Posts Tagged ‘communalism’

Dangerous culture of intolerance (Editorial, The Hindu)

In Commentary on October 18, 2011 at 8:47 am

Source: The Hindu

It speaks to the deeply divisive times we live in that Team Anna activist and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan was savagely assaulted in his own chamber — and in the full glare of television cameras — for the “crime” of saying something that his attackers disapproved of. In the past, intolerant groups who seem to have no problem breaking the law with impunity, have targeted writers, artists, journalists, scholars, and activists whose work they did not like. Mr. Bhushan has lately been in the public eye for going full-throttle against high-level corruption, both in his capacity as a lawyer and as part of Anna Hazare’s spectacularly-mounted and hugely resonant Jan Lokpal Bill campaign. As a petitioner in the 2G scam case, he has taken on some of the most powerful names in politics and industry. Yet if Mr. Bhushan has rendered himself vulnerable today, it is for his daring work in the field of civil liberties. In recent years, he has braved criticism to defend those accused of terrorism, taken up the cause of Binayak Sen and spoken out against the violation of human rights in Kashmir. Indeed, Mr. Bhushan was set upon in his office by right-wing fanatics because he suggested at a conference on Kashmir that a referendum may be an option failing other measures such as withdrawal of the Army and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. That the Ram Sena activists had worked themselves into a frenzy ahead of the attack is evident from a YouTube clip containing the speech in question. In the digitally altered clip, Mr. Bhushan appears with his face blackened, and there is a warning to Anna for harbouring a traitor: Brashtachari ko phansi to desh drohi ko kya? (You are advocating death to the corrupt, what about traitors?)
The brazen manner of the attack on Mr. Bhushan — with the goons obviously enjoying being on camera — exposes the extent to which lawlessness and intolerance have corroded the Indian political culture. The attack is also proof — if any were needed — that corruption and communalism cannot be fought separately. If anything, today’s right-wing intolerance is a product of the failure of past anti-corruption campaigns to recognise the dangers of communalism. The RSS was an integral part of the anti-corruption movements of 1977 and 1989, and the Anna campaign too suffers from the perception that its ranks have been permeated by RSS foot soldiers. Fortunately, Team Anna has dissociated itself from the dubious elements that once shared its anti-corruption plank. It must also help the group that it can count among its members men of such impeccable credentials as Mr. Bhushan. For once the UPA government must shed its customary apathy and proactively prosecute the culprits in the case, especially in the light of Thursday’s ‘follow-up’ attack by Ram Sena thugs on supporters of Mr. Bhushan. For its part, Team Anna needs to be as watchful of right-wing ascendancy as it is of all-pervasive corruption.


The Communal Character of Anna Hazare’s Movement (Bhanwar Meghwanshi)

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm

From: South Asia Citizens Web

The Communal Character of Anna Hazare’s Movement

By Bhanwar Meghwanshi

(Translated from Hindi by Yoginder Sikand)

It has now been confirmed that the Anna Hazare-led so-called ‘second freedom struggle’—as some sections of the media have mistakenly chosen to call it—has close links with the RSS. From conceptualizing this media-propelled movement to successfully organizing it, the RSS, it appears, played a key role in it. This being the case, it is imperative to analyse the specific communal character of this self-styled Gandhian movement against corruption.

No movement can be properly understood without taking into account the forces behind it and their underlying objectives. Anna Hazare’s movement has been analysed from several perspectives by both its critics as well as supporters. Thus, it has been asked if the movement was truly a Gandhian one. Was it really politically impartial? Was it democratic? Was it orchestrated by the media? Was it funded by the corporate world? Was it an NGO stunt? Was it all-India in its scope? On all these points there has been heated debate. Yet, lamentably little has been said about whether or not this movement was truly based on the Constitutional principle of secularism and what, in particular, its position has been on the issue of Hindutva.

The men behind Anna Hazare’s movement bluntly deny that their movement has any direct link with Hindutva forces. Some people have accepted this claim at face-value. Yet, the reality seems quite the opposite. It would be amply clear to a perceptive analyst that the movement was heavily based on the support and assistance of the RSS. Members of the so-called ‘Team Anna’ may or may not concede this but the RSS has itself officially acknowledged this fact. After all, ‘India Against Corruption’ has no cadre of its own—all it has are leaders. The massive crowds that poured out onto the streets to participate in the movement could not have been mobilized simply by ‘Team Anna’ and a handful of NGOs. Rather, this was, to very a large extent, the handiwork of Hindutva organizations.

