have supported you had you been staying in an Adivasi camp and working for them. You live in Chanakyapuri, famous for the embassies, and talk for Adivasis. Isnt it right to assume that you are taking advantage of our Adivasi brothers and sisters by using their causes for self publicity? Anna lives in village and talk for them. You too try to live a practical life for causes.

from:  Sunil Kallepully
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:31 IST

The common criticism of the Jan Lokpal bill is that it makes a mockery of the Indian parliament and the constitution. Some of the points of this bill might appear to be draconian and seem to be overarching. However, the present state of the nation is such that there has some to be some real sweeping reforms in the administrative and judicial system. Much smaller nations which have attained independence after India and have very limited natural and human resources and also have gone through worse social and economic struggles, have made remarkable progress and are today economically and socially way ahead of us. This should provoke each Indian to give serious thought about our carless attitude and scant regard for the value of the common people's lives and rights. After much struggle, there seems to be glimmer of hope in people like Anna Hazare. It would be a grave mistake that we would be doing if we discourage them, leave alone encouraging them.

from:  Sunil
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:31 IST

Ms Roy gives much broader insights in to issues going on in the social realm of India. Ms Roy analyses the movement in totality and makes us to think about the other forcefully neglected social movements in India.

from:  M. Nisar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:30 IST


The issues of Anna`s movement are very much justified. But just see the so-called non-corrupt persons surrounding him. Calculate the cost of the movement. What is the source of money ? So many big NGOs are behind the Anna`s movement. We should not forget that there are 33 lakhs foreign funded NGOs operating throughout India. For every 400 Indians there is a foreign funded NGO. Should we need American doller to eradicate corruption in India ? P M should be included in the Lokpal Bill . But the norms of democracy should be maintained.Law making authority is the Parliament. Its members are elected by the people as a whole---not only by some protinised people.

from:  Dipak Nag
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:27 IST

This type of statements act as a deterrence for the people who fight
against corruption. Those who support AR's comments , I think they are
either pessimist or nihilist. I support Anna Hazarre's fight against
corruption.

from:  Bikash
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:23 IST

I salute AR for a bold comments @ this hr. of time especially when the Nation is picking up pace and getting support to this new movement. Also gone through the reaction of our Readers and pity to find that many of them are falling prey to a movement, which I am sure is short lived and will soon fall into pieces as it’s happening since Independence.Now the question is who will bell the Cat of Corruption? Being a True Citizen of India, we should take an oath by saying that I will neither Pay nor Receive Black Money;and will never ever vote a MLA/MP who is under the shadow of Corruption/Criminal Activities; if 35% of the population moves towards this direction, the Society of India doesn't need Anna.I think we have made a mockery of our Democracy and enough is enough. Don’t set your hand in Democratic Norms, which has enough teeth and power to Protect a True Citizen of India. We the People of India is bending the Law of the Land to our personal and selfish gains that lead to this.

from:  George Varghese
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:21 IST

I salute AR for a bold comments @ this hour especially when the Nation is picking up pace and getting support to this new movement. Also gone through the reaction of our Readers and pity to find that many of them are falling prey to a movement, which I am sure is short lived and will soon fall into pieces as it's s happening since Independence.Now the question is who will bell the Cat of Corruption? Being a True Citizen of India, we should take an oath by saying that I will neither Pay nor Receive Black Money;and will never ever vote a MLA/MP who is under the shadow of Corruption/Criminal Activities; if 35% of the population moves towards this direction, the Society of India, doesn't need Anna.I think we have made a mockery of our Democracy and enough is enough. Don't set your hand in Democratic Norms, which has enough teeth and power to Protect a True Citizen of India. We the People of India is bending the Law of the Land to our personal and selfish gains that lead to this.

from:  George Varghese
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:21 IST

I must say, AR is true thinker, person who just don't follow the social hypnotism. I am totally agreed and amazed by her power of looking macro. Half of the people who are doing nara bazzi, even doesn't know the implication of Lok Pal...She understand very well; we have to start somewhere, but starting it with drama and following total unconstructive approach will take us to nowhere. If you want to uproot it, uproot it from bottom approach, then point finger on system...uncorrupt first your behavior then point finger on system!
I am no supporter of any political body, but yes we all design corrupted; self nourishment has awarded to us from birth; we need to solve it by change in view point of society rather thn going out and shouting!

from:  Garima
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:19 IST

You have made a fortune by writing a novel about India's poverty and ritualism, which appeals to the West, as they like to think of India as backward. You have consistently protested against anything positive that happans in India.
Annaji campaigned against the Sena-BJP govt in Maharashtra. Check your facts. You have no proof about a corporate-Annaji nexus. Stop defamation. Annaji is doing a great service for the 830 m impoverished by introducing honesty in public life.
Kindly tell your sponsors in Pakistan, China, the Arab World, etc. that India is on the march. Pseudo-intellectuals like you are not happy that India has become a global power. Your sponsors want to see the old India of sacred cows, bizarre rituals, and starvation; not the new India of economic growth. space power, poeple empowerment, etc.

from:  Bhavesh Parekh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:18 IST

"The ultimate show of power on the part of the ruling ideology is to allow what appears to be powerful criticism. There is no lack of anti-capitalism today. We are overloaded with critiques of the horrors of capitalism: books, in-depth investigative journalism and TV documentaries expose the companies that are ruthlessly polluting our environment, the corrupt bankers who continue to receive fat bonuses while their banks are rescued by public money, the sweatshops in which children work as slaves etc. However, there is a catch: what isn’t questioned in these critiques is the democratic-liberal framing of the fight against these excesses. The (explicit or implied) goal is to democratise capitalism, to extend democratic control to the economy by means of media pressure, parliamentary inquiries, harsher laws, honest police investigations and so on. But the institutional set-up of the (bourgeois) democratic state is never questioned. This remains sacrosanct." SLAVOJ ZIZEK

from:  suraj
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:16 IST

This is a good read.... I only fear that the govt might now bring in laws through the parliament which will curb the freedom of general public and even NGO's which are working well. Well I dont like the way jan lokpal bill is introduced..it is like a child refusing to eat until his favorite toy is given to him.

from:  Karthik CV
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:14 IST

I totally disagree with the views of AR. Instead of pointing her fingers at Anna I ask her what has she done for Maoists or farmers. Anna is fighting against a National issue and it will benefit people from all walks of life whether he is a farmer or a business tycoon. I agree with her that there are many problems to solve in India. Atleast team Anna has taken one of them and his efforts must appreciated in that context. I suggest her to engage herself in some constructive criticism. Why not start a coercive movement for the Naxalites instead of wasting her talent and energy in criticizing others for their sincere efforts.

from:  meeta bisht
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:13 IST

Clearly Arundhati is a writer, an intellectual who can argue her case well and words are her weapons. Both Arundhati and Anna are activists at heart and pursue their points of view with vigour albeit in different ways. I wish that Arundhati would have met with Anna to share her misgivings. The outcome would have been more meaningful.

Is there any activist, intellectual or leader, free from any blemish or one that cannot be criticised? Right now, all I can see is that Anna is leading a people's fight and has galvanised thousands.My analysis stops there and I am happy to support the cause, with whatever flaws or deficiencies that could be intellectually brought forth.
However, there is a point not to be missed in Arudhati's arguments. What she tells us all is whether we would support the poor farmer or the tribal when he is displaced or his land usurped, whether we would fight for withdrawal of the AFSPA - Armed Forces Special Powers Act and so on. Something to ponder.

from:  varadarajan raman
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:13 IST

It is you who is watching the movement on TV people are out on the
streets and the list of answers are suitably selected by you because
there are more answers if you actually interact with people.I am
seeing this movement as an opportunity in raising spirit that
motivates people to raise voices. There is nothing wrong in VANDE
MATRAM, Bharat Mata Ki jay and Jay Hind if you are ready to see beyond
your secular (so called) glasses.You seculars have tainted every thing
with religious stains. Even the Tri Colour is a Religious Icon for
you. SAD. A movement that is supported by you is "the movement" and
others are not, people are selected by you are "the people" and others
not.Don't you think that these are comfortable definitions. IF a
leader will be accountable under the lokpal how will corporate or
NGOs will bribe him to alter policy? a strong lokpal bil,
transparency and active people can improve the corruption and that is
the outcome of the Anna Movement.

from:  Anupam Dixit
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:11 IST

Pessimism to the core - I would not say that the jan lokpal would
eradicate corruption. but definitely is the first step. And this is
just the beginning of what is going to be a long long fight against
corruption. Just wonder how people can be so insensitive to the ground
reality. Even if this results in two centers of corruption as the
writer had mentioned, it cannot get worse that what exists now. (i am
sure the government's draft is aimed at this and not the jan lokpal)

It is now or never. So I would urge anna and the people supporting it
to never give up.

from:  venk
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:11 IST

Anna's first enemy is not the corrupt establishment, but rather the
pessimism pervading among our people, who think nothing good will be
achieved by such movements.

from:  M. Hariharan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:10 IST

Now if this isnt food for thought ... what else is... I recommend Anna
and co read this, for it will bring more clarity to their own
campaign. As an individual, I am neither in support or denial of the
initiative by Anna and co, it is a wait and watch game. We have to see
what sense comes out of this whole circus. As an Urban Indian
(Mumbaiker) I would have been a part of the crowd if the demand was
better infrastructure... slum rehabilitation etc...I pay my taxes, I
want to live a decent life, what if Anna dies in the quest... what
after that... who will take this movement forward... where is the
vision... there are so many questions... I cant even pen them down, I
am sure my grand parents and their freedom fighter colleagues will be
looking down upon the state of their beloved "Hindustan" with sadness
and grief. This is not what they died for, I want Hindustan to be a
better nation providing a better life to the lesser, I dont want an
"Annastan".

from:  Vivek Arora
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:09 IST

Ms Roy wants to be always in news, since she cant take the right path(someone already is there) she has to take the other path in that way comes into news.

from:  pragati
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:08 IST

At least Arundhati had the gall to express her opinion, most of us can't do it, we will get castrated, so deep has this taken a turn.... For the sake of INDIA hope it dies down successfully and the fast of a simple minded person has an idealistic end. Kudos to Ms Roy!

from:  Beulah Kaushik
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:08 IST

Having read a few of the posts I can only say the following.. a) intellectual loftiness seems to help create false visions of "rightness" without any idea of what and how would make things better.. b) people (read the author of this article) who profess to know it all are sadly the most disconnected from reality of our country.. c) tolerance is the core Indian value and that is the one value AR has worked extra hard to violate d) to all the people who agree with the author, kindly think of when was the last time you did something to strengthen democracy and the country. Sacrifice is the highest human gesture and even the willingness to suffer as has been the wont of the poor few for ever now is not a bad thing for some cause their own and not imposed. When one will himself and others to stand against the same, being worried about losing your space in the limelight wont matter to much beyond making a joke of whatever just which you choose to support and the cause others support.

from:  R Suryanarayanan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:07 IST

AR's argument in this article is just what I was thinking of.
Most people I see in this rally against the cause are themselves
corrupt. Corruption does not mean embezzlement of money in all cases
but only in some cases. Corruption I believe is gross ignoring any
system that has been established in a civil society.
Its simple, how many of us really think before ignoring traffic rules?
How many of us really think about treating a friend to ensure he does
some work for our benefit? How many of us really think before spitting
on the road or dumping litter near the dustbin rather then on it?
We Indians have had scanty regards for any kind of rules or law. We
are corrupt by nature. Let's accept it!
Until the people of the country change themselves,change their mindset
nothing will change. The Media, the Government, the Corporate and the
Mafia, will continue to be suck out every bit from the bodies of the
Indian people. The focus of this uprising has to change!

from:  Nabajyoti
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:07 IST

Corruption is objectionable per se. However what hurts the victim more
is a)sense of utter helplessness b) the guilt of doing something wrong
c)the scorn of the bribe taker even after taking a bribe d)the insults
piled on him by stooges of the politicians.
Has Ms Roy gone through any of this? I am sure she has not.

from:  Lalit W
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:07 IST

Brilliant! Completely agree... and what poetic stripping of this mumbo jumbo!

from:  ashish
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:07 IST

This Ms. Roy is a part of NAC lead by congresss chairperson... thats nothing but a civil soceity panel that sends recommendations & plans to the govt.. the same congress is having double standard in regard to handling other civil society movements... this Ms Roy is a agent of the congress party and she is the social activist face of congress...we know very well that this roy would have been paid a lot for this article... moreover it is highly evident other famed "social activists" in our country are increasingly becoming jealous on Anna Hazare whose fame sprought out suddenly... "Ms Roy is a part of NAC led by Congress... it makes very clear she is in good understanding with the congress...""

from:  jerry
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:07 IST

Everyone here is supporting Anna's views of free speech and democracy
and when a journalist expresses her views you oppose her and tell her of being critical.
Has anyone ever thought where is all the money coming from to support
such a mass movement? Without money no movement can achieve this
kind of scale and magnitude.

from:  Jeetendra
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:05 IST

Ms Roy has taken pains to point out to many things in her article. What I could not decipher was, what is the intention of this article: to improve the situation, to confuse the reader or to meander in the realm of thoughts like a feather in the wind.
As a reader I do not feel rewarded for the time I invested in reading her article. It is full of projected fears and rhetoric constructions. It is an skillful use of language to oppose without proposing any alternative.
What is the argument here?

from:  Madan Gopal Sharma
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:04 IST

True that whatever has been written here sounds right, but, is there any other way? other than to agitate? See to change a system you have to bring in a system. there can be loopholes in the system, but if loop holes become pot holes/ man holes and no one is caring then a drastic step is required.
You are questioning the Anna's statement about Raj Thackeray and Modi (Pls note he was praising their Marathi Manoos Xenophobia and Development model of the Gujarat) you see it as affence, if some one praises Nehru (remember VK Menon and his idiocracy in 1962 War and Kashmir Problem, open lambasting of sitting General like Gen Thimmaiah in Parliament) Indira Gandhi (for Emergency and blindly supporting Sanjay Gandhi's idiotic acts) Indian National Congress (Indira Fraction) for 1984 Anti Sikh Violence, Present UPA for (2G, Spectrum of ISRO, CWG, Land Grabbingetc.,) With all these if you say they were good for development then you are blinded too. we should see people as whole.

from:  Vijayakumar C N
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:04 IST

Here is question for all anna bashers - agreed he's wrong, his methods
are not correct.
what are YOU doing to improve it - writing columns in news papers and
saying anna's revolution is a shame and what not, why dont YOU too
present your views on this platform he has given us today?

from:  Rohit Khairnar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:03 IST

How many of us actually know what the Lokpal bill states :)

from:  Tania
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:02 IST

Not sure if the writer has had a brush with corruption. Like all high and mighty I am sure she is accustomed to things getting done due to her name and fame. It is we poor chaps who are only born in this world to pay taxes (making way to bank accounts of high and mighty) who realize the menace of corruption and it's impact on nearly every aspect of our life.

from:  Ashish
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 13:01 IST

Whats that solution then?. You have to shed some points on that too and not
just talk about the sad side that you see.

from:  Jitu
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:58 IST

I agree fully with Ms.Roy. She is refreshingly different from the
'herd mentality'. Corruption is a real problem...but the way to fight
is not by creating another equally big problem; the agitation makes
the Indian state weak indeed...it undermines the parliamentary
democracy of India, which after a long struggle, is holding its
ground.

I do not know why the bill which is referred to the standing committee
can not be altered after the government has come under such pressure!
If they do not succeed in doing so, then the stir could have been more
meaningful. The team Anna thinks their version is the best...why so?
There are other views too! Like, Ms. Aruna Roy has come up with a
bill...she belongs to the civil society too.

Important is the fight against corruption, not whose bill. Why is Anna
adamant that his bill must be passed? Is his bill more important than
the cause itself? or, is it more important than the parliament? We
should not be too impatient to discard parliament.

from:  suvendu
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:58 IST

Ok leave it all, Lets say, its your turn to demolish the Corruption, what will you do, Will you ever dare to do something. Don't answer "Why should I". We all part of this corrupted society. If one man tried to make a difference, lets share a hand. If you are looking for hype here about your presence, its not needed, we all know you and we admire your work. Just do your part to make the country free from those corrupt officers and politicians, We are not in Gandhian Era, its 2011 and world has changed. So the means he has used for his campaign is not questionable, as you said he used 250 employees, some trucks and JCB's, They are used to do what they are meant to do. Its Us who are not doing what we are meant to do.

from:  Sooraj
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:56 IST

In Vedanta, it is said that one can be objective about an issue only when one is ‘detached’. With ‘attachment’ objectivity is lost.Arundhati Roy is ‘attached’ to the cause of the downtrodden and can only see issues from that perspective. She equates maoist armed overthrow of the state to a Gandhian fast which is ‘coercion’ based on ‘moral’ authority. She cannot understand the concerns of the middle class who are well off. So much so that she cannot appreciate that with less corruption the lot of the poorer sections is also likely to improve. She is angry that Irom Sharmila's fast is not given the same importance as Anna’s fast, forgetting that Anna’s fast is forceful only because he is espousing a cause which is popularly supported by the masses; without this support who would bother about Anna.
This ‘concern’ for the downtrodden is commendable. Unfortunately it often leads to a Marxist mindset which is difficult to outgrow in spite of the lessons of the economic failure of communism

from:  Arun Sinha
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:54 IST

Finally, good sense prevails. Bravo! I may not agree with many of your
views, but, as far as the instant article is concerned, it is a triumph!
At long last, somebody has derided the fascist that Kisan Baburao is,
and what this misguided movement stands for in strong words! In
democracy, you say now-a-days, 'lets agree to disagree', but is this man
allowing that to happen? Does he himself know the implications of his
ridiculous demands? Or is he a puppet in the hands of trained
ventriloquists such as Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and the others?

from:  Aditya Kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:53 IST

I'm amazed by the amount of support you got with this article, don't
get me wrong I believe most people are hanging by a thread on whether
or not to support the movement(including me) and some of the points(if
not all) are quite important. However I feel that corruption is an
issue that touches more people than any of the other issues you've
raised and one that has a direct impact on most of them. Once we have
a transparent system it would be more tough(if possible) to get things
like illegal mining or forceful takeover of land done. Though I
believe other issues effect some people more than would corruption I
feel this is one of the most fundamental issues that we are facing
today. Even I don't agree to all of the points put in the Lokpal and
feel that it needs a little more amends, that the present one would
put in multiple oligarchies; but a strong bill is required to control
the way corruption grows in our country. And dont underestimate the
"silent support" towards the movement.

from:  JJP
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:53 IST

"SAFFRON TERROR" :Thanks to Hindu for allowing the voice of reason and rationale to be heard. If as the media suggests that the whole India is behind Anna , I think , he should contest election. As he said , he would lose the deposit. It is only a few thousand Indians who support it. The Brahmins, the uppercaste people without reservation ,support it. RSS , ABVP , Youth for equality supports it ,which is against reservation.

from:  Anamika Moses
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:51 IST

I appreciate AR's thinking skills but her thinking is super human and
she expects superhuman abilities out of a man who has forgiven every
thing 4 the sake of d country.the aam aadmi has an intuitive mind.for
that matter AR can never sympathize with the aam aadmi for she herself
is not one.

from:  gurjeetkaur
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:51 IST

I think the arguments in this article are well put.
There is no doubt that over the last 60 years governments and the political class did precious little for the country and we, the people of India should be angry about it.
The solution in my humble opinion is for more and and more honest, well meaning people to enter active politics. Not an overnight solution, not a revolutionary solution, but possibly the only solution.
To that extant, this movement has done a great job of getting a lot of such people, who were otherwise politically inert, out on the streets.
But the lokpal Bill of Anna will create two centers of power. One which is chosen by the people of this country and one which will not. What is worse, the second one will have more power than the first. This is dangerous and this is certainly not democracy.

from:  Koustuv Chatterjee
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:50 IST

I do not question the intent or credibility of Anna Hazare, but the
hysterical response of the Indian youth to Anna's call is definitely a
worrying factor. I say Indian youth are susceptible because I can
assure you half of them supporting Anna would not have even read
either of the drafts i.e the jan lokpal bill by Anna or the lokpal
bill by govt. If I support someone I must be hundred percent confident
that I am supporting a just cause. I believe this virtue is lacking in
the youth. I don't say that this movement by Hazare must not be
supported but i just want people to be more rational. Tomorrow some
anti social group comes out with a protest and call themselves a third
freedom struggle and if today's youth blindly follow them it only
leads to anarchy.

from:  nutan reddy
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:50 IST

I am glad to know I am not the only cynic in this country.
I am not pro-government here simply against corruption and I would not
have had a problem with the ongoing situation except the issue is no
longer anti corruption..it has turned into anna hazare..i receive
nonsensical messages saying prices of everything will fall if we support
anna...the masses are being hoodwinked into believing..off all the
thousands of supporters i would like to know how many really know the
difference between lokpal and janlokpal?

from:  Shomik Roy
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:48 IST

Animal Farm's last pages describe a scene where the pigs join the humans, have you turned the same...sad that someone like you who 'visibly' takes up causes don't see the merit and the potential in this movement, however plebeian and not 'high brow' according to you.
Or is that the reason…are you embarrassed because its not classy JNU high brow for you or are you jealous that a such a man as he garnered so much support but when you sat on some dharnas you couldn’t?
Your article is irrelevant and superficial and your argument flaky. You write well, but now I wonder if that's all there is to it...as its easy to sit on the sidelines and comment and criticise...
Don’t you see that this movement is not just about Anna...its the frustration of the people who used to the very in-action of the very unsupported causes you have mentioned has been roused due to a man's supposed histrionics...so what if he's petulant or media hungry according to you. People decide the strength of a movement

from:  Sridevi Nair
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:46 IST

Dear Ms.Roy you seem to have replicated the same abuses which the Congress party hurled @ Anna on 15th of August. Please understand that all the educated citizens in this country have started a crusade against corruption and Anna Hazare has just shown them the way which no 'intellectuals' like you have tried to do for so long. And the problems which you have pointed out would be solved to a larger extent if the level of corruption is reduced. Anna has never asked to overthrow the Indian state. His team has only request to present the bill in the Parliament for debate and discussion. If you yourself are so patriotic and respect the Indian state why you shared the same dias right in the heart of Delhi with a separatist leader who wants to break from India and join hands with our enemies?

from:  Dipayan Das
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:44 IST

"Intelligence is directly proportional to cynicism" seems to be Ms Roy's belief. It is one thing to express reservations about some of the impractical demands of the Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by 'Team Anna' but quite another to mock at the movement which is currently going on against corruption in this country. I think Ms. Roy's views belong to the latter category which only helps in lowering her credibility. To brand this tirade against corruption as a middle class phenomenon is a mistake. One needs to appreciate the enormity of this occasion. Anna Hazare may not be right about all his demands but he has surely brought this autocratic, insensitive govt to it's knees and passing of an effective lokpal bill looks plausible. All the intellectuals of this country (including Ms Roy) need to shed their ego and see how they can support this movement or at least not discredit it. Divergent views are welcome in a democracy but Ms Roy should have shown some balance when she wrote this piece.

from:  Gaurav Gupta
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:43 IST

As an enthusiastic reader of your works, and admirer of your courageous views and your indefatigable activism, I am as disappointed with the timing of your remarks as that of Ms. Aruna Roy's presentation to the Standing Committee. This is the time to be firmly united. We play into the government's hands if we bicker among ourselves and quibble over minor points. Where is the evidence for this assertion ? I am sorry I do not see the logical progression from premise A (Team Anna is campaigning for a strong anti-corruption bill) and premise B (Team Anna receives funding from corporations and enthusiastic support from the media) to your conclusion: "They have built themselves a pulpit from which to call for the further withdrawal of the State from the public sphere and for a second round of reforms, more privatisation, more access to public infrastructure and India's natural resources". Nothing I have seen so far suggests that Team Anna is advocating an erosion of the authority of the government or the retreat of the government from providing public services. I have seen no statement by them to that end, or one that may be construed in such a manner. On the contrary, lessening of corruption will hopefully result in public money going towards revitalising public services rather than into the pockets of private individuals and corporations.

from:  Ashok Patnaik
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:43 IST

"Will the 830 million people living on Rs.20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war?" I'd say yes, when fund meant for poor will reach them.. Yes the condition will improve. By the way why are you concerned? What have you done for the nation.. Why don't you do something about farmer's suicides? Is it not your responsibility as an Indian? Ms. Roy it is very easy to point your guns at someone who is just trying to do something different and new. We are so used to live in fear all the time that we believe that it is Freedom. Can a common man question any police-wala today? No. Police can easily frame him for something she/she has not committed.

from:  Saurabh Sharma
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:40 IST

Well what AR is suggesting can be looked upon but that does not give her any rights to criticize the movement.Root cause analysis is different and proposing solution is different. Now regarding the issue of naxalites and poor people, I am sorry to say AR has forgotten to state that it is because of the complete failure of system to stop corruption at roots which has made the present situation intolerable. I have deep respect for AR but without knowing facts and reasoning out ot the situation , please don't blame a movement which is at least better than ray of hope after a long time in recent years. Regarding her criticizing Anna for his fast unto death tactics, I would like to remind her that the person has done for the good of the masses someone had to stand up.If she is having any other alternative please suggest rather than criticize.

from:  Aditya Kothari
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:39 IST

U know what? this is to support or not to support Arundhati, but the question is about Annamania? Needless to say the motives behind the movement or Anna as an Individual is all flawless. But the major issues, what we are wish to do or bring for a corruption free India? For me the inside out of the so called "civil society draft of JanLokpal" is full of flaws and driven by few power hungry people behind Anna to bring a super power parallel system, which will be another breeding ground of corruption. No doubt the emotion driven people support the cause but failed to retrospect that what we want through Janlokpal. Instead of that, I would sincerely advise those handful of people behind anna, please dont use people's emotion, come out with some concrete solutions and govt should accept like, 'Bring Black Money in next an year or so and so forth'. Kindly dont play with peoples emotion.

from:  Santosh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:38 IST

Arundhati's article may not be all right, but definitely not 'all wrong'. She is questioning Anna's demands, which most people supporting him have not understood completely.
Corruption is an issue that frustrates the average middle class Indian so they WILL support any move that is anti-corruption. However the flip side of this unthinking support is that poorly thought out means can lead to unanticipated ends that may become too large to control.
It would be good to include all citizen's in this anti-corruption drive -our corporates, our NGOs, our religious organisations.
Anti-corruption drives can be used as effective machinery even if the planned outcome (agenda) is to destabilise public systems. One needs to think - sometimes what's visible may not be all there is.

from:  Dr. Sylvia Karpagam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:24 IST

Cursing the darkness is easy but lighting a candle is difficult - especially if the candle is in the midst of a whirlwind. However it is noble to give it a try.

from:  Eugene George
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:23 IST

It's really sad that Arundhati Ray has been so critical of Anna.We don't like to dissect Anna's past.Nor are we interested what sort of man Anna is.What we're so far looking for was an organized protest against mounting corruption that has engulfed our nation.We're now one of the most corrupt countries of the world.Our heads really hang in same.Our Lokpal Bill has been revived as many as ten times in parliament since 1969 in 42 yrs but it has not yet seen the light of the day.Govt is going to pass a Bill that is toothless and incapable of effectively take on corruptions.In fact, it's Anna who has initiated movement against corruptions and is now determined to have a strong Lokpal Bill.Entire nation has rallied behind him with its pent -up rage against corruption.In such movement vilification campaign is a part of the game.So we never mind Ray's comments.We're really grateful to Anna.

from:  Ujjal.K.Pal
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 12:21 IST

My opinion is before u support to Jan Lokpal bill, read the bill fully first. And think, in a way, that who should have more power, the one who elected by the people or an independent body. If tomorrow, we see crime rates are going high, will that be good creating an independent body to reduce it? then we would have end up with several independent bodies. Which may lead too several dictators ruling the country. The problem of the corruption can be solved by electing right party leaders. The illiterate people not able to identify which candidate is best. The literate people dont care abt that. I would support Anna, if he starts the political party and contest in elections. Then he has the power, he can do anything to reduce the corruption. But still i wont suggest any independent body to solve any issue.

from:  Gnanasambantham R
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:10 IST

Even I don't usually support Ms. Roy’s views. But here I have too; at least she's one of those rare people to come forward and challenged the maniac. All Anna supporters think they have support of India which I don’t think. It's just that no one don’t want to come forward and do a similar stunt and a weak government not able to take control of it. Media making it successful for their own hidden agenda. It's insane in the first place to compare Gandhiji and Anna, first protest should be against that. It's ridiculous to see the way Bedi and group are misusing the national flag – someone in the government should have the guts to stop this menace.

from:  SJ
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:09 IST

Ms Roy, most Indians commenting on this article would agree that we "may not like what you say, but will fight tooth-and-nail to ensure that you are free to say it." While it is always good to have opposing points of views in a democracy, one should remember that opposition for the sake of opposition doesn't help anyone.
The allegations that you make about Kisan (Anna) Hazare - his being a supporter of 1. Marathi chauvinism, 2. Upper class elitism (anti-reservationist / anti-dalit) and 3. Anti Muslim fanaticism - are of a very serious nature. Since they are of such seriousness, I would ask you this - ON WHAT BASIS do you make these allegations? I do not support the Jan Lokpal bill, but just as I support your right >to say what you want to, I support Anna's right to a peaceful protest. Coming to the point of Narendra Modi: can I not say - I hope he stands trial for his role in the riots, but irrespective of that he is a good administrator?

from:  Vaibhav
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:09 IST

It was very evident to us from ages that you can't be Anna. You support Naxalite movement (I am against their method if not cause), we can conclude it because We have hardly seen a single statement of yours when civilians or policemen are killed by Naxalites. I guess you must have been wanted to be Anna if this whole movement was not non-violent.
Ma'am with all respect to you, you have always liked to be controversial, you go and meet separatists perhaps you want to be one like them...

You haven't agreed with government's Lokpal bill but what did you do for it..You couldn't do anything or
Try it once and see how many come behind you...You will realize
"IT IS NOT YOUR CHOICE, IT IS NOT IN YOUR CAPACITY TO BE ANNA"

and yes...We all want to be ANNA...

Jai Hind

from:  An Indian
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:08 IST

A logically written article, though all arguments are competent enough to keep other side of Anna. Indeed, however, one thing is pretty sure. Anna's attempt and intervention is against a democratic country like India. He can fast, but cannot impose a democratically elected government to put every demand of Anna into practise. It is terroristic in nature. Then the immediate question, what about thousands of people support him? You get millions of people even you begin a plan to impose another law against multinationals and corporations. But the goal of such an attempt is completely anti-democratic. Allow people for democratic discussion, public debtate and hence, finally try to convince the parliment to implement it. This is not possible by an overnight huger-fast, though the way is Gandhian; the goal is anti-Gandhian. Dont forget that Gandhi forced the colonial leaders to obey what he thinks was right; rather he proposes, one day they just obeyed. Proposal is not aggressive imposition.

from:  Roy Palatty
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:07 IST

I don't know what is right or wrong for the nation or else i would have been in the Parliament or in your place doing all the things which you are doing mam. But i do know one thing i don't like the way the govt is functioning. You have mentioned so many tragedies, I completely understand that they are genuine and needs to be look after. But do you think there is no corruption behind all those crisis. The draconian theory may or may not be right at this point of time. What the issue is do you have better ideas other than this. Do you really think all the people supporting the movement, plz not anna, are fools? if you would have let a movement like this fighting such things with better ideas and principles the same people would have supported you nt anna. its not about an individual. its the thinking behind it. 'Draconian Oligarchy' actually we are in a monarchy system. we are already suffering from it. what else can get worse? Just don't predict the future. who knows what's there?

from:  Biswajeet Saha
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:07 IST

Just to add on some points here as per your article seems like we the people of India still very illetrate and do not understand what gullible tricks people trying to play with us and always believe in joining force. Also want to make few important points here 1. Niether Team Anna and nor people saying that Lokpal is road-end for corruption of India. 2. As you said and many other think tanks suggested first we purify evil in overselves please suggest do u think yourself as purified soul and does the politicians who are governing us had done so if then this problem could have never occured. 3. We people of India are very patient and do believe in our values of democracy but at the same admit that prevaling corruption cannot be ended unless and untill some hard stand cannot be taken.
Please do not try to divert the movement but putting some ideal and confused statements and ask from ur heart do u thk that India had enough of corruption.

from:  Anil Modest
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:04 IST

Rightfully said Ms Roy, what Anna does not realise that his methodology can result into a state of rioting and loss of lives. Also, no principle can justify the concept of blackmailing the government by threatening for life. If Mr Anna is so concerned about corruption he should have probably convinced his followers to give up corrupt practices, that itself would have led to a mass reform. But, not once has he spoken about corruption at grass root and not once has he appealed to his followers.

from:  Amit Verma
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:04 IST

The question is not whether the people understand the Jan Lok Pal bill or not , but the question is the movement, and its outcome. The Jan Lok Pal Bill was tabled several times in the parliament, but never passed.But then, no one asked the question , not even the so called "intellectuals" like AR , as to why this hsppened? It has been a mistake by the politicians to consider the common man to be naive and gullible, because whatever may be the method, the fact that the common man is protesting has to be taken into account. Arundhuti Roy, instead of trying to discredit Anna Hazare and his team could have done better by highlighting the loop holes in the Jan Lok pal bill. Instead of entering into a debate , she is more interested in throwing muck on the team , and surprisingly seems to be towing the same line as the government in power. Btw, who questions her numerous globe trots and awards from dubious organizations?

from:  Arindam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:01 IST

At last a voice of sanity is brought to the fore by The Hindu. As can be evidenced from most of the comments out here, India is going the American way by adopting anti-intellectualism as a legitimate discourse. Indians are turning as jingoistic and mindless as mainstream Americans and in the long run, this will only erode respect for dissent and for alternative views. Most of the jingoists out here who are maniacally defending Hazare have probably not even felt the need to read the draft legislation. It's all about mass hysteria whose casualty is always reason.

from:  Sucheta
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 11:01 IST

Miss Roy have very valid point and thanks to the Hindu to publish such a article, 'ultimate power corrupts'. Even we think Janlokpal will end the corruption, but what after few Years, will not be corrupted, and we choose our leaders, who will choose lokayukt or civil members, that means one more election, and its just way to run parallel government as of naxalist and maoist without arms! Then where is democracy in this format?

from:  Sumana
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:59 IST

Well lets look at what she says a little rationally. Implementing a strong Lokpal bill is not realistic for the simple fact that every human is corrupt in some nature and there is no guarantee that the lokpal team members wont become corrupt tomorrow. If we have to remove corruption the feeling has to come from within. How many of us have broken laws. Do we follow them correctly. Dont we pay bribes to Govt. officials. So, no matter what bill is passed it is not going to bring a drastic change to society until society feels that they need to change.In my strong opinion passing laws is just the tip of the iceberg the real solution is to reform the existing processes. Thats where people should raise their voice and provide solutions where interaction with govt. officials are minimum. Like making things online is a very good move. To add on - the govt can also put up a place where people from the civil society can debate with Govt. officials on TV where every point is read out and debated.

from:  Bibin Radhakrishnan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:57 IST

Ms.Roy is too correct in her views. And I really appreciate the perspective in which she views things! The truth is, more than half the crowd that shouts for the passing of this bill doesn't have a clue what it is all about. What has happened to democracy? When people are ready to overthrow the government on the leadership of one particular person, how long will it take to convert India into a country of dictatorship? Hats off Ms.Arundhati Roy for your bold article!!

from:  Sona Balsam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:39 IST

I agree with Arundhati Roy on her point of view. She has pointed out the major issue that why pvt organizations working in the public sector eg.electricity, Water and other sectors that are running by NGO's and corporates are out of the ambit of JAN lokpak bill. I have a reason to support this, few days ago I went to BSES office to complaint against a power cut. we had no elctricity in the whole locality because of the faulty cable. When I approached them they said that its Sunday and it will take 2 days to get your electricity back. When i asked them to send their electricians to my place they straight away, they declined and said "Jo karna hai kar lo. Jab tak hum nahi chahenge nahi hoga". Then he asked for money for all this. I had no option and i paid. I lodged a complaint against them on the website of BSES and its been 2 months no reply has been given so far.

from:  Danish Khan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:35 IST

If we are here only for criticizing..then we better need not expect a change..if through something, Indian citizens have arouse their sentiments against 'corruption'..letz welcome that..let's not forget 'corruption' is also a great problem..And if we are up against it, may be through 'Anna', lets not stop.

from:  Partha Borah
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:34 IST

I like the article and views expressed in this article. It doesn't mean I am completely agree with it. Its eye opener - when people are blindly supporting Anna. I don't understand the behavior of all the news channels. they gone crazy. its over hyped. There are already many laws, the thing is that government should execute it. Take example of Kasab - do you think - this government is going punish him?

from:  Bangalore
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:32 IST

Jan lokpal bill does not intend to overthrow the Indian state. If the govt fails to hold the confidence of the people, it will be replaced by a new goverment. Even if the current team of people's representatives in the parliament is replaced by another team, Indian state will prevail. Do you think people who opposed Bush administration wanted to overthrow the American state? The movement for Jan Lokpal bill is peaceful revolution. It is bloodless, for sure, but certainly not a coup. Neither Anna Hazare, nor any of his representatives, intends to become overnight dictator of the Indian state. No body has asked for dissolving the parliament or calling elections, instead they have asked the government to do it's job. In fact if the parliament is dissolved (in case if it really turns out to be a coup, as you mentioned), Anna certainly won't survive his hunger strike till the new govt comes into being.

from:  Gaurav Singhal
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:29 IST

Well written article, yes this is the need of the hour. I do not follow Arundhatis writings on a
regular basis, however, I do feel she is being as crisp as required. Anna is making a public
spectacle, there is very little depth , other than any of us who never wanted to bribe
anybody for anything, ever, but a majority of us did so when required. Noise yes , Anna will
make, change no.

from:  Sam Cherian
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:13 IST

Its ok if you collude with the terrorists and make anti India speeches in the nations capital.
But it's not ok if Anna pushes for a stringent anti corruption bill..seriously you left wing nuts
are anti national. Why don't you go to countries you love such as Pakistan and try your right
of free speech against the regime there? No points for guessing what will happen to you
next.

from:  Rana pratap
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:12 IST

I don't know is it really aginst or with the system or anti system, with corruption or anti corruption, pro democarcy or anti democracy but I must admit that I want an end to petty corruption in India. My dilemma is, I still support Anna bacause I don't have any other known entity in India that is visibly against corruption and in the next election I will again vote for Congress, because I do not see a better option in the country.
Can we think about creating a better system, which is more accountable to its citizen? Forget about the Jan Lokpal bill; at the level of execution people will find a way out and really does not matter Anna's Jan Lokpal gets a green flag or the Govt's.
In the name of country we just need to be a little sensitive to each other and help the system work; not break. The legislature, judiciary and executors are already breaking it into pieces, as common people of India let us help it work not break it further.

from:  Gopal Mukherjee
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:11 IST

Mrs. Roy, we all know that there are small issues that prevail in India. But, do you feel then we should let the big politicians of the hook for minting crores of ruppees. Anna and his team might have mislead some people according to you, again why billions of people are out on streets favoring the Jan Lokpal bill.

from:  Nilesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:10 IST

I love this lady for her love of INDIA .Remember the article is not
about ANNA only , its abt LPG : liberistaion , privitization ,
globalaisation . the idea is to take power from the democracy and put
in the hands of CORPORATES .... thats y she has written y private firm
is missed out ...

DOnations : why the are always by the company owned by the zionists ??

As she said Congress and BJP has colluded ... thats y today the entire
focus is on implementing LOKPAL bill .. rather the bringing the Cong
and BJP MP's to justice who are proved guilty of guzzling crores of
rupess ...

