From:   Richard S. <chardsinger@yahoo.com>
Sent time:   Friday, October 21, 2011 8:08:21 PM
To:   september17 <september17@googlegroups.com>
Subject:   [september17discuss] Re: Changing the Culture Vs. Direct Political Action: A Lesson From India
 

You're welcome. And thanks for passing along the rumor - yes, that

would be cool, indeed.

 

On Oct 21, 9:38 pm, Martin Kaminer <martin.kami...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks for that.  BTW someone said she would be addressing the NYCGA.  Don't

> know how credible that is but it would sure be cool.

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

> On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 9:35 PM, Richard S. <chardsin...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> > Note, I'm just commenting in answer specifically to Martin Kaminer's

> > post about the "lesson from India," not to much of the other stuff

> > that followed...

>

> > This Anna Hazare movement has been brought up on this list before, and

> > I'll do the same thing now that I did before - post some of Arundhati

> > Roy's comments about it - not very positive, to say the least,

> > focusing mostly on the huge corporate contributions to this movement

> > and the approval of the World Bank.

>

> >http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAthMQaCmVY

>

> > Arundhati asserts that this movement was pursuing a World Bank

> > agenda.  Also, apparently, it pushed through a bill that was very

> > problematical.

>

> > I also really appreciated her comments that began with the statement:

> > "What do you mean by corruption?  Is it just financial irregularity or

> > is it the currency of transaction in a very unequal society?"  And

> > note the comment, "You can talk about the rule of law when all your

> > laws are designed to perpetuate the inequality that exists in Indian

> > society.  If you're not going to question that...I'm really not

> > someone who's that interested in the debate, then."

>

> > Do you think that to some extent, we can substitute "American" for

> > Indian in that comment?

>

> >  Richard

>

> > On Oct 21, 11:22 am, Martin Kaminer <martin.kami...@gmail.com> wrote:

> > > If you're not familiar with Anna Hazare, he's been a phenomenally

> > successful

> > > crusader against government corruption overcoming full-strength

> > > government harassment.  Looking at the tensions emerging in his movement

> > > might be a harbinger of things to come, or perhaps already here . ..

>

> > > [image: India Ink - Notes on the World's Largest

> > > Democracy]<http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/>

> > > OCTOBER 21, 2011, 7:41 AMStress Fractures For Team Anna

> > > [image: Prashant Bhushan (L) and Arvind Kejriwal (R) with Anna Hazare

> > during

> > > his hunger strike at the Ramlila Ground, Delhi on Aug. 20, 2011.]Kevin

> > > Frayer/Associated PressPrashant Bhushan (L) and Arvind Kejriwal (R) with

> > > Anna Hazare during his hunger strike at the Ramlila Ground, Delhi on Aug.

> > > 20, 2011.

> > > By LYDIA POLGREEN <http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/author/lydia-polgreen/

>

> > >  and HARI KUMAR <http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/author/hari-kumar/>

> > > Kevin Frayer/Associated PressPrashant Bhushan (L) and Arvind Kejriwal (R)

> > > with Anna Hazare during his hunger strike at the Ramlila Ground, Delhi on

> > > Aug. 20, 2011.

>

> > > Is Anna Hazare’s grand coalition of good-government activists cracking

> > up?

>

> > > Some serious stress fractures

> > > appeared<

> >http://www.hindustantimes.com/Two-Team-Anna-members-quit-committee/Ar...>

> > > this

> > > week when two prominent social activists on the 25-member core committee

> > of

> > > India Against Corruption left the coalition. They  were displeased that

> > Mr.

> > > Hazare and his close ally, Arvind Kejriwal, had chosen to wade directly

> > into

> > > politics by campaigning against the governing Congress party in a

> > > by-election in Hisar in Haryana.

>

> > > On one level, the Hazare team’s experiment in politicking in Hisar was a

> > > resounding success<

> >http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2545078.ece>:

> > > The Congress candidate won so few votes that he lost his deposit. But the

> > > departure of two highly respected members, from what has been billed as a

> > > big-tent organization aimed at transforming the national culture, could

> > dim

> > > the movement’s luster.

>

> > > “The decision to go to Hisar and U.P. was a big setback to the

> > > anti-corruption movement,” Rajendra Singh, a veteran environmental

> > activist

> > > from Rajasthan who withdrew from the Hazare coalition this week, said in

> > an

> > > interview. “To support a political party and oppose another was like

> > acting

> > > as power brokers. They have defeated the whole credibility of the

> > > anti-corruption movement.”

>

> > > The Gandhian activist P. V. Rajagopal also withdrew, saying he had not

> > been

> > > consulted about the decision to get involved in the Hisar campaign.

>

> > > “I do not know when the decision to go to Hisar and U.P. was taken,” he

> > said

> > > in an interview. “I learned it through the media. I was not consulted

> > even

> > > on the phone.”

>

> > > He was surprised, he said, because this was a major change in focus for

> > what

> > > had previously been an avowedly nonpartisan campaign.