It is now evident that not only did the RSS mobilize crowds in support of Anna Hazare’s movement but that it even prepared the movement’s very roadmap. The decision to launch a campaign against corruption was taken by the RSS at its All-India leaders meeting in Karnataka in March 2011, and it was only after that, in April and then in August, that Anna Hazare sat on a fast against corruption.

It has recently come to light that both the father and uncle of one of the key men in ‘Team Anna’, the Marwari Arvind Kejriwal, have been office-bearers of the RSS and allied groups in Haryana. Kejriwal is not known to have openly condemned the Hindutva forces. On the contrary, he has consistently been soft on them. His close relations with top BJP leader LK Advani are well-known. And the manner in which he maintained close links with top BJP leaders in the course of the recent agitation, including Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari, raise several questions about the actual nature of the relationship between Kejriwal and the RSS. Is it that Kejriwal, the RSS and the BJP were seeking to work together to bring the present government down?

Whatever be the case, it is obvious from all this that there is no truth at all in the assertion of key members of ‘Team Anna’ that their movement has no direct link with Hindutva forces. The fact of the matter is that Anna Hazare has for long been a favourite of the RSS. Interestingly, a top RSS leader, the late HV Seshadri, even wrote a book on Anna Hazare’s so-called ‘model village of Ralegan Shiddi, which he hailed as supposedly heralding the arrival of Ram Rajya! This was possibly the first book of its sort on Anna Hazare’s activism. Another leading RSS activist, BM Datte, organized a number of programmes in and around Pune in support of Hazare. According to top RSS ideologue Govindacharya, a number of RSS activists have toured Hazare’s village.

For his part, Anna Hazare has never spoken against the Hindutva ideology. He is said to have had very close relations with the RSS till 1995, when he targeted two ministers of the then BJP-Shiv Sena ministry in Maharashtra, Mahadev Shivankar of the BJP and Shashikant Suthar of the Shiv Sena—for corruption, after which his relations with the RSS were somewhat shaken. But, despite this, the RSS consistently supported him for spending his life based in a temple and for seeking to revive India’s ‘ancient’ culture through village self-government. He has been praised as a great Indian leader in the RSS’s Hindi periodical Panchjanya, even featuring on its cover page.

When the BJP recently failed in its attempt to topple the government, it suddenly remembered its favourite hero Anna Hazare, and, accordingly, so it seems, Hindutva forces decided to achieve their objective by creating this movement ostensibly against corruption. For this purpose, activists of the RSS’s students’ wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, floated an outfit called ‘Youth Against Corruption’. At the same time, Arvind Kejriwal, who was running an organization called Parivartan, got together with flag-bearers of ‘soft Hindutva’, men like Baba Ramdev, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar and other such religious leaders, and established a group that called itself ‘India Against Corruption’. It seems that both these organizations, with very similar-sounding names, were established in accordance with the RSS’s plan of unleashing a countrywide agitation ostensibly against corruption.

Accordingly, the RSS instructed its volunteers, a huge number of people spread all across India, to wholeheartedly participate in this movement. This explains why the overall ethos of Anna Hazare’s agitation at Jantar Mantar was no different from that of the RSS shahkhas—the same image of Akhand Bharat being displayed in the form of ‘Bharat Mata’! The only difference was that she held the Indian tricolor in her hand instead of the Hindutva bhagwa-dhwaj. RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat’s call to the youth of India to join the people’s movement against corruption and the presence of top RSS leader Ram Madhav at Anna’s dais at Jantar Mantar raise the very real possibility that the entire movement was engineered and directed in accordance with the agenda of the RSS. When some people raised questions about this, the men behind the movement became alert and felt it imperative to be a little less indiscreet. And so, at Hazare’s dais at the Ram Leela Grounds instead of well-known Hindutva leaders Ram Madhav and Uma Bharti, another RSS activist, Kumar Vishwas, was present throughout the thirteen-day fast, and even handled the task of managing the dais.