I entirely agree with her.. coz for the first time some has dares to
speak..not only for anna ..cong .. bjp ... she is speaking for
Democracy , the power of people ..she has the voices of people ..whom
the corprate media deleberately missed .out ...the media who forget to
tell ,,that during the fast.. somebody stoles ANNAS sandal...under his
very nose .. this clearly indicate the breed of people managing the
FARCE

from:  Firouz Haider
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:08 IST

I really appreciate the thoughts of AR in this article. It should be the eye opener for the people who is walking on the road following Anna's fast which has been dramatized by the media. I have read the comments by people and many oppose the view points discussed by AR.Some says that when someone(Anna) is doing something good for the country people crticize and try pull him down. But Have anyone really thought the consequences of the Janlokpal Bill. It will detoriate the situation even more. Another set of rules will be added to our Constitution, and 2 governing bodies will be running simutaneously. Atleast we have the oppostion and PAC to check the government, also there is a process to elect the Govt. But what is the process of choosing the civil society and who will check that civil society if that gets currupted. Many asks the solution for the curruption. There is no overnight soultion for this as curruption has gone to the roots of our life style.We need to change our lifestyle.

from:  A Sunil KUmar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 10:04 IST

For all the people who are worried that people do not know exactly what they are supporting: You should have brought this debate in the beginning stages. Not when the fight has gone several rounds and months. This will merely look like a fudging and delaying tactic especially if it were to come from the government. It has been so dishonest and insincere so far. Actually, even now Team Anna is ready for dialogue - or any other bill that effectively curbs corruption.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:57 IST

Thank God for this article. Ms. Roy makes a lot of sense. Please don't just read the article, read and think about what she is saying. She is not saying we should not have a stronger bill but we need a better one, better than the government and different from Annaji's. I am afraid most of the "common men/women" are not seeing the bigger picture. What happens after the Annaji's lokpal bill is passed. Who is going to oversee that the "committee", who has all the power, is not going to be corrupt. They could imprison anyone they want with false accusations. We have seen these kind of things happen before. I am totally for abolishing bribery, but not as exactly as Annaji's bill. Also this is taking the country into turmoil which is what some vested power/countries want. We are playing into their hands. We need to stand together and help the government come up with a bill that will help with the bribes as well as ensure that our rights our protected once the bill is passed. My 2 cents.

from:  Hazra
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:56 IST

Thanx for a different take Ms Roy.Anna says "hang all corrupt people". Our children read in their text book "the constitution of india can only be amended by duly elected members of the parliament". Does team Anna think of it as a joke? Are we supposed to tell our children "Constitution of india can (also)be amended by dharna activists?".Who gave team anna the right to speak for the people of india??who elected them to do so??Why are we so keen to light the candle??

from:  Shireen Arif
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:55 IST

Everyone wants to join Anna without caring or understanding anything about the lokpal bill. It seems one can continue to lie cheat bribe and do pretty much what one pleases as long as one joins the rally supporting Anna. Then one feels one is seen as clean and uncorrupt not to mention highly patriotic, like bathing in the ganga to purify sins. Everyone is hoping that some magic will cure all the others of corruption. It is true that roy has not offered a solution but she does not have to. The solution is obvious; we have to be the change we want to see. It’s easy to shout slogans and wave flags but far harder to really participate and change ourselves.

from:  Meera Vigraham
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:53 IST

I support the fight against corruption but not for the LOK PAL Bill... This will ultimately be a disaster to the Indian constitution and therefore the Nation itself..Fight to bring back the Black money in Swiss bank..Fight for making amendment in the present laws.. fight for making organizations like CBI, Vigilance and many more much more efficient and effective. Fight for a noble cause in line with the Constitution of our nation - not against it.

from:  Emil Oommen Mathew
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:50 IST

Yes, it is surprising that so many so vehemently disagree with Ms Roy. Viewed dispassionately, most if not all the points mentioned by her are extremely relevant. Just one - the marathi or maharastra factor is more than enough to burst the so called 'Gandhian' bubble in Anna. No way the jan lok pal should be allowed to trample on the current three arms of the constitution.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:48 IST

Yes, AR has certainly been a bit rude here, but Team Anna is also not the kind of struggle I would like to see in India. First there is a third version of Lokpal crafted by Aruna Roy (not arundhati, i did not misspell) which is more nuanced and tackles the menace methodically and thoroughly than the Jan Lokpal bill which is undoubtedly overarching. Also totally rubbishing the govt through a struggle violent or non violent is not going to work. Issuing deadlines of weeks without even discussing matters is kind of foolish, dont you think? Anyone, even animals tend to snipe back when provoked thoroughly and Team Anna has definitely spared no ribs. Now is the time to be sensible.

from:  Sabarigirish
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:47 IST

It's amazing to see how limited can a learned perspective be at times.No doubt Ms. Roy is fighting over issues that 'also' need to be urgently looked into - The Maoists,NOIDA farmers,etc but she aint offering a solution to any of the situations mentioned by her. If Hazare could come up with a solution for one of the very fundamental problems that our country is facing , should we support him , or should we doubt his intentions and wait for him to first come up with solutions to other problems?It's ridiculous the way she tries to 'scandalize' the whole movement, let me tell Ms.Roy, that even if Western money has been used to fund a campaign like this, we should be thankful to the West, because the resources of our country have been used for the luxury of the Rich and Corrupt Bureaucrats ,and for a much-needed movement, the West has actualy 'helped' us!Moreover, Ma'am,the West may have paid Team Anna's big honchos but what about the masses who r takin leave from office or bunking clases?

from:  Mimansa Bhoj
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:45 IST

The mall-hawker example is just so ridiculous....people bribe so that they could get their work done which otherwise would not happen...How many of us have not bribed a police official who comes for passport address verification. What would happen if we choose not to bribe, you wont get a passport,the verification would never happen, you can wait for 6 months or 6 years...so what do you do ultimately...BRIBE...individuals are not corrupt, the system is...and Anna Sir is fighting against that system.

from:  Agnibanya
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:44 IST

Ms. Roy, why can't you see that its not about Anna at all? Anna had carried out similar such fasts in past. Did they all get this kind of support. They were for local issues. Here the issue is important. According to you this draconian law may not help but would the govt's version help even a little? HAVE YOU READ THE LOKPAL BILL ? The real issue is corruption prevalent at the higher levels. We expect our seniors to be leading by example which unfortunately never happened after independence. Can any NGO manage the corruption existing within the parliament? No one ever questions the dissolution of power but can you have a state existing without a stick ? The only issue is whether the stick is the same for common man and the politicians. Ms. Roy, please understand that this is not jingoism. This is not for Anna. This is something that you, me all of us want. A corruption free India. Being a cynic is not entirely a wrong thing but being a perennial cynic is a disease.

from:  Vinay
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:41 IST

Ms. Arundhati has quoted several examples of fast and problems going on in different parts of the nation, we all support them but by comparing them with Anna's movement and trying to create doubts in people minds serve no good. Anna has done several good deeds in his life(which is unneccessary to quote them here), also Mr. Arvind and Kiran bedi are activists on which people have faith. Ms. Arundhati has unneccessary tried to give her own different view just to impress 'aam janta' without thinking on its authenticity.

from:  sumit chauhan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:39 IST

Excellent Article..a counter perspective is what was lacking all these days. 'I am Anna' is the current fashion trend-and I'm quite confident that this too shall pass!If India's legislation has to be decided from Ramlila Maidan, then the country is surely going to go for a toss!!And the Audio visual MEDIA...the most dissapointing lot- TRP k liye kuch bhi?? They probably need another bomb blast in order to drop their present obsession.On the whole I too rather not be Anna!

from:  Anwesha
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:38 IST

5. Many concerns of yours are indeed well founded, but some are clear biased misleadings. The 'draconian' one being a major one. But, is it truly so powerful a body that is being created? It is a body that deals solely with corruption. It is not something that is dealing with other things. If somebody is corrupt he / she can be punished by this particular body. How is it a draconian system in creation? Yes if the Lokpal is corrupt, it would be a tough situation. So, we are now between a possibly corrupt MPs and a possibility of a Lokpal being corrupt. You somehow have over the years expressed your dissatisfaction with the Governments, why are you then opposed to such a move which does bring them into the purview of an independent agency to prevent corruption? As you say it, don't you think that your stance over the years itself shows external funding to overthrow the Indian Govt.?

from:  Akshay
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:37 IST

AR, Thanks for a very well thought of and well written article. Wish there were more journalists in India (such as you) who still had the conscience to write about what they think is right (regardless of what their audience think).

from:  Ashok
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:33 IST

I think it's absolutely necessary for people who plan on joining revolutions to compulsorily read George Orwell's Animal Farm. If the lokpal is watching the govt then who is going to watch the lokpal? Will the members of the lok pal be some kind of special mutants resistant to corruption? We have tons of bills and laws but its enforcing them that is the problem. Something basic is wrong here. We need to get our values right. Just because Roy does not offer an alternate solution to Lokpal does not mean she cannot point out what is wrong with it. We are becoming dogmatic.

from:  Meera Vigraham
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:31 IST

Though I am not endorsing everything in Ms.Roy's article. You can have very rigid policies but unless we stop bribing thing will not change. So the buck really stop with us. We need to be honest and introspective.

from:  Ramanujam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:31 IST

Many of us are thinking that sadly we are being taken for granted by the team Anna and we don't find a place to hide our face. Stock market is falling & some us are trying to hide in the defensive sector like pharma but of no use.Very many competent people, more nationalistic and full of enthuisiasm are feeliing restless against the power of media like TV.Questions, answers and even opinions are being passed like bulk message to us as if we are going to swallow without any hitch.Arundhati is like that only wether you like it or not.She has demonstrated strong will and reasons out ways to save democracy atleast.Greed has something to do with self and highjacking whole of the issue like that in the name of Anna does not seem to justify. I have been following Anna's work in rural area of Ralegaon Sidhi for some time and being a wife of a soldier my self I honour him but not the way he and his team blackmails with JLB having power of everthing and anything which will mitigate all corrupt

from:  Shalini kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:27 IST

In the beginning,I was supportive of Anna Hazare's movement.But off late i get the feeling that popular support may be getting into his head.While the anti-corruption in itself is not wrong,his cleansing process surely is. When the opposition political parties unite against the ruling govt,for the 'anti-corruption' movement,it's more gimmick than moral. I have only heard Anna "tell" people what is to be done.Strangely,his arrogance lies in his never "asking" anyone.If people think this is a sign of a leader,then I am disappointed in the servile attitude of our country people.It's probably an attitude they have had since colonial times,and hence susceptible to exploitation. Anna 'decided' what his country's problems are and thought of a 'solution'.Now he wants that 'solution' implemented.No questions asked.Really? Isn't he belittling the intelligence of 1 billion odd people. I never saw any forums where Anna asked citizens what they'd propose.Doesn't that worry anyone?

from:  Renju S Kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:21 IST

This is sad post.....but I am quite support the view that every one must go through the Janlokpal Bill and so called Lokpal bill proposed by the Govt. Janlokpal bill is strong one.

from:  Ganesh Shinde
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:20 IST

This is nonsense. Kejriwal should be president of India. Simple fact is
WE ARE RIGHT and all those who oppose us are corrupt. Make income tax
evasion a crime, as demanded by Kejriwal.

from:  aamadmi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:19 IST

Ms.roy please understand the fact that bringing a strong lokpal bill would be the first step in eradicating corruption from this country,corruption is the main cause of all the problems which you want to highlight,let there be a body to govern these corrupt politicians.

from:  sumit sharma
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:18 IST

Very happy to see at least someone is able to voice their opinion boldly. A opinion which is really intriguing and rightfully cut through the "Seemingly righteous movement - Factually a political ballgame". I support.

from:  Naveen S Murthy
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:15 IST

Had India been under British rule might have ended in being a place like
HK or any other British colonies, am sure anyone would agree that it
could be a better place than what the Congress raj have done to the our
country.. I am sure we need Lokpal!!

from:  goel
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:10 IST

We are with you Arundhanti Roy, you are very true with figures and facts. Only corporate
India want to divert attention of poor away from their corrupt ways. Politicians are always
corrupt but one Lokpal will also become corrupt in this corrupt system

from:  Harman
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 09:07 IST

I would like to raise something regarding Mr. Anna Hazare. It is said, on Wikipedia, that Anna himself at times administered punishment (flogging, I am not kidding) for drinking alcohol. I ask you, what is so Gandhian about flogging someone? I may not be as gandhian as Mr. Anna is made out to be but I can never, in 10 lives, flog anyone.

from:  Vishnu Vardhan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:48 IST

We are trying to have one more system other than traditional Executive, Legislator and Judiciary. The recent happenings reveal that almost all these systems are self-centered. corrupt and/or biased. The same can be happened to the new system (whether it is 'Jan' or 'Govt.' Lokpal) as well in near future, which is being planning to place as superior to the others. Therefore constitution of Lokapal will not be a panacea for our all problems and that may not be an ultimate solution.
So called ‘people’ are strongly stand for the Bill and hence it will come into existence. Once the Lokpal Bill comes in force, as Ms. Roy has wrote, the corporates, the media, and NGOs should come under the purview of the same which may alleviate the fear at certain extent.

from:  PRAMOD NEELAMBARI
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:48 IST

Views of Arundhati surpised me very much. One side she visits maoist in Chhattisgarh forests to find their problem and say that this menace is due to the wrong policies of govt. We know that janlokpal is the only solution to tackle corruption but this will awake the public and the policy makers to do some thing. she should know the spirit of this movement.

from:  LMOHAn
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:46 IST

If people like Arundathy roy,Shahi imam does not want the slogans that used in our pre independence,better they quit INDIA.

from:  subramanyam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:45 IST

Your views are like water in a parched land. When there is so much frenzy and mob mentality voice of sanity is low. we hear news and views so lopsided and vested with hegemonistic underpinnings or from the less read. Arundhati Roy is a blessing for India who can rake up the country's conscience.
All popular movements (including Gandhi's) conveniently bury specific issues,like the Dalits's because it would either be unattractive to the mass or they keep their prejudices under wraps.
Already the courts are being used to suppress the emergence of political leadership from Dalits and 'most backward castes' where as the dominant class and castes have always been treated with kid gloves. How this monolithic anti-graft law will safeguard against selectively targeting the political change that challenges socio-political structure? Will Anna Hazare and his team ever go on an hunger strike to put Modi behind bars?

from:  Lucas Thampiran
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:43 IST

What truth in this article! This chap AH no pun intended has been kicking up a fuss for what? Agreed politicians are corrupt to the point of sickness, but are not the general public corrupt too, just look at the way the people totally abuse the system, has anyone taken the time to notice what goes on at our traffic lights, thats just one example and how about how clean we keep our streets and neighbourhoods, lets first take the log out of our own eye before trying to take out the spec out of our neighbours eye.
I wonder how many of those people that are crying themselves hoarse in support of Mr AH have;nt paid a bribe in their lives?
It really scares me to think that power to judge others and police others will be given to such a rabid mass of corrupt people.
Whats the use in changing the head if the whole body is corrupt.
All kudos to Ms Arundhati Roy for writing this article and I hope people's eyes will be open to the farce that is called I AM ANNA

from:  Stephen
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:40 IST

Is your opinion that a bill to counter corruption is not necessary? Shouldn't our politicians, police, judges be punished if they are corrupt? Is the bill proposed by the government is worthy enough to counter corruption?
We are not saying that this bill solves all the problems in the country. We believe that this will facilitate going to the root of some very key issues(Ex: Black money, Terrorism) which the people of India want to get out of. Don't you want that?

from:  Surendranath chowdary
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:31 IST

With everyone supporting Anna, the only way to differentiate is to write something contrary view with a catchy tagline. This is what a mediocre writer does. Indeed a very lame and cynical attempt Ms. Roy.

from:  Soumitra Mundada
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:22 IST

What Ms. Arundati Roy forgot is that Annaji has brought an Awakening among people on Corruption. Even after 64 years of Independence No Government has brought any Legislation on Corruption and MMS is being so honest person cannot and do not intend to do anything on Corruption.

from:  S. Ramachandran
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:10 IST

Arundhati Roy seems to know more than any ordinary citizen or even the government. Assuming that corrupted corporates are supporting Anna, Is the Govt. completely in DARK or incompetent to take any action.That is why we need a strong janlokpal. I am with Anna and support his noble cause.

from:  Varun
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:57 IST

A.Roy-Take up a cause and fight for it if you consider yourself a "SOCIAL ACTIVIST"; however, if you do not have a courage then don't throw your not readable tantrums. Half of the time I have to refer dictionary to understand your so called "good writing". If you are supporting Sharmila, please write about her, act for her, so she is known by the world whereby her voice, common Manipuris voices are heard to bring or end the crisis in Manipuri, in general to North East/Kashmir. But not touching here and there so to let the world know you exist to enrich your credential as a social activist (pure marketing strategy to sell your writing).

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:54 IST

The author has not realised the fact the Government has not been able to curb corruption. That is why the Lokpal Bill is required. Moreover, the Government itself is not interested to bring in a strong Lokpal Bill. Please understand

from:  K Pradeep
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:40 IST

So, in essence, is Arundathi Roy (AR) concluding that "a little poison is ok"? Corruption has not become a giant tree overnight. It has its roots from petty business men too!. And, how did she conclude that Lokpal also should be paid? On the contrary, Lokpal is fighting against that very cause. AR cannot terminate that to her advantage.

AR has decided to make a sorry salad of all problems India is facing! Let's focus on one or a few at a time. We all know this Pareto's 80 / 20, right? Vital Few, Trivial Many. Anna is not a Wizard to take them all at once. Well, let us not forget the rich legacies they are endowed with to clean up for now!
AR is visiting all problems on her "All India Tour" and she is expecting Anna to hold a magic wand!
Would the country get any better without Anna's movement? Let AR tell this, first.
Thank goodness, AR is at least not commending the current politicians. She gets a check mark for that! Let her give Anna some space, too!

from:  Shashikala Bangalore
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:28 IST

India will never be corruption free until people stop paying "special" dharshan fee in temples see the gods quicker! This is how to make corruption legal!

from:  gokul
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:27 IST

This movement is focused on one thing and that is corruption. This
movement is not about solving all the problems in India. It is true
that most people dont know all the aspects of the Lokpal Bill, but we
vote in elections do we know what the candidate or the party stands
for, or its policies before we vote. People are showing their support
because people like Anna have fought hard for the RTI bill, which is
helping many.
There are lakhs of educated people supporting this movement, so who
gave AR the moral authority to pass judgement? Anna praised the
development model of MODI, so is MODI judged only by the 2002 event?
This movement is to fight corruption not to solve all the problems of
this country.. Maybe AR will find a way to solve everything in one go.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:20 IST

When the nomination tickets are sold by the party, that does not give a representative and committed body of people in the parliament. The corruption begins at this point of the parliamentary system. Now, think about the financial supporters of parties who wait their turn to get the favors! If any one thinks, democracy is a faultless system, think again. It was the social activists, such as Martin Luther King who were in the streets to bring about changes in the constitution of the US and same could be said about the anti-Vietnam war protesters who stopped the US and Australian engagement in Vietnam! So, if Arundhati Roy has an objection to Anna Hazare's method, she should write against Martin Luther King and the anti-Vietnam protesters as well!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:16 IST

Very nice analysis. Since the beginning I was not convinced the way
things were going. If few lakhs support Anna there are 10 times more
people who dont even think that this is a right movement. 90% of Anna
supporter even dont know what are they fighting for.
Moreover with the kind of Anna Team has it looks like in few years we
need to pay bribe to two parties (Govt. and Lokpal). For govt. official
it is bribe and Lokpal officials it will be donation for NGOs.

from:  Zahid
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:16 IST

I rarely agree with left radicals like Ms Arundhati. Actually I have nothing but disdain for people like hers and Medha Patkars'. But this is one of those rare occasions when I agree with her. Maybe she she is a contrarian by nature but what she is saying is at least fresh and different. I know Anna's fan boys are out there to lynch anyone who dare question Hazare. He is no more saint than our good old Gandhibaba. Unfortunately Indians have a long way to go as a society... they still look for deliverance from their gods and heroes as they did thousands of years ago.

from:  Vismit
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:10 IST

Ms. Arundati Roy, appreciate the tense fervor you have tried to induce in your
article much alike some your well known books. But would appreciate if you try
and understand what Anna Ji is doing in its most minimalistic forms. Anna ji's
focus is purely and clearly towards corruption. Please do not link/ correlate/
deviate the motive by "kicking the can" as we call here in the US and question as to
why Anna did not do x y or z... This old man is fighting for India of my generation
which i surely know given his age, he would not live to see the results of his
actions. So what if he voiced his support for the Gujarat's Modi government, do we
all not silently at-least acknowledge that his state is a model state in terms of
development and growth? But that's all secondary ... the need of the hour is to root
out corruption and ANNA ji has lit the candle of dreams in most humble citizens of
my nation. I am sorry you compared Anna ji's fast with maoist gun power attitude

from:  Hariharan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 07:04 IST

Please understand that no bill is ideal to make it corruption free and its good that it wont happen. But with some law in place if I don't have to pay bribe to get my business license renewed and neither for a ration card, then every citizen would feel happy. We who are on street really don't care weather PM comes under Lokpal or not. We want the entire govt bureaucracy to be covered so that I don't pay bribe for my income certificate, for my katha and the list goes on and on....
If a bill can bring some fear on those who don't supply the society ration to the poor just for some bloody money for their luxury car, on those who tries to take the major of SEZ land on their name on some Bogus company instead of taking some kickback for their work (which I still don't agree, but have to live with it and its ok in 2011)... So my dear AR I need have to make you understand the good and the little bad about the JAN LOKPAL, I know you know it much better than me

from:  Sujith
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:59 IST

Everyone agrees there are problems - then they should be able to give
some suggestions to tackle these problems - may be not all problems ,
but atleast a few of them - the Jan Lokpal bill seems to be doing that -
it may win or fail - but someone should try - people who are opposed to
the bill may have some points, but until they come out with a better
suggestion, they are doing disservice to society by writing such
articles - very sad to see AR do this

from:  Paul
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:59 IST

I think this is what she wanted! She is one of India's biggest populists. Their philosophy is simple "If you want to get noticed, then just stand out from the rest of the crowd". Typically this means giving public statements contrary to popular beliefs and thinking (does this remind all her previous utterences?. The only way to deal with such people is simply by disreading them. But this time around with so many comments, I think she almost got back what she had wished for.

from:  Arif Khan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:57 IST

With all due respect to AR’s concerns about the “panel of carefully chosen people will administer a giant bureaucracy, with thousands of employees, with the power to police everybody from the Prime Minister, the judiciary, members of Parliament, and all of the bureaucracy, down to the lowest government official” doesn’t it make sense that it can show its power only if the above said functionaries are at fault. If someone is at fault (Even if it is our honorable PM) we should have a mechanism to punish them and that’s what Jan Lokpal bill is.

from:  Kannan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:54 IST

When a billion untrained singers try to sing the same song you are
bound to hear a million different notes and Anna is not Zubin Mehta,
So all he says is dont shout, and dont create a nuisance. Ms. Roy
please don't try to scoff our singing abilities but try to understand
the underlying sentiments. We have been rendered helpless for so long
that we are restless now. We have a thousand other problems as well
and we need to look at them as well which many other distinguished
person including you are doing already. But this is a unique problem
because it requires a great political will and insurmountable pressure
from the people of country to make the parliament pass a very strong
bill which makes sure everyone including the lokpal itself is held
accountable.
How else can you make the cat bell itself ?

from:  Pratap Tiwary
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:47 IST

So many people have posted comments here that claim to have a better
understanding of the JLPB. I ask, this is not the first bill and will
neither be last. Do you read all the bills that get tabled? Wake up
and smell the coffee sunshine, there will be some issues that get more
light than others. Some people will scream loud and that will be
gospel while other intelligent one will wither and die away.

Any step taken to advance India/Bharat is a good step. Leave the
world in a better place than you find it. Principles of Karma yoga
must be followed in today's world. Time for 'Gnyan Yoga' has long
gone by and hence the rise of arm-chair intellectuals. This is like
the commander running a battle from his/her office... no good! You
need to be Captain on the ground to understand the situation better.
Ask my of the CEO's of the post WW2 and that is the characteristic
they displayed.

Gandhi said, be the change you want to see. Many are doing that.
Support good things!

from:  Venkatesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:45 IST

Well written article for sure. Are the people who are supporting Anna
aware of what his Lokpal bill is about? Do you want a bureaucracy to
oversee another?
If Indians are so fed up with corruption they should not pay the bribe.
Corruption exists because people are willing to pay money to by pass a
law or rules.
There are a lot of vested interests in destabilizing India and one has
to ask where Anna is getting the funding for the movement.

from:  Ebaraga
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:44 IST

I guess it’s a fashion these days to criticize each and everything and go against the tide. These so called neo secular-page 3 type social workers are penning article after article. What saddens me is her personal attack on Mr Hazare. She should visit Anna’s village Ralegan Sidhi before commenting on his work. Anna worked with Rs 20 earning farm workers throughout his life. He successfully implemented multiple developmental programs in this tiny village. As per wiki “When Hazare came in Ralegan Siddhi in 1975 only 70 acres (28 ha) of land was irrigated, Hazare converted it into about 2,500 acres (1,000 ha)”.
Ms Roy – Do you know what it takes to change the lives of these poor farmers? Have you ever been to these villages? I guess you chose the easier path of writing fictions and these articles in urban print media.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:42 IST

I agree with ms. roy mainly because this man called anna is not
representing all the people of india -- he is rather representing only
the urban life-led people who have more than >1lakh rs per month to
live lavishly and are able to do anything! and moreover these
supporters HAVE NO IDEA what the real lok pal bill really demands!
I beleive this whole anna fast, is just useless and is a hindrance
towards the governments daily functions which include reviewing poor
peoples' needs and helping them. let me ask this-- can anna provide
the required assistance to the people living under $.50 cents in most
areas of india-- if the answers is NO, then please stop this hunger
strike which is good for nothing.
I am from Kerala and am always been a fan of Arundanthi Roy except her
Maoists view. Ms. Roy--- this is an excellent article and we support
you-- Lets start a new Arundhati Roy movement against this!

from:  manu
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:40 IST

Look at the number of people who have immediately commented on Arundhati Roy's article. That says something for her ability to think and write. She is entitled to her view just like everyone else. That's what a debate is all about. If her writing helps each one of us to clear our thoughts and decide what the Lokpal Bill is and is not, and whether it be beneficial or not for our Nation, that in itself is something. If this movement brings in an effective Ombudsman that is enough for me. Needless to say the record of that independent body will be the subject of the next debate. It will show how really corrupt or not corrupt Indians really are. We will then deserve the government we get.

from:  Yamuna
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:22 IST

I will not agree to you completely. I want to say if the level of one form of corruption starts diminishing day by day or months after months then this will have a sound impact on the other forms of corruption. Anna Hazare is trying to achieve this. So we should all support him. India's journey to be the number one economy counts on Anna Hazare's success.

from:  Sudipta Dey
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:19 IST

Can you give up one meal for the cause of all people suffering in your article? someone out there , twice your age, is without meal for 7 days for 1.2 billion people which includes you also. Have some respect!

from:  Raj
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:11 IST

Who told u Ms Roy that Gandhiji favored decentralization? If it was so then Sardar Patel
could have been PM. He opposed election and imposed Nehru.

from:  Kona sam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:08 IST

Thank you for bravely offering your incisive analysis. My only question - how can we add
love and compassion to this conversation so that we too do not become guilty of
demonizing the powers of the day so as to set the terms of the debate with our values?

from:  Kavita
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:07 IST

Ms Arundhati Roy can't tolerate the slogans like: (a) Vande Mataram
(b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c)... and (d) Jai Hind. It is her choice and
she is sure of a good following, in this country, for this hatred or
intolerance.
Yes, Anna is not speaking about all those urgent problems of the world
which she could speak for hours; but she doesn’t know about the life of
Anna. For her Anna is “a freshly minted saint”: this is simply an
expression of her intellectual arrogance. She is stretching too far
her freedom of speech!

from:  NB Nair
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:06 IST

The comment about lehman brothers funding ngos doesnt seem to be
correct.this company went under liquidation.was it because they
supported these ngo's?

from:  s vasudevan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 06:00 IST

Finally an article on the other angle and I am surprised to see you writing it! It is indeed shocking to see banners made out of Anna Hazare, all in the aim of reachign out to the public. the thing that makes it strange is that it is on line with the politicians that they claim to weed out. corrupt politicians - banners. now, anna hazare - bannered. All this attention seeking exercise is funny.

from:  Srikar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 05:51 IST

Oh God... Ms Roy, be rational please. "fast to death" is not personal madam. if you are not capable of doing any good, don't try to use your voice to stop it. We the common understand what we are doing. Either step forward to solve issues or stop commenting. Its a revolution, use your intellect to understand the importance of the movement.
Anna is a common man's voice. Its not easy to stop him.
moreover 30 % of these ngo's, schools and so called noble institutions are run by corrupt people. so lets not allow them to play with our emotion and future. excuse.

from:  Reema
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 05:37 IST

Arundhati Roy regularly lies and tweaks the facts to make her opinions smell better. For example, we Indian's are very poor, but 830 million of us do not live on 20 bucks a day. Exaggeration!

from:  animesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 05:36 IST

She quotes a lot of problems that we face without suggesting any
solution (pragmatic or otherwise).The reason she reiterates that we
don't support Team Anna is that we have other problems which Anna
doesn't address.
"...we've heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern.
Nothing about the farmer's suicides in his neighbourhood, or about
Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram,
Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer's agitations or the blight
of SEZs. He doesn't seem to have a view about the Government's plans
to deploy the Indian Army in the forests of Central India."
Anna doesn't address these issues doesn't mean we must't support him
in an issue that he does address.Sources of these NGO's must't give us
headaches as long as they stick to the principles they are fighting
for.Suggestions to bring Corporates, NGO's and media into Lokpal's
ambit doesn't sound like it makes Jan Lokpal any less "Draconian".Of
the 2 evils, "Anna-A.R(govt)" my vote Anna

from:  Aravind R Kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 05:33 IST

To start a bargain, one needs to start higher and give room to settle.
If we start with the correct bill, we will end in what Govt. bill
proposes. We ought to bring investigate, prosecute powers so we have
luxury to deal. I think the strategy by Anna & Team will surely bring a
change (may not be 100% corruption free, but more corruption free
places). Right now I cannot complain I had to pay a bribe. I wont pay
bribe will not work as there are lives dependant on me. So I have to pay
and keep quiet. Hopefully, tomorrow there will be fear!

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 05:29 IST

I congratulate you for writing this article. I do not always agree with you but on this occasion I admire your courage for writing this article when you very well knew that half-literate, emotionally hyper Indian mass will unashamedly criticise you and TRP craze Indian Media will vilify you. Thank you for writing this article.

from:  Jeet
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 05:14 IST

I believe this article is a good reflection of other issues that has
to be taken care of , it also suffers from the lack of providing a
solution to all those problems as well. Anna's fast should be seen
more of a school that has raised serious considerations on the
functioning of the democracy which is the building block of a nation
that is India. It is due to his fast that the issues that has not seen
the light of the day for the past 45 years have come under the
microscope.In the end democracy is all about compromising and both the
government and anna has to concede some ground to achieve their
objective which is an ombudsman that does not erode the authority of
the existing democratic institutions but complements it.

from:  arun
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 05:14 IST

Though there are some good points in the article but one point that I
am not able to comprehend is that why is it expected that a person or
a campaign should address all the issues in the society at once. Why
cant anyone start with one point and take it further on. All the other
issues are definitely existing and needs to be solved but this is not
a campaign for that. Let's hope that if it becomes a success then "The
People" also try to address other issues. Though not a very big
supporter of the whole campaign as such but definitely dont want to
discourage the agenda.

from:  Manish
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 05:11 IST

Finally, somebody has the guts to say this. Its beyond by mind, how
they even came up with such as bill. The bill is just good enough to
make a movie. The below text is from one of the minutes of meeting
between the 'civil society' and Government.

"Shri Arvind Kejriwal suggested that the Lokpal should have full
powers to initiate investigation and take the case up to the stage of
filing of chargesheet before the Court of competent jurisdiction
without seeking any sanction/permission from the Government...Lokpal
would have powers of search and seizure, issuing summons as a civil
court, issuing contempt notices, imposing financial penalty,permitting
tapping telephone..."

What is this? what are trying to do here? How in the world I
can believe a bunch of people can 'blackmail' to pass such a law/bill
to the world's largest democracy?. Let me tell you, to fool the
current elite middle class, all you need is such buzz words "Gandhi,
IIT,Transparency,IAS,topper and fluent english"

from:  Madhan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 05:02 IST

Great article. I encourage all who posted negative comments to consider giving the benefit of doubt to AR's views, and also to read the article Ambedkar's way & Anna Hazare's methods by Sukhadeo Thorat.

from:  Aditya Varma
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:57 IST

Poor Arundhati roy - let's forgive her she knows not what she writes.
While youngsters have graduated from indifferent citizens to pro-active
citizens so important in a democracy, the essay writers bandwagon which
is holding high intellectual grounds is writing in total disconnect of
the new mass awakening in governance - so vital for democracy.

from:  Vinita
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:42 IST

She says We know about Anna's attitude to ‘harijans':...
Is she saying that Anna differentiates based on caste and believes in casteism as it was unfortunately practiced in Hindu Society? If yes, i would say I have not seen as ignorant person as her,her ignorance stemming from her
drive to gain publicity (as identified by Ramachandra Guha) by often taking positions contrary to popular perception without much evidence. And above statement is a product of this attitude of hers. TRUE hinduism never said people should be differentiated based on the caste to which they are born. The term caste was originally intended to
designate professions assigned based on one's virtues (as revealed through their karma). I am sure both Gandhi and Anna would mean this when they say shouldn't all professions be there for a healthy society? I agree it's when you "force" this profession(caste) by birth, it becomes undemocratic...

from:  Chetan V Mahajan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:42 IST

You are right when you say the bill cannot effectively be implemented all over the country at all levels. Why not start with MPs and MLAs? That would be a great pilot program to start with!

from:  Rohit M
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:20 IST

Hi ArundhatiJi, I am sorry to say this but inspite of a few valid
points at the start of the article I discontinued reading the minute
you justified corruption through the example of a hawker selling low
priced items to a middle class household. For some reason you are
completely disregarding the fact that it is this very system which
makes millions more pay bribes to do legal day-to-day activities or
even people suffer at the hands of builders who bribe those same cops
and municipal officers to illegally seize other peoples property. I
think it is us- the middle and lower class that lose much more than
gain from this corruption and seeing your opinion towards bribery I
guess it might not affect people like you though I still think its
everyone's problem....

from:  Hardik
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:18 IST

It's really strange that Anna left Media, Corporates and NGOs out of Jan Lokpal.

from:  Arunabh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:17 IST

Ms. Roy thinks she rather not be Anna. But the fact is - She is incapable of being a Anna. What has Ms. Roy achieved in her life to think she can compare herself to Anna? It is well known know how she damaged the anti-dam the negotiations on Narmada Dam by her provocative and in-your-face attitude.
What kind of hypocrisy is it Ms. Roy defends the Maoists and the LeT but has a problem with Anna's methods?
Ms. Roy wants us to believe that Anna and his followers started the anti-corruption movement to cover up the corrupt activities of some people? Really? How much more ridiculous does it get?
It looks like Ms. Roy is more upset that the middle class is leading this change. Its well know how much left-winger intellectuals like Ms. Roy hate the middle class because they are mostly Hindu and capitalist.

from:  Hemant
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:16 IST

Our Goddess of small things always misses the big point ie. IT IS NOT about ANNA it is about Jan LOKPAL BILL- a measure to curb rampant corruption that affects one and all in India. But I must say she has a gift of writing- the kind that rhetorically fills pages but so hollow that at the end of it, makes no sense!

from:  Tresa
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:10 IST

Wonderful piece Ms. Roy. No individual or Organization should ever be allowed to hold the Govt. hostage. I wonder why the media is giving this so much unnecessary attention thereby increasing his stature. By the way, I understand that the people who worked with Anna during his previous andolans have decided to stay away from this nautanki and from Anna himself due to some disturbing traits of Anna's personality and his ideology. Why don't we find out more about Anna from his former closest Associates before we label him a saint or whatever? It never hurts to look at the other side of the coin. Does it?

from:  Anwar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:09 IST

Probably Ms. Roy is trying to grab some attention and thats it.. Para
8-11 seem like personal attack on Anna Hazare. Unlike Anna she is
selling her words to make money, so more controversy = more
saleability. That’s how creating sensation pays back in media!

Let us first understand what exactly this lady supports to get a
better perspective on her thought process. She supports Kashmiri
Seperatists, Naxal movements, she also wants Azmal Kasab’s death
sentence to be stayed and denounces Indian Media press coverage of the
same, Criticizes Israel and Sri Lanka, and she’s even against Indian
peaceful nuclear power projects that would serve West and Southern
India for coming decades.
I guess this is only natural that she came up with such ‘explosive’
articles to avoid going into complete oblivion, as a Nation Rises!

from:  Aditya Roy
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:09 IST

The solution for a hawker bribing the police to sell his wares is not to let the bribing to continue, but to build a market so that the hawker can pay a small fee to put his stall. People can go to such markets to buy things at a lower price. The author talks about structural inequality, isn't corruption one of the important reasons for such inequality? Even if the government puts resources to help the poor (like building a market for the hawkers), so much of it is lost due to corruption.
Yes, too much power to the organization running the Lok Pal is a concern and has to be negotiated, but the fact that a dormant bill, that might be a start to reducing corruption, is made alive is a huge positive.
I don't care who was responsible for pushing the bill as long as I don't see any "hidden agenda" in it. I don't see any agenda for "marathi manoos" in there, but it might reduce farmer suicides.

from:  shirish
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:09 IST

I agree with Ms. Roy. There are enough laws on the books to convict the corrupt. I do not think another bureaucracy is needed. Anna should protest to enforce the existing laws or close any loopholes that exist. He should protest for appointing good prosecutors. He should protest for quick and efficient prosecution of cases. But he wants the judiciary, the executive and the parliament to come under a lokpal or whatever, what about division of powers. I am sure he did not read the constitution. He is no Gandhi. (wears a Gandhi cap) Gandhi was a brilliant lawyer and understood policy and the constitution.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 04:08 IST

The people who are advocating Gram swaraj, local administration and de-centralisaton of power should try to check the ground realities. In the name of panchayati raj, the corruption has increased many folds in gram panchayat & Jila panchayat level. Now instead of an educated IAS officer taking decisions, Sarpanch's are taking everything in their hands and increasing corruption 10 times more and leading to a lot of criminal activities.Arundhati Roy is a typical communist on payrolls of chinese and maoist, whenever she talks its anti-nationalist.

from:  piyush dwivedi
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 03:57 IST

Arundhati Roy is a great international patriot. She speaks the truth
when others are deafened and silenced by the noise. India is indeed
blessed to have such a daughter like her.

from:  F. A. Munas
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 03:55 IST

Kudos Arundhati!!! Finally there is someone to voice my views over the din created by this mass frenzy. And who better than you who has battled corruption on many fronts, including taking cudgels with the elitist Supreme Court of India, when you could have very easily lived a life of comforts.

from:  Shailendra Chaudhary
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 03:17 IST

Just like charity, fight against corruption must also begin at home. One of the worst types of corruption in India is, at least in Hindu families, the dowry system which is nothing but bribing of the bridegroom's family by the bride's family. "Unless you pay so many lakhs, your daughter cannot marry my son", not at all different from "Unless you pay so many rupees, you cannot get a driving license". If Anna & Co really want the second independence struggle, they should openly declare that corrupt politicians are bad, but the dowry system is even worse, stifling the future of the Indian women.

from:  Nandakishore B.
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 03:15 IST

While AR's effort to highlight the anti establishment issues across India are widely appreciated, it is surprising that she chose to retort to a personal attack on a fellow activist. Isn't she resorting to the same sort of sensationalisation that she is accusing the TV channels are guilty.
Does she really believe that there are no positives from Anna Hazare's movement? I am young and I have never been part of any rallies or political debates, but for the first time I am participating to make the change and I know there are thousands like me. A big win in itself!

from:  N Asthana
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 03:12 IST

Dear Ms. Roy, It is such a pity that a "learned" individual like you
would come to such conclusions about the recent movement - truly did
you intend to add some value, or just wanted to remind us that you do
exist in the social circuit. We all understand that the Lokpal Bill
would not be a one shot solution for all corruptions in the country.
However, this mass movement is a healthy sign for the country. And
isn't all development based thesis and antithesis of ideas. So Anna,
his followers and the Bill might have a lot of deficiencies, yet I
support the movement cos that would lead us to something - better or
worse is something that time would decide.

from:  Satyakam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 03:07 IST

"Meanwhile the props and the choreography, the aggressive nationalism and flag waving of Anna's Revolution are all borrowed, from the anti-reservation protests,...."
This naysayer has now become great defender of democracy. Chiffon socialism indeed. I would put her in the same category as Shobha De!

from:  Suzy
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 03:06 IST

I dont understand why she is getting personal here. Who is Anna and what is his past does not matter here. People support him only because his fight is for a social cause, because he has a vision for better anti-curruption reforms. So instead of focusing the issue why is she concentrating individual life. She is talking X number of issues in india but failed to provide any solution that would be agreed by people. More or Less she seems to be jealous of Anna and wants to renovate her identity by making controversial statements.

from:  Arjun
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:55 IST

AR or whoever you are, this article clearly indicates that it is backed by congress and F.Y.I. "neither I am not from any other party". before you printed this article I am sure you must have spoken with many congress politicians and might have modified original article as per their needs, so that they can set an another attack on people who are fighting against corruption that too Hazare's protest which is non-violent.

from:  Sunil
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:53 IST

Ms Roy needs to introspect and not just blurt out cliches. The left intellectuals have become like broken records repeating hindutva, vande mataram, majoritarianism, manuwadis, middle class exploiters etc. It is time for this group to rethink otherwise they are well down the path of extinction with no support other than in some exclusive academic circles.Why will Naxalism fail in india. It is because of people like arundathi roy who have demonized the hindus and so called middle class of india. If a movement has to succeed it needs to garner support from the educated working class. Naxals have no such support and hence doomed to fail. Demonizing the culture of the educated working class in india as exploitative and superimposing all kinds of categories like fundamentalism, fascism, casteism, totalitarianism on this group will only aliente the real poor from indian soceity even more.

from:  Vasudeva
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:48 IST

Totally agreed with Ms. Roy. I think we the people from Manipur will hire Mr. Anna to
go on a fast for our cause! "Do we need to bribe you to voice for us, Mr. Anna?"

from:  VL Tombing
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:37 IST

The view is of Arundhati Roy's; she has every right and more so for she has thought well of India's people for long. She deserves eyes and ears, but not the sweeping at times ill conceived and disparaging, statements, comments. Those who are genuinely concerned for the future of India must not reject the argument which they are not used to come across. In a healthy society of healthy people, we must listen to what the critics say; they have something concrete to contribute to the whole debate. She is not a person who would condemn or condone the illogical ideas. She has thought and written reasonable well and not without reason. Let us read her and read her dispassionately and then comment. Some comments are in very poor taste.

from:  Balraj Cheema
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:37 IST

With all due respect Ms Roy, the fact that no NGO/organization/individual stood up against the Janlokpal bill
submitted by the govt in parliament says a lot about the nature of democracy we have. People are on roads, not because they want the bill to pass before Anna's health deteriorates but because they have finally found a communication channel which they never got without any fear.
The bill should be discussed in public for better clarity for sure.
But if you really want a good lokpal, please join hands with the citizens, use the same communication channel and then address your concerns. Creating a so called "third front" just gives me an impression that your statements are induced by the Congress who again wants to prolong this dialogue by creating another divide and rule tactic.

from:  Ayush
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:32 IST

Team Anna's effort may not be perfect but a great effort in making a
change. Country on the whole is lacking accountability and needs a
strong force to stop them doing it. Whether you like it or not, Team
Anna is the only one I have seen / heard which has created a strong
force. In general people are fearful of even voicing out their
opinion (in the biggest democracy) and fight for their right. We know
what happens when we do so. Entire system is broken. I would love
all the critics who truly want change (not just writing articles) for
betterment of India, come out (leave your ego) and make your
suggestions on the ground. Brand "Team Anna" is a good choice for us.
If you have a better plan please show the implementation plan and tell
us who is going to lead that. Also, how and when it will be done?

