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U-turn in editorial!

To,The Editor, Dharitri.

Sir,I saw an U-turn in your editorial on 23rd August, 2011 regarding Anna Hazare. One day u had wrote 'Ame Bhakua'. Today u have wrote 'Annanku Samarthan'.On that day without sufficent information U had cast phpersion on Anna's charector and motives. Now u have changed it due to the certificate given by the public. 'Public Sab Jante hein.' Pl. don't denegrate anyone without knowing details about one's activities in a large circulated paper like Dharitri.

RegardsSupriti Das
Air field, Bhubaneswar.D. 23/08/2011
{Pl. publish it if your are truely a free and fair media.)


Dear Supriti Kanungo (and also Das),
Your name and email id give two different surnames.However, please read my editorials till the one on 29 Aug 2011 issue also.Maybe Rahul failed and lost courage.But please sit back and consider: The Parliament has not passed any resolution as no such thing was brought brfore the House either by the Government nor by the largest Opposition party, namely, BJP. So the simple question is why the fast was broken. The answer? Anna Hazare was desperate to break it. Please also read my English editorial that was published in Orissa Post on 29 Aug 2011 issue to understand my point of view.
Tathagata Satpathy
Editor, Dharitri and Orissa Post

With the Breakfast of Anna Hazare being made into a great big media event Sunday morning, the thinking crowd of India must have sat back and wondered what the past few weeks of flurried activities really meant to the nation. A nation that lost millions of man (and woman) productive hours should obviously question itself. It is a known factor that being a so called emotional country, we do not necessarily regret doing anything that we think a whole lot of other people are doing. Thus proving that it is not our emotional character nor the clarity of thought that drives most of us. Rather it is more the 'mob' mentality that spurs Indians to act. Sometimes it may be a good idea to be part of the whole. However, if that 'whole' turns out to be a black 'hole', it could twist things around in a massive way. While all this anti corruption drama was on full view of the Indian television watching populace, little did India's self confessed 'civil' society bother to think of the very important pending bills in Parliament. Bills of great import such as The Land Acquisition, Food Security or the BRAI 2011 Bills will
affect the very existence of the rural people in India. But do we have the time for them? Clearly speaking, NO. They do NOT matter in most of our media grabbing scheme of things. If Sharad Yadav and Laloo Prasad tried to divert attention from the Hazare anti corruption movement by raising the issue of whether Minorities and Backwards will get a place in the sun of the (Jan) Lokpal Bill, Team Anna responded by getting a joker of a movie star, Aamir Khan, to suddenly don a Moslem cap (not a Gandhi topi) and come sit beside Anna on Saturday as well as categorically got the message declared clear and loud that one Backward and one Moslem girl gave him coconut water to break his fast. That this present Congress led government and its leadership is completely spineless is no doubt a fact. Yet, it is highly unfortunate that India always gets misguided by people who have small visions. The media, having built up a massive show on Hazare, finally chickened out and lied through its teeth. It is amazing how blatant liars these people can be when they claim that Parliament passed a Resolution by thumping of desks. Anyone who knows the House procedures is aware that you should not thump desks except as a mark of praise or kudos to a speaker who has delivered a smart or clever lecture. Passing of a Bill or Resolution in the Lok Sabha, the main House, is done either by Voice Vote or if need arises by a Division. That means using the electronic voting system available. As was done in the Nuclear Treaty incident or whenever a Confidence vote is sought. Neither of these 2 procedures was relied upon and that must have been clear to anyone in the House or watching live tv broadcasts. At the risk of angering many, let me put facts in clear perspective. The Fasting Team Anna constituted 'small' people without any knowledge of practical systems in place in this country. For them, a particular law, if passed, would achieve personal stardom. Not necessarily emancipate a nation overburdened with graft and greed.Constant and live tv coverage could bring about mental disbalance amongst many of us. That is what we saw happen at Ramlila Maidan of Delhi. Discarding my habitual kurta pyjama and slipping on trousers and a t-shirt, I took an autoriksha from near my Parliament alloted 2 Feroze Shah Road house to Ramlila maidan, just to check the scene out there. As expected, no one, and thankfully so, recognized me in the crowd that was swelling there on Friday night. I saw many youngsters, both boys and girls, having great fun. Litter was all over the place. Noise was immense and people like Om Puri had attracted the wrong kind of intoxicated people. After a short while, the smell and dust was unbearable. I wanted to stay on and watch but my allergy to dust forced a return home. In the process, I realized a few things. Hazare was being compared to Mahatma Gandhi. Yet they are both as far apart in character as the two Poles. Gandhi had led the nation to fight British Raj. He had offered an alternative--Swaraj (Self Rule). He eschewed violence (that brands like Bhagat Singh, Subhash Bose or Bagha Jatin stood for) and offered Ahimsa. In brief he offered alternatives to everything that were, in his opinion, bad. Anna Hazare demanded only a new law from the government. He has, till date, not offered a new alternative to the youth of India which got so impressed with him. Instead, he prodded his crowd to gherao and extort support from MPs, an extremely dangerous step indeed. He had the opportunity to preach a new social behavior but lost the golden baton during the relay race. Gandhi had said 'Clealiness is next to Godliness'. Anyone who visited the filthy Ramlila grounds during those days would have realized that Hazare had no message, however simple, to communicate to the people who flocked to him in such large numbers hoping for a beacon to guide them from the morass of their daily miserable lives. I got many emails during these past few weeks. Some were threatening. Others requested that all MPs must vote the Jan Lokpal Bill and support Anna. One email from a person named Anshu Gupta (Ashoka Fellow) said: "Iím in the middle of an individual struggle.. I am questioning as to why we only talk about the taker of the bribe? The act of bribe starts by giving, then why do we leave out ourselves, the giver of bribe !! Why do we make an excuse, that we are forced to give !! Can we really achieve something if we donít clean this evil at the source!! Fact is, the taker just gets a small part of the benefit compared to what the giver derives!! For a simple fine of 500/- when we pay 100/- as bribe, the taker gets 100/- while the giver saves 400".

There were many other similar emails too. These could put some of us to rethink our past activities and reconsider the whole Anna spurred 'revolution'. As opportunists, we are willing to dirty every place of sanctity but we want the benefit only for ourselves. There is a slogan for such a mind set. It goes--Long Live Those Who Wish Me Well, All The Others Can Go To Hell. The 2G, CWG, Adarsh Housing, KG Basin and so many mining and other scams are pushed back to irrelevance now. Giving a clean slate to the 'most corrupt' has been the singular gift of Anna Hazare and all those who prided themselves by thinking they are a part of his anti corruption Second Independence movement. The damage done by Anna Hazare preaching a method where individual public representatives are threatened and coerced to take a particular course in their activities has already set a horrible precedent. Violence is not limited to physical assault alone. Ideas, speech and certain actions indicate violence too. Till India finds an alternative to democracy and a better system of governance (which the civilized world has not yet discovered), our country will be haunted by the evil forces set free by Team Anna. And now, he and his civil goons have taken on the mantle that they alone will set right every weakness of the Indian democracy. After corruption, Hazare wants to change the electoral process. The Lord alone could save this nation from such maniacs!