Can ‘Team Anna’ deny that the RSS had sent the same Kumar Vishwas to manage the dais in the very same Ram Leela Grounds during the recent agitation led by Baba Ramdev? The Hindutva hand behind the movement does not stop here, though. Top VHP leader Ashok Singhal is on record as having thanked the volunteers of the RSS for making Anna’s movement a success. He revealed that members of the Dharamyatra Mahasangh, a unit of the VHP, ran food stalls at the Ram Leela Grounds, where some 20, 000 people were fed every day.

In accordance with the RSS’s plans, vast numbers of people were mobilized to come out on the streets to support Anna Hazare. Top RSS leader Bhaiyyaji Joshi declared that RSS volunteers were fully active in Anna Hazare’s movement. The BJP youth leader Tejinder Pal took up the task of gherao-ing the residences of Congress MPs, while BJP MPs Anant Kumar, Gopinath Munde and Varun Gandhi made their appearance at the Ram Leela Grounds. One day before Anna went on his fast, MG Vaid, top RSS leader, issued a statement indicating that the RSS had given its full support to his movement. And that explains why and how RSS activists present at the Ram Leela Grounds as well as in other parts of India where Hazare supporters had gathered kept raising their favourite slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’, and in that same style and with the same sort of fervor as they are wont to in their shakhas. This is clear indication of the massive presence of RSS activists in the movement.

That Hindutva forces strongly backed Anna’s movement and participated in it in a big way across the country, even in remote parts, is clearly evident. To cite just one instance, a social activist called Gopal Rathi, a member of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad, wrote to Prashant Bhushan, a key member of the so-called ‘Team Anna’, from a small town called Pipariya in Madhya Pradesh, saying that in his town BJP activists had donned Anna-caps and launched a motor-cycle rally to protest against Hazare’s arrest. On the occasion of Janamashtami, VHP activists, he wrote, organized a recitation of the Sundar Kand, a section of the Ramayana, in support of Hazare. Volunteers of other Hindutva outfits, he write, such as the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the Bajrang Dal, the Durga Vahini, and the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, also organized a number of programmes to express their solidarity with Anna Hazare.

But this sort of overwhelming support for Anna Hazare from Hindutva forces was not limited just to this little-known town of Pipariya. The fact is that the same story was repeated across the country, in virtually every village, locality and city, where activists of the RSS and its associated outfits proved to be the backbone of the agitation.

For me the important question is not why the RSS participated in Anna Hazare’s movement. This was, after all, its own decision. As far as I am concerned, the key question is this: How did folks raising Gandhian slogans and who never tire hailing secularism become a part of an RSS-backed scheme? This is a very important question that must be asked and must also be answered. How did people like Medha Patkar, Swami Agnivesh, Prashant Bhushan and Sandeep Pandey, and many other such activists, who have all along opposed communalism and have themselves been targeted by communal forces, fall prey to this RSS conspiracy and get involved in an RSS-backed movement? Their stance has greatly troubled millions of Dalits, Adivasis and religious minorities of this country, who have not hesitated to express their distaste for Anna Hazare’s movement, not least because of its being so closely linked to Hindutva forces. Is it that these activists simply failed to understand the draconian nature of the Jan Lokpal that Anna Hazare and his Hindutva backers are demanding? Is it that they have failed to understand the nature of the forces at work behind the mob demonstrations that we recently witnessed? Is it that the secularism that they kept talking about earlier was a pretence? These are questions that they have to answer.

It goes to the credit of a number of leaders, activists, and intellectuals from the Dalit and OBC communities to have pointed out not only how the Anna Hazare-led movement and many of its demands militate heavily against the oppressed castes but also how it is heavily communal, being closely allied to the Hindutva agenda. The noted writer Mudra Rakshas, for one, plainly declared, ‘The Jan Lokpal represents the agenda of the Indian Savarna middle-class, which, while claiming to be modern, continues to cling to the communalism of the RSS’. SK Panjam, editor of ‘Dalit Today’, believes that Hazare’s Jan Lokpal is a new tool of Savarna Hindu revivalism. For his part, Rajvir Yadav of the Arjak Sangh insists that it is an assault on the Indian Constitution by the forces of Savarna Hindu chauvinism. Many other ideologues from the oppressed castes opine that Anna Hazare’s movement has been propped up as part of a conspiracy on the part of Hindutva forces to stop the caste-based census and stall the passing of the proposed bill against communal violence.