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:24 IST

Mr. Anna should understand that he has taken the most difficult step; to get the government to the table. Now, by indicating that do it today or else... is not the way Gandhiji might have liked.
People on streets may not be completely aware what is written in the piece of paper(Jan Lokpal bill). We can't go by the quantity. I think people have grabbed the ray of hope they have got. They are acting as someone being dangled a carrot; seeing just the carrot and not its quality. I am not saying that the carrot is not required, but please give government and standing committee some time to improve the quality of the carrot.

from:  I am not Anna
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:23 IST

I still do not understand, even after such a bang on article
about this movement or revolution as all of you may like, none of you
know about the BILLS! The Anna team is being undemocratic. If tomorrow
Salman khan goes on a hunger trike demanding all allegations removed
because his fans think he is innocent in the poaching case will that
happen then too!?
For interested readers and who really want things to get into their
head, read about the bill proposed by National Campaign for Peoples'
Right to Information (NCPRI). Though NCPRI tried hard to have a
dialogue with Anna and team, it failed miserably because Anna and team
wouldnt budge. So before blasting out or supporting a cause, try to
get into the deeper issues and evaluate.
Peace be.

from:  Sb
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:20 IST

Its sad that people are so opposed to an opinion, which by the way
comes from a person who was instrumental in bringing the RTI Act. I
personally do not subscribe to any political view. But in my opinion
Team Anna would soon be helpless in managing all the support it has
amassed, and given the magnitude of the whole protest it would just
take a small spark to change the nature of this "so far peaceful
protest". The question is just because a few people want to(read team
Anna, and whoever is financing them) are we as a sovereign republic
ready to form an alternative power which would be above the
Parliament, the Prime Minister and The Judiciary. How free would we be
then? In the name of curbing corruption we are creating another
monster outside the constitutional framework, without any checks and
bounds. The Lokpal would employ almost 2600 people, with virtually no
mechanism to stop them from going corrupt.you can approach the Supreme
Court but then again, they propose to control that too.

from:  anand
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:19 IST

Being a pessimist and a cynic myself, I sort of have to agree with Arundhathi on this. Most people (including a majority of the educated ones) somehow think that all of India's problems can be solved theoretically - as if someone sitting in a closed room can think of and come up with a solution that will work for everyone (in this case the Jan Lokpal Bill). The world has seen repeatedly that there is no such solution to any major problem. The devil, to use a cliche, is in the detail.
I don't agree that it is a great start either, because really, all it does is tries to implement standard concepts using "honest" people.

from:  Arjun
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:16 IST

If an argument has to be made, it has to start with the merits and de-
merits of the different versions of the bills. This is a sad piece of
commentary. It just questions the intent and integrity of those
opposed to her views. The jan lok pal is not perfect. In contrast, the
Govt.'s version is terrible. 1.) There is not enough governing,
financial, and administrative autonomy 2.) No protection for whistle-
blowers 3.) Is not comprehensive in who it covers. Remember this, the
politicians are a wily bunch. They know how to stall, weaken, and
ultimately make a farce of this whole thing. Unless you start in the
other extreme end (yes even draconian) and put relentless pressure you
cannot have a consensus bill that is reasonable.
As far as tactics, what have they done? has there been any violence?
any violation of laws? It's just an old man who is fasting.

from:  logan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:13 IST

Mrs.Arundathi Roy, the 830 million people Ur talking will be benefited
because its end of the day their money is also looted. certainly
better off people are coming to fight they afford a day or two leave
but what abt a common man who cant come (because he has to miss a meal
or two)it for those people who Anna hazare fights for. Corruption is
the most rampant issue and tell me " WHY WILL POLITICIANS GO FOR A
STRONG LOKPAL! TO SEE THEMSELVES BEHIND BARS? End of the day.
Media is the force which you cant avoid it will be the same that will
cover you when you protest against the govt in the future . And Mr.
Hazare did not enjoy any luxury in the like of Kalmadi etc. in Tihar.
Corruption has registered very strongly in peoples minds and Anna
Hazare just showed the direction .

from:  Sangu
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:10 IST

I disagree with you that a nationwide action must not be taken against corruption. I agree with you that there are more than eight hundred million people who are deprived of basic amenities for survival. However, if the remaining two hundred or so million people are rendered tired and ineffective because of corruption, can they be empowered to help those who are below the poverty line?

from:  JChidella
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:03 IST

One might not totally agree with ms roy but fact of the matter is now a days corporate corruption is more lethal then the public sector corruption and nobody is bothered about it

from:  saaduddin
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 02:03 IST

Arundhati Roy raises pertinent issues regarding profit mongering, bullying, lobbying corporates totally left out of the bill, am surprised at the clean chit given to the corporate world. Her call for structural changes is valid. But I think she is wrong in painting Anna as castiest, and why can't, she appreciate someone like Anna questioning electoral and party politics. What motive can she attribute to the presence of someone like Kiran bedi.....

from:  gopal
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:51 IST

Why we always like to play with words and speak/write that attracts us much. I don't think India will digest your views this time. Why so many people started speaking against Anna suddenly where they were when he has spoken about fast starting at 16th... I think the movement was not so big which could have given advantage in opposition of Anna. So this is the right time the movement is big others can take advantage of speaking against Anna and his movement.

from:  Manish
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:43 IST

Ms. Roy is misinformed. And thats not a crime in this country. She must visit Ramlila Maidan, instead of simply watching TV and dismissing the supporters as parrots.
Alternatively even if they were to, how different it is from our average voting population.
Given the society we live we cannot at the wish of intellectuals, become intellectuals ourselves. And also, because something has flaws, we cannot paint ourselves into a corner and wait for 'perfection' before we begin. Thats like saying Nirvana or else.

from:  ck
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:40 IST

I support the noble cause that Annaji stands for and rever his ability to mobilise the masses. It would be unfair to expect each individual to see the hope that this movement has aroused. However it would be foolish to think of the movement/Lok Pal as a magic wand, removing all the evil tentacles of corruption. No system should be impervious to change or improvement. The Lok Pal can be refined, polished and framed to deliver results effectively. Hearing out differing opinions and voices of dissent aids one to revisit, rectify and reaffirm belief.Supporting one cause in no way means that other worthy ones are pushed to oblivion.May be other movements should garner Anna's support because he has been successful in stirring the people from inactivity. There are certain good points in the article if the overtly cynical tone is ignored.

from:  minakhee mishra
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:40 IST

I wonder why in 50 years people like you have not spoken anything and now when so many people are waking up against the govt misdeeds you stand you and write such things. Instead you can join them and suggest them alternatives that you feel should be present instead of writing such aggresively against a movement that can change so many lives. Pity!!

from:  Digvijay
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:37 IST

Ms. Roy,
Your article has clarified my doubts like:

1. How come Corporate world is allowing it's employees to go and shout for Anna's movement at a time of economic crisis; though it's difficult for employees to get leave for his brother's wedding.
2. Why Anna unnecessarily stated that 'Government favors industrialists' when he started his second 'fast unto death'; though industrialists were openly supporting his first 'fast unto death'.

from:  Ashutosh Kumar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:35 IST

I believe that AR rightly said. I respect her courageous voice, though many disagree with her and get frustrated with her voice. Now as of now ( on 23rd ) her voice is a matter of debate in the media as it is of Anna Hazare. We Indian has to believe more in Indian democracy than Anna Teams view.

from:  P P Ajayan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:32 IST

Anna is fighting to make sure that culprits - politicians - pass a bill that catches them first and strongly. The best thing that happened to this country since cricket became popular.

from:  Time
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:32 IST

Well, More of criticism and less (none, rather) of solution. She has chosen the title very cleverly that she'd rather not be ANNA, because she can never be one like him. It requires a lot of conviction and courage to do what he is doing in the interest of the society. The article itself, has gone totally off tangent and tries to confuse the reader, so much that he/she tends to forget the point in consideration. Probably this kind of writing is good only for novels and not for serious issues. She might win more awards like she did for 'the god of small things'.

from:  giridhar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:31 IST

Ok.. The bill is not perfect.. Ok.. The bill will not end corruption..
But is this bill not a start?? For the first time corruption is seen
as a national issue.. For the first time, the otherwise politics-
averse and self-fulfilling Indian youth is targeting a social cause..
For the first time, the government AND more importantly, all political
parties and leaders are talking of a hard hit n corruption.. Is this
idea in itself not a success?? Is the attitude not an indicator of
growing up of Indian democracy from petty issues of caste and religion
politics, from re-naming cities and states, from blaming foreign hand
for all the problems of the country?? Do we not agree that we choose
leaders in elections not by choice but by lack of choice, and is that
the reason the current government is in place? Do we wait till all
the underdeveloped and frustrated people of India picks up arms like
the naxalites?? Answer these questions.. And then take a stance..

from:  Abhishek Pathak
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:25 IST

Are you in a habit of opposing something just for the heck of it ? And do you think lakhs of "educated" Indians would just support someone just for the heck of it ?
C'mon, there must be something grave why people are so agitated. And frankly it doesn't require rocket science to understand what's providing constant impetus to the whole movement. These are not paid people, who are coming in lure of getting Rs. 200, biryani and a drink for a day of "dharna".
There is genuine anger (read frustration) against the system in the minds and hearts of the people.
Agreed, you are sympathetic towards the people who have had to raise arms against the system in the Red Corridor or North East of India. But that doesn't mean you should demean and don't value the emotions of urbanites.
My request to you is please understand the underlying current that is engulfing the entire country right now.

from:  Tarun
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:25 IST

Arundati Roy - i have to appreciate her guts to comment such a thing. One way i compromised myself that this is happening for the welfare of people. But on the other hand, what really is this LOKPAL bill? how do people like us be benefited or the nation as whole will benefit from? This we have to wait and see.
Do you remember about the theory "BEHIND THE SEPTEMBER 11 twin tower attacks"? Check it in youtube. I find this FAST more or less similar to that theory. Its not easy for a lay man to understand the DIRTY POLITICS. Until they realise, someone everyday will keep fooling us.

from:  Aishwarya
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:23 IST

With the general loss of sanity among the hardcore endorsers of Anna, this article is definitely a crack. All that flag waving and slogans being shouted are all just a means of satisfying the 'guilt over inaction' that is being generated in the supporters' psyche. The Lokpal bill has become the next substitute for a nation wide celebration following the world cup win as right pointed by Ms. Roy. Majority of the Pro-Anna crowd do not even have a clue as to what Anna describes as 'a weak and insufficient Bill' proposed by the UPA. Even if taken into consideration, the so called 'corruption' being pointed out is so inveterate, that the most likely future see of the all-powerful Lokpal Committee being proposed by Team Anna is another government body looking into the former for charges of bribery.

from:  Prakhar
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:14 IST

Thank you Arundhati Roy! This is a very thoughtful, well written, full of sense and full of forethought article. None of the people hysterically supporting Anna Hazare have looked into the future and seen what this bill could do to democracy in India. No unelected civilian body should be higher than the judiciary. Attack the structural flaws in the government, decrease avenues for and opportunities to give and receive bribes and decrease bureaucracy but don't go reinventing the wheel! Another non-governmental institution will add another set of problems to the country's woes. And why is what Anna Hazare is doing called democratic? It goes against our country's principles! He is blackmailing the government. Tomorrow anybody at all will start a fast unto death for the most trivial of reasons and the government will give in! If this bill is passed, we can only HOPE that the members of the Lokpal will not be tempted by the enormous power that this bill would accord to them.

from:  Priyanka S.
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:14 IST

I don't find this article convincing...may be she has misunderstood the bill or I'm a bit ignorant on that. Bill says any private organization found to have/doing something illegal even if it is granted by government considered as illegal and have to bear consequences of being corrupt and necessary actions would be taken. It never says who all are included/excluded from the list of private organizations. So how can she say that NGOs, Corporations and media is excluded from this draft. Also, when she talks about Anna's connection with RSS, I want to ask this lady do u have any proof to withstand this statement.Yes, about the example of Hawkers, may I ask this lady, why the municipality or police is not allowing those hawkers to sell at the roadside/in front of mall, according to me it is just because of big business tycoons who owns this place, they don't want these poor people to be around their locality and I think if there won't be corruption then authority should plan for them.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:13 IST

Is Arundathi Roy (AR) concluding that "a little poison is ok"? Corruption has not become a giant tree overnight. It has its roots from petty business men,too! And, how did she conclude that Lokpal also should be paid? On the contrary, Lokpal is fighting against that very cause. AR cannot terminate that to her advantage. AR has decided to make a sorry salad of all problems India is facing! When the core is taken care of, rest should follow; and let's focus on one or a few at a time..Let's follow Pareto's 80 / 20...Vital Few, Trivial Many. Anna is not a Wizard to take them all at once. Let us not forget the rich legacies they are endowed with to clean up for now! Would the country get any better without Anna's movement?....Let AR tell this, first. Thank goodness, AR is at least not commending the current politicians. She is correct there! One check mark for her! Let her give Anna some space, too!

from:  Shashikala Bangalore
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:10 IST

Ms Arundhati - You have your right to your opinion. I do not stand by it nor do i completely stand by Anna's ways of getting the bill passed. But your assumption that lakhs of Indians out there are mere idiots without complete knowledge of what this struggle is about bothers me no end.

from:  Alpa Arora
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:06 IST

Good article. I hope we Indians dont get emotional and get carried away.

from:  Godfrey
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:04 IST

I am disappointed by Ms Roy's comments. Instead of giving support to this agitation which is going off peacefully, she is discrediting this campaign. Mr Anna Hazare, is following Gandhian principles to agitate. What else you can expect from Ms Roy, who is known to support/justify Maoists killings.

from:  Lakshman
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:03 IST

It is really nicely articulated article about loopholes in the Anti Corruption Campaign carried about by the new Gandhian Mr Anna Hazare. Well this article of Ms. Arundhati Roy is really unleashing the truth and the drawbacks. And people in this country should really know where they are going. This article is a must read article. Thank You Ms.Roy for opening eyes of masses. Hope the message should reach to acrimoniously agitated masses.

from:  Charudatt Kumbhare
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 01:00 IST

AR is one of those people who do not have any idea about how the good can be done, but are very certain how to create obstacles if somebody is trying to do good.

from:  Ayush
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:57 IST

Sadly everything which she said against jan lokpal was wrong. Lokpal will be an investigating agency and all the prosecutions will be under criminal procedure act, 1973. Apart from it, all government funded NGO's are under the ambit of lokpal. This can be expanded to include all NGOs. Lastly, her main argument is why Anna is fasting against corruption and not other issues. This argument in itself is really unfortunate. I never expected such things from an author of her stature.

from:  Vishesh Sood
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:56 IST

I am proud to quote Anil Agarwal - She better not support Anna. Had she supported him, I would have had second thoughts about the sense in Anna's movement.

from:  Gunjan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:51 IST

"This isnt science, this is a fight against corruption. We all should unite against this corruption, rather than finding reasons and flaws in a noble movement. It cannot get worse tha this, so lets fight to regain our country from these corrupt politicians." Such Bollywood filled emotions wont let us anywhere. If author's points are valid then we have should re-think and analyze the actual bill before jumping onto the bandwagon. We need more data and facts about the lokpal bill, we need article like this to help us think in different directions. People who are supporting Anna should educate themself more and then make a sound decision. This we will help us all in long run. I think we should take this article in positive light rather than criticizing it without giving a moment of thought.

from:  Slim
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:51 IST

No one here seems to be thinking about the logistics. Although I support Anna's cause, I don't agree with large parts of his version of the bill. Consider this: there are about 14 million government employees in the country. Even if we assume there is only 1 case of corruption for a 100 employees (a gross under estimation in itself), there would be about 140,000 cases. Again, let us suppose a single lokpal office can handle 100 cases/year, we would need about 1400 lokpal offices around the country. This is dangerous. Are we trying to create a parallel judiciary that has very little checks and balances? Are we trying to undermine the legitimacy of the judiciary system? Are we trying to create an all-powerful system that can potentially act on its will? There are some serious issues to think about.

from:  Arvind
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:50 IST

We are looking forward that in future if the current situation continues i dont wish to see more and more hawkers on the street paying bribe for living. There will be many new policies to cover them as well, Jan Lok Pal is looking at fulfilling what rightfully one has to get through those new policies. If that does not happen, then there is problem for the person who has to give it to him. Why dont you ink against the lacs of crores of rupees that has been looted so far? You do not have evidence on them yet, if this bill is passed there will be evidence, you can do your job better and honestly. Ofcourse there will be pro's & con's, why dont you help in solving those, by writing something useful. Are you afraid of change?

from:  Shanthosh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:47 IST

I think what you are trying to do is to divide the issues based on states. I agree with the issues which you have mentioned but these are particular to those states, we should definitely fight for these issues. But corruption is one large issue which is faced by whole of India and we need to fight it united. If people have not united to fight for our independence and instead they had focussed only on the issues in their own states rather than the larger issue which was our independence we wouldn't have got our freedom. So Anna is not saying corruption is the only issue, he says first let us sort this out then we'll also come to the other issues.

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:47 IST

Also to mention the words Ms. Roy has used towards Anna Hazare and his supporters. I find them to be merely words. Anna is saint from last 30 years and not freshly minted. I don't have to be a Booker Prize winner to write something like this for Ms. Roy but I will not do that because that would be derogatory. Anna has already said that his village is following selection and not election process which is working fine. At least he has made a village full of people earn more than Rs. 20 per day. How many people including Ms. Roy can claim that? India today has reached a stage where the democratic procedures have to be forced by the people of India to constitute laws and institutions for tackling corruption. Let the institution be created. If it becomes draconian, parliament always has the means to cut it down to size like what government did to Mr. T N Seshan although none of his actions were draconian.

from:  Samarjeet
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:46 IST

I thought all this fuss is about making the government to draft and pass the Jan Lokpal bill ASAP. But it seems media and articles such as these are more concerned about ANNA and his team rather than the issue at hand. Can we have see any discussion about the bill itself?

from:  Alwyn F
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:45 IST

Just because someone doesn't present a solution, her right to freedom of speech cannot be taken away becaus criticism, in itsef, is a virtue if based on true facts and rational thinking.I love you Arundhati for you highlight what others choose to ignore. However , you have been friends with Prashant Bhushan for long. How does your stand affect your relationship with him, now that you view things different. He think "he's anna" while you (rightly so in my opinion) would rather not be anna.

from:  Dindayal Upadhyay
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:41 IST

I appreciate your views maam. thanks for showing that in last 64 years there has been no change in Indian mentality. instead of following our own ideology , people still indeed likes to follow some leader. In Bangalore , for last few days , maximum of the protesters are below 18 who even have the sense why they are doing this. wrongly guided by teachers the innocent mind. instead of creativity in other fields they are using it making placards. This is full rubbish closing down schools and colleges just a man and his Gandhi ways. Maam , i appreciate your knowledge showing out here.nothing can be dirty like politics.In this way , a child should learn A for apple than A for Anna harze.i respect my country India and my govt. democracy but individual thoughts should change for the better.

from:  Arjov Bhuyan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:40 IST

Kudos to Arundhati Roy for writing another thought-provoking article. I might not agree with the article in toto, but I admire the forceful way her views were presented. Those who are oblivious of people's movements might chose to rubbish this but the so-called saviours who are out in the streets today never cared about what's happening in several parts of the country in the name of 'development', 9% GDP growth, a place in the comity of nations etc. While one should welcome the increasing number of citizens supporting the 'war against corruption' they also need to understand that there are people who differ with the Anna team's version of Lokpal bill.

from:  Madhav Mudumbai
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:40 IST

Arundhati Roy trusts only 'Gandhians with a gun'. She does not trust hunger-striking Gandhians. For her the tricolor is a symbol of repression and red is the color of liberation. Her opposition and the opposition of people such as the Delhi cleric Bukhari against the anti-corruption movement are very welcome as they demonstrate that persons such as these are the allies of this government.

from:  Shanmugam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:38 IST

An exaggerated view but at least reflects the opinion against the 'passive coercive' mode of distorting the sacrosanct Parliamentary Process.

from:  Prashant Mishra
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:37 IST

Here are the few clauses that I find in the bill seriously threatening to democracy if at some-time in future the Jan Lokpal committee turns corrupt: 13. Investigation officer to have powers of police. 31. Lokpal to have powers of civil court in certain cases. (It means Jan Lokpal committee will have the power of summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person! Don’t you think it’ll sideline the courts and constitution?) 32. Power of Lokpal to utilise services of officers of Central or State Government. 33. Power of Lokpal to recommend transfer or suspension of public servant connected with allegation of corruption. (Here again, anyone can bribe the Jan Lokpal committee and can get rid of honest people?) 40. Complaints against Chairperson and Members not to be inquired by Lokpal. (It says, complaints against Chairperson and Members of Lokpal shall
be made directly to President and do you think a common person can ever reach President with complaints? It’s completely flawed .

from:  Mahesh Babu
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:36 IST

I accept the problem statements written, but your stand towards the issue looks very pessimistic there are a lot lot more things about this movement its not at all about a law now, its about a ordinary man who never stood for issues you mentioned like land acquisition, bhopal, and the good thing is that that common man for the first time is on road for some issue. Lets make it move, people have started speaking about the evil now.

from:  gourav
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:36 IST

Of everything, there is a good side and the bad side. Portraying that the corruption will still be persistent and will go to the level of *bribing* officials hired for stopping corruption instead of the general officials is based on the pre-assumption that these people will also be corrupt. Now this is the level of FEAR oF Corruption that needs to be eradicated at the first place and belief in the system needs to be restored badly. We should respect the person who is showing courage to bring about a change.

from:  vandana gudwani
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:33 IST

Reading the article was a pleasure, as I normally find Roy's non-fiction. But I was happily shocked to see that quite a few (not all,by any stretch) actually also appreciate it. Seems I too was taken in by the media propaganda about Anna's popularity. Clearly, even the middle class is not united in supporting the Fascistic, authoritarian, elitist, mediatised, (I could go on & on) movement of Hazare. And like Roy, I was hardly aware of Hazare before this so-called movement. Can anyone tell me if, contrary to Roy's assertion, and my limited knowledge, this paragon of virtue has ever taken a stand on anything?
I also see many similarities with that other statist pseudo-Gandhian, Vinoba Bhave. Bhave during the Emergency protested the government's inaction in banning cow slaughter when it had all the powers with it during the Emergency. Seems we have the proverbial farcical repeat show in Hazare.

from:  Jishnu Dasgupta
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:32 IST

I don't agree with Ms. Arundhati Roy's opinion here. It looks as if she cannot bear that fact that so many have gone on to support Anna. She seems to be taking the illogical next step that since so many are supporting Anna, this has to be something "blind" and like a 'hero worship'. Sadly she is wrong; Anna is just a representative that people feel they can trust; All of India wants some kind of representation against rampant corruption and Anna is just a figure head who seems capable of generating interest towards that cause; If some one else was able to do it people will support them too; Because of such participation and support for Anna, even if a bill is not passed, it has cleansed the people participating, from being corrupt. That in itself is enough for me. Also just because Anna is not able focus and garner attention on all the issues (like equality etc), doesn't mean he is corrupt - just needs more people support to bring attention to all these areas.

from:  Mukundan
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:30 IST

Very thoughtful article and pointed questions. Indian people can be easily managed if at all we can provide them with something which will make them forget all the issues / scandals by Congress. I smell something really funny going on here, all of a sudden Lok pal comes into forefront when it looked like Congress was on its way out due to the various scandals. Corporations and the political parties are really smarter than the naive Indians, they choreograph the entire movie of this Anna hamara Campaign. Everybody are saying that he is doing something but do we even know if that is harmful or beneficial to us? Have we asked these questions- is the Jan Lokpal has been debated with the public?

from:  Ram
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:27 IST

This article seems absurd as the reasons given not to support Anna/Jan lokpal are the other problems present in India which didnt get much attention. People who are supporting Anna is mainly because they have lost faith in the government, the parliamentary system. Of what use is democracy when you see such monstrous scams. The new educated class of India which form the major chunk of these protests want a good governance...they dont care about the undemocractic means if any they have to resort. As you rightly say, the government's lokpal is big joke, the Jan lokpal is not required to be directly passed in the parliament. The Jan Lokpal can be taken up for further discussions.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:27 IST

the point is not supporting Anna or anybody of that sort..but the thing that matters is that 'Do you support the movement ??' Protest are and have been going on in our country about various acts,policies and issues,supporting this one does not mean that others are not insignificant. Corruption is the root cause of all...country does not have enough funds to encounter all policies..priority is to eradicate corruption as much as possible,things will gradually start to improve.

from:  mohit shukla
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:26 IST

Thanks to The Hindu for publishing such an insightful article by Ms Arundhati Roy.Yes,I agree with her points on 24-hours fasting style before news channels.It is equally pertinent to asked whether the current Team Anna's movement against corruption which is funded by corporates meant to divert the attention of the 'elite' public from the basic problems face by the downtrodden rural masses.May I asked Ms Roy's critics how many of you were aware of a tragic incident that happened on India's Independence Day in Dhemaji district of Assam where six persons were died in flood waters when the tree they were climbing for 4 hours was washed away?How many news channel reported this incident?How many television viewers cater to the needs of the rural masses who are in distress due to floods and looking for food and shelter living under open sky in Assam and West Bengal now?Why not Team Anna collect donations for the marooned people if they are for India against corruption?

from:  Bhasker Pegu
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:25 IST

I feel that there are a set of self proclaimed social activists in India whose only contribution towards activism are strongest and most acidic contrary views to public mood. What has Arundhati Roy done till date for Rs. 20 daily earning people apart from writing in various newspapers and magazines? Mr. Roy, these people will not get food because of your well written words. I have great regards for her literary accomplishments but if one has to be genuine about Kashmir or corruption one has to live through the pain or through actions to mitigate the same. None of which I am sure she has. She writes the Janlokpal bill to be draconian. Do you know how draconian, dark, filthy, constrictive, widespread and institutionalized corruption is in India. The only people who can do something about it are the elected representatives and how many of them are neck deep into corruption is a known fact. So who will fight corruption. Lets take Anna from the picture (continued).......

from:  Samarjeet
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:21 IST

The Author of the article is simply too much skeptic about the intentions of Team Anna. If a particular person or a group is trying on to do something good and for the betterment of the society, it is to be done in a certain way, in some steps, through some credible mechanism. Where does the talk of people suffering in other parts of our country steps in? The Jan Lokpal bill is not about removing poverty or different problems but particularly about alleviating corruption.Keeping this in view and the track record Mr.Anna Hazare and those all associated with him, it can be said that they are really doing a commendable job. One should be optimistic enough to appreciate the efforts of Team Anna.

from:  Atul Anand
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:16 IST

Interesting thread, Ms Roy, great article (not good enough to convince a lot though). I do not have enough expertise to question your views, just statically lacks of people on street isn't a myth, you should have been to the rally from India gate to Ramlila Maidan to know it. and to all who thinks that people do not know what Jan Lokpal bill is, I would like to say that you might be right. But they didn't knew any thing while voting either. And if you think everyone supporting that cause is a fool, you might be right again just little exceptions as to India's most brilliant engineers and docs, teachers and professors, policemen and lawyers and people from all stream are in support. (To believe you need to be a part of crowd or come to street just for sake of observation I am not Anna fan (and I believe he can't and shall not be compared to BAPU), i am in support cause i wish for change in situation, so are the thousands on the street. Long live republic, long live democracy.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:10 IST

There are more facts in this essay of Miss Roy which team Anna has to contemplate...there's a Zen talk ''allow to settle and the answer becomes clear''....Are you settled to clearly see the solution or disturbed.. Answer Anna.

from:  Shery
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:10 IST

Corruption: It is a universally acknowledged fact, it is everywhere; the order of all the time! If 'Gandhian-ism' is not a remedy, would the 'Maoist style' fetch the result? ..... that is the paradox, the 'dialectics of materialism'! 'Buddham saraNam gaccHaami ... !'

from:  Lxman
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:10 IST

I appreciate the time and thought given by Ms Roy, and all other people who has commented on this article.I Think there is very little difference in what you want to do and what you can do. Its like a practical model and very fresh concept, Practical models tells u that i can only do this much.beyond that i don't know anything..and concept says ..i think i can do far more better than the limits,we just need the will to do it.Currently we have three bill in front of us...Bill submitted by the government.. is only creating wall against the corrupt officers and people there are certain clause which tells that. if you made a complaint .. u will be harassed so well that u will no try again..so i will never support it..and i think all others should also do the same.Second bill is by aruna roy and team..is very good.it is the practical thing that i was talking which does things as per system,but i m not sure how it will remain strong n future.

from:  anupam
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:09 IST

really disappointing and can't believe that i am reading the article written by a world recognized and scholar writer, it seems that, writer is more interested in telling about the funding of Anna hazare team. Dear madam, when u are talking about funding, then don't take only one forum, please include all parties and forum and also yourself. We are talking about a law, and if any law is prepared with full spirit it will definitely help the common people, specially the poorest one. your literature is merely read by few thousands people only, and it even not benefit any poor people but it doesn't mean that your literature is not good. Madam you yourself are neither a common man nor realizes their realities so please don't give your advises when a matter concern to common man arises.

from:  rajveer singh shekhawat
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:08 IST

Ms Roy's ideas that all evil springs from inequality are fundamentally flawed. Corruption exists in seemingly equal societies as well. She asks: "Is corruption just a matter of legality, of financial irregularity and bribery, or is it the currency of a social transaction in an egregiously unequal society, in which power continues to be concentrated in the hands of a smaller and smaller minority". No, Ms Roy. Corruption does not have to do with inequality. Inequality and injustice against the poor should be addressed, but corruption is a different issue. Corruption affects the poor as well as the well-situated. If you are prevented from leading a life in which you do not have to pay bribes to live a normal life, then that IS a legal issue.

from:  Charles
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 00:08 IST

Well said... People forgot the recent crimes and corruptions cause of Anna becoming Big himself, now its easy for those who are jailed to take an escape route. The purpose of Shouting along the street is not understood by many of them. People are united yet another time all over India and the world. Its time to SERVE 'HUMAN'KIND for which all must work not depending on anyone person to person should learn simple things and the Basic things of their need... Including Basics on Humanity, Basics in Agriculture, Basic Law (atleast to Live), Basics on Health and Hygiene, Basics on Conservation of Food, Water, Electricity & Forest. Above all everyone(from first to last Indian) should know to read and write their regional Languages including Hindi or English. Can't everyone think alike! but these things when taught at school can be atleast remembered to seek proper consultations without any mistake.

from:  Dr Vijayakumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 21:41 IST

Thank You Ms Roy. Finally something objective on Mr Anna and his carefully motivated strategy, which he calls revolution. Thanks again

from:  vasudha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 21:39 IST

Yes, exactly! You said it. Anna's Lokpal is against Gandhian philosophy which propogates decenralisation of power. But this proposed Anna's Law gives unlimited power to handful of people who are not accountable to any one and who can threaten PM, Ministers, Judges and Govt. servents. And ironically they can charge any one and invesigate, prosecute and sentence any one. That means every power with a single machinery. totally aganist our constitutional frame work, and our national philosophy of pluralistic society. I agree with Anna only one thing, any one can protest freely without any harm to any one else and so as Anna can also. Govt should not kill this democratic right. Rest all vendetta of Anna and his Lawyer circles who did nothing to this society other than tried to appear for high profile clients in past.

from:  Pradeep
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 21:36 IST

She is brilliant, as always too see the other side and not being part of the crowd. I hope her voice is heard, by those millions who are simply caught up in 'nationalism' and get carried away by that emotion instead of understanding the root problem. The mob intelligence is always at such a low level, they simply want an escape to shout and throw their anger - I want to know, how many of these millions supporting Anna, look into their own (self) greed. Given a chance each one of them are ready to mint millions at any cost. Just a mob mentality in the name of nationalism!! huh!!

from:  Sharabo
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 21:36 IST

Before reading this article of Aundhati, I was fully for Anna and his movement to remove correction. Her article has really changed me. Now I wish that we could enter into more constuctive dialog and still come up with an adequate Janlokpal Bill. Let us fight corruption. By all means. Urgently, for sure. But we need to make sure that we do not make a worse enemy (a Frankenstein) in this process.

from:  Kuruvilla
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 21:32 IST

Yes agreed the article undoubtedly looks really impressive and one that draws attention. But Ms arundhati i think you are forgetting something..would like to remind you that..Maybe people dont know what jan lokpal bill is,they dont know what they are going to get from this revolution but they know one thing that they united are fighting against the corrupt government and they have got a true leader to support and initiate in them fearless revolt. People never had an opportunity to criticize on this mass scale ever. And now that they have got a small hope you call it a drama of threat by an old man and people gathered around him as spectators. sorry ma'am, but you truly are mistaken this time.

from:  Vimlesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 21:30 IST

When someone goes to such great extent to criticize a movement, then an alternative should be provided. I don't see any such solution provided in the "detailed" article above. I am not aware of how much of corruption Ms. Roy has faced in her life, but the common man cannot go a day without facing corruption is some form or the other. No one is naive enough to think that the Jan Lokpal is going to be the answer to all our prayer, it is just a step in the right direction. The bill is as good as the people implementing it and we accept that. But there comes a time you say enough is enough, and that time has come.
It is sad that today we feel we need a 'Gandhian' to save us from our own government, but that is the sad state of affairs. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at the end of the day majority wins, fortunately or unfortunately that is how 'India's representative democracy' works. And it seems pretty clear which side the majority is on.

from:  Saraswathi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 21:29 IST

With due respect to you and all the good work you have done, your opinion on Anna Hazare is just a short sighted view of the problem. I do not think a person of your status should try to underestimate the efforts of Team Anna and other people involved in this movement. Firstly, some of your statements do overlap with the facts. 'The Lokpal will have the powers of investigation, surveillance, and prosecution'; the bill does not give any authority to prosecute the accused. Secondly, if he is not talking about the other problems which you pointed out in your article, it is wrong logic to infer he does not care about them or in your words does not “Support” them. Additionally, corporations taking on some of the government functions are one of the ways to counter act the corrupt government, He is just providing another alternative to make the system more transparent.Please do not misuse the power of the status you enjoy. It is not helping anyone and further creating wrong impressions.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 21:20 IST

I understand that this article has been commented to death by its readers, some of them rightly so questioning the logic of involving A.Hazare's personal's associates etc. in an attempt to dismantle his 'demands'. Nevertheless, I feel, that A. Roy is asking us to consider with foresight, and with context, the construction of the Jan Lokpal bill. In short, 'what good will it do for India'... though the answer seems presumptiously obvious, I hope we are able to take a step back and address the question, as the Jan Lokpal bill in it's current structure does not propose a system of checks and balances that is necessary for a self-proclaimed democracy, but rather exists in form akin to pre-modern societies of a divinely mitigated chief/king/panchayat, liable to dish out judgements without accountability to anyone else...is that what we want... is that in any way effective? I hope, we are able to open up dialogue and debate for revision and reformulation.

from:  Parmar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 21:00 IST

Everyone knows that corruption is the gangrene eating into the very existence of our democracy. And Anna Hazare and his team are doing something if not everything to set things right in this country. Now, there are three things we could do - support Anna, come up with a better plan to solve the problems in this country, or just Shut Up! Since AR chose not to follow the first two options, I seriously recommend she follow the third alternative.

from:  Dhir
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:59 IST

I am not a politician. I am of view, the matter now is not LOKPAL, JANLOKPAL but now it's time to sacrifice for making BHARAT a powerful country and keep BHARAT united. I am shocked whatever happening becauze it seems that we are geting away from the principle of our constitution. I salute MR. ANNA HAZARE for awakening us and thank our Hon'ble Prime Minister to have the accused behind bar. As far as i am concerened this is the only GOVT. arrested ministers top class bureucrates and corporate at this level. I think we don't need LOKPAL or JANLOKPAL but we need to teach our children morality and dignity so thart they might not think of corruption and any other criminal activity. We must campaign for education and health for all and to kill corruption we have laws but to be implemented strictly.

from:  Jameel Ahmad
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:52 IST

I guess there is a competion/jealousy for the limelight. If one citizen is grabbing all the headlines and if he is going to take India to victory, the rest of the activists become dis-satisfied. Its not. Ms. Arundhati Roy has done yeomen service to the country and we respect her. She can articulate her views for the benefit of the society. Thanks to Ms.Roy. We would request her not to hurt the anti-corruption bill. In fact, if Annaji wins, its a victory for all Indians.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:52 IST

I wonder how many people who went on the street protesting against corruption are really free from being corrupt. That should be the real foundation of doing away with corruption. Seeing other's corruption and being blind on one's corrupt ways is the root which needs to be uprooted. I don't support Anna's act(Fast Unto Death/suicide), though he has a valid fight, why fight crime with a crime? It makes no sense.

from:  S.Shimray
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:52 IST

These are pertinent issues and questions need to be asked. Of course we are a mob-nation. I wish more sane voices will arise to stem this collective rot in our thinking. This clearly reflects the shallowness and quality of thinking of the Indian general population. One cant's become a Gandhi by imitating and using symbols.

from:  Sarthak
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:50 IST

The people fighting for this bill know more than what we all know about this bill. All have been fighting fiercely for social welfare for the past 20 odd years. Agree there are other social issues which need attention as well but this issue is one which is plaguing almost all the citizens of india on a daily basis. High time for a change and channel the citizens' energy to drive for a better governance. Yes I am proud to be an Indian and will stand for this bill.

from:  bvkr
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:50 IST

Why is the crowd increasing by the day and not decreasing if this is a stage managed show! Janlokpal bill is the beginning and it has made people aware of what corruption is. If this changes the mindset of people by that itself this movement is a success. Ms. Roy is just trying to divert the topic. Middle class has every right to protest like any other strata of society

from:  Jayaprakash Natarajan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:50 IST

Finally, a beautifully expressed voice to my fears about Anna and his Lokpal Bill. Hats off to Arundhati Roy for the well worded rebuttal against all the drama going on for the last few weeks. It is amusing to me, that NONE of the people on this comments thread who are criticizing Ms Roy for the opinion expressed, actually have any logical argument to make against all her points here, except for the same old "But Anna is fighting against corruption" or "Why are you hell bent on being a prophet of doom when the nation is uniting under this man", which quite frankly seem like a child's whining against an adults logical reasoning.
I would also like to add that just because I agree with Ms Roy's opinion, DOES NOT mean, in any way, that I support corruption. It merely means that I have gone through this bill, and the rational side of my mind tells me that a man who has barely any academic credentials to his credit is not the person we should pin our bets on to rid India of corruption.

from:  Akshata Joshi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:43 IST

My hats off to you The Hindu. You have been bold and impartial to publish an article of AR, critical of Team Anna. I agree with AR with each and every word. Other papers, I do not like to name for obvious reasons, are suppressing the freedom of expression of critics like AR and me, of Anna Team, whereas they seem to proclaim high about the freedom of their own press and go about freely publishing filthy and intemporately written posts in support of the Anna Team.

from:  Upasanashanmugam
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:42 IST

I doubts your intention, be it for fame or a jealousy! 830 million people living on Rs 20 a day is rarely possible in such time! you need to correct or estimate it firmly. No one believe it, as it is mis- representation of India image. If Anna is associated with some groups and if it is back up by the group, You too must be associated with group like such. I wish you could also support Anna Hazare as you know the corruption is the main cause of inequality in our societies as the servant of people loots public money for their own purpose creating a problem of have and have not!

from:  neyaz ahmad
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:41 IST

Better sanity prevail on ms Roy and others who tried and trying to butcher the rising .......i pity her for her state of mind and her ridiculous airy proclamation of writer for the people....... Her comments are as irresponsible as the current govt in power....and i am against both.......