>

> > > “To oppose or support a political party, it was a huge jump,” he said. “A

> > > lot of people felt uncomfortable. You can not shift from one position to

> > the

> > > other so quickly. It is very unfortunate.”

>

> > > Mr. Singh accused the movement of operating with the same secrecy that so

> > > loudly decried in government.

>

> > > “You talk about democratic values and transparency,” he fumed. “Where are

> > > those values and where is that transparency? We decided to work through a

> > > core team and such decisions are not even informed.”

>

> > > This summer’s vast anti-corruption movement, stirred up by Mr. Hazare’s

> > epic

> > > hunger strike, seemed poised to transform Indian public life. The

> > normally

> > > indifferent-to-politics middle class rose collectively to its feet,

> > donning

> > > topis and declaring, “I am Anna.” A torpid political class was jostled

> > into

> > > action, pledging to create the anti-corruption ombudsman, or Lokpal, that

> > > Mr. Hazare was demanding.

>

> > > In the flush of this victory, Mr. Hazare and his allies cast about for

> > the

> > > next mission: giving voters the power to recall misbehaving members of

> > > Parliament, for example. But signs of discord in the diverse coalition

> > > quickly surfaced.

>

> > > When Prashant Bhushan was mauled by right-wing Hindu

> > > activists<

> >http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-10-13/india/30274982...>

> > > for

> > > his comments in support of a plebiscite to allow Kashmiris to determine

> > > whether to remain part of India, Mr. Hazare and others distanced

> > themselves

> > > from his remarks<

> >http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-10-14/india/30278775...>

> > > and

> > > offered only tepid criticism of his attackers. Since then he has scarcely

> > > been seen<

> >http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/kejriwal-question-mark-remains-...>

> > > among

> > > Mr. Hazare’s coterie.

>

> > > The paper reported that she bought discounted

> > > tickets<

> >http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kiran-lokpal-bedi-buys-discount-air...>

> > > but

> > > billed organizations that paid for her tickets as if she had paid full

> > fare,

> > > then used the difference to fund her charity. Responding to a barrage of

> > > questions from people on Twitter, Ms. Bedi did not deny doing this, but

> > > argued that she had in fact saved these organizations money by not flying

> > > business class and had used the proceeds for a good cause.Another top

> > member

> > > of Team Anna has also been embroiled in controversy recently. Kiran Bedi,

> > > the former police official turned clean-government crusader, was the

> > subject

> > > of two investigative articles in the *Indian Express* this week. As the

> > > winner of a police bravery medal, she is entitled to a 75 percent

> > discount

> > > on tickets for India’s national airline, Air India.

>

> > > “What wrong? What offense. Is saving an offense? And then putting the

> > saving

> > > to a good cause a crime?,” she Tweeted.

>

> > > Responding to questions via text message from a noisy public meeting in

> > > Meerut, Ms. Bedi said she had done nothing improper.

>

> > > “I have done what any person who has total commitment to causes will do,”

> > > she wrote. “I generate and save all the time for education of under

> > > privileged children.”

>

> > > She said she used the money she saved by not traveling business class to

> > pay

> > > for charity.

>

> > > “Many corporates are aware of my saving. And they were of course obliged

> > > that I gave them my day.”

>

> > > Mr. Rajagopal said he was unconvinced by this argument.

>

> > > “How can people respect you if you are not ethical?” he said. “Ethics are

> > > something not to be preached but to be practiced. This disintegration is

> > a

> > > loss for the country.”

>

> > > An editorial in the *Indian

> > > Express*<http://www.indianexpress.com/news/these-other-bills/863011/>

> > > argued

> > > that the episode is a useful lesson.

>

> > > “Team Anna should square with itself and then start identifying what

> > > constitutes corruption, deception, and what is simply human

> > resourcefulness,

> > > or finding a way to live with rigid and unrealistic rules. What, for

> > > instance, are the clear lines between ‘I used it for my NGO’ and ‘I used

> > it

> > > for my political party’? ”

>

> > > Mr. Kejriwal did not return a telephone call or text message seeking

> > > comment. But other members of Team Anna played down the divisions within

> > the

> > > coalition, and said that the Hisar political experiment was less a

> > full-bore

> > > entry into politics than a warning shot to a complacent political class.

>

> > > “The idea was to give a mild warning to Congress,” said Medha Patkar, a

> > > prominent activist who is also part of the committee. The decision to

> > become

> > > involved in the Hisar race, she said, was taken by a smaller working

> > group

> > > in Delhi, not the whole committee.

>

> > > “The issue of electoral politics and movement needs to be discussed at

> > > deeper level,” she said. “There is no big disintegration of the movement

> > > but, yes, there is a difference of opinion.”

>

> > > Ms. Bedi said the Hisar vote was merely an effort to show voters they can

> > > elect representatives who support the Lokpal bill.

>

> > > “We are on voter awareness to ensure the parliament gets MPs who vote for

> > > the Jan Lok Pal bill,” she wrote.

>

> > > She said it was normal

>

> ...

>

> read more »

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