True to form, the dominant Indian media has deliberately ignored such voices, thus revealing, as Anna Hazare’s movement also does, its Savarna casteist and Hindu communal character.

Bhanwar Megwanshi is a noted social activist from Bhilwara, Rajasthan. He edits the Hindi monthly ‘Diamond India’, a journal that deals with grassroots’ social issues. Having for many years been associated with the RSS, he parted company with it and is now associated with the Rajasthan-based Mazdoor-Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), working on issues related to Dalits, Adivasis and nomadic castes. He can be contacted on bhanwarmeghwanshi@gmail.com/ 09829646720

[Communal Nature of Anna Movement] Annaji ke Aandolan ka Sampradayik Charitra (Bhanwar Meghwanshi)

In Perspective on September 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Article in Hindi by Bhanwar Meghwanshi is attached here Anna ke Andolan ka Sampradayik Charitra by Bhanwar Megwasnshi

Anna lauds Modi – Communalism Bad, Development Good (Badri Raina)

In Commentary on August 23, 2011 at 9:38 am

From: ZNET

Communalism Bad, Development Good

Anna lauds Modi

by Badri Raina

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Anna, the Voice of the Upwardly Mobile:

A voice has been raised in India against the venal misdeeds of politicians and, mutedly, of bureaucrats (no mention of the corporates here).

Groups of protestors led by a most unlikely mix of civil society leaderships, ranging from those with staunch secular credentials and proven personal integrity (Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejrival, Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh, Mallika Sarabai) to those others with known affiliation to right-wing Hindu organizations and dubious claims to probity (Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar), racuously foregrounded by corporate electronic channels with barely concealed antipathy to any mass assertion from the Left, have been holding fort.

True to pattern and apprehension, the politics of a section of the protestors could not after all hold back mentioning chief ministers of two BJP- ruled and BJP-in-coalition- ruled states as exemplars of the India of their dreams. Most significantly, that mention this time came from no less than Anna Hazare himself.

As per Anna speak, Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi belong to a common category—chief ministers who do good development work without being corrupt. More of the corruption part hereunder. But,
what of Modi’s fingers dipped in blood? Response: communalism is bad, but “I was speaking only of his development work.”

To be fair to Nitish Kumar, he, although bracketed with Modi, has sought consistently to resist the equation, and keep the fascist Modi at arms length, disallowing the BJP to unleash him in the last two election campaigns in Bihar, thereby seeking to draw a line between himself (and presumably a section of his party, the JD-U) and Modi atleast on the issue of secularism even if merely to avoid offending Bihar’s considerable Muslim electorate.

So, here is the inference, one that neo-Nazis—many of them Indians– to this day make with aplomb and pride: Hitler may have liquidated some six million innocent human beings for no fault than their racial characteristic, but look he gave to Germany great autobahns and provided fillip to German industrial houses at a time of depression. Whereas what they always mean to say is how Hitler’s greatest contribution was to achieve Aryan racial purity. (See Golwalker’s, We, Our Nationhood Defined, 1923, and Bunch of Thoughts, 1938—two texts on which the edifice of the RSS rests.)

This is precisely the hub of the barely concealed support that Modi enjoys among India’s proto-fascists; namely, that whereas they may feel on occasion publicly obliged to disapprove of the Muslim massacres of 2002, all under total State connivance, at bottom, in their hearts they are filled with glee that he gave to the Muslims what has been coming to them, setting in motion the Hindutva-fascist project of purifying India racially as Hiter had sought to do to Germany and Europe. Add to that the welcome to the corporate chiselers, and Modi is up on the middle-class pedestal.

Here is what we ask, charitably: if the operative profiles of political leaders can be so neatly and conveniently separated, why wouldn’t Anna and those others with him agree that many among the politicians they seek to pillory may be corrupt, but are also known to be fine administrators with substantial records of achievement to their name. After all, many corrupt politicians since 1947 must have done some development work to bring India to her present status among the comity of nations that matter (sic). So why does not the same charitable double-speak apply to them as it does so often and so heinously to Modi? Modi may be a communalist murderer, but look at his developmental activity; likewise, why can’t it be said, X or Y may be corrupt, but look at his record of achievement in government?