from:  yogendra
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:40 IST

Other than a few unnecessary comments, I think Arudhuti has very good points on this. People who are commenting here should be more careful before judging her. Please read and understand before commenting. We all want to get rid of corruption, but having another body with more power may not resolve our problems. The true solution is in distribution of power, we need to understand that.

from:  A Sarkar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:38 IST

Ma'am, your article does make valid points against the present protest, but you must agree, though not the ultimate solution, it is still a giant step towards a better future. Further as you yourself have not given any measure or remedial action to curb corruption, does it not seem that your views are more political in nature than critical. This article is nothing more than common rant and i would have expected a lot more from someone of your level of exposure and learning.

from:  Premroshan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:27 IST

The well placed author like anyone else has clearly expressed the reservations anyone who is logical enough can ask. The difficulty with INDIA today is that, when it showed support in the legislature, they were all categorically denied the key advantages of a democracy, 'for the people'. The government of the day or of any day for that matter has only taken superficial actions to handle any issue of grave concern. While at the same time 'Mr. Anna Hazare' has evolved as a new leader with proven track record. There is nothing wrong and new if Indian public supports 'Mr. Hazare' so adulatingly. The belief from the system has been diluted methodically since last 64 years. And hence as always Indian mass shows its belief in ideology and the mascot representing it. Rather than supporting an incompetent polity of india, they naturally prefer someone who is proven to work for people, atleast to some extent atleast in his own area(read Maharashtra or Ralegram siddhi). Atleast some change!

from:  Anurag Gupta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:26 IST

Arundhati Roy always makes a difference by supporting truth. Anna Hazare is the Prime Minister in Making for some parties. We must understand the sinister design behind promotion of Anna Hazare as a hero. It is mostly educated people who are supporting Anna. But these people,i mean middle class don't vote in elections most time.So they have no right to impose things uncontituionally. Vote in next elections and make a point. The truthful and daring Arundhati Roy is indeed a voice of voiceless. Be that people of Kashmir, Assam, Manipur, Dalits and others. We support you Arundhati Roy

from:  Sajid Rashid
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:25 IST

Granted, one man may not be able to solve all the problems... let Anna take on the corruption issue and Ms. Roy is welcome to take up cudgels on the others! But, solving the corruption issue will probably result in solving many of the other issues as well. Is Ms. Roy missing the forest for the trees?!

from:  Sujith Panikkar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:21 IST

liked this article because instead of condemning the lokpal bill outright,it has pointed certain key issues which certainly need to be debated upon and not be passed in the parliament within a random date!!! true indians are fedup of corruption but giving absolute powers in the hands of a few members of a committee is not the most advisable solution!!! though accountability is essential ,eradication of corruption will not be possible till the basic right of health,education and living of each 1.2 billion people of india is fulfilled.

from:  sanyukta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:21 IST

How true. You have articulated the views quite poignantly to clear the amorphous confusion lingering in many minds.

from:  Sreenath
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:20 IST

Finally a person who is not afraid to voice her opinion on this whole Anna Hazare drama! Finally, a newspaper brave enough to print it! I would like to ask one person if after all this if they're caught by a cop on the street, will they pay to get out of the situation or not. Can we fight bribery from the root level? Let's not just question the rich. And I agree with Ms. Roy about the larger issues that needs to be addressed in this country. I wouldn't be surprised if Anna Hazare also blew up in our faces like the others!

from:  Ryan Stephen
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:20 IST

People like Arundati Roy would like to sit on the fence and comment for their own popularity. Had she been there during India's freedom struggle she would surely penned a lovely article justifying why we need freedom when everything is just... fine under British Rule. She leads a very comfortable life. She received 500 thousand pounds just as advance for her book. Her relative runs the most successful TV channel which is listed on stock exchange and supports whichever Govt is in power. What do these people know of common man's struggle. Anna has no solutions to all the problems. Jan lok pal is a just a small step in the right direction. We all know Jan lokpal is not perfect but its 1000 times better than Govt version.Anyways Ms Roy has her own commercial reasons to come up with her article. But govt and Ms Roy have one thing in common. Corrupt conscience. PM and Ms Roy have something in common too. Irritating and boring the public to death by their creative ideas.

from:  ravi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:19 IST

We as a whole detest when somebody say we are wrong. We Make a big issue if an australian say that India is dirty, but we just shamelessly pour all our garbage on the streets. Bashing Arundhati Roy is similar. When somebody raise a different opinion you bash them without looking into the merits of it. There is only a few people who is not climbing the ANNA Bandwagon. This is because corruption is not because there is no Janlokpal bill. It is because we as whole - As India is corrupt. Now can you hide the stench through out by putting fragrance on it or should you remove the garbage causing the stench. Janlokpal is just a spray which will evaporate and then the stench will come again. So remove the garbage. Each and every one of us should pledge that we will remove our corrupt behaviour.

from:  Papiya
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 20:01 IST

I generally do not subscribe to Ms. Roy's views, but thank god for this article! This Janlokpal is such a big farce! And most of the people walking on the roads and shouting slogans have absolutely NO clue what they are doing. They haven't read the Janlokpal. I wish a little more sanity prevails. Very needed article.

from:  Suhrud
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:49 IST

Mrs. Arundati Roy, for all the trouble brewing in India and the "verbal diarrhea" that is spewing from the mouths of some politicians like Digvijay Singh, has not stopped, all thanks to you. I cannot figure out whether you want to be a LADY GAGA of the literary world with your absurd stand on any political issue of India or just want to be like any banal arm-chair activist which you already proved in this article. You lend your fragile heart to the Maoist's on one day and rent it to the separatist's the very next moment.Now you are babbling about a sovereignty issue of India.

from:  Rakesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:48 IST

An outstanding article presented by Ms.Roy. This flag waving mass hysteria will push the nation into a state of chaos.The arbitary powers accorded to the LokPal overriding even the powers and jurisdiction of the apex court is not welcome.The failure of representative democracy is further driving the nation into a state of peril and absolute chaos.As pointed out in the article the day is not far when an afghan like situation is likely to emerge threatening the very democratic ethos of this nation.

from:  swaroop tagore
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:46 IST

Brilliant article...the source of the campaign is indeed large corporate houses that if allowed to pervade will only ensure another power centre...time we citizens stop this herd mentality by following media driven mania of Anna Hazare..after all "every citizen gets the government he deserves"..

from:  vishal gunni
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:46 IST

I agree with core theme of Ms Arundhati. Ambedkar might have never foreseen a situation of fence eating the crop - and rightly so, because then the nation ceases to exist. Here political organisations have smelt opportunity in (ab)using constitutional provisions to their advantage. Its more like organised gang activity where party flags are the graffiti. The democratic spirit of the constitution is under seige. If protecting the right to life and property were the fundamental obligations of the state, today it is to usurp these constitutional rights and entrust them to corporates. This is more like turning the spirit of constitution upside down. Instead of foreign merceniaries, we have a monster corporate-system that is being fed vigorously by the state using resources and lives of its citizens. Alternatives could include *right to recall representative* by the citizens, *right to recall judiciary* by the representatives, *right to recall bureaucrats* by the judiciary, and so on.

from:  CK Raju
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:45 IST

It's a shame to call people(Hazare) who are miles away from Gandhi as
Gandhian etc.

from:  panda
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:44 IST

Arundathi is showing her ignorance about plight of majority of people in
India at the same time showing her arrogance. I wish she wrote more on
these issues so people actually can see her depth of understanding of
Indian society and majority of Indian people. I hope she gets to read
all the comments recorded here and re-access her understanding of Indian
society.

from:  D K Gupta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:42 IST

There is a lot of sense in the article... we have just got carried away
by the waving of the national flag. Advani is waiting to strike while
the iron is still hot. Just wait and see how many twists and turns this
event will take.

from:  suresh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:41 IST

This is illogical. If had not undergone "fast unto death" against AFSPA,
if you had not raised voice in support of victims of the Bhopal gas
leak, or the people displaced by dams in the Narmada Valley then you
have no rights even to make a fuss against corruption.

I believe instead of criticizing for not having done something, one
should appreciate and support "anna" for his cause. Arundhati Roy
sincerely need to rethink.

from:  himanshu pratap
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:39 IST

Though I am not a fan of AR, I do appreciate her for this article. It is surprising to see that many disagree with her. This Anna drama is against Indian constitution and democracy. He is called a Gandhian! how terrible.

from:  sanjeev
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:39 IST

She is expecting another award!!!

from:  vinod.kakkadan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:38 IST

AR thank you for opening our eyes. For a few days we forgot that living in a corrupt pseudo democracy, ruled by rotting family politicians is so much better than a corruption less "dual oligarchy". Oh, what would happen to all of us without your thought provoking articles?

from:  Raghu
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:38 IST

Forget Arundhati Roy - I think it is case of sour grapes. I want to add two points for the sake of the readers here -(i) Anna's Jan Lokpal version might look bloated and unrealistic - but I think his team is just trying to use it as a bargaining chip - a tool to beat his opponents at the negotiating table. His team will eventually water down their version to make it more realistic and pragmatic at the negotiating table. You can negotiate with your opponents only from a powerful position. His team is using all this rhetoric to rally the people behind him to make themselves more powerful at the negotiating table. The common man might not understand all this - but I think this is where things are heading. (ii) Anna's power emanates from the angst of the common man - read as India's middle class. It is fed up of the corruption inspite of paying the taxes: corruption starts right from obtaining birth certificate of the newborn to death certificate and last rites of the dead!

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 19:37 IST

Some do good and some talk good, either the way until and unless it does not demand a drastic solution it is nothing but a evening's program on TV or an article on the web. There is only one way to find out who is true. Let anna demand the return of all the looted public money of the recent scams at least and then demand for lok pal. Public as well as the politicians have agreed that the money was looted. Let the 'Indians' demand for their hard earned money hiding in personal swiss bank accounts and then support anna in his daring endeavor.

from:  satya
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:38 IST

I appreciate AR's intellectual thinking here, However i have never been a fan of these pseudo intellectual thoughts ever, I should say this is one of the main reason why we haven't achieved what we should have in past 64 years. Great think tanks are called 'intellectual' just by opposing ('creating contradictory theories') the mass of people follow and what ever is gaining popularity! It took 64 years to get most of the Indians motivated for a common cause and now it has happened.I would welcome these intellectuals to join their hand attend one such public get together and see for themselves.

from:  Abhijay Rao
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:34 IST

Give our President full power to control corruption, we have an excellent working bureaucratic system of honest IPS, IAS officers, things will run fine.. and we can protest if our president is forced to impeachment. I bet no much corrupt personality had sit on that chair of the first person of India before.

from:  Sivadas K R
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:33 IST

Ms.Roy has brought hidden reality among the public who are very emotional by nature.team Anna has has astutely used this tactics to hypnotize innocent people. Dictatorship is nowhere acceptable on earth. Initially many people where in support of Anna but his comment of enhancing his demand has revealed his inherent behavior of dictatorship.His ambitious plan to dictate over govt has been in public now. Rest story has been said by Ms.Roy. My appeal to our beloved citizen is that if we want to preserve the very work of our four father, if we want to protect our constitutional machinery kindly don't support civil society. We are known for largest democracy in the world. And in democracy constitution plays vital role. In our constitution we don't have anything like civil society. So please protect our country from embarrassment. Jai hind..

from:  khurram sajjad
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:32 IST

It is true that India is a free country and every Tom Dick And Harry ( Ram, Jalal and Thomas ) opines about anything they wish. Arundhathi Roy has also done so ( i am doing so as well). I guess it is fine. But is she addicted to being pessimistic or doubtful all the time now a days..? I mean, C'mmon !! This is the people's frustration expressed and it will make the government act. I would say leave it at that. !!

from:  Sivakumar B
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:31 IST

Ms Roy, I think people who are associated with this movement unlike you doesn't support independent Kashmir, they are fighting for the commoners cause.Any sane people knows that one Janlokpal Bill wont stop all the corruption, however we as commoners appreciate that at least a strong bill will deter many corrupt people...And like this many more bill can be brought to take care of the functioning of the judiciary,NGO's,media , corporate etc. Why we are supporting this bill is that since last 42 years no concrete step has been taken to curb corruption from top to bottom.This rising is a step towards right direction, so it will be better if you keep ur intellectual thoughts to ur close coterie and you get appreciated there like you have got the sympathy of the Kashmiri separatists. Moreover team Anna has people who are having very high credibility unlike others.Starting from IPS Kiran Bedi,IIT Kgp alumunus and exIRS officer Anand Kejriwal,Prashant Bhusan noted lawyer of Supreme Court.

from:  Anjan Chandra
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:28 IST

Madam, whoever he is, whatever his history is, he is getting the support against corruption. his expertise is against corruption and he is not intellect like u to poke his nose in all problems India has been facing . The amount of corruption that has happened recently is really tragic. Very smartly u haven't discussed the amount of corruption and black money which is being looted by MPs in such a small duration. Indians are awake now, the belief that corruption can go away is on now; i m sorry that none of governments or critics like u can bring this feeling in Indians. The condition was so bad that it was accepted as part of life, taken for granted. Governments didn't give proper salaries to their employees but encouraged corruption and now when some positive feeling is coming, u r poking your intellect unnecessarily. My personal suggestion is that if u foresee some issues with janlokpal bill, u talk to team anna, they are very broad minded and open to incorporate in their draft.

from:  Vijay Singh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:28 IST

Keep it up Arundhati ! You definitely speak the mind of rationality. To me such so-called 'movements' only reflect the banality of democracy that we live in. A country which has already become a victim of religious fundamentalism, regionalism and fanaticism, I doubt what more is to come with this whole Anna Hazare drama.

from:  N. Basu
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:28 IST

If i was the PM, id just say let him do his fast. Eventually he'll pass out and nobody is going to give. Corruption has to be tackled with aggression but creating internal insurgency by challenging the state is NOT the way to deal with it. Unfortunately, the public(me and you included) are wound up tight, so we needed a vent for our frustrations. Crappy roads, lack of basic infrastructure just to name a few. if anna hazare wants to get his bill passed, why not stand at the next elections? if his cause is so just, he'll get a landslide victory.Then implement the law. By challenging the state, not only do u become a threat to the state, but also thanks to the ultra ridiculously biased and sensational media, has garnered the support of an educated but ignorant public. Someone, let him do his fast and see how far that gets him. If u want to stop corruption, it starts at home, from our families n teachers. U want the change, stop corruption, don't bribe cops, don't cut lines and obey the law.

from:  Arjun
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:28 IST

Yes she is another of those media savvy people who wants to be in limelight, either supporting the cause of Kashmir or by comparing Annaji's movement to Maoist. Thanks God she did not compared this to Kashmiri extremists, with whom she sympathizes so much.

from:  Rajiv
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:28 IST

I think this is publicity stunt by AR. Why didn't she bother to write against corruption until now? And what has she done against corruption which gives her right to judge others methods? Because of Anna we have strong RTI act. He has fasted successfully for many other such causes like govt officials transfer act, empowerment of gram panchayats etc. He has transformed his village and still lives in a small temple. Arundhati should stop writing such articles else she will loose whatever respect she has. People face so much hardship because of corruption. It would be better she uses her skills to write about issues than individuals. Especially if someone is more respected than her.

from:  RK
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:27 IST

When it takes more than 40 years to pass a lokpal bill, when it takes bribe to be paid starting from birth certificate to death certificate,When there is no magic wand (lol..our PM believes in Magic Wand !!!), when there are more scams per year running into more than thousand crores than so called growth rate for year, when there is more black money(Even Govt. can find out how much it is),when there is a government which is more corrupt than earlier government, then to whom should we look forward. Almost every well known person is saying Anna's bill is draconian, but they forget it is draconian for those who are corrupt, why should anybody bother if they are doing their duties honestly.

from:  Sunil
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:27 IST

AR.....just 3 simple questions if you could answer... 1) What if your agitation would have got fame like this? 2) 74 year old Mr. Hazare started up something for the betterment of the future generation...what step did you take for the civil society? 3) And you talking about the funds coming in the charitable foundation....why are not concerned about the party trust or the Indian celebrities and politicians trust which are running into billion dollars??? I am sure that you would have answers for these....as your are such a good criticizer in the above article...

from:  Krunal Goda
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:27 IST

Ms Roy castigates Anna for not taking up causes of Bhopal victims, Naxalites , Irom Sharmila , farmer suicides , Nandigram , Singur , Lalgarh etc and derides his movement for being called 'People's movement.By the same token and logic , no movement that she cites can be termed as 'people's' movement - for never has Irom Sharmila sympathized with Bhopal victims and never have Noida farmers opposed Operation Green Hunt.

from:  Rajat Gupta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:26 IST

AR:I Agree with ur views and it would have really made me to wonder if u would have supported the 'freshly minted saint'. U mentioned that members of team Anna whizzed in and out of Tihar JAil...wow but as far i know The india prison act does not allow any kind of photograpy from inside....so how come anna do that haan......u are doing a good job ..otherwise such dramas of yoga masters and pseudo gandhians will drive us crazy

from:  Nami Jan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:25 IST

Arundhati,I really appreciate you views,but Anna Hazare has never said that he represents Gandhian Ideology. He has always maintained that he can't come any near to the ideals of Gandhiji.

from:  Dr. Anjali Mohan Rao
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:24 IST

A lot of assumptions being made by Ms. Roy in here.Fist of all she says that there the duties which were traditionally carried out by the state are now being performed by the NGO. Ms. Roy, are you kidding us? Do you think the magnitude of services provided by the NGO's is so vast that it can compare with the activities of the state?In the sixth paragraph she cites a scenario wherein a hawker might have to pay bribes so that he can ply his trade and then she defends that form of corruption.My question is ,if you think that it is fair for the hawker to pay a bribe so that he can earn a living then why do you want to ban hawking in the first place?If you are so concerned about that hawker then when ban hawking.Simple logic...According to Ms. Roy we should first create unjust laws and then simply ignore corruption because in such a case corruption is justified.I have never heard a lamer argument in my life....

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:22 IST

You can have your opinion,but as you can see this movement has united the people of India contrary to your speculations/criticism/concern...whatever ;) . This certainly is a revolution mam gaining up strength every day for good f d nation.

from:  nisoko
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:21 IST

i agree with you Arundhati, very powerful and must read article for every educated innocent citizens of our country.

from:  viji paul
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:21 IST

You want a solution to curb corruption??? Change yourselves!!! I support the idea of anti-corruption, but at the same time I'm gonna be realistic and realize that there in not ONE place on this earth, not ONE government on this earth where corruption does not prevail. Why are we fooling ourselves that we are ever going to be able to get rid of corruption??? We can however try and make this country better by changing ourselves...and that's what I hope all this hula-bulla will do...or these last couple of days have been as funny as the CWG. An example if I may...I observed a biker the other day, with a Gandhi topi, and the slogan of 'I am Anna' on it...however When the time came to follow road rules and observe the red light, our 'Anna' supporter cut the signal. What I want to say is that, a cap doesn't change who and what u are...what's going on under that cap does!!! It matter that you voice ur opinion by voting and making that 1st choise!!!

from:  Indian
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:19 IST

The whole point is corruption by itself is not an independent entity and it is related to many other issues. Unless those issues are also sorted out, passing a bill which gives autonomous power to eliminate corruption is not good. In fact every Indian will be happy to see a country without corruption (excluding those who are corrupt:P). Misuse of power, regionalism, improper judiciary, imbalance of salaries to expenditure. Most important question is who are they going to recruit for anti corruption. It is not unlikely that being in such enormously autonomous department, they would well end up in corruption (considering all the factors mentioned above). Even we know that at some point or somewhere we should start to fight against corruption, but the whole question is what way it is?. i dont have an alternate answer doesnt mean i have to choose among the constrained options available to me. unless someone research the whole picture its not going to work.

from:  Karthik
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:18 IST

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It will not be long before this lokpal will become another monster. It should only target the nodal powers of corruption and rest will fall in line.

from:  Kobe
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:17 IST

Yes.. I agree with roy. This time its Extreme Nationalist Vs Democracy. In a democracy like India people are supreme but somehow those assembled in Ramlila maidan are more like a mob.In a democracy people cannot dictate simply because they are supreme.I agree with Anna Hazare movement just to pressurize govt for very effective bill otherwise i am strong believer of anti-development thesis.

from:  Sunny Verma
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:15 IST

Here I don't agree with Miss Roy to some extent...as she has used the 2002 riots just to create an emotional effect but "what is emotionally right may not be rationally prudent". I feel that they are the right words but used at wrong place and precisely at wrong point of time, by doing so she is trying to hide the good will of Team Anna which is trying to let this be bill be passed so that next time there would not be any Kalmadi or Raja, so easily earning of public exchequer.

from:  Suhani Varshney
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:11 IST

I retired fifteen years ago from Govt. holding a reasonably high post.I had an impeccable record of professional and personal integrity. Suffice it to say a majority of govt employees are honest and succumb because somebody wants his payment out of turn, wants his prooblem sorted out first. Business houses even pay a retainer to those who can put a spoke in the plans of their business rivals. Unless there is a change of heart in people you can never eradicate delays and corruption.

from:  B.C.Balasubramanian
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:09 IST

Every party in this country is corrupt to the core. Whether it is the Congress, the Left Parties or the BJP.. well, BJP was founded on religious fundamentals and extreme right wing fanatism.. and that is the party now supporting a Civilian movement. It is truly weird how Anna believes that passing a bill would eradicate corruption. No it won't. Not that bill in particular, anyway. it will only centralize the power in a very few self proclaimed moral policemen the Anna Hazare and gang has suggested. If you need change, Mr. Hazare, try addressing the root causes that helped these politicians to become this much greedy.. Religious Fanaticism, Caste System, religion and caste based politics, leaders with not even elementary education becoming the ministers... change that! you won't achieve a thing by just passing an anti-corruption bill.

from:  Roshan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:07 IST

I am disappointed that 'The Hindu' has wasted its lead page on this article

from:  Michael Mangalam
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:07 IST

Now a constitutional question can be raised, of right to political protest by organizing rallies, protest, agitation etc. This right is guaranteed by cumulative reading of Article 19(a) - to 19(d) of Constitution of India, 1950 [freedom of speech and expression, 19(b) – assemble peacefully, 19(c) form associations, and 19(d) move freely through out the country]. Now, fact is – Mr Sibal is elected by 465713 electors, with 947822 electors against him. Question is – can one representative of only 465713 electors deny 947822 electors right of political protest, by saying Parliament is supreme? Everyone else, except Mr. Sibal, has got the answer to this question correct.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:06 IST

Thought AR was intelligent, but turns out she is narrow minded . Wouldn't a strong Lokpal bill( be it Anna's/Govt's as long as it is a good one) prevent in some of the things you mentioned ( that Anna is not giving any attention to ) from happening and help bring the wrong doers to justice. I'm supporting Anna in making sure that there's a strong lokpal bill. And obviously we do understand that just a string bill doesn't mean no corruption. The enforcement is important, but we needed a start and Anna has provided one! You mention a lot of other issues. my question is what have you done on those. Other than give a few statements to media ! And thanks to Hindu for publishing this article with a different view.

from:  Saif K Khan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:04 IST

Im just 24 and even I have given bribes. But I took the pledge recently that I will never do it again. I support Anna Hazare and his cause. Why does it matter if rich people are supporting Anna, It is as much rich people's right as poor man's to save himself from corruption. Those NGOs might be well funded, infact we need such NGOs, well funded and run by sane moral people, so that the purpose is fulfilled. What if someone has given bribes before? Can't he turn against corruption now? Isn't that what we are looking for in corrupt people, to turn good? I support Jan Lok Pal because it is transparent. The common man knows what is being done by the members of the bill. I support Anna for fighting for this cause. I do sympathize with Irom Sharmila and others fasting for other causes. But the fact that they are not getting assumption is not Anna's fault. It is the corrupt government's fault.

from:  Ramanath
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:00 IST

It is an interesting alternate voice in the midst of the noise. I am thankful to Anna for creating this awareness on corruption and encouraging citizens to express their views. I agree we need to tackle corruption as a 'society' to move forward and the government has a key role to play. I am confident that something good will come out of this. However I have worried that we haven't learned our lessons from the past. This kind of unadulterated adulation we shower on Anna without understanding fully the details of what he is proposing scares me. This is bordering on Hero worship. Absolute power corrupts a person and clouds their judgment. We use to and still do shower this kind of blind adulation towards politician for years on end without accountability and see where we have landed. What we did to our politician years ago is what we are doing again to Anna. I want to support Anna on some issues. I would urge him to introspect on issues where there is an alternate view.

from:  Krishnaraju
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 17:58 IST

Finally some newspaper dared to publish a different opinion. People failed to understand two things - the protest is advertised in the name of corruption so obviously no one will disagree. The government is pushed on the bill even when they also say they are against corruption. Anna in a very intelligent way is using corruption campaign to push the bill. The deadlines, terms etc thrown at the government simply highlight the danger which people will face in the long run. The freedom of so called democracy is stretched to its limit. The government on their part made the mess out of everything. Really a true leader is missing...

from:  santosh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 17:57 IST

You just successfully managed to put down in words what the REAL people of India think. Anna and his team is but literally putting a gun to all our heads and asking that his draconian bill be passed at all costs. Its high time people like you and the rest of the sane literatti came out of your shells and put an end to this insanity which has put our country on hold.

from:  Ameetha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 17:13 IST

I do share my reservations with Arundhati, corruption is a deep seeded and is an outcome of "deeds" from inequality to bribery. Anna's movement reflects the topical money laundering issues in every step of order which is now recognized by the urban janta namely the tax payers. Is this a nationalists' movement working as a narrow-spectrum antibiotic, when a national Human Reform is a greater cause?

from:  Manjari
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 17:13 IST

Great article by a great thinker. Who will make the biased Indians understand the real facts/reality? Every Indian should use their own brain and be enlightened...I agree with Ms.A.Roy

from:  Chiradeep
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 17:09 IST

This article gives a different view to Anna's Anti corruption movement. Indian people are always want to go behind someone without understanding their motives , principles and policies. I too do not want corruption in our country. If all the people who support Anna stay away from corruption than corruption will be reduced to half, this is true. Human Values should come from the heart not from the Lokpal that is going to be introduced in Parliment.

from:  M.Arunkumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 17:07 IST

I think it is time that we use our common sense and try to understand what Arundhati is trying to say. there are so many burning issues in hand which are mentioned n the article which need priority. We are a country of hypocrites. We hardly give a damn about human rights violations and loss of livelihood and property happening in many places mostly because we are safe. Arundhati is >right when she says that you wouldn't shout Bharat Mata ki jai, when you lose your land and means of livelihood to corporate companies. Let us understand what our country needs at the moment.

from:  Gautam Mohan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 17:06 IST

Nice article. gives a new perspective to the whole drama going on in the country. I personally feel that it has become a fashion to support Anna ji. Though I support his cause that yes corruption is a necessary evil but the methods used by him is not correct. You are absolutely correct about the corruption in the private sector. If lokpal is being formed it should include the private sector as well. Point to be noted here is that after your article Anna has expanded his goal to also raise voices for farmers land acquisition and for other issues. I think this is the change brought in by your article.
I appreciate your effort in writing this article. However if you have presented the vendor example in a different manner then I think it would have been more appealing to the people.

from:  Shubham singh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 17:05 IST

Ms Roy tells that 80% of Indians live on Rs.20/ per day. This is exactly what corruption has done to our country in the last 64 years. One man has taken this cause and galvanised all strata of society. Anna had also been negotiating with the Government for a strong Lok Pal bill but unless there is pressure from people, Governments do not act. If Ms Roy has ideas, let her participate in the debate and include her ideas rather than spin out clever words which does not solve the long standing issue of corruption.

from:  P Sreenivasan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 17:05 IST

Thank you Ms. Roy for writing such a necessary article. I believe the first step to anti corruption is cleaning one's mind first...no matter what types of laws there are,if the mind is corrupted no laws can change it...i wonder how clean d new representatives and workers of d lokpal be,if they actually succeed in forming the body.

from:  lin thoi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:57 IST

As I was going through the comments here, I see one thing people just wants anyone who speaks against Anna to be out. I dont see one comment which even closely justify one word AR has written here, but rather see everyone against the Govt and AR. I do see that everyone is against the govt who now thinks that it was a mistake to be in power for so many days.
I have a question to Anna Supporters here, if a Fresh elections comes up and if people vote the Congress back to power would that mean that the Anna movement was false? Because as I see the govt will definitely pull up something before the next election for the farmers and there is all chance that the congress is back in power and the BJP left open mouthed. In such situation where would Anna and his supporters go? What I can see here is that our country being divided again and again. First the British made a fool of us Indians for over 200 years now its time of the politicians and leaders like Anna to divide us. When would we learn?

from:  Max
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:56 IST

This is the bare truth. Any organization above the judiciary, legislative and executive powers is dangerous. Very. What if they failed to check corruption? (and they do have the power) Anti-Corruption is just the mask. You never saw what's inside. Now they've the support (they know what will click) India's future is very uncertain with this bill. A direct attack on democracy. Citizens are misled and fooled. PMO should never be compromised. National Security will be compromised otherwise. Judiciary should be independent. There must be other options to check it. (Open talks and discussion should be favored) An ultimate threat, huh! Where on earth are we heading to? There must be other ways to check corruption. My opinion or suggestion? Don't threaten, open up. Let's talk.

from:  Sudhir Verma
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:56 IST

I have been a fan of your work for a while. I thought you'd lost the plot somewhere down the line. Glad to see that you're back, and how! :)

from:  Akashi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:55 IST

what a sad piece of article. Now we get a leader who is genuine and clean and we question his ways. Can Ms. Roy suggest any better and concrete ways? And what is wrong with 'Vande Matram'. People are just praising their motherland. How is this objectionable?

from:  Sushant
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:55 IST

Like all the the western economic thought or allopathic health practices, entire Indian society wants to treat, rather manage the symptoms of problem and not the roots. You are abosolutely on dot Ms Roy in pointing out that, grassroot actions and not the draconial laws would help addressing the problem. We already have plethora of them. Yet, there is need for the 'movement Anna'. What is the guarantee that even after Jan Lokpal Bill, there will not be need for another agitation. After all the people that are going to be appointed under the proposed law are not going to be hired from either moon or mars. They would be Indians and from this very system. Then why so nuch of hullaboo, why burden the government with additional expenditure over yet another department, about which no one can assure whether it is not going to be corrupt. Movement taking sacrosanct position not okay. India minus IAC is much larger and yet very much Indian in committment.

from:  Rajeev
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:36 IST

It seems to be her just another media gimmick that she does always to grab the eyeballs. Just go against what everyone is thinking and doing and there you have a TRP. This article is totally pointless except for a very fancy heading. She talks abt what's going on in Delhi , she talks abt what media is talking then she explains what Lokpal Bill is all about as if no one knows it. Then she addresses some very genuine social issues like that of Irom Sharmila and other which has absolutely got nothing to do with Lokpal bill or for what Anna is fighting for and then she complains Anna is not doing anything for that hence she hates Anna Hazare. The Govt is not doing anything for Global warming and Anna is not talking abt that Shall we all not hate Anna Hazare for that? My suggestion to hindu editors please paste such articles in the classfied ads for individuals section because thats what she is doing here for herself!!

from:  Utsav Gupta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:34 IST

Madam I agree to few points that you made but you have missed many points. 1. The Lokpal may be all what you said but you forget one main thing that he will be more accountable to the people of India. 2. The lokpal will look into complaints that are anti-constitutional (your 'shopping mall' premise doesn't hold) 3. Anna isn't someone who says he is a crusader of all other problems you mention (suicides etc.) If you feel so much about it, you can begin your protest against them. Instead of batting for Kashmiri separatists, that would be a way better thing to do. 4. Independent and credible agencies can probe Mr. Kejriwal and M.r Sisodia without your kind help.

from:  Mangesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:32 IST

Arundhati.... Finally a voice of sanity in the midst of utter chaos and 'anna'rchy. You're bang on target about the Irom Sharmila, Sopore, human trafficking and other so called 'low-profile' but worthy and genuine causes. While I don't mean to belittle the issue of corruption and the Government's method of tackling it less than desirable, we seriously cannot encourage such forces trying to quash the very essence of Parliament and Democracy. When a bill is presented to a Standing committee and when there are so many options available for legal recourse, why are we adopting this strategy? God forbid(if there is one...)the day another so called Gandhian or many such Gandhians pick up other issues and resorts to this mechanism of protest...Ms. Roy, a worthy, articulate article at a vital time when all hell seems to be breaking lose and people seem to have lost their sense...

from:  Vini
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:32 IST

Ms. Roy if you ever get some time from your numerous social issues, just read the comments here. You will be 'enlightened'.

from:  Ankur Gupta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:31 IST

Arundothi Roy has raised vital points that forces us to think that there is no place for a myopic understanding of how corruption flourishes under the patronage of our oligarchy.It is a deep seated political problem that cannot be solved by a simple legislation. However, i also feel we cannot keep silent on what is happening. We cannot just point finger and say Anna is right or wrong. His principles are nobel, however his means of achieving it is doubtful. At the end of the day somebody had to ring the alarm bell and trigger the struggle. We should at the same time be introspective of corruption and who benefits from it in noe-liberal India.

from:  Debojyoti das
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:31 IST

I agree with Arundhati Roy's views. Anna Hazare sounds like a dictator and anarchist. He has succeeded in whipping the emotions of the public and is riding on mass frenzy, thanks to the ineptness and the stupidity of the UPA government. Anna acts if he and his associates are the custodians of morality. While everyone agrees to the cause Anna is championing, no right-minded people, who believe in the rule of law and true democracy, would concede to Anna's despotic demands and blackmailing. Unless Anna and his team listen to the voice of reason and are prepared for a dialogue with the government and the wider sections of the civil society, this country will be pushed further into chaos. If that happens, it is not just the government, but Anna and his team also will be held accountable. Finally, national media have been extremely biased and have not kept the larger good of the nation in view. One would have expected the media to act in a more dispassionate, mature and responsible way.

from:  Vargis Jos
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:30 IST

Anna's critics are correct in that he is armtwisting the government, that this is not the right way in democracy, that a change in mindset is necessary etc. But remember that all these options are valid in a just system, in a fair democracy and in a country where leaders are caring and responsive. But unfortunately, India is in a critical condition, and this calls for a critical operation, a surgery, which though painful, is the only solution. that's what Anna is doing now.
Roy is absolutely wrong on this point, though I support her on many other issues. You can wax eloquent, but you don't have a solution. So, please come to your senses. If Indian democracy is going to sink because of this strike, let it. Is it so feeble?

from:  Hussain K
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:30 IST

I do not see the point of this article. Ms Roy seems overly skeptical and critical, while failing to point out a better solution.In my humble opinion ,when the even when the essay is read as a fictional account, it fails to make a cogent argument. "Who is he really, this new saint, this Voice of the People? Oddly enough we've heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern. Nothing about the farmer's suicides in his neighbourhood, or about Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer's agitations or the blight of SEZs. He doesn't seem to have a view about the Government's plans to deploy the Indian Army in the forests of Central India."
Yes but he is crusading against at least one cause.A flawed Anna is better than no Anna.

from:  Prerak T Desai
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:29 IST

Mere jugglery of English words will not solve any problem Ms.Roy! We have seen so much of corruption in our daily lives that we want to do something to change the whole system so that everybody benefits. And when a Gandhian like Anna leads it is but natural that everyone supports him. At least we have got a voice.You are entitled to your opinion as we are a democratic nation, but be sure that we will not fall prey to it!

from:  Sridhar C R
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:29 IST

i agree with A R for many reasons put up in this article.time will tell how this anna drama was stage managed. why waste time.

from:  lateef mohamad
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:02 IST

Its sad to see that the youth of India can be so easily led by anyone and everyone. Hardly anyone supporting this mass hysteria understands the full implication and reach of the Anna's version of the Bill. Not only will it destroy the democratic setup of our country, it will neither do away with the daily corruption that the common man faces. To stop corruption, we the people have to turn around and change, running along with a crowd crying out slogans will never give us an India free of corrution.

from:  Swati
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:02 IST

I would have been seriously worried about the credibility of Anna Hazare if left-wing extremists like Arundati Roy start support him. Thankfully, I know which side of the street she is on. I am afraid The Hindu is just wasting a lot of pixel space with her inane conspiracy theories and hard to comprehend logic (more like non-logic).

from:  Krishna Reddy G.
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:01 IST

Arundhati mam :) I think She can only write well. This issue is being pending from many years. Where were all you talented people. Now one common man is raising his voice, all these chamakdhamak people are worrying. Anna is doing his fast to control and stop corruption. Otherwise he would hanve not got such a huge support from many people (off course talented).

from:  Diptee
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:01 IST

Ms. Roy, I read somwhere,'Hardest thing to do, to start' that's what ANNA did and doing for us. But sad thing is that you didnt understand other side of view. let me tell you one thing, yesterday, one of the MP and minister of this govt told press that, ten thousand people can gather in a city like delhi by just taking 'DAMRU' in one hand. what these MP's think of themselves. All people gathered at Ramleela are monkeys?????? Leaders should always remember that, they are elected by the people of india to serve them, not to rule them. If you don't support the cause then atleast don't divert the attention.

from:  Jitendra Patil
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 16:00 IST

AR is right on the money, Anna Hazare and his bill is taking this country closer towards a civil war!!!! The parliment and judiciary are the highest offices in a democratic form of government, you can't replace or supersede them!

from:  Kailash
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:55 IST

Ms Roy who is funding the poorest of poor adivasis with ammo? How can you expect mr hazare to address all problems being faced by India at one go. He has started with corruption let us first sort this out. By the way, how come you have no solution to offer. Perhaps you wrote the article just to get some attention!

from:  Raj n
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:55 IST

Arundhati Roy, Brilliant!

from:  Abdul
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:54 IST

Everyone enlightened individual in this country has his/her own view on Lokpal Ms. AR but I think we have consensus against corruption.At the end of the day, I'll rather support Anna who at the age of 74 is doing something for the country rather than supporting someone who is sitting and writing his views for a newspaper. Time has come to act!

from:  abhishek
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:54 IST

This article looks like written under frustration. If you are not able to provide solution for the current problem, then you should praise the efforts make by others, even if his method wrong... First, Indian needs solution from this corruption. Our PM is not efficient to tackle this problem and his is so pessimist that he is not even try. in every interview, Mr. PM told for all issue,"There is no Magic WAND". So, what will we do. Ms. Anundhati Roy, If you have any solution for this problem, please suggest to people, and we follow you.

from:  Jitendra
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:47 IST

Ms Roy, What do you know about common man's suffering? Have you done anything to relieve it even at the level of one village? Do you have a solution to the corruption problem or at at least can you suggest the first step to start correcting the problem? Do people trust you and follow you? Anna Hazare has all this qualification and you have none. Why don't you simply sit in your arm chair and write books which no one care about or support people who believe in violence. When you open your mouth, we realise how big Anna is. Thanks for that anyway.

from:  Dr Nachi Arunachalam
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:46 IST

Whether the Anna's movement is right or wrong, we Indians want a change in our constitution and more likely it is going to happen. Time will tell whether the change is good or bad for India.

from:  Rajmohan Sathyadev
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:45 IST

View of Arundhati Roy is highly biased.She is following the same path as that of Anna Hazare, infact her path goes on the edge of treason.Yet she is cynical of non violent protests of Anna. I guess she does not like the fact that many youngsters and middle class Indians have awaken and are walking behind Anna Hazare to launch the revolution. Something she dreamt of for her self.

from:  Abhishek Upadhyay
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:44 IST

This statment shows her frustation because anna did not make her part of his team. it happens sometimes with some people when they goes to old. Miss roy we can understand your feelings, but my suggestion you to check with good psycologist. Get Well Soon !!

from:  Sunil
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:44 IST

Not a single party or a single mp has come openly in support of lokpal bill,this tells you how much they fear investigation. Pity on these so called nationalized parties.

from:  chandan khanduja
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:44 IST

What has she done against corruption ? Or is she having better idea to counter it and better modus operandi ? People would have supported anybody who did what Anna is doing. To criticize Anna and his methods, a better and effective idea is needed. Just saw 158 comments over her article nobody supports her ideas. She has to make her intentions clear. She is not even a reporter or journalist. I think she had to write something about it as it the most 'hot' topic to write about. Point is simple, anybody better than Anna and any modus operandi better than what he has adopted will be welcomed by most if not all. But where is that thought, and where is that drive. Fact if she sits in front of Ramlila Ground against Anna. May be few 10s of people might support her, but she will eventually miss her Air conditioned home.

from:  Chhavi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:44 IST

Surely has lost her brain.Without solution,only blaming social,noble movement. Dam sure you have got Govt-infection and need treatment..! Anti-IAC,only finding loopholes,do they have any sense that without Anna's movement we would not have Lokpal in next 64 yrs also..!! Have you gone thru the Govt's draft??Without deadline Govt machinery doesnt work,recall CWG. Much debate has been done by Govt.Even standing committee includes corrupt like infamous representatives Laluprasad and Amar singh Our Sansad people are afraid because if JanLokpal is passed they have to leave being corrupt with hardly any exception. We The People of India experiencing scams after scams and she is talking against IAC movement..Not accepted and should not at all by any Indian.. No way we want strong JanLokpal bill in this parliament session Only. Caution-Arundhati:Don't make publicity by making controversial statement.You are better for page3 photographs..Try there. You are also welcome on stage at Ramlila for debate.

