This is my reply to Tavleen Singh’s article in the Indian Express titled “The economy, not Anna”, one of her innumerable rants against Anna Hazare and his team. Clearly, if ever you needed proof of the saying that “people see the world through the color of their glasses”, one only needs to observe Ms. Tavleen Singh.
I can understand it if she does not approve of Anna Hazare and his methods. Certainly, it would hardly be democratic if everyone were expected to toe a certain line, one way or the other. But to pursue a relentless single-point agenda of mocking him and his supporters, many of whom are educated professionals with a globalised world-view; to cast aspersions on their integrity and intentions with absolutely no concrete material to back it up, and inspite of resolute evidence to the contrary; and to suggest that none of Anna Hazare’s team members or his millions of followers have any practical understanding of how to solve the problems of corruption and malgovernance, does not behove any sensible person, least of all a journalist who is expected to base his/her views on facts rather than prejudice.
In one of her latest tweets, she suggests that Anna Hazare’s supporters have gone silent and deserted him following the series of allegations against his team members in the last few days. She forgets that, unlike the politicians’ paid supporters who have nothing else to do but follow their paymasters around all the time, many of Anna’s supporters are ordinary, middle-class working people with jobs and cannot ignore their career by being with Anna Hazare all the time.
I had commented on her article on the Indian Express website, but for reasons best known to them (and not surprisingly), they chose not to publish my comments at all. So I am posting my comments here. Please read her article (click here) and then my comments below, and decide for yourself if they do not even deserve to be published! I am increasingly suspecting that the rumors of the Indian Express being a Govt. mouthpiece may well be true.
I’m afraid the author, much as I respect her, seems to have a bias against Anna Hazare.
1. She says Anna is turning a blind eye to return of license raj in some ministries. Is it Anna’s job to keep an eye on everything happening in every department? Let other people protest against that. Anna is not a one-man army to do a hundred things simultaneously.
2. She says Anna hasn’t demanded reforms to reduce discretionary powers. She forgets that for a movement like Anna’s to succeed, it needs mass support, which will come only if a focused solution to a problem is presented. You can’t have an agenda running into two pages and expect masses to support it. Besides, no one is saying that Lokpal is a panacea for all problems. It is one part of the solution. Ending discretion & monopolies, reforming institutions, etc. are all needed.
3. Anna never said that reforms are responsible for corruption. Every informed person knows that reforms have only increased corruption, not caused it.