The Modi model of “development”:

There has of course been a studied refusal to question the Modi model of “development.” Tainted and disfigured by his marshalling of the massacres of 2002, influential sections of his party leadership, closet communalists among the new middle classes, and those in the corporate media who have been busy touting and boosting the “India story,” the future they desire for Modi has been sought to be pinned on his personal probity and developmental genius. Clearly, those that wish Modi to occupy the high table in Delhi sometime soon use with ruthless dishonesty the Podsnappian fore-arm to deny some pretty ugly truths about what he has done for which Gujaraties. If only they would listen to a litany of facts on this that are in the possession of social service organizations located in Gujarat.

Briefly, without let or hindrance, Modi has sought to parcel out Gujarati assets in land and other natural resources at a pittance to a clutch of favoured industrialists whose every wish takes precedence over the lived requirements of rural Guajrat and of its forest dwellers. Innocent as he may be, Anna Hazare, the part-Gandhian (since, it turns out he is also by his public admission a votary of Shiva ji Maratha, by no means an icon of non-violence in the annals of Indian history) needs to know that of all chief ministers now operating in India, not one may be more rapaciously anti-rural than Modi. And what would Gandhi have said of that preference in “development” given his passion for a village-centred India?

Indeed, the Mahuva farmer’s agitation in Gujarat was to showcase all of those preferences. Farmers, fishing communities, salt-pan workers, tribals, dalits, industrial workers, minorities—a pretty substantial section of Gujaraties wouldn’t you say—all have come to be at the receiving end of those preferences, as gauchar lands and irrigated farmlands have been acquired to be at the service of a club of industrialists, all at throwaway prices. One has to visit rural and tribal Gujarat to register the extent of the loss of livelihoods, displacement and loss of natural resources, and the pace of land grab, with withering consequences for swathes of poor and indigent Gujaraties. And, as to the Muslim minority, read the recent Wikileak US consulate report of how Modi has sought with unmitigated single-mindedness to marginalize and ghettoize the Muslims of Guajrat. And never to this day as much a politic “regret.” Only continued machinations to thwart and vilify the plethora of investigative mechanisms ordered into the Gujarat massacres and the countless fake encounter liquidations of Muslims by no less than the Supreme Court of India.

Does Corruption Apply to Modi and Nitish?

A recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, a Constitutional body (CAG) has indicted the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar for submitting no “detailed contingency” bills against “abstract contingency” withdrawals amounting to no less than Rs.15,850.41 crores! Useful to know that this is the same CAG whose report on the 2G Spectrum goings-on was to bring about the current massive upheaval in how neoliberal economics in India has been proceeding, leading to the arrest of the central cabinet minister in-charge of Telecom. That being the case, it may be a forgiveable question to ask Anna ji as to why CAG should be so venerated with respect to the central ministry, but wholly side-stepped with respect to Bihar. Remarkably, although a CBI enquiry has been ordered into the Bihar matter, ask any tv-guzzling middle class Indian and he would not have heard of it. For the simple reason that the very media that pillories the said Telecom minister turns a Nelson’s eye elsewhere.

And what of Modi? Three fair-sized scams come readily to mind: the Sujalam Sufalam scam estimated to be of the order of Rs.1700 crores; the NREGS Boribund scam (Rs.109 crores), and the Fisheries scam worth about Rs.600 crores.

And would you know, whereas the whole Anna-led “movement” has had the institution of an all-powerful Lokpal (Ombudsman) at its focus, Modi in Gujarat has refused to implement the mandatory requirement to install a Lokayukta in his own state, even as he is heard ranting about the need for the Lokpal at the centre!