from:  Pushkar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:43 IST

Yes A. Roy.. you are right, only Gelaani's, Kasab's and Naxals are right and their method of protest is right, but not Anna Ji. what a great thinking. The people like are real problem. Grapes are Sour.. Really. Jai Ho..

from:  DS Bhatti
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:43 IST

I can smell congress attitude from her words. typical congress types who is mixing words very wisely and diplomatically to put the congress on forefront..in an article of 220 lines.. thousands of words, she has criticized the government in few lines .. rest criticizing anna's campaign! she wrote it wisely and very diplomatically ..( actually very very diplomatically)..

from:  mugzahls
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:42 IST

great article.. it's ridiculous how righteous everyone else has become, except the 'corrupt politicians'.. corruption is a way of life for everyone.. in fact it's the only thing that makes survival possible for millions of people in this 'great' nation which otherwise has become a poaching-land for corporates (including the corporate-backed media)..

from:  sneha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:41 IST

Thank for unfolding some core facts about Anna Movement...Vry thought provoking indeed....

from:  Shelley
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:41 IST

Arundati Roy's view is the best one for one who analyze the actual situation of this country and support some one for anti corruption . She clearly expresses why Anna not able call the Maoists who are also against corruption and the UPA . Lokpal is not the solution and Anna Hazare is not India . Media is now like Gandhi's monkeys who tightly shut their eyes ears and mouth towards truth . Thanks to AR and Hindu for exposing the 'true nationalists' or flag wavers and their middle class attitude .

from:  Fredrick
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:41 IST

80% of teh article has been devoted on Anna and very few words on the bill itself. 1. Team Anna is not looking to over throw the government 2. What is wrong in having a big bearaucracy to ensure eradication/ decrease of corruption. 3. The need to hv a separate hv an independant lokpal has been necessitated as the CBI reports to people being investigated by it. 4. The struggles that u hv mentioned have affected undoubtedly lot of people BUT CORRUPTION has victimised EVERYONE no matter whether is from Maipur, bhopal etc The fact remains Millions are supporting this cause. To every cause u hv mentioned there are hundreds about which u have also not heard. Are u taking up teh cause of house hold helps, womens sexual abuse etc. Are these causes any less? I just dont seem to understand teh problem if some cause gets more attention then others.So U definitely cannot critisize him for not speaking about manipur, farmers suicide etc 5. ALl the details of the donations hv been public

from:  Shelly
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:40 IST

You can make some people fool for all the time, You can make some people fool for some time, but you cannot make all the people fool all the time, so fight against corruption

from:  dp
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:39 IST

I think that your statements are far away from the feel of pulse of common man right now. Do u know how much it costs for a common man to just get a simple passport.I surely say many sitting in million league dont have a clue. Instead of criticizing a move forward we should applaud it , and have a sense to amend d faults. For the faults you mentioned ,i think it should be cleared amid of healthy discussion between the govt and team anna , and as far as d luxury of anna mentioning video messages from Tihar jail,i think it is nothing when compared with which luxury the govt arrested him.

from:  Chandan Khanduja
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:30 IST

Yet another very reasonable and sensible artice from Arunthathi Roy.

from:  Negia
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:29 IST

Whoever blasting Anna Hazare should think something, Why people are supporting Anna? (Its true but dont bother the politicians).People are completely fed up ! The amount of money involved in scandals are increasing in geometric progression and nobody gets punished! In fact nothing is in sight to stop corruption that harms the economy and thereby the public! He may be aggressive or whatever, somebody is there for the 'vox populi'.

from:  Raghul rajan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:28 IST

Honestly I am yet to look at the bill & desist from any comments about why Ms Roy said what she said. yet, I am tempted to make few points.....her write-up is brilliant particularly the last paragraph about govt failure.Also,the reactions to her article are no less cogent highlighting the desperation of the people.It is that desperation which has garnered enough support for Anna. So it is understandable why people are not ready for any criticism for the movement . After all,Anna is now a public figure & open to public scrutiny including that of Ms.Roy......well, about the nitty-gritty of the lokpal bill we have so many experts.BUT IS LEGISLATION THE ANSWER......think my friends!you have the same set of people who shall execute them.you have the same set of people who will interpret them.Therefore, protest is like oxygen & debate,the diagnosis.WE MUST CHANGE THE OLD LINE OF TREATMENT BY PICKING UP THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR THE RIGHT JOB.

from:  Lokesh Roy
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:27 IST

In a country so complex and corrupt, we can't do better than to recognise the value of a mass leader like Anna, warts and all. His lack of appeal to Arundhati is easy to understand, its a bit of chalk and cheese: Anna is a mass movement leader. Arundhati is a dreamy writer. I don't think she can do much to alleviate the poverty and injustice experienced by the poor. But Anna's movement will surely shake up the entrenched and corrupt ruling class.

from:  R Sachi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:26 IST

Well said. This movement has turned out to be a mere Urban middle-class movement. I wonder why Team Anna is not realising that govt. and govt. officials are none other than India people themselves. Its high time that Indians educate themselves and restrain from using Gandhian methods to press for vested interests.

from:  Akhil P
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:23 IST

If Team Anna really thinks that 90 percent of the country supports them, why don't they wait till 2014, run for parliament, get 90 percent majority and make any law they like...Anger against corruption is one thing, i don't think anyone has any issues with that... but to use that anger to push through the Jan Lokpal is dangerous...

from:  Another Reader
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:17 IST

Roy's argument however unpalatable hits the nail on the head. Her level-headed approach has in mind the greater good. But most of us yearn for quick-fix solutions which ultimately will feather our own nest. Roy's writings are of a different calibre. Not only are they honest but they go to the root of the problem.

from:  dxf
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:17 IST

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It will not be long before this lokpal will become another monster. It should only target the nodal powers of corruption and rest will fall in line.

from:  Kobe
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:15 IST

I fully agree with AR. It is a whip for those who go behind Anna's back without knowing. Everyone should be against anti-corruption and accept draconian punishments. Anna is not India. India is not Anna. India is India. Anna is Anna and this is not second freedom struggle.

from:  Riyaz
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:06 IST

For your kind information, this just a beginning - we are facing corruption ever since we are born and this corruption is all the way till end of life. But here there is a person who is highlighting corruption and want some initial process in place so that for there we can improve the process to eradicating corruption from this country..We know Lok pal cannot stop corruption in one day … but at least we need to consider this as baby step for future .

from:  Pardha saradhi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:04 IST

Ms. Arundhati Roy, a person with minimum common sense knows that Jan Lokpal Bill won't end all the corruption in India all on a sudden. Common man see's this as an oppurtunity to do atleast something to reduce the corruption prevailing all around us. Atleast, Something is better than nothing at all. Politicians and people wanting power and influence won't support Jan Lokpal because it has the potential to make them accountable for their actions. Anna may not be the best person in India, but still he definetly better than any other politician or certain self proclaimed social activists and philosophers.

from:  Praveen Koshy Vaidyan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:02 IST

Excellent piece! The issues raised by Arundhati Roy requires serious >examination, especially about the structural/systemic embedding of corruption that is not targeted by the current movement...the overkill notwithstanding, I think there are still several very critical issues that she raises and that makes the frenzied people in the movement rather uncomfortable, as is obvious from the responses to her piece.

from:  Pankaj
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 15:02 IST

Arundhati Roy is a powerful writer and a relatively weak activist. She writes what she feels supported by facts and realities. She may not offer solutions but so is the case with most writers and journalists. She is not a doctor to diagnose the disease and prescribe medicines. But her diagnosis appears to be accurate and unbiased with the least of hypocrisy. (See what happened to the Enron adventure in Maharashtra). Arundhati Roy was involved in the Narmada Dam issue and she also lived in the Bastar forests with tribals. She has seen rural India and knows something about it, unlike many in the Hazare Camp and the Delhi Mumbai elites. The corporates blame Arundhati Roy, the communists blame her, the urban elites blame her and not many in rural India know her. The fact is that all who read, read Arundhati Roy; most listen to her and a few listen to what she didn't say.

from:  M.P.Kurian
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:57 IST

Arundhati'thank for this article,u have rightly pointed out some of the people's outcry and movements that are happening across the sub continent where national media fail to treat like they do for covering anna movement,govt seems to pay more interest on the selective struggle or movements when and only reach to cripple national capital and the rest are left in the hand of god,far off the national capital in the eastern coner of india iron lady of manipur irom chanu sharmila hav been fasting for more than a ten year for to repeal AFSPA(A DRACONIAN LAW THAT ALLOW SOLDIERS TO KILL ANY ONE ON THE GROUND OF SUSPICION) bt here the larger civil society groups,govt and media fail to address peoples' struggle to claim for their basic democratic right" lastly i would like 2 thank HINDU for publishing dis article

from:  Sanayaima rk
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:49 IST

Hmm, why don't you offer us alternative - Ms. Arundhati Roy, and let us choose? We, TV watching, office working, better life aspiring middle class of India, are still a citizenry of this republic and have full right to democratically protest and have our voice heard.

from:  Anuj Tewari
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:43 IST

Well, no one is perfect and no solution is a perfect solution.. But just because something is not fool proof, will you stop trying to make things better..I agree that Jan Lokpal won't eradicate corruption 100%, in fact no country in this world is 100% corruption free.I think Janlokpal or any other mechanism for that matter, even it it gives 30-40% results, is worth implementing. Afterall, something is better than nothing..Out Govt sound so much like BCCI trying to oppose DRS, saying it was only 95% accurate. lol.

from:  Alok
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:36 IST

It's unfortunate to see so many comments criticizing the article, seemingly, without even understanding the argument. The one major complaint across the comments is that 'no solution is proposed'. That may be, but the problem is identified with the statement "Gandhiji's ideas about the decentralisation of power". Heard of gram swaraj? Who provides my communications service is not decided by some Minister (read Mr. A. Raja), who I did not even vote for. To make it simpler, take the 2G spectrum case itself. Instead of the 10 licenses that the said minister sold, decentralization means 4 to be sold by the center. 3 by the state. 2 by the district authorities. 1 by our own village/ward. External affairs, Defense and probably State relations are the only ministries that the center should ideally concentrate on. You might ask, if decision making is so decentralized, we need so many more people with technical abilities - which simply means more jobs.

from:  Venkata Goda
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:35 IST

"Will the 830 million people living on Rs.20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war?" - Question by Arundhati Roy.
They will certainly benefit by the lokpal...because the person paying them will pay them their entire due, instead of eating something in between. The argument of a poor woman trying to sell footwear to poor people at low cost in a metropolis, does this means that bribery should be promoted? Lots of points which i don't agree with the author. The article has tried hard to show the negative side of the protest, but remember there is a negative way to interpret this article too.

from:  dhiraj
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:35 IST

Madam, First, If you have not visited to any of the rallies I would like to suggest you to go to Ramleela Maidan once, You will understand the the compassion of not only middle class but from every class of society. I am pitying on your limited four answer choices, only looking at few slogans. There is a lot more than the slogans. It is a voice of masses against the egoistic goverment, whose approach is wait and watch rather than pro-wisdom. Almost all the surveys have supported Jan Lok pall Bill rather than Govt Bill. Annaji's team is even ready to incorporate suggestions since the start. I am not sure whether Mrs Aruna Roy had given the recommendation to Annaji's team.

from:  ankit
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:32 IST

Simply wonderful piece of writing at a rather critical hour. Both the civil society and the state stand naked in one of the worst belligerent drama involving a largely upwardly mobile modern middle sections of our society. Arundhati is a bit insensitive to the frustrations and pains of individuals from such classes with corrupt governance, which attracts them to Anna for some time. But Arundhati is right that this class is not responsive or even conscious of teeming deprivations in the country. Say more!

from:  Pradeep
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:31 IST

Why have the people lost all their senses? Everyone is crying for an unelected body to control the elected members, and you call it democracy? My foot! If all these people who participate in this so called movement had used their voting power rationally without any party-politics bias then we would have seen something of real substance by now. I still see people going out and vote for a Congress or BJP or CPM member or a Hindu or Muslim or Christian for that matter without checking what he or she really is. Leave Ms Roy alone, she has a point there. Indian public can easily be manipulated by media and that is what you're seeing now. A farce of pseudo-pride.

from:  Hashim
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:28 IST

I would like to share with you that even I have somewhat same opinion on the Anna's methodology and demands. Though am not the person who endorse all your opinions made public over the time The Kashmir and Kashmiris can be the recent one to quote. But on the present crisis created by Anna and his Team along with brainless media I have something to share with you and all of educated and Intelligent Indians who can figure out that if the Jan Lokpal Bill Anna and his Team is demanding about can lead to Monarchism and Dictatorship at extreme in India.

from:  Nikesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:27 IST

Our country has legislated umpteen number of laws for providing good governance. But the public is unaware of these laws or they seek shortcuts for avoiding the procedural delays. Even if the so called Lokpal is passed by the Parliament it will become just another power structure to further drain out the countries exchequer. So reforms have to start from within individuals. No laws can eliminate corruption until each one of us reform our-self.

from:  A R Vinayak Das
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:18 IST

Dear Ms Roy, we are living with corruption. From National economic point of view, the corruption at higher level is more alarming than at lower lavel. The money of higher corruption goes out of our country which, make ours economy weaker. With the help of existing law, corrupts hardly get caught, if caught then, maximum few months of imprisonment (that also in few cases) but, the nation did not get the money back in our treasury.
We have different agencies to look after different aspects of the people, like, Judiciary, Education Dept, Income tax dept, sales tax, CBI, CID, Police, BSF, Army, Navy Air Force, etc, etc. It will be better if, with the help of an Act, we create an agency to look after the issues of corruption only, and recommend the government action against the corrupts. Now,the issues you have raised in your article, most of them are because of corruption. Checking the corruption will solve hundred and thousands of problems.

from:  K N Jha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:14 IST

Well, about 90% comments are in support of Anna's movement and only 10% are opposing it. So, the verdict is quite clear. I think the opposing ones must visit the agitation sites to bring some sense into their thinking. I have spent quite a bit of time with the agitators to understand the kind of rich & poor, educated & illiterates ready to give their life for this cause. And that is the greatest accomplishment of this movement. To hell with democracy & constitution if they don't serve the poor and needy. Majority of Indians have lost faith in the Indian democracy and the constitution on India simply because they are for the rich and powerful only. British left and Indians took over, that is the only difference. AR is talking about Indian constitution - how many of our poor and ignorant citizens know about it. May be a few handful of activists and lawyers. Indian constitution is a piece of trash for the rest. Trash should be recycled for clean environment - this is the need of the hour.

from:  Maddy
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:13 IST

Everyone tempts to criticize rather than suggesting well alternatives to tackle the problem. Whatever you mentioned in this article is obvious and clear but in the present scenario anticorruption movement is gaining momentum. Don't you think that autonomous ombudsman (strong) is necessary for country? If people are afraid of committing in corruption, there would be more transparency and other problems that you mentioned would be receded. It't time to eradicate the filthy and lame duck political policies at the expense of national interest. The impetus for this present movement is neither political nor personal. Let them hear the clamour of the Indian people against corruption and for strong lokpal bill. Present movement is not for ANNA, it is for ourselfs

from:  chandu adapala
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:08 IST

As always the savagely-forever-hungry-media is responsible for making him an icon overnight. Besides, deep down almost everybody loves to be part of a mob, because that's when shouting out slogans, littering the streets, jaywalking amidst busy traffic, being an utter nuisance, is all acceptable in the name of wiping out corruption!

from:  Kishore Karumbaiah
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:06 IST

Good piece in Hindu by Arundhati-this article makes clear-who has 'fascist approach' to achieve goal? Sadly close associate of Anna, Ms Kiran Bedi has said "Anna is India and India is Anna". Thus he has given a "colour of fascism to Anna's agitation" . Hindu's edit a few days back has reflected such thing and has said that Anna cannot be India- India cannot be Anna. She has equated Anna with D K Baruwa's during emergency in his book , Indira is India and India is Indira", reflecting "fascismof Indira"!I oppose your views on Maosists,equating their agitation with Anna.Naxalites are fighting for exploited poor unlike Anna.Naxalites are never for throwing Indian state but their fight is for change in system, exploiting the poor.Anna's JLP bill will create another power centre under Constitution.These people and govt are silent over many stirs including of Sharmila in Manipur!Anna's agitation, thanks to Kejariwal and Shisodia's NGOs, support of unseen forces. my blog www.kksingh1.blogspot.com

from:  krishn kumar singh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:04 IST

Dear Mr Prashanth Konaje, the BJP govt had its fair share of scams.. You seem to forget while mentioning the congress govts scams. Ms Roy has shown the different side of the coin, please do not shy away from looking at this.

from:  Shahid
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:03 IST

Awesome article AR. These have been precisely my views. For all those who've suddenly become saints and patriotic Indians, take a step back and ask you're self if you've bribed anyone for anything, if you have, i'm sorry you have no right to protest. You are contributing to this cancer by doing so. So get off your high horses and realise what will actually change India, and it's not this ridiculous bill. How would you like if you're right of privacy is invaded by this law. Please read this bill before you start going around crusading on your bikes and scooters.You can protest all u want, but the 900 million others in India, don't even know what's happening in the country. Yet you all say that India is Anna and India wants this dumb bill.

from:  Noel
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:03 IST

Nice to see the clearly stated parallels between maoists and 'Team anna'. And I really liked the salutation, 'freshly minted saint' too as well as the reference to anti-reservation protests, as it was new to me. It is clearly an undemocratic protest for an undemocratic cause. They are just cashing in on the frustration against corruption from the urban Indian middle class and elites, while the truth is that corruption is pervasive and is not limited to politicians. They are using funny terms like 'second independence struggle', 'second emergency' to take on a democratically elected govt. As you said, the govt. by acting in multiple foolish means, is helping them unknowingly. Only because India is a democracy and the fact that the public image of the govt. is at an all time low, these 'amul krantis' are getting away with anything.

from:  Harisankar H
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:01 IST

intellectual corruption... I am disappointed by her... linking the movement with RSS is like anyone who is against Congress/Corruption is Communal... while Congress is the most dangerous Communal political outfit... accusing that the movement is anti-dalit, upsurge of forward castes etc etc ...and then accusing sources of funds... all the statements except the last paragraph is so motivated.

from:  Alok Kumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:01 IST

Hats Off... This is an eye opener for all morons who have put horse blinders and walking a sheep mentality. This kind of insight was really needed for whats going around. Mam i really appreciate for this article. What happened when 100's of kashmiri youth was killed last year , were was Anna hazare that time,he is just trying to play with Ghandian philosophy which he is not even aware of . This is just the frustrated way the Indian people are opting ,, No one looks other way ...

from:  Gowhar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:01 IST

Well written. Supporting Anna Hazare is becoming a craze or a cool factor for all the opposition leaders, religious or some movement leaders, etc. I'm afraid that this is not going in the right direction and will soon become a 'vote bank' in the next elections. It is interesting that 'corrupt opposition politicians' are become part of Team Anna.

from:  Gnana
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:00 IST

Arundhati Roy will always debate through news papers. She is famous for being critical of everything that goes on in this world. Every reasonable mind in this country knows Janlokpal will have to be thoroughly debated before it is passed. Annas fast is not for passing the Janlokpal draft as it is...it is to question the Congress regime - do you have the political will to pass a strong anti corruption law? This is clear case of sour grapes.

from:  Gurudutt
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 14:00 IST

Ms.Roy while I second your opinion on media shying away from issues other than the one taken up by Anna, lets be appreciative of the fact that people are now ready to stand for something that is for their betterment and the country's. There was even an other side to Mahathma Gandhi. Instead of pointing the fingers to a person's negatives, it is better absorb their positive values they stand for. True, India can never be Anna and vice-versa but this is a moment to realise that we can be ourselves - a true citizen supporting this movement. Where the conscience governs, the need for the vanishes.

from:  M.Bharath Yeshwanth
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:59 IST

Most of us dont seem to agree with what Arundhati says BUT i got caught in yesterdy's march near India Gate and CP area. Those marching were educated people absolutely non violent and in rythm i should say. But it was hard to ignore those taporis triple riding on bikes going to connecting roads without any reason just to show their newly acquired power, without helmets, flouting all laws, red lights, honking badly as if they rule the city. You could figure out they dont belong to the masses who are marching. And our police as usual laughing it away as if not concerned. These are the bad after effects we have to worry about.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:59 IST

Dear Arundhati Ji, Your article doesn't reflect a detailed understanding of the issue. The lokpal will not have authority to prosecute. That will still remain with the Supreme Court.Your biased views apart, please do not belittle the masses by saying that we are there for the cameras! Yours is another kind of arrogance!

from:  Mukund
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:56 IST

I appreciate your views theoretically. But would you please tell us some other way. You yourself has admitted that "This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India's representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people. In which not a single democratic institution is accessible to ordinary people" Now, you should tell us if we are finding a little chance to overthrow such people out of there or to stop them following corrupt practices, shall not we do that? If you think that Anna's approach is not good, why don't you come up with a better way and we make sure that we will follow you. But if you can't, please stop distracting people. It is not one or two men doing this. Not every one is following him blindly. There are many rational people in the crowd who know what they are doing.

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:56 IST

What Aundhathy Roy has done is simply hold a mirror so that people can see themselves and their actions in a wider context. No doubt what is seen is ugly and discomforting. People hoping for a miracle will be utterly disappointed. Hence the tone of most comments above is understandable. 'Shoot the messenger' is not a reaction unheard of. People have to understand that absolute elimination corruption is unrealistic and unattainable. What can be done is manage it to an acceptable level. Imperfection is part of nature. So the questions are how we can bring down corruption and take swift and efficient action when and where it happens. Corruption is present everywhere - in the mind and in actions whether it is political, business or personal transactions. Do we have sufficient robust laws and statutory instruments? Why rule of law is so inefficient in India? If it is due to legal loopholes why are we incapable of making robust laws? Is in our democracy the three pillars of Parliament, Executive and Judiciary effectively separate? If not why that fundamental requirement of democratic system is rectified? If we look around the world we could see societies in different countries conducting their business –some very efficiently some very badly. Such information and knowledge gleaned out would be of much help in addressing our problems. Because Arundhathy Roy has no solution to suggest for the problems, does not mean that she has no right to analyse the issues and criticise the inadequacy or even the potential dangers of any proposed solutions. Probably some good could come out if everybody take a deep breath and do an audit of own self, our own social and political life. The problem India faces is very deep and fundamental. Sadly our politicians do not seem to have the ability to grasp it. To get a political leadership capable of handling the issues facing India, Indians need to become aware of what is required. The political leadership could be considered as a reflection of the eruditeness of the public. In the final analysis one may find the problem lies there and hence ‘education’ ‘education’ ‘education’ is a mantra good for the developed countries that should be a mantra good for the humans living elsewhere also. Providing quality education and unbiased information to the public is what India needs. Though I have disagreed with some of her views on other issues, this article is a good reality check.

from:  B. Baburajan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:54 IST

What should we do if we find that laws made are not implemented? What is the solution if poor people are benefitted by govt. policies? Wat should we do if govt brings very dangerous laws? What should we do if we see in front of our eyes poor farmers commiting suicides while Indian food ministry imports sugar? what should we do when govt schemes are not reaching to poor in the villages?
Should we need a Conspiracy Theorist like you to put AK47s in the hands of poorest of poors in the tribals when they cant afford 2 time meals??? How to deal with these...??? By only criticising everything what is being done? This JAnlokpal is no cure for everything.. but yes it can be the 1st step towards a positive future. IF you can not support then atleast dont speak in the language of govt.

from:  Shashank
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:54 IST

Thank you for this voice of sanity in a nation which seems to think that not supporting the Hazare movement makes one un-patriotic! Corruption is an evil that needs to be rooted out...but people forget that they are part of the 'civil society' that has fostered it..and continues to foster it!! The solution has to come from within each one of us! No point blaming the Government for everything, and diverting its attention from other issues of National importance.

from:  Janu Naresh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:54 IST

1) Like any other normal Indian Sri Anna Hazare wanted that corruption should be rooted out. He has taken some initiative by doing fast. Just for this all the people need not keep him on an equal pedestal at par with Gandhi,Nehru or Shastri etc who had had strived hard for decades together for our Independence. 2) Can we prove corruption perpetrated at lower levels like in the office of Tahsildar or Sub-registrar's office etc etc? The culprits can be booked only when the crime is proved. 3) What is required is proper education is to be given to the people at all levels. The moral values are to be taught to children. 4) If any such crimes are proved, strict punishment should be given. 5) What is the use of sacking ministers or officials after the occurrence of the loss of several thousands or lakhs of crores of rupees to the exchequer? We should also try to get the amount back!! 6) Like in some other countries, why we cannot attempt for compulsory military service?

from:  amaresh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:53 IST

Iteresting but teasing article... you are known for challenging the powerful...this piece is not an exception. I don't think any one would disagree on the key issue of 'corruption' which became a major curse on Indian Democracy. It is right time to ACT. There may be some fundamental differences with the manner in which Anna Hazare and his team is taking the 'emotions' of the people, who are deeply concerned about the problem. At the same time, it is also responsibility of people to join the process and articulate the larger issues like corruption of corporate governance, SEZs etc. Hope the Team Anna will not emotionally react to her article but take adequte steps to broad base the movement. The fight against corruption cannot be seen in narrow view of passing just Jan lokpal bill but beyond; it includes fighting all kinds of corruption, that includes corporate crimes, ending tax heavens, bringing corporates and private cos under due process of the law. Let us ACT together.

from:  kumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:50 IST

I agree with Arundhati's POV but sadly India had never been a state that gets self motivated and it has always needed a Leader to light the way, call it timidity or whatever. but this article sure does make sound. I think that creating a parallel govt or Lok Pal or whatever is not going to solve the corruption at grass root level..and to the majority of people in India that is the only bleeding point... if we want to make the difference then go ahead and don't give any bribe and after 5-10 years India will be truly Shining which i suppose this lok pal bill cannot achieve in another 20-50 years.

from:  ani
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:49 IST

It seems AR's article is directed towards gaining some undeserved attention. Many of my points are already mentioned above by fellow Indians. I have only one point to direct towards her. With 830 million population living on Rs 20 a day, the resultant corruption by those people covered under janlokpal, the inflation it brings, reduces the value of their hard earned Rs 20 to half. So the result of corruption by govt officials is more draconian than the janlokpal. The income of Rs 20/- would mean much more to the poor indians in terms of value if the corruption by the govt officials and ministers are checked.
For NGO's and corporates, there are investigative agencies like CBI etc which investigates and reports to Govt. representatives. For investigating govt officials and ministers, the investigative agencies, if reporting to govt officials, is a direct conflict of their interest and thats why we want janlokpal bill which demands for an independent investigative agency.

from:  Amit Jalan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:42 IST

Let us consider the Middle Path, a path of moderation between two extremes, taught by Lord Buddha. Neither Sarkari lokpal nor Jan lokpal are supreme versions to tackle corruption. India laps many intellectuals than just team Anna. Public opinion is most sought after option. An effort to enhance broadband penetration is the need of the hour in order to make e-governance a huge hit and combat red- tapism and corruption. Let us hope media will gather strength to articulate opinions not only for but also against Jan lokpal.

from:  Kiran
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:41 IST

I agree with Ms. Roy. The media have been glorifying Hazare and his team, without thinking properly. The solution to corruption is not a complete makeover of the existing system of democracy, which, however corrupt it is, is stable. And in my humble opinion, the methods being followed by "team Anna" is in no way Gandhian. Hazare is simply dictating the govt. to pass his version of the jan-lokpal bill and nothing else. The so called supporters of this anti-corruption campaign are simply followiing the herd without thinking on their own. Creating a parallel authority of power to judge and prosecute the existing bureaucracy and parliament will eventually bring to more corruption. We have many existing laws to deal with corruption, but why is it that corruption is still widespread? Unless and until the attitude of the people change, any number of laws is not going to reduce corruption.

from:  Nithya
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:38 IST

Brilliant Post Ms. Roy! The comments against you reflect a very sad state of our nation, we don't ask questions! We are a young nation, but at times, we forget that there are always two sides to a coin, two sides to an argument. Even if, and I might add, if, ANNA is for real, his demands are ludicrous, there is no way, the govenment should cave-in to the pressure, it's time our brothers and sisters who have gone awry should realize what's right. Thanks a tonne, and congratulations once again.

from:  Ayush Dixit
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:28 IST

I agree with Ms. Roy in some of the points. But bottom line is, in some form we are bringing a nation wide awareness to stop corruption. Which is more important.

from:  Rajib Deka
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:24 IST

Today`s generation is a product of new age media where you get tailor made news produced for your personal consumption. This balkanization which Ms Roy is suggesting is a very real and relevant phenomenon. The high caste urban middle class is surviving on its own conspiracy theory fueled by the likes of 24*7 urban oriented news syndicates and the social media networking websites such as facebook, twitter and orkut etc. And these have been very carefully media managed by Team Anna, if you look at their internet presence and the space allocated to TV channels in Ram lila ground. This charade will slowly get hijacked into anti reservation and anti congress and other platforms. There is no arguing that Anna can fast, but can he take stand against anti casteism too? Or is he a special interest group who will lobby for only one cause, and if that is the case, why invoke the nationalism concept?

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:23 IST

The most remarkable trait of pseudo intellectuals is that they would take a contrary position to the popular belief even if the popular belief has got merit. Today in India the number of pseudo intellectuals is growing by leaps and bounds. Ms. Roy is just one of them. She has a take on every issue under the sun but has not done anything concrete to make a way out of these problems. She expects Anna to have a stand on every issue but sees no merit in his stand on corruption. Anna has been fighting all his life against corruption. But for Ms. Roy he is a ‘freshly minted saint’. She mocks his fast unto death by putting it in quotes. The truth is that these pseudo intellectuals hate Anna’s guts and his popularity. She asks about Anna getting national media coverage: “Which other person would be granted this luxury?”. Let me ask her one question: Who gets so much media attention after getting just one book published and talking rubbish about every problem that India is facing?

from:  Pankaj Dahiya
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:23 IST

Let me first introduce myself, I belong to a simple middle class population of this country. Working hard every day for long hours, paying my taxes to the government and leading basically a simple middle class life like many other Indians....while always pondering over as to how is the government going to spend our money. I had stoped watching news for the last couple of years as every single news item was regarding some corrupt politician or corruption at large. And since the time the Anna Hazare's movement there is a ray of hope that India can truely become a corrupt free country....I do not understand what can be your problem in that. Yes, I know since you guys are social activists you read alot and know more about politics you can defeat me in any debate. But honestly cross your heart and then say don't you want what Anna is saying. Maybe the manner and tone is not what you approve. How else you overcome the hurdles of getting a common Indians voice heard.

from:  Amit Datta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:21 IST

This is the only statement I agree with, though not in solitarity "This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India's representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people. In which not a single democratic institution is accessible to ordinary people."
She definitely needs to state, that it has been primarily forged out of the bubble of corruption. Her last statement:"Do not be fooled by the flag waving. We're watching India being carved up in war for suzerainty that is as deadly as any battle being waged by the warlords of Afghanistan, only with much, much more at stake." >Ms.AR, can you suggest something? Last but not least, she has very smartly chosen the title of her article, and written against the topic in action. I would call that PERFECT TIMING.!

from:  Namrata
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 13:20 IST

most of the people commenting here are complete idiots. People in this country
have always largely lacked any analytical ability. I have seen the people who have come out in support in Delhi, most of them were breaking basic laws all the time, and not giving a single thought to other people on the streets. Misguided self righteousness is as harmful as outright corruption, and this tendency is open to manipulation, as we saw with Hitler. As we saw with Modi. How can these people not make a simple connection of Hazare thinking well of Modi, and his lack of comprehension of anything? Bribes are taken, only because bribes are given! And it's the people who pay bribes, they largely lack the backbone to stand up to corrupt cops, bureaucrats, seek the easy way out. Supporting Hazare is also one of those easy way outs.

from:  vijay
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:56 IST

Ms Roys comments are in true sense. Annas protests undermines the parliamentary systems and undemocratic. Corruption can not be eliminated by making rule . Why Anna and his team silent on poverty and human rights of the adivasis and working class. This is a middle class emotions.

from:  Alaudeen
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:55 IST

I think we are veiwing corruption only in monetary terms thereby narrowing it down. I look around,and the way the people conduct themselves unceremoniously on roads (rash driving), public places , etc as a form of corruption creeping into our society.It is right down from the grass-root level, that needs to be taught righteousness. By merely rooping in a bill does not solve the problem entirely. A change has to be brought about in our value system. The whole Indian mindset is about the "chalta hai attitude" and self betterment by any means. Today if your son can't get a seat in some college, parents with resources at their disposal will never think twice before buying one. I believe that the Lokpal could reap short term benefits but in the long run , I doubt. The powers it places into the hands of the masses is immense. I fear that too much power into either hands is dangerous.So the best solution would be make a balance between both, govt and lokpal,in terms of power for a betterindia

from:  Dipankar Tewari
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:55 IST

Arundhati has posed certain questions, like, "A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares to those who cannot afford the prices in the malls. Is that such a terrible thing? In future will she have to pay the Lokpal representative too? Does the solution to the problems faced by ordinary people lie in addressing the structural inequality, or in creating yet another power structure that people will have to defer to?"
Here, I feel, she has not read the JLB properly, it clearly states that "complaints against Lokpal staff will be investigated by an independant authority - SC bench and special bench. Strict punishment within 2 months."

from:  Namrata
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:52 IST

We all knows there are problems, its easy to talk about the problems but then what is the solutions. AR has listed out most of the problems in our nations but she has blindfolded about solutions. Someone (Anna) has taken couragious step, dont know how much right or wrong, atleast spread the awareness, atleast we come to know there are millions who want to get rid of so called corruption. I did not understand her point that beacuse Anna dont have opinion about other social issues so he cant carry the anti-corruption campaign. She mentioned all the instituions of our nations are corrupted, she dont want to introduce one more corrupt-institute. Assuming her statement is true, then next thing we shall find out who is more corrupt among all corrupted? Is it Presidential office or PMO, is it Election commisioner or govt. departments etc etc. As per my opinion there is no harm to introduce less corrupted body to check on more corrupted body.

from:  Pramir
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:51 IST

I'm wondering why the Anna team cannot see the inherent violence, part and parcel of the Capitalist system. The capitalism and Democracy has insolvable contradictions between them; Democracy is a situation in which I am supposed to love and share with my neighbor as with myself, but capitalism is based speculation which results in one's profit at the expense of the other. The crisis of modern democracies are simple; we are serving two masters at once. Team Anna terribly lacks vision which can inspire and address human beings in a Global scale. Global warming or climate change unmistakably proves us the impact of even one person's action on the entire life or rather the oneness of Life. The necessity of a vision which could integrate every human being is just a common sense now. Still what kind of a reductive nationalistic ideas are being propagated by Anna team... really disappointing.

from:  Shyam Balakrishnan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:37 IST

I am very astonished and dismayed to see your article. What are you trying to put across. Are you patronising corruption? A Jan Lokpal bill which will act as a deterrent to corruption is being hailed as a draconian law. To underatand and speak against the ills in the society you should have good moral values. Here is a 74 year old man who has been fasting risking his own life not for any iota of any personal benefits, but for the benefit of the entire nation and you who fill your stomach five to six times a day has the audacity to criticise and shamelsessly raise false allegations. This is utterly disgusting. If Mahatma Gandhi were alive today he would have given you a fitting reply which you would have remembered for the rest of your life. Who are you trying to fool. We know why and on whose behalf you are speaking.But the citizens are not fools like you. Fast for atleast a day, your mind will clear upand some morality would dawn& you will sing adifferent tune.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:35 IST

The agitation against corruption is correct and justified becouse it is against corruption and against those who are corrupt whether they are MP,MLA, Govt Officers or Other bodies. One has to come forward otherwise no body will listen. If child will not cry mother will not give attention and care whether he or she is hungry and require milk. To-day, it is the duty of every citizen and Politician and Civil Society and N.G.O. to come forward and make this agitation success by supporting Annaji for doing better cause for our society , whether they belongs to ANY cast or religion. This is very Urgently required and instead of commenting or arguing must join together for strong Lokepal Bill for our Country. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singhji must come forward above their party on moral ground seing public responce to resolve this out of Parliament procedure as becouse he is first respected Citizen of this Society and he must listen the views of Indian Public first NOT THE cong party.

from:  Kamal Singh Bothra
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:35 IST

I agree with Arundhati Roy. why are we trying to establish another administration. why don't we fight for the corruption within the one which we created long back. We are foolishly electing the ministers having the knowledge that they are corrupted. we are giving the powers to those who lead us into a corrupted India. we perhaps could establish the Lokpal but are we sure that in the future it wont be corrupted. what are we going to do then. fight for another Lokpal? Change the leaders and we change our country. try to vote for the ones Which we really think could help our country's growth.

from:  Raghav
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:34 IST

Arundhati, while I do appreciate your empathy for some of the critical issues that plague the often forgotten constituencies of the country and you have been fairly successful highlighting the 'problem'. But, at the same time, you have never seen suggesting a 'solution' either in your rhetoric or action. The fact is you have never had one! You and your kind too thrive on the same 'miserable state of affairs'. Thus you >too are 'anti-change'. You have a right to have a viewpoint on Anna's movement, but please don't humiliate or denigrate those who are supporting this movement. They are rational/educated people from various sections of the society, even if allegedly middle class, and they are equally capable to read between your lines. Finally, may I also submit that you and your kind are feeling threatened due to the gradually eroding locus standi of yours to represent the people and their causes.

from:  Byomkesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:33 IST

Do you remember Pandit Nehru's Tryst with Destiny? I am glad that Arundhati Roy dared to talk the truth. India is at the cross road, as it had indeed been many times earlier. Corrupt Politicians, bureaucrats, judges are pulling it I one direction. Corporate India is pulling it in another direction. Maoists are pushing it in other direction. Sane persons , including some politicians are looking bewildered. But with all its faults, India’s democracy must survive. Because the alternative (any !) is simply impossible to keep India united, as we know it. With all its faults, India’s democracy has shown that Persons in power have to respond to the aspirations of people. Good politicians must accept Anna's challenge and refuse to give in to his demands that only his version of Jan-Lokapal bill is the best. There is too much at stakes for Good politicians to fight on party lines. It's a challenge to Political Leadership.

from:  Anil P.
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:33 IST

What would one do if nothing being done by the elected representatives? Take an example - raising the salaries of MP's -The bill gets passed with express speed. Women reservations bill, Lokpal bill etc takes decades. Pls write some thing about the people who are not working(which is the cause) and not about effect(Anna's movement).

from:  Srinivasa Rao
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:33 IST

I wonder why would we require parliament when we can get bills passed thru public movements, without discussions and refinements. So first of all anna should bring the bill to absolve the parliament. After that he would not be required to sit on fast even. So in entirity are we moving towards abolishing constitution and order? The solution should be to frameup a timeline for the solution and send good people in the parliament. And please don't critize Indian development also, all what had happened in India since freedom has not been bad only. I believe no other country could have developed upto this point despite of so many social, economic and population hurdles. The true solution would be we all pledge not to bribe anybody and not to break rules.

from:  Amit
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:32 IST

This is the first thoughtful comment on a movement which is largely a media creation. The public is really worried and harassed by the corruption which is at the cutting edge. It is hardly bothered about the corruption at the top which is the food for media as well as the intellectual- not that it should not not be condemned . But then it sems even the team Anna is more worried about the non-inclusion of the Prime Minister and the judiciary. A Prime Minister gets a 5-year term, and what happens to governance if a complaint is filed against the Chief Executive which lingers for 3 years and is ultimatlely filed. One section of the cognoscenti is already saying that many defence deals are not being speeded up for the fear of some or the other allegation of wrongdoing which for all you know was started by a rival company who failed to get the contract. On the whole, the real issues are getting blurred in the hype created by slogan shouting and (National?!) flag waving.

from:  A K Bhatt
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:31 IST

Pity on them who believe that the youth is blindly following some old man. Fact is that our constitution is weak and there is no transparency. What is wrong if some strong law is passed.Everyone knows that it is nearly impossible to eradicate corruption but atleast this bill will help in putting some brakes on it. I do not know anna hazare and i dont support him. It is the idea that fascinates me.

from:  Varun Dudeja
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:30 IST

Ms. Roy, I completely agree with you. You shared the truth with us. In democracy there is no place for such neo-autocrats or psuedo-democrats. We need to spread the truth to all concerned.

from:  Sunil
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:29 IST

If you cant present solution for corruption ,then plz dont make leaders like Annaji's contribution worthless..He is still making the people aware of the mass corruption and one of good solution to take on this menace. It is after a long time common people get to know that they can do something except voting by participating in this worthy cause and can make our democracy more stronger.This Jan Lokpal bill can bring down the corruption not to extent of 100% but atleast 50-60 %.

from:  Sonu Singh Tomar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:29 IST

Yes, you are right Arundhati. The need for Lokpal within limits of constitution can be justified, but not the way it being demanded. And it's shameful for us, people showing up on camera (which is almost every Indian's fantasy)without knowing the facts and shouting meaningless slogans from colonial era.

from:  HSN
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:28 IST

AR's views is welcome. However, the uprise of people is genuine and i would welcome the same. This uprise will bring a change and it is possible that Indians will lose thier 'most tolerant' title. It is better for us to lose it as we are now the most tolerant species in the world where we dont bother to do anything about 1 lakh people dying in road accidents every year, dont bother about our citizens held hostage by pirates, dont bother about our own being killed mercilessly in thousands in our neighboring countries, dont bother about our citizens waiting in 100's outside various embassies for Visa's, beg, plead, pay bribe, wait for months and almost die for nominal requirements looking at Govt officers who are least bothered. There was no option for the people to show their frustration till now. Its time we change and it is better in the Gandhian way. Its time we fight to retain our pride and not allow hooligans sit as politicians and tell us what to do. ITS TIME THAT INDIA RISES.

from:  ganesh narayanan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:28 IST

I agree with the sentiment. But this is high-mindedness and as someone has correctly pointed out you are turning into the theoretical paradigm that everything that is not exactly pro-poor and anti-establishment is essentially anti-poor. The argument of a poor woman trying to sell footwear to poor people at low cost in a metropolis is your high point. But before that and after that you are gripped by a self created pessimism. Not everything is as intricately connected as you would otherwise like to think. Yes the poor are struggling and suffering. Is the effort of rejecting everything worth? Will it not be better to serve a smaller community rather than criticizing everything that is happening in the world every day. Let us for once say that we do not understand the world.

from:  Kaustubh Tiwari
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:28 IST

To all the people rising up in unison here. Is it not 'corrupt' to pay your domestic help 1000 rupees when a lot of you make atleast 30 to 50 times more than that? This article just makes you to rethink what is corruption.

from:  Nitin Varma
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:26 IST

Thanks Ms. Roy for such an execellent article. Finally, someone dared to speak openly against the attitude of Team Anna in a public media. Why Team Anna is not ready to present their view before the parliament standing committee is a mystery. If all the people who are behind Team Anna take a oath that they are/will lead their life as per law then half of the corruption will be eliminated.

from:  K.B.Senthilkumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:25 IST

As usual, a fresh perspective. I find the info on Kejriwal and Ford Foundation very interesting...what do the anna defenders have to say about this?

from:  Murty
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:24 IST

Ms.Arundhati Roy's article looks at rather critically what is going on. The ANNA movement started with compaign against corruption.Now quite a few individuals and groups have started fishing in the troubled waters and it has become triumphalistic and sensational,as if its only aim is to topple the Govermment.We need not be bulldozed by the media compaign. We need to strike a balance and assert what exactly we want- to find ways to deal with enormous corruption in the country.

from:  Bosco
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:24 IST

This is about failure about Indian Government, Governance - Its people anger about corruption , inequality , injustice, price rise , suppression and you cant ignore it. We appreciate your views but yes there are bound be critics like you.

from:  Sailesh Mishra
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:23 IST

Thank you for raising these pertinent questions some of which were running in my mind. I just hope that people behave rationally and not get warped by what media presents.

from:  Papiya
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:21 IST

Dear Arundhati Roy,I have listened to you many times and i appreciate you.But in this article, you have pointed out many things especially many corrupted fields.i just want to ask you do you have any solution to the prevailed corruption which have crippled our lives.We have seen apathy of the governemt which is not taking any serious step to check corruption.So you may be right in your points but we have lost hope in current system and ready to take all measures.So if you have any solution to it,plz come with it and point out.Nation is ready to adopt it.

from:  Khalid Saifullah
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:18 IST

Ms.Rai, Until now I was a great admirer of your writings. An intellect like you should not demoralize the spirit of this great movement fighting for long standing issue. Corruption is spreading like wild fire in our country. A bill like this may not guarantee that it would be extinguish corruption but definitely it can contain the intensity level. Its premature to comment about the Jan lokpal bill as it is has to go through the furnace of the parliament. Its not the media hype that brought the citizens to the streets. Because its a day-to-day affair for a common man like us. There are lots of politicians and bureaucrats who are in the large after committing heinous crime. A draconian law is the need of the hour.

from:  Alwin
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:18 IST

I hold Arundhati in great regard but the views expressed by her in this article disappoints. The present system which breeds unbridled corruption also has some recepients of benefits. They want the system to continue. Anyone who is simple and poor and opposes the system is rediculed and attacked. They feel threatened.It is the survival instinct of human beings. These people having been benefited from the present system are definitely more educated, better dressed and can express themselves better than the simple poor people like Anna Hazare. But should we decry Anna only because he is simple. It was amazing that you could trace a RSS worker in Anna. How do you justify your views that RSS with its large membership of social activists can not hold views on corruption in India and agitate.You have soft corner for the crimes committed by Naxals against innocent citizens but you hold such negative views on Anna and his agitation. It saddens.

from:  Prafulla Sinha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:16 IST

I appreciate and share your view point. What is happening in India today is the Media is ruling the country. It is heartbreaking to see that, majority of Indians don't see that 'Team Anna' is taking over “Indian Democracy”. Hope better sense prevail on Indian’s and save India.

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:15 IST

Although I do not agree with AR's opinion to raise suggestions of collusion between Anna's movemement with corporates, I agree that there are structural flaws that we must work to correct. An anti-corruption body is a first step that will help to fix the inequalities that have been propogated for personal gain. Corporates violate human rights to lay their hands on natural resources, deprive people of basic livelihood for profits, destroy agricultural and forest land to benefit cartels and lobbies. How do we address the people (from government, bureaucrats, corporates, and middlemen) who indulge in these acts? A strong Lokpal will address that.

from:  Swarup
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:15 IST

Perfect article at the right time. Especially at a time when people are being falsely led by the flag waving stuff. Ms.Arundhati Roy has rightly pointed out the wrongdoings of the society and those which need utmost concern and priority, unlike the sensationalization of Anna Hazare's views.
For those AR bashers and those who call him Gandhian, can you please tell me what did AH do to prevent the killings of those innocent people in Gujurat??? >Did AH raise a voice in the Staines burning case???? From where did AH come up with such passion and vigor all of a sudden? Where was AH when BJP was in power? And take these words friends, any human in favor of or being backed by corporates has an ulterior motive. This one does. And any movement which has the backing of a communal group would fail miserably. With so many flaws, people must definitely stop calling it a second Independence. Mind you I am an Indian and am always Indan.

from:  Conan Doyle
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:15 IST

Arundhati is 100% right. India will be torn into pieces if such agitations go around. Are we moving towards Anarchy? Putting doubt in the minds of the 'people' on Parliamentary functiong is to undermine our belief into Democratic System, thereby inviting Dictatorial Regime. Are you happy Urban Elite? Bear in mind people who dont read Internet-news want they should be represented in power sharing not the FAST regime..

from:  Guru
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:13 IST

Firstly i agree with Ms. Roy. The movement led by so called civil society is turning towards fascism. It has mobilized mob to bow down the government. The Mob which is totally fanatic, just like anti Mandal Commission Forum, not ready to listen the dissenting voice. People from Krantikari Lok Adhikar Sangathan were manhandled on 17th August by the organizers while distributing pamphlet. They are chanting slogans like Anna is India , India is Anna, those who are not with us are against us, slogans like vande Mataram, Bharat mata Ki Jay. Pamphlet advocating the way of Bhagat Singh is not acceptable to them. This is the modus-opernadi of the so called civil society. Another aspect, the movement led by them is not for enlargement of democratic space, in contrary to, it is curbing the democratic space by killing all dissent.

from:  Kamlesh Kumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:13 IST

The key points she made in the article are :- (a) When asked a question on Jan Lokpal Bill one is given a bumper sticker answer. (b) The main character in the protest is hard line hindu dominist. (c) Corruption is a complicated beast with many facets. Ministers, IAS and IPS taking crores of rupees to sell mines for dirt cheap price cannot be looked in similar way as peddler giving some money because she breaks a law (which by the was created due to corporate's lobbying to their advantage). (d) Media is also corporate owned which has vested interest in portraying/showing some protest vs others. This interest may be personal (biases of reporters/editors) or corporate based. Same media has interest in showing what anna's village look like but not show a totalitarian grip on 20% of the nation (in north east). Now people which one of these points do you disagree with??? And if you belong to the group mentioned in (a) then please spare your time and don't write bumper stickers here.

from:  Amit Rajput
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:12 IST

Anna need not have a view on what is going on in various parts of the country, because what he is doing now is only related to the omnipresent corruption in the Indian political/administrative system. And let me inform you, if you are not aware, all the events that you are talking about are the outcomes of the corruption. A piece of advice...please refrain from criticizing somebody who's doing something for the society, if you don't do your bit.

from:  Anish
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:09 IST

It is such a flawed article.. Instead of giving coherent arguments against the Bill, all through the article, she is trying her best to vilify Hazare - various examples like 'support to Modi', 'RSS background', 'corporate backing'..

from:  Raghav
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:08 IST

First and foremost the India against corruption movement does not seek to overthrow the indian state.it is foolish to compare this movement with maoists.After all the bill has to be passed by the Indian parliament not by team anna. Even in the formation and functioning of anna`s lokpal the state has an obvious role to play. The government mishandling of the situation right from the beginning of this movement has led to the present status of things which further provides a chance for people like you to show their wisdom.if the government had the will to fight corruption it would have acted in a different manner. The consultation process would have been much wider.not only between the govt. and Team Anna.with wider consultations a draft bill for strong lokpal could have been formed and then passed in the parliament without much fuss.the common people should have been also consulted by putting the draft bill on a govt. website. why should not our democracy be more participatory.

from:  Ram Kumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:07 IST

What Ms.Roy says is absolutely right....come on youth of India, understand the situation and forego your ego and turn away from something that spells danger for the innocent, common man. The truth is always bitter guys.Hats off to Ms.Roy

from:  shaahid
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:06 IST

I think this is just a case of mass hysteria, when everything settles down the same people will not hesitate to pay a bribe to a traffic policeman to avoid paying the full fine after breaking a law... It is not just the politicians or the government, it is essentially an Indian trait, we have to bring the change within ourselves to achieve a corruption free nation.

from:  Sober Indian
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:06 IST

Hats off Ms.Arundhati, lets hope the internet loving youth read it in full, understand the situation and turn their energies in to something productive.

from:  Shaahid
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:04 IST

Agreed that to end corruption you need systemic changes and policy implementation but without a strong law to enforce nobody would be feared to take bribe. Also as said these are processes which have to be rolled out later. Implementing the janlokpal bill doesnt mean we are going to things change dramatically. Though it is the individual responsibilty of each citizen , atleast each citizen who had participated would think twice before giving bribe and definitely not take bribe in their life. This would not have happened without the awareness being created by ANNA. and doesn't the middle class people have the right to represent themselves at all.

from:  Jayaprakash Natarajan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:03 IST

What a beautiful analysis.Thanks for THE HINDU publishing this.We must counter ANNA mania and frenzied people.God save this country from NGO's aka money spinning machines.If even one vernacular news paper exists like The Hindu most of the people would have been educated what the democracy is.I humbly request Arundhati roy and RTI activist Aruna to come out openly and build a movement against this mania.We are behind you.

from:  udaychaitanya
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 12:01 IST

I partially concur with this article. Ms. Roy had banged on about the unfathomed and blind support to Anna's Lokpal Bill. It appears that the so-called civil-society is apparently disposing off their duties towards nation by supporting what can be deemed as the just method of battling corruption out.There's no question about the fact that Media is duping the masses to believe that they all are staging a revolution comparable to the Nation's Freedom Struggle. What's missing in all this hullabaloo is a worthy alternative, or to be more precise we're reeling through leadership crisis. The only good thing about this movement is that people are ready to do their bit and take part in flocks if they find that someone is waging a battle against political malices. Even Baba Ramdev got a notable support. So it would be great if our thought-leaders (like Ms Roy herself) could transcend themselves to become mass-leaders and come up with something more logical and useful for the civil society.

from:  Avijit Bajpai
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:58 IST

So India has people who can think sensibly. very good article

from:  George
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:58 IST

A very well written take on Anna's movement. The best part is Anna has no clear idea about the effect of a Jan Lokpal Bill as he believes or is made to believe that by adopting his version of the Lokpal bill will be an end to corruption. Definitely should be allowed to be discussed among a panel of experts. But whom can we trust? We Indians are like puppets in the hands of corrupt Politicians and the powerful media.A change is inevitable...not in the government...the whole system of governance..

from:  Roshan Bahuleyan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:58 IST

It shows a complete lack of understanding of the way our society functions. It focuses only on the current movement and not the government's lack of sensitivity of handling such matter of high importance. Anna's team may be making strict demands now...but not before being betrayed by the government. And the illustrations given are similarly made without deeper insights. If a vendor had to function, their are predefined market places for such buy-sell activities. If the vendor was kind enough to use them, he/she won't have to pay bribes and those meant to buy form them will come to them. It really doesn't make sense to support paying bribes for ease of doing business. It is the tax payers money that goes into preparing such amenities and when they are misused, the money meant to go to Government's treasury via taxes, rents etc. goes for private benefit instead of mass improvement. If one can't help a cause (or don't intend to)it is not justified that he/she can criticize others who do.

from:  Jaya
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:54 IST

You seem to have confused many matters in to one. Instead of discussing the issue of corruption you have tried to sully the man. You have written about moaists and Anna, both are creations of this inefficient corrupt politicians (both NDA & UPA). We do not pay taxes for a few politicians to loot them and stash them in swiss banks. This movement is not going to eradicate corruption entirely as much as the first call for freedom from britishers did not did not get us freedom we struggled for almost 100 years after the first call. We all including the UPA should look at this as an opportunity to do something that will lead to reduction in corruption and also result in creating systems that will work itself. You may not support the method but do not question the intent.

from:  M S Ramesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:52 IST

Finally, someone talks about the second, and the darker side of the coin. How true are the purported allegations about the evil collusion - no one would know? But I do support the view that the entire agitation is a media created hype where the grassroots, who are supposed to benefit the most from this bill, has been left out completely.

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:50 IST

Thanks to Arundhati Roy for talking reality.To stop corruption we the people need to stop being corrupt.The Lokpal will have the powers of investigation, surveillance, and prosecution for which we already have the Courts & Police,vigillance dept etc.We as the people need to find a way to improve the present system than make a new system. Who will monoitor,check and Audit the LOKPAL?

from:  Capt Karan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:49 IST

May be people don't have a concrete idea about the bill, but what they are supporting is an effort to stand up against corruption and make power authorities more accountable for their actions. Is Ms.Roy having a hard time swallowing the reality that people are indeed against the corrupt system and demanding transparency in governments working. It is not correct to compare Anna's movement with Maoists as this is a voluntary support by all sections of society,and is surely unprecedented in independent India.

from:  Neha Shrivastava
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:49 IST

Without a doubt, all of the disaffected people, and the various victim groups that Ms. Roy empathizes with, can look forward to a better deal when corruption is rooted out. There is no civil war here except in the writer's imagination. Instead of joining hands with Team Anna to fight for the common cause -- eradication of corruption -- Ms. Roy has decided to attack Team Anna, and it is a strategic error. She is right though to question Hazare's positive assessments of Raj Thackeray and Mr. Modi. But she should join the common cause, and in turn she will be able to draw more supporters to the causes that are dear to her. Ms. Roy's writings may never bring peace and joy to the victims she writes about. Her detachment from her subjects suffering is no different than the elected officials in N.Delhi. Ms.Roy's brand of victim ethics can shame almost anyone but it won't mobilize people to do something other than offer a prayer.

from:  Subra Balakrishnan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:48 IST

Well written article I should say. If things are left as it is, it's better to scrap the democratic parliamentary system and have all the bills passed by 'Team Anna'. Does the society need another anticorruption law or is it wise to strengthen the existing ones and to make sure that they are implemented. I am personally getting tired with this media circus. And stop calling this 'Second Independence Struggle', who are you really fighting against, your own society? The fight against corruption shouldn't just target who takes the money, but also those give it. Until the mindset of the society changes, adding another law is worthless.

from:  Raghu
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:48 IST

I loved this article. I have been to the freedom park to get the mood of the agitation. To my surprise there was not even one healthy discussion about the bill. Instead there are slogans scolding politicians and even comparing them with dogs. The mood there seems electrifying, Everybody seems enjoying. I didn't saw any concern about the issue, no frustration. But fun, full of fun. I am living in a country where It has done good as well as bad to me. Mostly good (i am a middle class). I refuse to accept that I was being ruled only by bad. "Pass my bill before 30th". What nonsense is this. I hope that this government will not bow to popular politics and thereby compromise our constitution laws. Our constitution is above any party, any Anna.

from:  MS
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:46 IST

The argument presented by Ms Roy certainly has some good points. I personally don't support the movement ( i.e. the shape it has taken now) but I respect the efforts of Anna. Seldom you see a figure emerging in India to fight for cause. Let us accept for a moment that the whole India is not being represented but is it opposed by an mass uprising? I have only seen people like you sitting in their comfortable rooms and offices share anti-Anna thoughts maybe to gain some popularity. Of course the whole of India cannot come on the road. I am sure Team Anna also would not want that to happen. Maybe people of India support it but are not willing to come on the roads. But that doesn't mean they are against the bill. On the contrary i seriously dread some of the points of Jan Lokpal and I hope Team Anna rather gets them tweaked. The sad area on which this whole movement has thrown light on is the fact that majority of Indians are non-rational. I totally agree with the first few lines of Ms Roy

from:  Sajal Kumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:46 IST

Thanks a tonne for posting this. fed up listening and hearing the same old improper media reportage. And I very well agree to your views. There is so much I want to add to it. I will just add a thing, people who support him, please open your eyes and be rational.

from:  Megha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:44 IST

Dear Ms Roy: the beauty of Indian Democracy is everbody have the right to express their opinion I might also agree that ANNA is not a solution for corruption . Neither the JanLOkpal Bill. But let me ask you a simple Q. why a lokpal bill even if a toothless bill never got passed for last 40 years ?? Why activits like you never questioned the Govt on this ? why did all of people who are now commenting never opened their mouth for 40 years ?? Is arresting a 74 year old man in the national interest of worlds largest democracy? Is it a pride which we can showcase? For that matter are the MP's who are sitting in parliamnet elected by all the adult popluation? Our voting percentage is not even 50% . so would that mean the election process is farce? I think for the first time INDIA has stopped listening to pessimistic people like you. sorry but this is democracy and expression is all as per the constituion ..

from:  Venkatesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:44 IST

I will never doubt someone like Arundhati Roy's intentions. I always knew there is something wrong with this 'team Anna'. They want to run a parallel govt without any liability.

from:  Arijit Roy
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:42 IST

Ms Arundhati/Hindu: Thanks for providing an alternative view, very much required in healthy democracy, policy debate and making public aware. In fact, your comments have strengthened my opinion in favour of Anna's movement - he has given a face to the public anger against corruption. In your attempt to legalize corruption, you quoted one example of the Mall - the mall owner with local politicians must have implemented rules against street hawking in favour of his business - Anna and India are protesting against those back door powers which make suppressing people possible. Now Ms Roy, please do me a favour - don't ever support Anna's movement or cause of Bhopal gas victims (or please quote them) - you already have helped governments to rob the poor people of western Madhya Pradesh from their rights on their land when you stood with NBA. Being from Bhopal, with roots in the land which has sunk now and being from India, I don't want you to support any national cause anymore.

from:  Piyush Jain
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:42 IST

There is only one solution for corruption: Technology. Draconian bills like the JanLokpall will only make the sitn worse.

from:  Anup
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:42 IST

Among all the emotional out pours on TV these days, this article is trying to hammer in some sense. No one really knows what the Lokpal bill is - only that it is 'anti-corruption'. The solution provided by the bill will not really be a solution, but will only compound problems. The bill, if passed, will be in the same category as TADA. The method used by Hazare is questionable. What next, 'freedom fighters' from Tamil Nadu, Andhra and the Northeast fasting unto death for the right to carve separate countries out of India? They hold enough sway to do so and grab attention and hold the government hostage like Hazare has done. I do not agree with everything Ms. Roy has to say, but at least she is not getting swept away by the senselessness that seems to have gripped the media - the media, mind you, NOT the nation. Let us fight corruption by all means, but please, let us be sensible about it.

from:  Radhika Bhushan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:41 IST

It is nice somebody like arundhati is writing a lengthly column, which is hollow. if only she had experienced the corrupt life of the country,she would relate to corruption and realise the need for uprooting it. she has made her voice heard on almost every major controversial project of the country, but, sadly and surely, failed to bring, or even contribute to bring about a single solution yet. for all controversies she quoted in her lengthly article, it serves better for her to fight them, and leave the rest of the country to fight along with anna, to get a strong lokpal bill. then she is welcome to enjoy the benefits of reduced corruption, and surely her own work load on fighting for justice will be made easy, so that she can go back to writing controversial novels and win medals. surely we do not need Arundhatis in our struggle against corruption, and it is better they remain away from this most important event in post independent india.

from:  P Sravan Kumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:40 IST

Like Shakespeare said, 'to be or not to be',a common man also has a dilemma: 'to support Jan Lokpal or not'.Whether Jan Lokpal will be effective or not, there is hardly any disagreement that government Lokpal is altogether toothless or rather Jokepal. Government's argument that our democracy is still young & therefore flawed can't be digested. Should we wait for another 100 yrs or more to start an agitation? Critics like Ms Roy have labelled Hanna Hazare's movement more of a demand than a protest. Anna Hazare is only asking for his bill to be tabled before parliament. He is willing to accept any outcome by the parliament. He is thus only exercising his fundamental right to protest.

from:  Tushar Sharma
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:40 IST

A convincing and admirable end does not justify ill conceived means to get there. We all want a land without corruption but to try to achieve it by establishing a lokpal (essentially a utopian collection of incorruptible individuals -- please name one that will be unanimously accepted as incorruptible) is a weak and dangerous idea hatched by emotional and misguided men and women. I hope Indians have enough wisdom to see the folly, for if they don't, we will go downhill very quickly and irreversibly.

from:  Baskar Guha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:39 IST

Well written article. Ms. Roy clearly shows how Anna’s ideas are so contrary and it is so similar to Maoists. I agree that we need a system to save our India but one should not create movement to over throw the Government.

from:  Reader
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:39 IST

I partially agree with the observation of miss Roy. one thing I would like to add that Integrity of our country is more important than lokpal bill. we must support erome sharmila's struggle....

from:  Muzammil Siddiqui
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:38 IST

good to read a differernt perspective...but anna is not even pretending to be the panacea for all the ills of all the different societies within india...he's taken up one cause and he's been able to generate a following for it...It's not his fault that similar movements by other people haven't had the same impact. And i dont know why the media is so vehement in comparing him to Gandhi and then denouncing his movement..he doesnt even pretend to be on the same level as gandhi...he's just an unabashed follower of the Mahatma.

from:  Vishwa
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:38 IST

To my fellow commentators - It is utterly saddening to see how we as a society are simply willing to accept action irrespective of whether it is relevant and self-destructive. In our bid to vent and in the exhilaration of having gotten over our inertia we are simply refusing to look at the deeper implications of those actions. Why is it so difficult for everyone who supports Anna Hazare for 'doing something' >about it to understand that simply 'doing something' is not enough or even important. That 'something' HAS to be relevant, far-reaching and not be a source of ten problems that it started out to battle. Arundhati Roy (as have been many intellectuals of the civil society) has very clearly spelt out the larger (and much more dangerous) implications of all this 'movement' is going to bring and rather than see the sense and vision behind it we continue to exult in having found a route out of our narrow, middle-class frustrations. And we call ourselves educated and thinking individuals.

from:  Fatema
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:37 IST

Comments for this article clearly shows Anna supporters are intolerant to different views. If Team Anna comes to power, they might put all criticizers behind bars ( Or in Anna's words "sent to mental hospital"). Is this the democracy we are looking for

from:  Shijith
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:36 IST

Ms. Roy,Generally I dont support you but I agree with your points in the article. Here, the support is primrily coming from Upper Caste, Middle Class, pro -hindutava group that knows that they are in minority, a vocal minority. They know that people of India dont support and therefore, they dont say that allow elections and as 90% people support them, they will get at least 80-90% seats and pass the Jan Lokpal Bill. This is the dilemma they face. Will they like to test their popularity in elections, never becoz as in anti-mandal reservations, pro -ram mandir movement, they realize that the character of their movement and leadership doesnt have popular support. They dont have believe in Indian democracy and for all purposes, however honest and good, they are primarily facist in their attitude and approach.

from:  Sanjeev Prasad
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:35 IST

Arundhati's views are not removed from reality. Living in a democracy (which may be part of the whole problem, as India's majority doesn't think as she does nor have internet access to voice their views), Arundhati has all the right to express the fears that most of us feel. She is looking ahead and this post has to be viewed as an objective account of the 'other side' that this movement can create. Are we being distracted by the politicians into getting into a false sense of security when water, housing, sanitation, primary education, health, food shortage and electricity needs to be provided to millions in this land? What surety is there that the Jan Lok Pal Committee will not be filled by a corrupt politicians's sidekick and alibi? How long would it take for a corrupt politician or judge or bureaucrat to hire goons to beat up or threaten the life of the local Jan Lok Pal Committee leader and its members and their family?
We've got to think about this issue from this angle too...

from:  Vinodh Philip
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:34 IST

Thanks for publishing a different point of view. However, one can't miss the cynicism & lack of imagination in Ms.Roy's viewpoint here. Comparing Maoists who kill to serve their purpose with Anna's movement which does exactly the opposite... sounds ridiculous to me. Why can't the Ms.Roys of the world join issue, engage team anna directly, show dissent to the seemingly 'impractical' viewpoints - if they are serious about this. Let us not miss the gargantuan positives of this movement - a ray of hope for the frustrated Indian citizen who was hopeless about fighting menaces such as corruption. We will learn that we can be persistent about dealing with such issues. Come on Ms.Roy, you can do much better!

from:  Desikamani
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:33 IST

Very sensible article. I I'd rather not be Anna too!! Good one. Cheers.

from:  Prakash
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:33 IST

If someone slaps you or loots you, we spontaneously react to it. I don't understand why we have to feel embarrassed about it or have to be intelligent about the way we react. Politicians have been looting India in the name of democracy but with time we have stopped reacting. With Anna's movement people got the lost voice and the strength to stand against the rotten system. Democracy itself is a beautiful system but the means to steer needs to be constantly improved and that's what this bill tries to do. Public referendum, presentations through media about the on-going projects...are the need of the hour.

from:  Ram Satish
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:32 IST

i totally support your take on this anna frenzy

from:  tenzing sangayla bhutia
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:31 IST

To believe that a law would absolutely stop corruption is too naive.If that was the case, then there would not be a single crime in this country. Having said that I am for Fight against corruption but i believe passing a law will not help us achieve this as we already have a plethora of laws in this country.Fight against corruption starts with each citizen of this great country taking a vow not to bribe anyone for his/her personal benefits. It should not be done by holding the govt at ransom!

from:  Jeethendran
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:29 IST

Ms. Roy, Try and become a leader, if you can't be a follower!! But simply criticising won't work in any way.

from:  Nag
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:27 IST

I agree with Arundati Roy. Anti reservation and RSS brigades are leading this movement with support of Media. Similar to what happened during anti mandal stir. To end corruptipn you need systemic changes and policy implementation. Egovernance/IT application in governance will go long way in daeling corruption menance. Remember what PRS did to Railway ticket reservation and Telecom deregulation did to availability of telephones. Middle class active participation in politics and government services are needed not the creation of another draconian organisation to police the state.

from:  Sanjay Phulwaria
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:26 IST

Arundhati .. You have the freedom to put your opinion. But its a pity that you think in such a manner. Whatever is happening is an 'attempt'. May be not the most ideal, but still an attempt. And everyone with who is really serious about bringing about a sincere change in this country, will support it.

from:  Kiran
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:26 IST

We have prepared for our Independence for a long time, wherein every ideas and suggestion were incorporated on the question of 'what would be the nature of our Independence' . Diverse Ideas were incorporated. Those were not seen as anti independence movement. As a result we have got secular and democratic India, but Anna's supporters authoritarian attitude is creating anarchy. Though this bill is pending for last 42 years but it does not mean that we implement "Jan Lokpal Bill" without any constructive nationwide debate, wherein we can also focussed on the critical issue of how much power should be given to Lokpal in order to maintain the supremacy of our parliament and our other key institutions.

from:  Amir Khan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:26 IST

This article just points to the fact that widespread consultations are required before the bill can be enacted. Hope Anna's team sees some sense and respects parliamentary democracy.

from:  Satish
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:25 IST

This article conveys a certain inference based on Arundhati's deological position and questions Anna's approach and slogans. We can keep asking questions such as whether our Army can protect against every intruder on our borders ? Whether our courts can deliver proper justice in every case ? Answer is "No". No institution is going to be perfect and lokpal is going to be same. But there is a need for an institution such as Lokpal that can assert itself like our Election Commission against money and muscle power. The intent of Jan Lokpal is to have such an institution.
Arundhati's indirect message as usual is that the people supporting Anna are looking at the issue via a 'middle class' eyes and the law may not really help the poor. She may be right. But democracy is not a system that always promises to bestow kindness to poor and scrutiny to others. It is a system wherein everyone has a say on what they want and such movements get triggered if there is resonance.

from:  Ramaswamy
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:24 IST

Arundhati, your are absolutely right. your arguments are very strong and reasonable against anna's demands.its really disheartening that no one is looking at anna's movement in holistic manner. Everyone is charged negatively not to support democracy and constitution. Media is trying to create history through the visual delights. But we forget, this country has been treated as market ie market of cricket, malls etc.

from:  Neeraj Saransh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:24 IST

People who can not think and decide their own and who just follow the so called "News analysts" on the TV channels will only support this agitation.

from:  Manoj Kumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:23 IST

She has her own views and one needs to respect her side of the theory also. But the country as a whole is with Anna and his team and Ms. Roy wants herself into the limelight by bringing this article which no one would like to buy in the present scenario.

from:  P.S.Srinivas
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:23 IST

Anna is making a mockery of Democracy. If he is serious about ending Corruption, he should first stop any Criminal or Individuals having Criminal cases against them or any connection with Criminals from standing in any form of Election. Can he do that? Does he have that much courage? If he is really serious, he should say his movement is against Corruption and not against any Government. His slogan should be 'Stop Bribing, Stop Taking Bribes!'And I'll question his credibility. He launched anti-corruption movement way back in 1991 but took the Padma Bhushan award from the corrupted Government in 1992 hmmmmm...Interesting! He never joined a political party. Does he want to run a parallel government? He is slowly becoming a puppet in the hands of a power hungry political party.

from:  Rajib
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:23 IST

Sad article. Ms Roy is feeling left out or simply jealous. Trying the old dirty trick of damning a person by association. Just because some person/s who are anti-reservation and they support Anna means the Anna group is some how supporting anti-reservation? Roy has always showed a streak of meanness in her writings and this comes thru loud and clear. Could we call Roy a terrorist because of her support for Kashmir & people of Kashmir? I am yet to find Roy finding anything under the sun worthy of praise. Nobody is perfect. Anna is doing something about corruption rather than just writing about it. If you cannot find any fault with the man then damn him by his association, his intelligence. How many politician would go on a hunger strike that would last for even two days for any cause? Stop criticizing and do something constructive. You have to work the system to get anywhere in this world. Anna is trying to do that instead of just bashing your head fighting the system.

from:  Venkatesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:22 IST

arundhati if you can't be part of solution then please don't be part of problem............

from:  chiranjeev
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:22 IST

Yes I am confused today. Corruption is our bane, but laws by themselves add to it. A super-cop may turn out to be a problem rather than a solution. From a country of feudals, landlords and Rajas and maharajas, we have evolved in to a democracy which is so much higher and better than majority of countries of the world. We will evolve further. It does take time. In a country where everyone was for himself, it will take SOME time for people to reorientate themselves.
Destroying the institutions from outside the parliament is the most negative way of progress. Yes I am surely confused. Because it is also very difficult to believe that the present set of rulers and opposition will ever do anything to change the mindset (first and foremost their own mindset). My only hope is that this movement does not escalate into a position where we cut the very branch on which we are sitting. I wish GOOD LUCK to India, not to Anna or Manmohan Singh or Adwani.

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:20 IST

The article is thought provoking and enlightning.You have revealed the inside stories and the corrupted links of those who are with Anna.May be Anna is also having a tie up with them.

from:  Nataraj
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:19 IST

Thanks for some of the lost/not so popular news of today, I really appreciate its. Its good that we have a critic, but what has it got us to the common man. And the story about a hawker and a mall, interesting. I still think you haven't got the idea about corruption and the actual issue being faced everyday. The hawker has to pay the cop for not doing his job and stopping the hawkers presence. But the issue is, the hawker may still have to pay the cops if he to complaint about the mall people beating him for doing sales near the mall. Hawkers/malls is a separate debate that can be held later.

from:  ken
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:19 IST

Arundhatiji this was not expected from you. If cant give solution dont criticise.

from:  Mahmood Alam
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:18 IST

Corruption is a psychological manifestation of a weak mind. It has got nothing to do with class, caste, race, colour, gender, religion etc. Irrespective any background the tendency for corruption is always there. Certain times it is negligible and certain times it is huge that the whole of life source on planet earth is put to challenge. Any thing and every thing that emerges out of greed in order to make that extra fortune is corruption. Today major problems in the whole world including environment disasters, health scams, social equality, economic instability, violence for different reasons are all due to corruption of mind. Unless the thought is not corrected it is almost impossible to eradicate corruption.What Anna and team are trying to do is negligible but good effort towards the eradication of corruption to one level.I am sure they are not perfect nor can they be as they too are humans like us.True effort should be made from each of us to eradicate this menace as much as possible.

from:  Ashutosh Mishra
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:17 IST

A.Roy has become a rebel without a cause.It has become second nature to her to criticize anyone & everyone without offering any solutions herself.

from:  Veena
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:15 IST

With utmost respect to Miss Roy, I would like to say that you have disappointed the millions of Indian by writing such a article. If at all you are concerned about development of India, I would request you to come forward and take the initiative.

from:  Mallesh Utage
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:15 IST

I've never been a fan of arundathi, but here I agree with her. What this 'Team Anna' is suggesting something like POTA, which we all know was only misused to settle scores and never served the real purpose. The real problem with India is that most Indians get corrupt when they have unquestionable authority. I really fail to understand how ppl hope that people who will be running the Lokpal will be "saints"..??! And the height of stupidity is the suggetsion in the draft that 'Bharat Ratna awardees' will be involved in the Lokpall..! I wonder how a Lata Mangeshkar or may be Tendullkar can be trusted more than other Indians. The solution lies in fighting for things like RTI..safety for the RTI activists who are being killed everywhere. And independance for CVC. And in any case a committee being the master over investigation to prosecution is a highly incoceived idea, And nobody answers the question on why they dont want NGOs to come under the purview of teh Lokpal, knowing how corrupt most are.

from:  AK
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:15 IST

The article shows a complete different view of on going scenario.Whatever the writer says is completely true but still we are lacking a solution,and if someone is coming with it them its better not to criticise but recommend some some change which could really make a differnce.

from:  Mohd Mohsin
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:14 IST

Dear Arundhathy Roy, You are talking about hundreds of issues. All that may be true. But there is a misconnect which I would like to point out. Yesterday I went to an Anna rally place (Freedom Park). I did see only a single grey hair person in a group of say thousand. What is actually happening is that the young people are getting ashamed that we are a corrupt nation. Not all of us, but the youth are getting ashamed. I consider shame as one of the most important emotions (it is true Indian literature and drama), even though western science tells us there is no such emotion. We are all trying to chuck out a shameless practice from our society. No point in mixing it up with other issues.

from:  Srikumar K
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:11 IST

An exclusive example of crab mentality that we all Indians are well known for all over the world. If a person stands for a cause there will emerge so many just pull him down. She can give n number of reasons against Anna but the main reason is to pull him down,show him in poor light with whatever means. Doesnt she know that the main reason for all the malady is corruption. Good thing is Anna has defied gravity now.He is up there with stars now.So spitting at Anna Hazare will only make you dirty.

from:  Sunil Singh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:11 IST

Dear Arundhathi, let them take their first step, cant you see, at-least for some thing the whole nation, regardless of religion language, coming together, let them win, act for i.After the first victory, we together address problems according to national interest.

from:  Binu
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:09 IST

In the din of cacophony and flood of abusive blogs by the pro-Anna crowd, hardly anybody has taken the courage to express a differing view. But Arundhati Roy has shown the courage to say that there can also be different opinions on the issue, for which I am sure she will also be targetted by the group of organised bloggers with their venomous abuses. The Anna agitation has already come to the ridiculous stage of declaring by one of its leaders, 'Anna is India and India is Anna'. Definitely, any citizen has a right to protest and ask the government to pass a strong anti-curruption law. But no one has the right to say that only I am correct and what ever I say should be accepted. Resorting to intimidation and giving deadlines to the govt is not acceptable in a democracy. If tomorrow, a Sanyasi resorts to an indefinite fast for a Ram temple at Ayadhya and the VHP gathers crowds of a few thousands at Ramlila and other cities,(which is not difficult for them), what will happen?

from:  K V Ravindran
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:09 IST

Ms Roy, you have mentioned about the sources of funds supplied to some NGOs run by Arvind kejriwal and other key associates of Anna. No doubt, a valid question from your side. But, will you please let us know, from where maoists are getting crores of rupees to buy arms and ammunition to fight against the police and para-military force. I expect a fair answer from you as you know those left-wing ultras from close quarters. And of course, I would like to ask you how would you like to defend your maoist cadres when they kill innocent people. Why you keep quite when those maoists demand ransom/protection money from local business men? We have never heard you criticizing maoists for such acts.

from:  Debi Prasad
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:08 IST

Excellent article trying to provide an alternative viewpoints during this time of frenzy. Anna's mania is not what media has been projecting. I have talked to friends from small town and villages and they don't have any idea about the Jan Lokpal Bill. Is it only confined to urban centres? Are urban India trying to be voice of the nation? We need to pause and rethink.

from:  Asif khan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:08 IST

Anna is fighting for Common man daily agony of corruption.Singur,Irom Sharmia all such matters are one of the many kinds, Once the officers tainted with corruption are settled and every department start thinking of the mass welfare rather than personal welfare, i believe, even these kind of incidents will also be checked out or rather getting attention. What driving the whole india to doom is the corruption and thats is there in every other office, every other street infact every other indian tends to or is forced to do corruption for his mere sustenance in teh country . I agree that Anna rose to cult figure quickly because he was trying to find a solution which 1.2 billion people in indian is suffering from ..

from:  Anusmitha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:07 IST

Just trying to understand understand a few points mentioned in some of
the posts.

1. What she has done for corruption - You can find a lot of
information about her in internet. You can read all the articles
written by her. Just because--- this is the first time, you have shown
interest in a protest and you think that corruption means corruption
in the government and governmental bodies, it does not mean that she
has done nothing for human good (or in your language) corruption.
Since she is a writer by profession her part is to educate people
through her writings and without bias, which she has done very
diligently over the years.

2. Some people just cannot think on their own. My request to the
self-proclaimed IITian. Dear friend, whether you are an IITian or not,
you have a right to express your thoughts. And if you want to add weight-age to your opinion that reservation should be done with, do so by giving your reasoning rather than your IIT tag.

from:  tintu
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:07 IST

If India were not a democracy, Ms Roy's article may never have been seen here...strange is the arrogance of intellectual opinion indeed.The "freshly minted saint" (para 2 sentence 3) she disparages about has worked for the people since 1978, when she was just 16. The Government has recognized his contribution to society and conferred him with the Padma Bhushan. I would have thought an educated literary person like herself would know better than to use such language....Ms. Roy : knowledge of the English language plus freedom of speech we hope is not equal to undignified verbosity in your "civil society". We are yet to see an evidence of it, though!

from:  Mrinalini Singh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:07 IST


What good is a democracy if there is no difference in opinion? The issues raised by author are real. I can very well understand why she has stopped short of giving a solution. First step in seeking a solution to any problem is to understand & acknowledge the root cause of the problem. Corruption is only a symptom of a much deeper and evil social disease. The root cause for all the social maladies that we face is singular and we all know what it is. But we will not dare to acknowledge it because, we have been fed & grown on right-wing politics, policies, education & media. It will be impossible for us to even think of an egalitarian society. God bless India !! or Should I say "Hey Ram"!

from:  Sarveswaran M
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:06 IST

An RTI activist was brutally gunned down in Madhya Pradesh: acts do not solve our
problems but the activists do; Anna is by far the most successful non-violent
activist against corruption. While it is easy to write and critique the actions of
'Team Anna', the frustration of indian people with the status quo is apparent, and,
unless the state and media wakes up to this reality and addresses the core issues,
many movements will crop up. Too long have we trafficked with the idea of
reforming the corrupt indian polity through empty intellectualism. Time for
constructive thinking and stop the game of upmanship. No single group or team
can claim to represent the diversity of India, but, someone has to start somewhere
towards the much needed cultural and moral reform of Indian polity and society.
Team Anna should include the NGOs (Govt. supported or not) and corporate
corruption within the Lokpal. They can't demand laws for others while they seek to
exempt certain NGOs. Be and Make.

from:  srikanth
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:05 IST

For the first time i agree with you 100%. We need to save India from this bill. This bill if introduced, will become an inspector raj.
If the car manufactured is faulty we don't create another layer of testing. We fix the technology and production process.

from:  Dmk
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:04 IST

A few points to mention:
1. The Jan LokPal bill is not about Anna, but about Indians beings
against Corruption. I seem to see people and critics concentrating
more on Anna's actions and reactions to his actions, instead of seeing
the bigger picture of 'Stopping Corruption"
2. I think some comments made by AR are valid. I look at most
newspapers everyday and all i see is Anna..Anna..Anna... There are
numerous other, far grave situations affections other parts of the
country, which because they dont have a 'Gandhian' leader or a better
publicist, are not receiving that much attention.