The less said about the Yog guru, Baba Ramdev, the better. Only a few years ago the world came to know how he refuses to supply correct information about the content of the medicines he sells from his establishment, defying thereby a statutory requirement. The disclosure that those medicines contain human-bone components was to be made in full public view in Delhi by dozens of people who have been working at his medicine factory. Just as it was found that he violates another statutory requirement as well, namely, refusing to pay mandated “minimum wages” to workers who make his millions possible. Indeed, just last night here in Delhi on one electronic channel, a venerable sadhu maharaj from the holy city of Hardwar had this to say: “Ramdev is the Hassan Ali of Hardwar; more dubious, in fact, because Hassan Ali atleast had horses for generating those thousands of crores, Ramdev did not even have a donkey.” Hassan Ali, you might know, is the man currently in the eye of the storm as India’s biggest tax-defaulter, and thought to have billions stashed away in those Swiss and suchlike other banks.

Corruption vs All the Rest

The fact here, we hold, is a rather ugly one. Crimes issuing from class or caste or community or gender based oppressions have never borne the same purchase among upwardly-mobile Indians as “corruption” for the two reasons that “corruption” as enemy brooks no opposition, obliges no self-definition and scrutiny, and can be fashionably deployed to decry not just politicians but the institution of politics per se. It was no mere accident that the Nazis during the twenties and thirties of the last century in Germany made a big issue of “corruption” with the ulterior purpose of doing dirt on all democratic institutions floated by the Wiemar republic, and dissolving the nation into the State, and vice versa. Keeping those histories in mind, there is more than a valid point to voices today who caution that the Anna Hazare phenomenon has to it aspects which are deeply anti-democratic, and which threaten to void all institutional procedures authorized by the Constitutional regime. Recall that only some months ago the Left parties came out in even bigger mobilization against corruption on the streets of India; yet one saw nothing of that protest on India’s gung-ho electronic channels. What one did see over the last week of the Anna mobilization however, was more than a sprinkling of Hindutva-based icons and groups, making strenuous efforts to float symbols and slogans with barely concealed pedigree. Predictably, one did not see a single shot of supporters of the cpi (ml) who, in their wisdom, had decided to stand with the Anna-led protestors at Jantar Mantar.

Put the question to any of India’s current day urban-elite young person as to whether the roots of corruption being talked about lie only in corrupt politicians or in a political economy driven by neoliberal capitalism, and you will be told unambiguously that the latter has nothing to do with what has been happening. Some reason why during the current campaign one has heard no mention of corporate houses whose corruption it is at bottom that has been spilling all over the systems of governance. After all, those corporate fortunes are precisely where so many of the protestors who have been on display hope to find entry as India rises and shines. Not to speak of systems of electoral funding that ensure that politicians must do the pay back. Again, not an issue for the “corruption”-baiters. And for good reason: make elections state-funded, and the corporates lose what clout they have under the present dispensation. Anna’s young warriors might not see that as a desirable prospect, assuming that they have any use for elections in the first place. The eradication of corruption merely and only requires the clenched fist from the Right.

You may then well wonder whether we will soon see another Anna-type “movement” on the subject of refurbishing the governmental draft of a bill designed to eradicate communal mayhems, or an Anna putsch to seek the adoption of the Womens’s Reservation Bill, pending in parliament now for aeons. Or to force the government to draft purposive legislations to eradicate female infanticide, atrocities on dalits and adivasis, or to enforce without nonsense the right to food and education. Or how about ensuring clean drinking water, affordable health-care and sanitation, and securing housing, and freedom from police atrocities to some eighty percent of Indians? Or easy and credible access to systems of justice and grievance redressal? Or justice for a Binayak Sen who rots in a Chattisgarh jail on a charge of sedition, and sentenced without a shred of proof for no less than life. Or indeed a “movement” in support of an Irom Sharmila in Manipur who has now entered the eleventh year of her fast (kept forcibly alive on drips by a terrified state) for the withdrawal of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Not a chance.

I doubt me very much that any such “movements” are in the offing on behalf of the support base that has been on show during the Anna-led putsch.

And thereby hangs a tale.

Just as well to suggest that in the days to come the ideological content, the active politics, the leadership-profile, and the Constitutional consequences of this recent event receive considered debate. Most so among sections of civil society and individuals whom I respect deeply who for idealistic reasons chose to be a part of what they thought to be a single-minded objective (the Lokpal Bill), with insufficient attention perhaps to the surrounding political milieu of the Anna event.

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