3. I am appalled to see such blind support for Anna and ferocious
angst against corrupt babus and netas. Most of the comments above are
hitting out corruption at these parties. I ask...how many of us for
want of 'school admission'or'avoidance of a fine' have often without
thinking twice payed a bribe. I say pay government servants better
salaries and see the difference.

from:  Natasha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:04 IST


Have read her article thoroughly but not felt happy or enlightened, it was simply words put to phrase to criticise one man fighting to help ALL INDIANS without any prejudices...
Few questions that need to be answered by Ms Roy and people alike....
1. If someone has ever committed crime... then does he loses right to fight against crime in societies..
2. If some who had followed corrupt practices till now. could not talk against corruption, or does he loses right to raise his concern on corruption....

from:  rajeev mishra
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:04 IST

What do we mean when we say a man is corrupt? Does it only mean in
monetary terms? Human have a tendency to get one thing done at the
cost of other.This is basic human nature and one cannot deny.We
cannot remove corruption as it will occur not only in the issues that
come in purview of Jan Lokpal or only ministers and adminstrative
officers but also among common people in there day to day life. Anna's
movement has a noble cause but Jan Lokpal is not the solution. Who
will guarantee that with course of time Jan Lokpal do not start
monopoly?? Is Indian mass calling for another autocracy?? Corruption
is directly related to a person's morality and there is no one to one
solution for it.

from:  M. Medhi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:03 IST

I feel that you are looking at this demonstration with a critic's eyes. I am sure that many of the people supporting Anna know that this bill will not bring the end of corruption overnight. But 40 years is a long time for the Govt to sit on this Bill. Moreover this mass demonstration and public outcry is more out of anguish of the political and bureaucratic class's apathy and in-sensitiveness towards the aam janta. People were just waiting for someone to ignite it and it is now spreading fast. Anna is not a saint, he is just one of us who wants to leave a better future for our kids. I would say there would be other Annas to take up the other pinching causes. Why dont you be an Anna and support the right causes. Mobilize the people in a non violent way. Same question for everyone..why are they not an Anna..I ask myself too..why I am not an Anna.

from:  Rinson
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:02 IST

Very few people will know that the same Ms Roy published a half page article in the famous Australian newspaper "The Age" (Melbourne edition) stating that the people of Kashmir are facing massive oppression by Indian Army and Kashmir should be liberated from India. I know she writes the similar things in Indian media but giving such statement abroad really dilutes our efforts to bring normalcy on an international platform. The fashion today is "be different to be popular". After all Mayavati became famous only after abusing Gandhiji in early nineties. Don't worry Ms Roy, very few Indians take you seriously.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:01 IST

Anna Hazare has done a very good job in publicizing a Bill against
Corruption. He and his supporters had made their points very clear to be
included in the Bill. Now they should leave it here. Let the Committee
(Constitutional experts) and the parliament decide appropriate Bill and
pass it. If the public realizes what they had voiced were not included
in the Bill/Law, they can think of a solution to elect right people to
the Parliament next time and get whatsoever/kinds of Law they want.

from:  Venkatesh Kalla
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:01 IST

Perfect timing for a people's anti-corruption agitation. Yes it is! Corruption has been deep rooted in the system. But never has it been so obvious that even a commoner is concerned about the scams that are happening around. Frustration among people is getting multiplied as and when a new scam is being revealed.The situation is urging for a reform. Its good that some one has taken the lead and initiated the struggle. The LokPal Bill might not completely uproot corruption but, for sure,would diminish its magnitude. Something is always better than having nothing.

from:  swapnalatha baswa
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 11:00 IST

In a democratic system people usually get the government they deserve.

How we behave in traffic (the bigger, the faster, the louder the better), how we treat our domestic workers (usually the whole family lives in one room), how we treat workers on construction sites (no safety, no appropriate living standards) and so on... all indicates that corruption is deep rooted in Indian society. SO WHY ARE WE ALL SURPRISED TO HAVE A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT AT ALL?
I strongly question that supporters of the Anna movement have looked in the mirror. Everyday I see supporters in Delhi on the streets waving flags on motorbikes but not wearing any helmet. How can we fight the corruption of others if we are corrupt ourselves?
Blaming others is always easy especially if its the government... No law in the world will end corruption in a corrupted society. I would like the people at Ramlila ground to look in the mirror and start with themselves. That would truly be the fight against corruption.

from:  George
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:59 IST

Ms.Roy,Let me bring it in light that we are not fighting for Anna
hazare rather we are fighting against corruption and today if the
whole system has become corrupt,The nation has united to bring in a
change in the form of JAN LOKPAL BILL,And if you say it is becoming
a oligarchy,to some extent its right but change is constant,If
lokpal will come across the progress of this nation later it will
also be thrashed by the citizens of India immediately but we need
to initiate from some point.
Nothing works in India without bribe,If some vacancies for the post
of peon has come out,There final list is getting set at CM house
with consideration of all the Daan-dakhshna devoted to them.
How can we let this happen.
And its not Anna,Its us,Its you and me who are about to bring a
change in the system and if we are united noone can stop this
nation to be clean enough to breath.

from:  Abhishek Sharma
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:59 IST

I agree that nothing has been done for a long time now, perhaps that is the reason why Anna's approach of threatening a democratic government still looks noble to the hopeful many.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:59 IST

I can clearly understand that Ms.Roy's article is more more obsessed with Anna Hazare and his team becoming popular, rather than the core issue of corruption against which they are fighting. If the protest is un-democratic or if the Jan Lokpal is draconian, then give us a solution. To say that hawkers in the street have to pay the Lokpal amounts to gross misrepresentation of facts. Did Anna come out and declare that he was Gandhi ? When people keep mum and stay put when scam after scam was unearthed, they do not have the moral right to opinionate when someone dares to stand up against the rotten orgranisation. The author reaches desperation's peak when she says that Anna is affliated to RSS and frantically attempts to prove that by playing the communal cord. The Hindu can definitely show its neutrality, but not by publishing articles such as these, which are socially irrelevant to the problem and are more concerned at launching personal attacks rather than see the larger picture.

from:  Srikanth
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:58 IST

Arundhati Roy, the crown pricess of Indian English, had spun many theories in the past - some forceful, some thoughtful and some downright banal- about the evil corporate. Her pet hate has always been the corporate-politician nexus eatinf away the vitals of the country. But to tell that the corporates have foisted the Anna agitation on the country to help the corporates by merely going agaist the politician and thus serving as distractionary tool is carrying the banality too far. Perhaps she has not read the recent voluminous report of Santosh Hegde on K'tak mining scam. Here the coporates pillage the environment and mined iron ore . With whose help ? The computer hard disk seized from M/s Adanai has a detailed answer. It is the sentinels of the state who were on regular payroll. But surprisingly all this had been already discovered and elaboarted by Hegede in 2008. The governent took no action as the Lokayukata was merely an advisor and it was constitutional to reject his finding!

from:  S.K.Sadandgi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:58 IST

On most occasions, I do not agree with you but here I absolutely do. I think most of the "masses" do not have an inkling of what they are standing up for/against. Its just this need to say something against the government that most of them seem to be supporting this. A whole lot of them confuse corruption with inflation and a myriad of other things. In this entire conundrum, we have lost the essence - Lokpal/Jan Lokpal. I think it would be ridiculous to have such a bill that will make one body supreme, contrary to what our "masses" believe in, I think this kind of a body will be more vulnerable to corruption. There is a need to have Lokpal/Jan Lokpal but it cant be supreme and all powerful. There needs to be more debate/discussion on this and not a "If you dont pass the bill in 30 days, we ll have a bigger protest" attitude. Keep writing.

from:  Sugandh Juneja
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:58 IST

Though I support Anna's movement, the story brings out an important point being missed. India's rate of adoption of American culture is fastest in the world. It has good side as well as bad side to it. The bad side is ... Corporations are becoming increasingly powerful. As media too is becoming corporation, it is not a good signal. In USA as media has become corporation, it is hard to find news on cable tv. What is considered news is actually one party's (Republican or Democrats) propaganda or sensationalism at any price. This structure makes people vulnerable to not knowing harsh truths and being entertained by a media of their political orientation.

from:  kumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:57 IST

Its good that there are people in this land who are not carried away by
the crowd in the TV screen. Ms.Roy's article was insightful, not
withstanding the public consciousness about corruption, this campaign
has helped spread.

from:  Jijeesh P B
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:56 IST

In short i want to say that since 16th of aug ,i was waiting for the right perception same as ms. roy,accoding to me civil society is now blackmailing the government///their bill is impossible to implement as it is as they had pproposed, as it will be quite contrary of the principles of Indian Constitution consequently it will disturb the whole system by removing the interdepending nature of our governing heirarchy....

from:  arpit yadav
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:55 IST

My exact thoughts!!
I dont support ANNA!
I support the need for a strong Lokpal bill.. However, by no means a
Draconian one that 'TEAM ANNA' wants.
Has any1 thought? What if later on, the lokpal becomes corrupt?
Do you know no-one can stop them? They are the investigators
prosecutors and the judge!!
how much more absurd can things get?
Second freedom struggle??

from:  Shareng
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:55 IST

Arundhati Roy, you hit the nail as usual. I may not agree with all
your views, this time you are clear. Hope everyone who is confused
will see the reason in your arguement.

Hindu, good your voice is one of the sane ones right now. I am glad
left is also not supporting Anna's bill.

from:  P.Monteiro
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:54 IST

Miss Roy.. please gimme a break from this curse of being a middle
class guy. It appears, bunch of intellectuals , have serious problem
in considering Middle class folks to be serious part of de'MOCK'crazy.
it some how feels that this class of people, which at some point
belonged to either lower middle class or some of them even to poverty
class, for some 'reforms' reason have risen to middle class. Since
they had skills which gives them livelihoods in economic opportunity
that country provides, lets outcast them. You give sense that the
whole of India should always remain lower middle class, not urban ,
fight in the forests. I really doubt if you would support, if one of
the tribe families in orissa forest will suddenly become rich because
of land reforms, you will curse them too. your thoughts are twisted.
But i appreciate your incisiveness in projecting possible oligarchies
, i especially agree with you on ..lets avoid one more admin structure
to deal with complex issue Corruption.

from:  Ramachandra
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:54 IST

arundati roy- Those who can, do; do who can't, comment.
The whole country is divided in 2, on Anna's crusade against corruption, the affected millions who support it and the miniscule minority who are the beneficiaries (either in cash, kind, lucrative posts or awards & recognition) who oppose it. Your opposition is a manifestation of the 2nd lot.

from:  Vijay Pherweani
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:52 IST

I'm just a twenty year old, an average boy, with average problems.May be, as this article points out, Mr Hazare might not be perfect, he might have his own selfish intentions in fighting for the Jan Lokpal bill. But as far as i'm concerned, this is a fight against corruption, and i believe, nobody favours corruption, now do they? Mr Anna Hazare gave us that initial spark & now this movement is no longer about Anna hazare.I mean, we are all taxpaying citizens of India,what else are we supposed to do? Should we just sit there, with our hands behind our back & watch these corrupt politicians, rob us, of our hard earned money??

from:  Arun Sanjeev Rao
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:49 IST

Hats off to ARUNDHATI for mincing no words and exposing the true colours of IAC. The deeper layers and motivations of the movement must be questioned.

from:  VIRENDRA YADAV
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:47 IST

People like mrs Roy,Harish Salve,Cho Ramaswamy would always criticise each and every act of other but would not contribute anything to the society. They think they are only the intelligentsia and others are fools. Give 1 example what they have contributed to this society;

from:  raj
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:47 IST

Ms. Roy will not be impressed because none less than maoists impress her. Hey if you have not picked up a gun or used a land mine, you are not concerned enough to get her attention. So peace loving, middle class are useless for her

All facebook, twitter users, all middle class people, you are not a section that deserve any govt. care. Because hey, you use facebook and twitter to say you care! How dare you!? Biggest criticism of Anna movement is that you use these media tools to show support. We shall go back to being Indians...and what that means? May I dare ask? And news channels, how can you cover these undemocratic events... and not show respect for congress view that this demonstration is part of some foreign sinister campaign against India.

English is not my first language so please help me understand...pro-democracy is pro-Goverment?

Anna's peaceful demonstration and demand to shun corruption is undemocratic because corruption is only mean to fund elections -democracy

from:  Pankaj
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:47 IST

Neither should going with the tide...........

i'm not against the lokpal, but if you do not realise that there are a
few clauses that need to be amended, then you are blinded.

I agree that Mr Hazare has made the issue public,........and there has
been an influx of new ideas.....
Just because Anna Hazare is fasting to death, it doesn't mean that his
version of what should be done must be accepted.

The Lokpal , if implemented may be one of the most important bills in
this era.......not even giving the parliament sufficient time to
debate all it's clauses is simply ridiculous.

from:  Sunny
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:46 IST

all you critics of a.r., she is not a politician to show the way or the solution.. she is an activist who shows the problems that persist and the government's inability to solve it.. i say that we are faced with more problems than day to day corruption.. the law is said to be draconian for a reason.. and why should we bend over backwards to table a bill? why not take it to debate?? who is one person to decide what is right and what is wrong for a nation of a billion people?

from:  Arjun
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:46 IST

Ms. Roy, thank you for writing this. It is time that people start understanding what they are out to support or rather who they are supporting. I think most of those who have commented on this probably are completely politically illiterate (as is obvious from their comments), which, sadly, is the case for most of our middle to upper middle class population. That is why we have such huge support for this absolutely ridiculous man called Anna Hazare.

from:  Aam Aadmi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:46 IST

I agree with many points by Roy specially the one about 'either you
support anna or you are instantly labelled corrupt or even anti-
indian'. This is the most bizzare logic doing rounds in sms's,
facebook, twitter. Hysteria is being created deliberately as if there
is no other voice in civil society. Aruna Roy gave very logical
suggestions but her voice has been suppressed in hyperbole. Its very
easy to manipulate public opinion by 24 x 7 throwing up catchy
slogans, creating doomsday scenarios, inflating crowd numbers,
indulging in hero worship and forgetting everything else in country.
General anti-establishment resentment in public/media and the self-
goal tendency of govt doesn't help the cause either. Most unfortunate
is the rhetoric of 'its either janlokpal or govt should go' attitude.
Country needs a debate and consensus on such crucial issues. All the
best things of draft bills should be incorporated. Media can also
start focusing on provisions of lokpal now.

from:  sanjay
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:45 IST

Arundhati, the citizens of this country are driven by adrenaline rush.
I doubt how many of the people who are waiving flags and for that case
reading and writing on this article know the things that are pointed
by you. We Indians, we always prefer replacement of things rather than
fixing the things by digging deep into the root. I fear one thing...
as Gandhi was supported.. we earned freedom and forgot about the
country.... same thing might happen. We will support and raise a
system parallel to the democratic system and forget. I hope this
agitation doesnt turn into a civil war now or in far future. Because,
if that happens the people of this country, who prefer to protest on
weekends only or after office hours, might not be able to fix it then.

from:  chandrajit
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:44 IST

I don't know but we don't actually need to pay heed to this article for two reasons:
1. It's trying to demolish a personality (Mr.Hazare) which is far better and highly awarded (Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhshan and many more) and respected world-wide whereas she herself is nothing but a author with a booker's prize(nothing in comparison)
2. She has in her lifetime done nothing but criticize anything and everything. And she herself has also never came up with a solution for those situations she criticized.

I agree that criticism is also required for a better society but not just criticism helps, remedies should also be suggested by such people who differ from the mass opinion.

from:  Nishant
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:43 IST

Miss: Roy,Thanks for the nice article, though Anna's views is not an end to "ALL", corruptions that are happening in our society but its a good strat that will pave way for us to raise voice if we are asked to pay for the public duty which are supposed to be done by particular Public Servant.

from:  Kavitha Priya
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:41 IST

Intellectuals are clouded in their world view due their intellectual
lineage they adopt,i am sure she is one.For one who long back said,"I
withdraw from the Union of India",these movements wouldn't make much
sense,nor would the transformational efforts of many in weeding out
the Maoist insurgency,and by what measure,Madam,do you think Maoists
are humane,when they ambush the civilians,by what measure,Madam,do you
think they are considerate of the future of the young children,when
the keep blowing up the schools.Peaceful Dissent is the bedrock of
democracy and without it, you and i wouldn't be enjoying the freedom
that we do.One should learn to respect dissent in Democracy not
Ridicule them.I may not agree with your's or Team Anna's Views,but i
will fight till my last breath for the Right to Dissent.

from:  Kalyan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:40 IST

I agree with the thoughs of the writer .People are supporting the Bill
without knowing the consequence.You cannot make a person of the rank of
Prime Minister answerable to a committee,it will simply be shameful for
the country...

from:  rajiv
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:38 IST

Yes, there's something called 'business of politics' and the 'politics
of business'. Both politics and business feed on each other to thrive.
So I agree with you Ms.Roy to the point where you want corporate
houses, NGO's too should be included in the ambit of the Lokpal.
But where I disagree with you Ms.Roy is total negation of Anna's
efforts. Come on atleast, its a start. Other than the air we breathe,
if there's something universally experienced by Indians, it is
corruption. Atleast it has had the politicians thinking and losing
sleep over it.Courtesy, you yourself say in the article -
(In this one, the Government collaborates by doing everything it
possibly can to overthrow itself.)
So that means it has had atleast a little effect in the right
direction.

And finally, Ms Roy much as you pitch yourselves as against Anna and
as is suggested, its a 'clandestinely' corporate driven movement, your
article by the same logic can be treated as being done on the behest
of some 'politicians'

from:  yajiv
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:37 IST

Very right analysis of the situation. Whatever scams of corruption are being unfolded, the corporate sector and the media are deeply involved in along with politicians and bureaucracy. The Lokpal bill and the Jan Lokpal Bill both do not include the corporate sector.The corporate sector is being spared and that is the biggest participant and beneficiary of corruption scams. Moreover, the Jan Lokpal Bill will create a super structure that is not good for a democracy. It smells of dictatorial and fascist tendencies- very bad for the common man-worse than corruption.There are many other ways to control corruption.Corruption is an issue and has to be addressed. Hence, issue of cooruption has got the focus and attention of the people at large. That is the contribution Anna's agitation.However, even if his version is accepted, it won't solve the problem of corruption. Above all, Anna does not raise the problems of the lower strata of Indian society.

from:  Chanan Cheema
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:37 IST

The thought of an absolutely powerful centralized system certainly gives me jitters. As long as it is run by honest and truthful leaders its fine, but on the long run how can this be guaranteed? When we have corrupt leaders today (despite being democratically elected), then what is the guarantee that people leading lokpal will not be corrupt in the future? I think she is raising a valid point.

from:  Mohammed Riyaz
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:35 IST

Completely agree with Roy. Enough of this social rock concert. Guys go read the Lok Pal Bill and educate yourself.
It's your choice between the incorruptible Fascists over the incorruptible democrats. Perhaps the Fascists will win aided by the Congress making strategic blunders by the day. Either way use your heads and understand the LP Bill. Blindly following His Holiness Kejriwal and His Holiness Hazare shows that this Nation wants a hero ! I'd rather that people raise their consciousness to higher levels.

from:  Raj Kumar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:33 IST

What is corruption? Can anyone of you give an example of a system where there is no corruption at all? Exactly what is the reason for our government and the people associated with it to be so corrupt? What about the people working with the government who do not accept bribes,what are their views? Completely agreeing with the article. Eye opener.

from:  Vikas Vinod
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:33 IST

There is no doubt and second thoughts that there is a need for strong
measures to curb the menace of corruption. But burning the house is
not a solution. There is lot of merit in the arguments put forth by Ms. Roy. Her
concerns are real. The style of the protest is clearly questionable.
People marching with waving flags, without understanding the
implications of the demand they are supporting. Bringing in Children
just to make it more appealing to the camera wielding journos. We
Indians are always emotionally driven. We do not go into the details
of an issue, analyze and reach a conclusion. Who has time for all
that. We are just happy to join the chorus.
Every one in this democracy has a right to put forth his views, in
proper channels through proper means. No one has the right to hold the
Indian Democratic structure and it's constitutions to ransom. Even if the
majority agree, a "wrong" won't become a "right".

from:  A Rahim
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:32 IST

Every day I see good and negative reviews about Lokpal. I think we should think the positive side. Without at least an attempt how can we do something for our country?. If all the amount that was looted were there now, India would be the richest country.If we are trying to see only negative part in any initiatives like Lokpal or anything , it is damn sure we will forcefully hide the good parts.If I do a crime, and I have a political support do you think that I will go to Jail ? I will go unless and otherwise the Supreme court forces the Govt to take an action. But that happens only one or two out of 100 case.

from:  Aneesh Joseph
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:32 IST

I totally agree with you, Ms Roy. we need people like you to give voice to the issues of 'unimportant' people in this country. The nation listens to you, and I hope there will be a time when people will rally behind people like you, aruna Roy etc.

from:  Muhammed P
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:29 IST

Let me ask the so-called millions who are supporting Anna, and the many who have ranted against Arundathi's article: how many refuse to pay a bribe to get some of your everday work done, like getting a driving license, getting "out" of a parking violation, etc? How come so many do all of that, and yet turn up by Anna's side?
India's corruption problem is the fact that it is at the grassroots level, and the Lokpal bill will by no means cure that. Like Arundhathi says, people may well have to bribe two sets of people if the Lokpal bill is passed. If anyone is interested in reducing corruption, FIRST STOP PAYING BRIBES; if some of your work does not get done, or takes longer, then so be it, thats the price each of us has to pay to rid ourselves of this epidemic that has become so much a part of our lives. And may I add, I have been refusing to pay bribes for some years now, and I find it is quite possible to live thus.

from:  Gideon Joseph
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:28 IST

India has several hundreds of big and small problems plaguing the
country. Caste-ism, population, healthcare, education, corruption,
religion, terrorism, electoral system and many more. Although each
problem seems easy to solve in isolation, they do not exist in
isolation and actively feed from one another. Ms Roy, while I agree
that some of your arguments hold plenty of merit, I must add that the
big picture of India needs more consideration. Anna Hazare is an
unlikely but perhaps possible pawn in the hands of more powerful
people with vested interests, but what is one more attempted remedy in
the face of a bleak corrupt future? I say hope. I am not as learned as
yourself and many other respected scholars in this country, but would
I stop myself from taking a fundamental stance against corruption? No.
Do I think Jan Lokpal is the end of corruption? No. Do I believe the
parliament acts in the best interest of the country and her people
always? No. But I believe in India. Just like you.

from:  S Banerjee
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:27 IST

Whether a minority of people like AR saying this is not the right way
to do it ---every one agrees on the fact that there is an urgent need
for doing something really tough on curbing corruption seeing the
scale and size of corruption that was revealed in recent times. Do MPs
who are supposed to take part in the law making, has enough
incentives/motivation to create such a tough law like Jan Lokpal Bill
when a majority of the members are having criminal/corrupt background?
it is the same way like the women reservation bill in parliament, it
took decades to pass as there is no incentive for the existing members
of parliament have any incentive to pass a law which will adversely
affect them.(or most of them!). This is the context in which Anna's
methods have significance. It is like creating a public opinion of
such force that the government doesn't have any alternative other than
to work on it. All the four pillars of democracy are corrupt now and
some deterrent needs to be built.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:26 IST

In your article you have in a way linked Anna Hazare with RSS. How could one possibly expect anyone to have done only good things in life to lead such a movement, in fact even Gandhi also tried various means which can be considered as deplorable by many of us. I fail to understand why we should bring comparison of Gandhian methods with those of Anna. Why should we follow the methods described by Gandhi and even a slight deviation from that is considered as heinous crime. Anna Hazare's method is that of non-violence which many among us endorse and his methods of demanding is necessarily required to make the government listen to them. JanLokpal bill tries to fill the vacuum of Accountability which exists in our bureaucracy. Team Anna Hazare may use rhetorics such as "Jai Hind" to gather the mass

from:  Suresh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:26 IST

As Arundhathi pointed out the real solution for this problem lies in making the representative democracy work well and making democratic institutions accessible to ordinary people. Bringing in a new legislation that creates a mammoth bureaucratic setup with infinite powers for investigationa and prosecution will only create one more agency to bribe to get things done. Power,not matter to whom we bestow it, will always corrupt (most of)those who hold it. Power should never to be allowed to be centralized in any agency and should be decentralized; the ordinary man should be empowered more and the power totally decentralized and truly democratized for any hope of an anti-corruption legislation to actually work. While the Government's version of the Lokpal is a joke, Team Anna's version is a bigger joke.

from:  Kurien
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:25 IST

Every one's entitled their opinion and I respect Ms.Roy's opinion on
The Iron Lady fighting against AFSPA and on Anna's march. What I
personally believe is, let their be a step, as someone rightly said,
"A wrong can be corrected but not an inaction".

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:20 IST

I am happy that Arundhati is not shrill and strident this time. Her appreciation of the status of Anna’s unwarranted intransigence is sound and will strike a chord among those who dread anarchy and rule by a Frankenstein monster called by the sweet name of Jan lokpal . The protesters belong to the same middle class which wanted no reservation in AIIMS. One must remember under any Pal only those who are caught will thieves as one Hindi saying goes "Jo pakhra gaya wo hi chor hai" Even with Jan Lok Pal there is no guarantee of cent per cent eradication of corruption. Therefore there is no such tearing hurry in installing an untested system. Corporate Corruption is a equally pernicious and this Janlok Pal will do precious little to curb it. Ms Roy rightly asks how a cop taking a small chai-pani ka paisa for violation of parking rules will be solved by having the now famous Team Anna's the leviathan Janlok Pal l which for all one knows may end up as another paper tiger.

from:  R.Sundaram
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:20 IST

Ms. Roy, Annaji has picked the issue of corruption (which is real) to galvanise the public into action. That does not mean that he has to fight your pet peeves. If you want Anna to fight for what you think is important please approach him and his organisation and highlight it. But for you to expect them to suo motu take it up is ridiculous. Also remember, you speak on behalf of people who take up violence, as well as people who talk about secession. Most Indians do not see these as rightful methods (though these people may have a valid grouse). So make sure that your methods are in line with the rest of society and the media and people will come with you. Of course you must have impeachable integrity and moral authority for a mass following. I am not sure we have seen that.

from:  aarvee
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:17 IST

am amazed by the number of people who believe anna is taking a step - what is the step ? if the step is the lokpal bill, i am against it...if it is merely a cry against corruption , i support it ...but whats the "first step" about it is he the first one to be against corruption/ what about the IAS officer in UP who was killed because he fought the corruption of oil mafia.
the means and ends are two different things and lets be very clear just because anna is anti corruption it does not give him legitimacy ...yes he has a plan the plan is the bill, so only if you supprot his version of the bill...should you support him...lets stop this first step nonsense. the dns do not justify the means...Annas means are uncontsitutional, simplistic and simple blackmail...

from:  sumeer
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:17 IST

This article is most disappointing. Ms. Roy's rambling is more of a
personal attack on Anna than proposing anything concrete as an
alternative, or for that matter even presenting a better understanding
of the problem itself. Already the title says it all " I would rather
not be Anna" and then the whole article has the intent of making the
reader doubt the credentials of Anna or his supporters - i.e. the
millions of people in this country who are lending support to the
movement. The usual charges: Anyone praising Gujarat or Modi is a
political outcaste. Anyone even remotely endorsing certain views of
the RSS is a criminal. Therefore people of the highest integrity like
Bedi,Kejriwal, Hegde etc are insane to support this movement. However
when people like Ms. Roy who hobnob with separatist leaders having the
scantest regard for India pen twaddle like this they are to be hailed
as intellectuals. Ms. Roy, I am so glad that you are not (like) Anna.
You will never be.

from:  luhar sen
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:15 IST

terrific write up. I had such respect for anna but after listening to
'My way or the highway' and "Janlokpal or nothing'Im horrified.Is this
democracy?When the NCPRI sent their draft they were called traitors by
members of 'Team Anna'!

from:  piyali gupta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:15 IST

Article full of irony.
in the whole article she was writing that what a Lokpal would do ? then in the last paragraph she came down heavyly on Graft.

from:  vijay
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:14 IST

Insightful and much needed article in my opinion. The structural
organisation of our political system ie representative democracy is
such that it creates opportunities for misuse of decision making
power. without structural change i think there is no way to solve the
issue, as pointed out creating another power center is not the
solution. the other good thing pointed out is that the one sided
depiction of Big Govt is bad rhetoric is too oversimplified to be
taken seriously. John Dewey once said politics is the shadow cast over
the public by Business. it takes two to tango and i ask those opposing
Anna, but still relying on government reforms and transfer of decision
making power to private industry as feasible option, to reconsider
their position. As pointed out, we need to assess the structural
problems which give rise to corruption without relying on a priori
assumtion like the fallibility of human nature and focus on tangibles
like socio-economic inequalities among others to be sure

from:  Arun
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:14 IST

The article reveals exactly how the Civil Society have gone away from
what is needed in India the most with its fallacies about an
undemocratic bill. All this commotion took the focus away from the
major national struggles like that of the people against mining mafias
and the POSCO issue and then the swiss bank fraud that was to be
revealed by Wiki leaks. So all in all, team Anna have succeeded in
saving some big corporate and media houses and some of the richest politicians of our country. And what does the media mean by "India is with Anna"? The media dont know that 70% of Indians live on
agriculture and live in villages, they wouldn't even be knowing who Anna is, their only hope of a rightful life is the parliament and elections, not Anna.

from:  Kalidasan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:13 IST

I think it needs a calm and cool mind to understand what she has
written... The frenzy of nationalism will not allow us to understand
what Arundhati has written.. But the danger is if you ask team Anna to
introspect you will be branded as a stooge of government...
I personally am very happy to see that so many people have come out to
support anna.. but there are plausible arguments made by the writer in
this piece... Media always magnifies things which are saleable and the
story has an aberration also when it passes through the lens of camera...

from:  Hridayesh Joshi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:13 IST

Well Said Ms.Arundhati Roy, i completely accept your comments on the ongoing so called second freedom struggle.
i think Mr.Anna Hazare wants to create an institution which challenges the constitutionally formed institutions already in existence. Is that going to end corruption in India? Definitely not. what we mean by Jan lokpal Bill is that we will continue to select wrong persons as our representatives, we will allow them to corrupt and derail our development and after those mishaps we will start questioning them. when are we, as a people starting thinking about how to choose right persons as our representatives?
And what about the persons who act as facilitators to corrupt activities. what about the persons Who introduced our bureaucrats and politicians to the corporate giants who were ready to give bribe?
unless these lobbyists are brought to book the corruption will never end because these men are those who show the way and the bureaucrats and politicians follow it.

from:  dheenadhayalan.M
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:12 IST

SOME PEOPLE SAY WE NEED TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP AGAINST CORRUPTION ...

all these problems because the india people love corrupt politicians
(shall we say that) and elect them to power again and again. now they
want to over throw the democracy and become the ultimate power of
corruption themselves. indians, if they start punishing the corrupt
politicians since independence with their valuable votes, we will not
be in this situation, we would have been a better democracy and make
it work fine. we are not doing this and blaming the government. GOD
knows when will indian votes for corrupt politicians will stop. the
protest in the middle east is for democracy and we already have it and
it is one of the biggest and most admired but then what have we done
to it. voting the corrupt to power is what we do, and then blame the
government, is this not hippocratic. in fact we must make democracy
work better for this issue and not hijack the people government.

from:  GP REUBEN
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:12 IST

Dear Arundati, I was looking forward to someone who would put some sense into our people who get carried away when someone targets the government. The primary question that has not been posed is that it takes two to indulge in any act of corruption,the offer of an incentive in the form of bribe, the other willing to accept. Most such transactions start from a desire for something you cannot get through normal means, you can either forego it or your temptation lets you to take the easy path. It is this lack of discipline in our society that encourages it. Bombay's dhabwallahs, Anandtype Diary cooperatives during Kurien's days as head, HMT prior to SM Patil's departure, Air India under JRD Tata, remember these (Except Dhabawallah's)were models prior to economic liberalisation. What emerges from all these discussions is that a mere legislation is unlikely to create an institution. Anna's credentials are not pure I would resent his use of Gandhi who never laid down conditions

from:  Reg C Mascarenhas
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:11 IST

Dear Ms. Roy,

An Arundhati fan I am not ...

However, this article is incisive and brilliant. Much appreciated.
I agree that Kejriwal's NGO funding needs to examined/highlighted all the way
back to his links with Ahsoka Foundation.
For those looking for solutions to the corruption problem, these are at two levels. The
first and foremost is within ourselves: the propensity to corrupt and be corrupted.
At the second level, sweeping administrative reforms are needed along with
radical changes in taxation policies.
This may appear simplistic but, on analysis, will provide lasting solutions to the
problem which the LPB - Jan or otherwise - will not.

from:  S D Verma
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:10 IST

Very interesting article. Corruption is a real menacing problem that faces our society and it needs to be uprooted. However, caution needs to be taken in dealing with it. Not one JanLokpal Bill will solve all the problems of corruption. We as individuals and society should change before that can happen. We Indians are more emotional and should not let the emotions take over our judgments. It is very important to see through what is really happening. While I agree with the noble intentions of Anna Hazara, we can never predict the unintended consequence of such a bill. Imagine India under the control of power brokers in these “chosen elite counsel” who has the right to check the corruption of every office including the Prime Minister. Does that not sound like dictatorship? This seems like a dream come true for self-interest groups who can take over the country. This is no second freedom struggle. Mahatma Gandhi is a great soul using his name in this drama is the true “cruel joke”.

from:  Girish
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:08 IST

Its hard to maintain sanity while the insanity of "ignorance" runs wild. I agree with the issues raised by Arundathi Roy. She is probably the only sane and bold "intellectual" left in our nation.
Love her or hate her. We just cannot ignore her.

from:  Akram Mohammed
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:08 IST

Arundhati is courageous!!!! One has to be ingenious to appreciate her.

from:  Suresh Kannan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:08 IST

Ms.Roy's article contradicts itself. They are :
1. Jan Lokpal will undermine democracy.
2. Current democracy is corrupt and requires change.
One has to point to her that the current RTI is based on Maharashtra
RTI act 2005 (initiated by Anna) which helped to unearth many scams
in the government. Is RTI against democracy?
Anna is mobilizing today's generation to fight against corruption
which may provide solution to some extent for all the problems
mentioned in the article. Who knows, in future EC may mandate party
candidates to get screened by the Lokpal committee.
In Karnataka, CM resigned based on Lokayukta report. is that
also against democracy.
Last but not the least, if can't be helpful let us not belittle a
noble effort come what may.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:08 IST

I m strongly in favour of the writer.......if the guys who are strongly supporting Anna speak
of democracy then the writer also has the right to express her views....rather opposing her
just give it a thought....Just don't drown in your own world of desire but think rationally

from:  Akash Anand
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:06 IST

Madam Roy's article is almost cynical.One good Point about the article is read the janlokpal bill and understand it. As far as Iam concerned Iam not interested.. our PM should be out of the ambit of LOKPAL bill because it may endanger the basic pillars of democracy.Madam Roy was simply crying about all the things in the article..but she is not suggesting any remedial measures to it.

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:05 IST

Ms Roy is doing the same thing the Govt is doing...
Instead of attacking Corruption, she chooses to attack Anna Hazare. Find faults on a very personal level with him...
She is blind to the massive corruption in our Nation. She isn't bothered that over 85% of subsidies for the very poor are eaten away by Govt.officials (Quoted by Rajiv Gandhi). She isn't bothered that because of the massive loot of Public money, less hospitals, less infrastructure, less everything for the poor. Just one example.
This woman needs to get her head examined. I have lost all respect for her.

from:  Shayam Sunder
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:04 IST

Ms Roy. I salute you! You called a spade a spade even though you know that you would be a loner in the crowd. You echoed Karl Marx and Mahatma Gandhi. Marx was of the opinion that corruption is part of the present system. Gandhiji also was very critical of the present system, which is the source of all evil. When Anna declares his struggle as the second independence struggle, has he forgotten the first independence struggle fought in 1857?

from:  S Sajana Chandran
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:04 IST

We have democratically elected Parliment whose main role is to govern us and administer social justice, fairness, progress, which I believe is what all sections of society wants. Obviously they have failed and so the solution to that is to bring in a new government through an electoral process who we can hope will deliver the goods. So instead of creating a bill (which is no different from the present Anti-Corruption bill) and supporting self appointed guardians to monitor our leaders, why don't they stand for an election, win the hearts of the citizen and have all the powers to eradicate corruption and bring in justice, equality and progress. Why this back door entry ??? It is for this reason that I smell a rat, specially when it is clear that the movement is being financially supported by the very same evil Corporates that we are trying to eliminate. I agree with Roy, that we are heading slowly towards another Afghanistan / Pakistan / Libya. Its time to identify our true enemies.

from:  Joseph Thomas
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:04 IST

Ms.Roy is definitely the Lilliput 'god' of 'small things'. Perhaps, her so called 'dry intellect' and 'flawed logic' are also a part of her list of 'small-err things'! The moment she identifies herself with the Common Man and not call herself the 'God of Small Things', she may find some sense in Anna's / India's fight for a corruption-free nation. Not until then.

from:  Iyer
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:04 IST

One thing is clear. Ms.Roy has neither understood Anna nor has she understood the Mahatma.She claims that Anna remains silent on a host of issues but why must he speak on all these issues like Singur and nandigram. He is not a policy maker! He is only a person who wants work done effectively without any corruption.She seems to have a contempt towards anti reservationist.While India is a country with a lot of down trodden people, the current beneficiaries of reservation policy are people who are not necessarily disadvantaged. Nobody wants to talk about a comprehensive revamp of the reservation to provide succour to the people who truly deserve.It has become fashionable to call mock anti reservationists.Moreover, what is wrong in being funded for doing work as an NGO.You need resources to work.Anna has proven his credentials by transforming his village. Her question about his efforts for downtrodden is superfluos.And moreover, it is not Anna's fight anymore. it is everybody's cause

from:  krishnan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:04 IST

Good to read Ms Roy's views on such an important issue. She has
brought out some important points:
1. Inclusion of Corporates, Media Houses and NGOs under the Lokpal
purview. With increasing LPG this idea should be considered seriously?
2. A holistic look at issues so that other important issues such as
inequality, poverty, etc are not overlooked.
But, I think, Ms Roy would appreciate Team Anna's effort to create
national consensus on anti-corrpution measures. Without this even Ms
Roy would not have written this article.

Thanks.

from:  Varun Sharma
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:03 IST

You think people are following ANNA Blindly? Will you be able to start a movement of this magnitude? You must be joking. Do not under estimate pople of this country. Many people tried take advantage of this situation, but did not go far. There is legitimacy and moral strength in this movement. No one claims that this bill is a perfect solution. No system or bill can be perfect. What is proposes is a means to question the Corrupt representatives and the system can always be improved.

from:  Pk
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:03 IST

Lovely n refreshing. Finally... a brain is meant to be used...
something most prefer not to...eyes are meant to see...but we see no
evil... ears are meant to hear....we don't even like to hear... the
noise of our own voice. Madam, the ordinary people (ie. those who
can not read n write as well as you, those who can not dream of a
mansion... nor a small plot of land... unless they win it by
lottery... (as our greatest super-star Mr. AB... on KBC... reminds
us five days a week...) Mr. Tendulkar refreshes us with coca cola
cans statistics... ($12 million for the water that is not good for
Indian Parliamentarians... but the MCD is asked to issue licences
with the help of coca cola company who help them get hawkers
licences... for a merger 15 to 65 paise per bottle... You see most
indians that read your essays don't care about even Rs. 10000/- as
long as it makes them LOOK GOOD.

from:  U.K. Gandhi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 10:01 IST

Ms. Roy has written another eye-opening piece. while Americans deny
their links to Anna's movement, she points to the influence of
American funds among Anna's team. She points to all other struggles
which are struggling to get any attention by the media or politicians.
Her point that Anna's bill will create another parallel bureaucracy is
valid. Who is going to pay for all the duplicate civil servants?
Anna's movement for all its Gandhian rhetoric is nothing but blackmail
by hunger strike. There is an "ends means" confusion here. That is
what Ms. Roy is writing about. She is warning us about not getting
fooled. She does not have to propose solutions. A writer's job is to
hold a mirror to society and she does that here. More power to her.

from:  K.V. Nagarajan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:58 IST

Some people want to be in limelight by saying something against the popular belief.
These people should be ignored.
The same writer, earlier commented on Kashmir...!
When everyone slammed her, she said that writers are entitled to speak their mind...
One fundamental thing she does not (or pretend) understand is, she could do all this
because India is a democratic country...!

from:  Mani
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:58 IST


The writer asks where was Anna's support for farmers suicides, low class women getting raped...etc.
Let the writer understand. Anna's campaign is against CORRUPTION. Because at the present there exist NO LAWS to prosecute those in Power who weld enormous political and money power to get out of each and every corruption scandal. Can anyone name ONE politician who was prosecuted for corruption and money recovered from him?? ONE????!!

For other maladies faced by India, we have numerous laws for the same already.

I do believe that IAC's next on the Agenda is electoral reforms:-
(1) Right to recall
(2) Right of election getting nulled if more "NONE of the Above" votes are cast.
(3) Barring criminals from contesting elections. If Dawood Ibrahim stands for elections today, he will easily win from some constituencies.

from:  Derek
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:57 IST

While the op-ed begins on an interesting note, the personal attacks divert the issue. However, when she remarks "Two oligarchies, instead of just one", she has a point.

* Why should such a huge responsibility be entrusted on a select few under questionable selection criteria? (If tomorrow, Philippines awards a Magsaysay Award to A.Raja, is he eligible to be a lokpal member?)

* When we see problems with the way this country is managed, why are we thinking of adding even more managers to the problem instead of attempting to solve the issue?

* The same issues that make the existing anti-corruption laws ineffective will make any new anti-corruption law meet the same fate.

* What we need is preventive care not an after-the-fact postmortem like Lokpal. What we need is the means to ensure transparency in all government spending and put it under public scrutiny. Surely, the land of Software Geniuses can come up with online facilities to allow any citizen to audit govt spending.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:55 IST

I struggled to get the point...is Anna the problem or Jan Lokapal bill
the problem or doing something against the corrupts the problem...whats
the solution...Do not do anything and see the gap between poor and rich
get wider and wider..sorry Ms Roy.. I would love you to write a solution piece on corruption..than being a regular skeptic..

from:  Sujeet Jena
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:55 IST

Arundhati Roy makes some vital points, as she always does, and there is merit in a lot of what she says. Unfortunately, she is as always bereft of solutions in a country desperately seeking solutions. Yes Anna is not the magic wand. Far from it. But the public anger is real, and cannot be snubbed, as Ms Roy always does, just because it comes from the middle class. In fact, we are doomed if we do and doomed if we don't. Often accused of apathy, now we are being accused of being too enthusiastic. Ms Roy and her writing is a very critical and important tool for democracy in India - if only she would sometimes write on some solutions.

from:  Hindol Sengupta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:52 IST

Its not correct to say that "tick the box - (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind." yes its not very intelligent but what have all the collected intelligence done to our nation . All the causes dear to ur heart ,have a common seed and that is 'corruption' in some form or other . Why Arundhati Roy did not take up an issue which is 'mother of all ills' be it problems in north-east, naxals , Kashmir , had you taken up what Anna is doing ,would have done a great service to people of India . Most easy job in this world is to find faults with others !!!

from:  Dr Narain Rupani
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:52 IST

I would say that this was the most credible and sensible analysis of the deep-rooted corruption in our society and the so called superficial fight against corruption. Arundhati Roy has been continuously misread and understood prejudicially. It is no surprise to find such idiots in our country making superficial comments on Arundhati Roy like the most of the ones above.....

from:  vijay kumar s m
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:52 IST

Ms. Arundathi, I have three questions 1. Meadia doesnot paid much attention or gave coverage to Sharmila fast ot Nigamanad fast or our several activities..we feel sad about it. but why u balmming meadia which giving coverage to fight on curruption. Are u saying that if meadia doesnot give importance to u it shouid not give importance to others? 2. If out of 100, 99 are wrong. then can wrong become right? 3. Are u supporting curruption or jelous about Anna team?

from:  Manohar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:51 IST

You give more credit to TV channels than they deserve. Such unprecedented support for a cause has to be more than just driven by media.There are cynics out there questioning the effectiveness of the Lokpal to be formed but you are skeptical about the intentions of Anna and his supporters too.I find the argument about Anna's views on other matters irrelevant. If someone is fighting for a cause, he must take responsibility for other 'things of urgent concern' as well! Ms. Roy atleast he is fighting for one cause and if you have better solutions to tackle corruption and other "things of urgent concern" its high time to enlighten us all as i dont find even an attempt to suggest a better way out. Anna has been fighting against corruption for more than 20 years and if finally he has gathered enough support which I agree was largely because of Wikileaks,scams etc. and the timing was perfect but can we really blame Anna for that!! Nobody out there expects an overnight result but a first step.

from:  Nitin Saxena
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:51 IST

Though I always appreciated the courage of Ms.Arundhati Roy, I did not agree with many of her opinions. But about this piece, I agree with most of what she has written. After all, who says he is for corruption. Even the most corrupt of our politicians or businessmen will proclaim their enthusiasm to wipe out corruption. Our hypocrisy see no bounds.Otherwise, if the majority of the people who throng our religious festivals, had applied a little bit of that pretended spirituality and concern for others in their lives, we would have been in a much better position. Just like the fake spirituality of those who throng the churches, temples and mosques but do not apply any of it in their personal lives, those who throng the anti-corruption crusades as a picnic on a holiday, cannot be taken seriously. It is just another view of the Indian Tamasha - conspicuous display of sanctity and purity in public, and the absolute negation of it in our own lives.

from:  Alexander Mathew
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:48 IST

Thanks very much Arunthathi Roy for a description of highly debatable issues in the country. I have expressed similar concerns (those are beautifully and articulately described by Roy in the article which should contemplate, meditate and discuss with other fellow citizens of India) in the beginning of the 'Team Anna's agitation' in Facebook (FB) by their NGO-India Against Corruption-, they were unnoticed, then I asked them; I am an Indian by birth and citizenship-Am I part of this agitation?-no one replied. I realised that I am a lower caste, a lower class, a rural person and therefore I am not part of this. A month ago, there was a posture in the FB comparing Mohandas Gandhi and Anna Hazare (they were saying that Anna was a 'Modern Day Gandhi', which I completed disagreed with because Hazare's Team-a minority of vested interest people looking for a centralised solution to India's decentralised and deep rooted corruption problems.) I got hundreds of threat messages from their supporters....

from:  Johnson Jament
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:46 IST

With due respect to your points, i would like to comment as below. The points you have penned down were new to me. I am not a fan of Anna but think that what he plan to do(or declare so) will certainly make some changes to the level of corruption. 1) i agree- that the bill proposed by Anna may not be the most suitable one..so please join them and suggest them the corrections you think is needed (because u are not a common individual as i am and will be certainly be heard) 2) i agree- that media is over-popularizing the campaign (just be sensible about what u get from media). 3) i agree- that there are much more grave situations and unnoticed protests in India.For my logic the corruption in the system has caused in some way or the other for these protests. Giving attention to these protests or even solving them now will not make sure that such situations don't happen in future. But making a change in the system will definitely bring some hope.

from:  Mani S Kartha
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:44 IST

From the comments it is clear whom it has hurt most (the 'Youth for Equality'). Moreover, those who think Hazare's is the only solution to the problem need to be reminded that social structures, which daily create corruption, cannot be wished away or 'eradicated' through 'strong laws'. Moreover, Roy is also saying that the problem has been wrongly identified. The real cause of worry is not corruption per se but the re-distribution of assets from the needy to the greedy, which can happen without corruption too. Like most other things, corruption too is a matter of class. I'd rather support people of Niyamgiri and Vidarbha, than be an Anna.

from:  Pavel
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:43 IST

Brilliant Article.. thanks Arundhathy Roy...

from:  Avaneeth
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:42 IST

Good one...Thumbs up..'Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscentious stupidity'.

from:  DPW
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:41 IST

A bitter pill to swallow but it shows light on the inequity and neglect of real issues..

from:  Prabhakar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:40 IST

I have simple question for u all people. What was the purpose when you elected your representatives to parliament? And i am sure your answer will definitely satisfy you. Further if you want your laws to be made in playgrounds, you should demand for some different type of government. And i should inform if everybody like Anna would want his bill to be passed by Parliament, there will be no space left in House for MP's to vote on the senseless Anna type bills.
And please have a serious view of Ms Roy's article.

from:  Mudasir Ahmad Yatoo
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:39 IST

Hey Indian middle class, where were you when it came to protesting against structural inequalities? Where were the urban youth when Monsanto killed thousands of farmers in Andhra? Why haven't people come out in droves protesting discrimination against Dalits? This bill will do nothing to solve the real cancers of Indian society.

from:  Meghna
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:36 IST

Ms Arundhati Roy thanks for sharing your opinion with the masses. May be whatever you are saying is right, but had anybody thought that why people in such a large number are supporting Sh Anna Hazare, it means people were not able to bear the burden of increasing inflation, & corruption and this movement gave them an opportunity to express their anger against the inlfation/UPA Government. Also you and everybody is saying dont just blindly follow any X.Y.Z for the mere reason that he is holding a Tricolour, I would suggest to everbody out there that dont give such suggestions to the Indians as they are educated/wise & can make it out what is good and what is bad..

from:  Karan Kalia
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:34 IST

Arundhati is right to the extent that the movement only tantalizes the urban middle class privileged community. Arundhati is wrong to the extent that it is not a mass movement.Kejriwal and others who have received NGO money, so have Arundhati through the prizes she won from abroad and the sponsorship for her visits abroad. The point is not Anna, nor Kejriwal nor even Anil Agarwal, it is the people who sincerely think that corruption is unbearable any more. They have found an icon and rallied, Left could not bring forth an icon till now. Irom's struggle cannot be compared with Anna's. Indian middle class especially from the North, West and South and also from Bengal and Assam have never looked beyond the mainland India. The disdain is in every mainland Indian. What we are waiting is the leadership of the working class and the peasantry in general democratic movements like these. Anna's movement will not achieve much. Congress is going to hijack it. People will assert in steps

from:  Soumitra Bose
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:34 IST

Though you have rightly mentioned some facts in your article, you failed to understand that once we have Jan Lokpal, it definitely needs refinements and fine-tuning and nobody is saying that it would be full and final and no further change acceptable. With all said and done, don't you feel the need for such a moment in the first place? Anna might not know certain facts or might be wrong on certain stands but whatever he is doing is definitely not for his selfish aims, unlike most of the current ministers and party presidents. With due respects to you, please look at the bright side of things too.

from:  Sisiro
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:32 IST

I am agreeing with most of the facts pointed out by Ms. Roy. As mentioned by Ms. Roy, Anna's means may be Gandhian and a genuine one. But..., I have doubts about the purity of large section of people who guides his thought nowadays and the mass pretended to be his followers. >We are trying to have one more system other than traditional Executive, Legislator and Judiciary. The recent happenings reveal that almost all these systems are self-centered. corrupt and/or biased. The same can be happened to the new system (whether it is 'Jan' or 'Govt.' Lokpal) as well in near future, which is being planning to place as superior to the others. Therefore constitution of Lokapal will not be a panacea for our all problems and that may not be an ultimate solution. So called 'people' are strongly stand for the Bill and hence it will come into existence. Once the Lokpal Bill comes in force, as Ms. Roy has wrote, the corporates, the media, and NGOs should come under the purview of the same.

from:  Pramod Neelambari
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:31 IST

A very well written article; this might be against the mood of the Indian people now. But seriously dont understand how a man can challenge a parliament ...Is he by anyway trying to question India's Democracy? I would say this is best article of late i have read about Mr. Anna

from:  Hariharan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:29 IST

Let there be a dispassionate debate between ms roy and likeminded people and the core group of Anna Hazare. This will benefit the the nation as a whole. Are we heading for a strong corporate capitalism taking over the the existing parliamentary capitalism through the manouring of ngos who are undoubtedly the poulist/human face of faceless corporations? Is this what Roy means by her dissent? Anna cannot have a similar perception as Roy. But does that mean that he has allowed himself to be played into the hands of ngos represented by the core group? does it follow that the so called 'honest'prime minister and his regime are against the takeover? what about the huge money that is plundered on to the swiss bank secret accounts.

from:  V.N.Laxminarayana
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:29 IST

Extremist is not only he who moves with guns and bombs etc for indiscreet murder in support of a self proposed purpose. Anyone who forces others to believe that only he is right is also an extremist. The most disgusting phenomenon of this affair is both UPA/II Government and the Anna Team are bent upon to undermining the Parliament, playing different rolls. And the danger is who is writing the script? The tremendous media support indicates Murdock's node and hence next is obvious. After monitory control system, this is the latest technique of disguised-imperialism to interfere and control the so called independent state.

from:  Manab Milan Nandi
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:28 IST

I admire the effort she has put in into research and in collecting information that is worth to be noted. I do believe that Lokpal will not solve the problem. How could we say that Lokpal committee will never be corrupted? But what is the solution for this problem called Corruption? It is not addressed. Tell me Ms. Arundhathi Rai, Could you answer me 'NO' if I ask you 'Have you ever bribed anyone to get your work done?'. Possibly not. Though we are educated, well aware of all the issues, we do encourage corruption. Only way to stop this is to improve moral standards of a people (ex:- Tsunami situations in Japan). I guess there is no other alternative. This happens only if people are given equal rights.

from:  Lokesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:27 IST

Reading a few comments I feel pity of the readers' sense and knowledge. Some calling this being a first step and better be supported. Another weak argument in the bunch of weak arguments given by Arwind Kejriwal. Just because it is a first step does not ensure we are in right direction and hence need not be taken blindly only to fall into a bigger gutter. What step are we talking about? Creating one more institution? It will work against corruption and also in time bound manner? How and Why? These institutes are not a computer program that will run as you program them. These are human and humans will find ways to misuse power if it is given to them. We cry about all the corruption done by govt agencies, and our helplessness about them and we still want more agencies to solve a problem? This bill is simply not anti-corruption but pro-corruption. One more gem of knowledge I sighted was when someone called it an anti-corruption bill. Why is it not called so then? We do have law called so.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:26 IST

All of you who have written so abusively against this piece, open *your* eyes and open *your* minds. Its easy to target Arundhati Roy - why dont you look at the facts about Hazare and the rules in vogue on his 'model village'? Why dont you listen to what *he* says about minorities and hanging corrupt officials? Why dont you apply your minds instead of indulging your emotions - by at least reading the Jan Lokpal Bill and thinking about the legal and ethical arguments against it and Team Anna's utter disregard of our constiutional and parliamentary processes. Its all out there, but you choose to be blind to them just as you have chosen to be blind to all the injustices and corruptions Roy speaks of. Do you resent being asked to think about corruption in terms of structural inequality because that somehow points the finger back at you? Do you resist the connection between your grievance and all the other struggles in the India you ignore because that somehow points the finger back at you?

from:  Suranya Aiyar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:25 IST

It is strange that Arundhati Roy is expecting Anna Hazare to talk about the multitudes of issues which need to be addressed by the sleeping Government!! In fact, I am concerned that Anna is talking about other aspects and thereby diluting the anti-corruption focus!! Ms Roy is no different from the TV Channels who act as if there is nothing else happening other than Anna!! Why vent so much of venom at Team Anna when there are so many issues to be addressed?

from:  Badri
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:23 IST

Thank you Ms Roy for clarifying to all those who are silently sitting at home during the so called Anna's Fast unto Death as also to those who are enjoying the new earned democracy in the streets of the towns and cities. Mob mentality of the people and publicity blitz by the corporate controlled Media does not bring about a change in the system, not to talk of making a revolution. The members of Team Anna certainly owe an explanation to the people how they keep themselves alive and kicking and flying for years and years against what kind of earnings, at whose cost, when a person cannot carry a respectable life with a normal earning. We had first a CBI. Let us ask how many people have been punished for the crimes they conducted and how much of the corrupt money has been brought back. Then came a CVC, the last one was a wrong appointment of a corrupt person as per Supreme Court. Now we are fighting for a Lokpal. What will be his credentials. Where a clean man will be born for the post.

from:  Dr.VN Sharma
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:22 IST

Loksatta party president Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is proposing Lokpall at central level, state level and Panchayath level. so there won't be any centralization of power. It is time to change and we have good movement with public support to drive away corruption, so please don't divert the attention of public with your article.

from:  Chakrapani Nettem
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:20 IST

Excellent Article. Arundhati never minces any words when she speaks, and that is one aspect I love about here, besides many more...I will request the youth of India to be calm and patient, understanding issues with a larger and broader perspective, with scopes for long-term vision. When Institutionalization of Justice system is a debated issue for centuries, norms and individual accountability is the only panacea. It needs to be reiterated that we need to visualize our growth model in an optimistic and positive perspective, not creating another bill...This bill may or may not change what is present, and what might come. But, what is important is to realize our own individual responsibilities...Let's not be ploys in the hands of anyone.

from:  Maheswar Satpathy
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:19 IST

Glad she is not Anna. She like all the politicians is losing touch with the common man. It is very easy to form opinions and somewhat easy to write mediocre books but it takes lot of courage and determination to mobilize millions for a noble cause. I hope she thinks a little more when trying to undermine efforts of others and if possible provide a solution to the issues rather than giving her 2 cents.

from:  Gayatri
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:17 IST

I am disappointed with Hindu for publishing an article which is full of speculations and trying to create a false impression by merging completely disparate aspects of the Indian society.

from:  Arvind Easwaran
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:12 IST

Thanks a lot for your article. It has opened my understanding of the matter and I have already suggested the local newspaper to publish this your article.

from:  Stephen
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:12 IST

Very very valid argument Ms. Roy. And the people in the comments section, you should take a look at what Aruna Roy is suggesting for the Lokpal bill - it sounds far more reasonable. There are far better alternatives out there. If only you would go looking for them. It is all too easy to unthinkingly make someone a hero. Far more difficult to have rational arguments and conversations, to make sense of a difficult issue.

from:  Parvathy Nair
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:08 IST

Excellent article. I too have been enthusiastically following the proceedings of the Anna Hazare movement. I have curiously searching every news channel, every newspaper for the common man. But all I get is a group of youngsters wearing jeans and t-shirt (not that it is bad). I do not find any of the 40% of Indians living with less than Rs. 40 a day, or anyone from the (actual) middle-class - the next 40% living on Rs. 40-80 a day. All I find is the urban elite (the top 10%) with political awareness not more than the high school level. Referring to one of your writings (The Algebra of Infinite Justice), I borrow a concept here: corruption is not the disease, it is a symptom. Of various diseases like lack of education, caste system, mismanagement and so on. Lok Janpal bill is not the Brahmastram to get rid of all evil. It will only deepen the already centralised power. The regional, religious and ethnic minorities will continue to suffer. Keep writing, you are the woman of our times.

from:  Navaneeth V K
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:08 IST

I think these guys who are articulating the against Anna's movement are missing the big picture. See, people who are showing their support for Anna on the streets and sloganeering, are actually showing their frustration and angst against corruption. That's the basic issue that people are fighting against. Anna is only the rallying point and an inspiring figure. He is being used as a metaphor. His method and demands might have many follies, but the point is - that he has been able to show the nation and the world how frustrated the common man is with Corruption. Instead of finding faults with 'Anna is India & India is Anna' slogans and similar petty issues, people like Roy will do much better to understand the pain and frustration of the people; see the big picture, and suggest faster, practical and better ways to curb corruption.

from:  Arun Gupta
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:06 IST

Brilliant article. The middle class loonies of the new India want to usurp power and unleash an undemocratic, authoritarian structure that is accountable to none - this is the real objective of Team Anna and Youth against corruption (earlier it used to be youth for 'equality', a bit earlier 'mandir wahin banayenge' - all made up of the same segment of society who today chant 'India is Anna'). There are very few citizens in India who have the guts to call their bluff and Arundhati Roy is one of them. Long live the idea of democratic India cherished by the 'makers of modern India'.

from:  Joseph MT
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:59 IST

Definitely what I expected from Roy. No body is trying to find a solution to everything, the fact that a man his age is trying very hard to find a solution to something is worth appreciating if not supporting. I don't think Lok Pal was ever meant to abolish corruption - it is only a means to help curb corruption at a Government level. Roy is fascinated to find fault with and demonize everyone except herself. I think this article was written out of jealousy and frustration that an old man had succeeded in achieving something in a field that she thought was her's.

from:  Ramesh Chander
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:59 IST

Ms. Roy, I agree with most of your views, at the same time I support this movement not for it's aim totally, but awakening people against corruption. In my opinion, the Janalokpal bill should be implemented with changes justified.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:57 IST

Ms Roy gives another point of view but certainly fails to show an alternate route to end corruption. While she has been sympathetic to Maoists cause for some time, she could not state categorically whether >she is with Maoists in overthrowing an elected Government - however fraudulently they may get elected. She is right to certain extent in being critical that Anna's present concept of Lokpal would end up as another power centre but her debate could have touched other alternative methods! She would have done better had she commented on the theory that supporters of Anna are are anarchists, Maoists etc,. Having accepted Democracy in the way we described it in our Constitution, I strongly feel that Anna's strong arm tactics fall within constitutional purview. Ms Roy would do well to study why most philosophers and poets liked liked Indian way of life.

from:  PS Nath
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:55 IST

Ms Roy raises some valid points. Mr Anna definitely has good intentions but his methods are not correct. Instead of fasting, or giving ultimatums to government, he should focus his energies on creating a party and getting elected!. If he can not do this, he has to follow the due process of the parliament. Imagine, one day, some other gandhian/sadhu/baba/babu/whoever whips up frenzy amongst his followers and uses social media to give ultimatums to governement - say for example to force the government to build a dam or open a college -- then this will create a undemocratic situation. That's why Mr Anna should try to achieve his goals of eliminating corruption either by dethroning the government or by following the rules - not issue ultimatums that cannot be followed by any government. The tone of this article is not of good taste. You can disagree with a leader (even Gandhu) but highlighting negatives is not a good way to go about this.

from:  Ranganathan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:55 IST

There is no better assessment of the situation than this.

from:  Philip M Mathai
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:55 IST

She is perfectly right, you people just because you cant apply your minds and are guided by 24*7 news channels does not make you right..hats of to Arundatiji.

from:  Naik
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:54 IST

As a student i might be naive to comment on your views and even after being a huge fan of yours i do not fully agree with the article. On your comparison of Jan Lokpal bill with Moist as they both seek the overthrow of indian state, you must be reminded that Mr. Kejriwal has incessantly been telling in his speeches that we must have full faith in democracy and our govt, and i wonder how can the bill proposed by such people aim at overthrow of the state, it is rather to overthrow the corrupts. Second, on your use of sentence 'FAST UNTO DEATH' twice, i thinkyou are again missing the chord as it is 'indefinite fast till the demands are met', again continuous correction by Mr. Kejriwal. Next, you are being critical on Anna for not raising against other problems of india, i would like to ask you if somebody is standing against a(if not all) big problem of india, is he on a wrong path? and should we not support him as he is not standing against all the challenges that India is facing today?

from:  Shubham Agrawal
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:52 IST

Arundhati, Frankly I had doubts, lots of it, about your opinions of the past. But at least once I am agreeing with you. Anna is trying to subvert the Indian Nation. He is no better then an extremist or Maoist. We as Indian must not support any such attempt. Gandhi had his own mind and took his own decisions. Here Anna has day by day different opinions. On one day he praises N. Modi, but next day due to some prompting he criticizes the man. This has been happening over again and again. He started the current movement by saying this will be my ultimate work, I have no political ambitions. Now he is prompted to say that they have an all inclusive plan. Who are the real sponsors, prompters, advisors of Anna ? Is he a stringed puppet ?

from:  Gautam
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:50 IST

This is a well balanced article written at a time when the Anna show is at its emotional height which is reflected in the comments posted above. There are problems with both bills,the one by the government is toothless, the one proposed by Team Anna will sunder the democracy apart. There has to be a mean between the two where corruption is controlled without creating an independent authority outside the control of the government in India as proposed by Team Ana.

from:  Mohammad Imran
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:48 IST

Some really interesting, valid points, like the corporate corruption, the ones abt Irom Sharmila...reasons why the current protest movt failed to convince me too...however, certainly could have done away with the mud slinging which negated any good sense the article could have made,,

from:  Wilfred
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:46 IST

Although there is a strong tunder-current of cynicism in Arundhati's article, she does raise a few valid points, none more so than the one regarding the "utter failure of our representative democracy". When a majority of the democratic institutions of our country has been gradually rendered ineffective and seem to cater only to the rich and powerful, what's not to prevent the Lokpal institution, when it gets created, from getting corrupted itself. Then what? That is actually a more frightening scenario. May be this view itself is cynical, but when corruption seems to have woven itself into our moral fabric and consciousness, how effective will another piece of legislation be? Yes it is a start, but the real deep problem lies in the structural inequalities in our country which needs to be addressed. And i believe there is a slew of laws and measures already in our constitution - what is and has been sorely lacking is
their fearless enforcement and to the true spirit of the law.

from:  Kaushik
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:46 IST

Do the Lokpal supporters know that they are creating a monster?

from:  Ashok C
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:45 IST

It was heart refreshing to read this article in 'The Hindu' today. Thank God that we have at least a handful of people who can look beyond the shallow things.

from:  Godfrey Wilson
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:42 IST

The essence of Roy`s article is the king is naked. In the prevailing charged situation of rampant corruption.We must go to the roots of corruption. It begin`s with Indian subserviance to authority. See, how we try to placate our gods. The immense wealth accumulated in our places of worship is an indication of our attitude. the donated riches are the gratitude for favors received. In short we don`t spare our gods in our quest for wealth. Most offerings are from such ill gotten wealth.so, it` high time to discard our habits of appeasement.Anna Hazare`s may be a small step,but the aim is good.India can be free and democratic.

from:  CAM Ebrahim
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:39 IST

For all those who are following the 'Anna is India' movement, this should work as a food for thought before blindly supporting a 'good cause'. Please go in-depth of the article and the Bill before blindly refuting the article by Arundhati. And mind it, she is not flowing against the tide, she is just saying that the means adopted is flawed.

from:  Francy Chakkappan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:38 IST

Appreciate your sentiment. Consider this, all the world's problems have actually embarrassingly simple solutions. When the intelligentsia see these solutions, a sort of a disbelief may creep into their being, wherein they would not accept that solution as a workable one. Why? perhaps because it was not complex (read complicated enough) to be deemed intelligent. Hence, a rejection of the solution. The Lokpal of Anna and team is actually such a simple solution that it is transformational in nature. The youth of this country get that! so do millions of us Indians, who are tired of an inefficient, corrupt and bureaucratic Government machinery that truly believes that it's job is to harass the very people, who pay their salaries through taxes. It's a bill that would make them accountable to do their job. Simple. I invite you to discard the need for intellectualism in this and just see it for what it is. The final decision to accept or to disregard, is of course, entirely yours!

from:  Shantanu Dhar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:38 IST

In support of the Arundhati Roy: Is India against Corruption? -Conspiracy behind Anna Hazare and Ramdev anti corruption movement. If, Corruption can be defined as 'to ruined morally'. Then Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and their team don't talk about the roots of corruption. The Caste Hindus have been involved in the corruption from thousands of years. Are not the caste, untouchability, feudal mind set, bloody superstitions and patriarchal mindset of the Brahminical social order making the people corrupt? If the roots are above then on which Anna Hazare and team fighting? Surely not against them because they also propagate the same ideology. On the name of Fighting against corruption they are trying to institutionalize the corruption. An example of the exclusionary nature of Hazare’s politics /civil society is his insistence on vegetarianism for Dalits as means of purifying them. Corruption is in the form of 'the legal, moral, physical'. But the present so called 'crusaders' are not dealing with any of them. Farmers, senior citizens, children, women, students are not corrupted; they constitute 80% of Indian population, then who is corrupted? Absolutely the upper caste capitalists only corrupted. The media, which is upper caste rooted is displaying as if the entire India is with Anna team. Gandhi, throughout his life struggled to maintain the status quo (caste). Now Anna Hazare and Upper caste fellows are trying to institutionalize it by this corruption movement. We are wondered “how Gujarat is a model state and Narendra Modi’s Ram Rajya needs to be emulated across the country”? Did you ever see them going gaga over the Posco agitation of poor villagers, or the Jaitapur struggle, or, say, farmer suicides?” Babasaheb Ambedkar wrote this Constitution with his blood to institutionalize democratic and human values in Indian society. Now all of them struggling to dismantle it. According to them (Anna hazare team), reservations and subsidies to the poor are distortions, policies like NREGA and welfare programmes are supposed to lead to huge amounts of corruption. Rights for the poor are a sign of corruption. The 'fight against corruption' nicely packs market fundamentalism and Casteist nationalism. The question is- Does Anna Hazare team represent civil society? Is it not the corrupted media, upper caste corporate sector and the Brahmin parties’ showing them as civil society representatives? When there is no single representative from Bahujans (OBC, Muslim, Christian, Dalit, Adivasi, women and other depressed classes) in the Lokpal committee. Then how can they say that “India against Corruption”. Why they are not talking about Green hunt, honor killings, violence against Dalits, land acquisition, caste discrimination, corrupted media, privatization, farmer suicides, communal violence and huge tax concessions to big business houses (Tata ,Birla)?. They are shouting Bharat Mata ki Jai and Vande Matram to the waiting cameras, typical Sangh Parivar slogans. What is the relation between the portrayals of Bhatata mata, Vandemataram, Gandhi in anti corruption movement? Is it not the castiest and racist attitude? Moreover one should not forget that Gandhi, in his whole life did one “fast on to death” to kill the rights of the Dalits. What is the moral justification behind following him? It is a tyranny that the Socialist Brahmins have joined with the Saffro- Gandhian Brahmins. What a state of condition is this? Who is responsible for the poverty of and inhuman discrimination against the Bahujans? Is it not the Upper Caste Hindus? The total revenue forgone due to tax reduction by the Corrupted UPA government to Upper caste capitalists in 2009- 10 is Rs. 500,000 cores. So, this is the fight between Ruling UPA, Upper caste BJP, Brahmin Communists and the upper middle class Brahmin team of Anna Hazare. But they project it as the “India against corruption”. They went onto make a movie against the SC/ ST/ OBC/ Religious minorities on the name of 'Aarakshan' (Reservations) to wake up the upper caste fellows to dismantle Indian Constitution.
We are still sleeping and adding our energies to intensify their conspiracy against us. We are not against Jan Lokpal, but the way in which present movement is going and the conspiracy behind it is dangerous to our existence. My dear Bahujans! Be not cheated by this Modern Manus. It is a high time to wake up and dismantle this brahminical conspiracy by protecting our Constitution and our people.

from:  G.Chandraiah
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:37 IST

There are lakhs of people that support Anna Hazare and his movements in Facebook and other social media..But there are lakhs that believe that he is an insurgent trying to overthrow the Govt in power and gain >his vested interests..He is well supported by political parties who were when in power where drenched in corruption..When MS Roys try to expose Anna Hazare, these people are so eager to throw stones at her..As a loyal citizen of India,I believe that every citizen has the duty to stop this upcoming insurgency.He is creating a situation almost similar to that was created by JP Narayanan,which forced the Indira Govt to call for an emergency. The fact that he is supported by so call intelligentsia would not sanctify his acts.Majority believe that this bill is going to purify our system from corruption all of a sudden,which is not true.With Right to Service Act(as proposed by the govt of Kerala) and Right to Information Act,corruption could be evaded to a great extent.

from:  Dr Robin Mathew
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:28 IST

Ms Roy is adept at pointing out flaws, whether it be in Anna's movement or the government's actions. This article would be more credible if she had an opinion on how corruption should be tackled. Complaining is easy, finding solutions is not.

from:  Gouri N
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:27 IST

One cann't brush aside the points raised in the article. Reason,not emotion, should govern our decisions.

from:  MAHENDRA GAUR
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:24 IST

Thank you for standing up to the corporate media driven feeding frenzy and for naming some of the robot managers behind the curtains. Ruthless cheating, exploitation,dispossession and violence are written into the DNA of Indian society and culture suffocatingly typified by the sundry commercial, religious and babu classes (birds of the same feather) and now exploding through Indian owned multi-national corporate behemoths (POSCO, Vendanta, Jindal, Tata, etc.) The jackbooted crowd has found yet another opportunity to pull the wool over the public's eves. But why are the so-called political formations who pay lip service to secularism, substantive social justice and humanitarian values falling in line behind the goose-steppers. Indian history repeats itself always as tragedy and farce combined.

from:  Cyrus Ptolemon
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:20 IST

Arundhati Roy is known to be a courageous woman who has stood against all sorts of oppression against the poor and the weak. Her views have always been taken seriously. People may not always agree with her views, but there is food for thought. She is stimulating us to think -where is this leading to?? Indians have always been taken for a ride....this time perhaps but a look alike Gandhi. The message is simple...be careful and dont get carried away by slogans. How many of us have seen the bill drafted by Anna and his team? How many of us have resisted from paying bribe to government officials, instead of fulfilling all requirements to get any government approval? Righteousness starts from oneself, as it is said charity starts from home.

from:  Dr. Khalid Saifuddin
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:18 IST

Say what you will, this article states the fact. Lokpal is not a first step. It is not even a step in the right direction. People want someone to lead them because they cannot find their own way. And they think its sacrilege to question the "leader".

from:  Sat
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:16 IST

>I would like to second most (actually all) of your thoughts. I'm highly surprised that how come highly educated group thinks Anna's demands are feasible to implement. I'm even doubtful if they are aware of it in first place. The TVs and Newspapers may make the 'number of people' present (and not support) and email/sms as their head counts. The comparison of Maoist and Anna is more appropriate as Roy has pointed out. I wish government to control and set a good example for the benefit of people.

from:  Prakash Ramalingam
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:09 IST

What you have said is true Arundhati,What I think of this lokpal bill is that it will be a remedy that is worse than the disease.

from:  Suraj
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 08:07 IST

There is no use of just talking, talking and talking. Ms Roy and many others are doing just the same. As far as her comments regarding Anna being casteist is considered, she should be aware that by the acts of anna in Ralegan sidhi by addressing important issues like self sustainability, self employment, education etc an important social menace of touchability has been almost removed in the village. You cannot keep sitting and waiting that someday this casteist system running since thousands of years will suddenly finish and then only i will work for some development. Whatever has been done in Ralegan Sidhi is a forward step in removing all these social evils in coming years.

from:  Vikas Chahal
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:59 IST

Well written article. For a few moments I was tending to agree. But some of the comments above have brought me back to my old stance. I can't help but agree with the point that This Is A Start. If not what is? The move is against corruption, a good cause. Irrespective of the path taken and the immideate outcome, it is definitely the most outspoken one since independence (i would think) and is bound to make an impact - a decent start atleast. It has to be supported. Support it with your recommendations if you are smarter and more forward thinking than the others who are giving the best of their thoughts and efforts into it. On that note, why don't you join the movement with Anna, Kiran Bedi & co and provide your input? That would be lovely actually. I believe the impact would multiply manifold. For you it would be a good means to vent out some of your anger against the countries govt that you've been penning down over the past many many years.

from:  SJO
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:56 IST

For once there is a sane person of popularity among literate and poor coming out and talking about the overthrow of the Govt. by the Corp orates and NGOs. Why should the NGOS be excluded? they get tax exemption - exemptions are public money (many corporates donate money and can be misused); same in the case of trusts. The timing in Feb seemed to be questionable. There were difficult times for them - Bellary mines were being closed, Cairn approval or not to be decided (if approved Reliance gets hurt , if not Vedanta gets hurt); POSCO is a question mark, Illegal mining in Goa could get hurt and so forth. A diversion was required; looks like this protest forms that diversion; can their NGO and the protesting forum inform the public their accounts of who had donated the money !!

from:  RGKrishnan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:56 IST

I agree with the first of the article. This (possibly unconstitutional) bureaucracy which will be the Lokpal, will end up undermining our democracy. Good intentions do not mean any solution is a good solution. I don't like the second half of the article which goes into conspiracy theories and finding fault where there is none. There was no need for that. But maybe ms roy knows something we don't

from:  Karan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:56 IST

Thanks for your time and thoughts. In a nut shell you asked Anna's Team, in addition Corruption, to fix all the issues that are supposed to addressed by Government. Thanks for this article we will work on new draft that would bring Corporates and materialistic organization into Jan Lokpal purview.

from:  Kiriti
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:55 IST

She is the thinker and activist. We do not need a thinker and activitst who does not act but just speak if something is going on streets. Please remember there is no danger for democracy by this Andolan and stop saying that. Democracy is far vibrant in India. If any danger is there then it is for the vested interests of few people in this country due to this Andolan. Also do not compare this with Gandhi. Gandhi has done his job and Anna doing his. Every person has his own role on this world theatre. No one can replace other. Also do not try to define corruption in complex terms. We know what it is and this bill is going to controll the corrupt practice 60% which should be welcomed and should be seen as a step to control corruption. There are many more things to do to construct a nation. Please focus on that and help India to get rid of those.

from:  Satish
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:49 IST

Ms Arundhati Roy, please read the bill and broaden your knowledge about Jan Lokpal bill before making a baseless and arbitrary allegation like Draconian rule etc. Realize the fact that corruption is behind the poverty and all associated problem. Ask a common man who is selling his kids for food that would his life be a bit different if the corruption wasn't around. And its very naive to think that this bill is going to change everything but at least its a start. Having said that I am not stopping you from being critical but I am afraid the source that you are using to get information sounds a bit doubtful. Please read the bill, if you have question be pro active and ask the people concerned directly. Also not everybody can come out on streets and fight for this bill. But I am glad the anger among the people is quite evident and visible. Please be careful while writing something so critical coz there are people who follow what you write.

from:  kunal
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:38 IST

Brilliant and thought provoking article. I for one, has also believed that the real corruption lies in the Corporate Sector. The day we tackle the Corporate Corruption, we may have a hope of a better India. I am as person is not in support of Anna Hazare and this authoritarian ways. Today, the country is at the cross-roads with the Pied-Piper of the Ramlila Maidan leading the entire nation to an abyss. For all those who still consider his crusade as a worthy effort to showcase their own 'pop patriotism', I wish them all, the very best of luck!

from:  Prasanth Menon
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:33 IST

In India its called corruption, in US its called Lobbying ...and funny thing is what we see as corruption in India.. in US its fully legal and encouraged to be a lobbyist and push for your agenda and fill the coffers of politicians in Washington.. Just look at the countries that already has Ombudsman...US, Pakistan, Sri lanka, Philippines, Thailand, plus all developed countries and 100 more...Do you see any major difference in Pakistan? There are multiple corruption and favoritism charges against ombudsman also. Guys..we need to be practical here and not get swayed by emotions...

from:  Sachin
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:29 IST

India has a million pages of laws, rules and regulations at Central, State and Local levels to control the private sector. But the government employees, MPs MLAs and Ministers are not enforcing them because they are corrupt. If Anna Hazare puts fear of God in corrupt politicians and MLAs, MPs, Ministers and high officials then the Privagte Sector cannot but be socialy responsible -- we have enough - may be too many - laws and rules and regulations for that to happen. Therefore Mr Anna Hazare and TEAM ANN have it EXACTLY right - if the Government can be made free from corruption - the private sector will fall in line - it has to. Regarding the fear against a "parallel system" - no need to fear that - how much worse can it get from where we are now?

from:  Mukundagiri Sadagopan
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:18 IST

I congratulate Arundhati Roy for exposing the real character of the current so-called anti-corruption revolution. She has brilliantly drawn the parallel between the Maoists and the 'freshly minted saint&quot's bloodless coup. This is also true that the official Lok Pal Bill and Jan Lok Pal Bill cannot eradicate corruption. But the issue at the moment is :Who has the right to make laws? The country has to make a final decision without any further delay. How that has to be done remains to be seen. Will the legislators assert for their right or will the present constitutional arrangement will succumb to the mounting pressure which amounts to holding the country to ransom.This is the moot question which needs answer. Those who want to respect the democratic process of law -making will have to come out in the forefront to give proper direction for the growth and evolution of the concept of Civil Society. Otherwise the very thought of a Civil Society will die an unnatural death.

from:  Hargopal singh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:16 IST

I feel sorry for leftists and liberals. They have an ideal notion of a classless society. They cherish diversity, and yet claim everyone is equal. They like social liberation, and yet, their track record is one of dictatorship and repression. In short, they are confused with their own contradictions. What has all this got to do with Anna? A lot. Anna is taking focussed action to get rid of this corruption scourge. He is actually trying to ensure a level playing field. He if fighting against the oligarchy (which India is - it is not a democracy in the ideal sense of the word). Before him, people grumbled, but never got to the streets. Wondering where Arundhati Roy was then.

from:  Shoba
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:14 IST

"The Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common — they both seek the overthrow of the Indian State". what an absurd statement from this lady. On one hand she says the above statement, then on the other she says "This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India's representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people. In which not a single democratic institution is accessible to ordinary people."So then whats wrong in raising your voices which are of real concern !! Relly confused person this A Roy is !!

from:  ramesh
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:13 IST

Thanks Ms. Roy for your attempt to bring some sanity into the usually spineless section of Indian society, the 'urban elite' attempting to show up against corruption under the brand name 'Team Anna'. Your article rightly resonates the views of hundreds of millions of 'real Indians against corruption' who would more staunchly support any 'anti-corruption' movement. The real Indians against corruption would not blindly fall for the slogans for implementing another law, irrespective of who proposes it. I see this Anna Hazare agitation has become an emotive issue and any attempt to bring sanity to this otherwise good movement is baulked at as 'anti-Indian'. I will wholeheartedly support Anna Hazare and his teams if they start a mass movement (not agitation) like Vinobhaji to eradicate social evils listed in your article, that provided foundation and formed the root cause of corruption that has grown to the current obnoxious level over the last 60 years since our freedom from the British.

from:  Sundar
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 07:05 IST

Arundhati: Bang on. It is n