‘ANNA MOVEMENT REFLECTS STREAK OF FASCISM’
‘Vande Mataram or Bharat Mata are not merely innocent patriotic symbolisms, they are deeply identified with the RSS,’ says Anand Teltumbde. An eminent academic, writer, political analyst and civil rights activist, Teltumbde is a management practitioner based in Mumbai. He has authored many analytical books on Left and Dalit movements, including the acclaimed Khairlanji: A Strange and Bitter Crop. In this incisive interview, he critically dissects and analyses the Anna Hazare phenomena. In conversation with Hardnews
Sadiq Naqvi Delhi
- What is your assessment of the structure, leadership, tone, tenor and ideology of this particular Jan Lokpal movement led by Anna Hazare?
As it appears ‘India against Corruption’, which calls itself a peoples’ movement and which is generously supported by many corporates, is behind this Jan Lokpal movement. As such, it appears quite amorphous and even spontaneous peoples’ movement. But it may not be truly so. The thousands of people that are seen collected at Azad Maidan in Mumbai and such other places in other cities and towns inIndia, and of course, many more in Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, are surely not individuals who all came there on their own. Many have been a part of certain organisations. At least in Mumbai, I have found people who are well known as associates of the Sangh Parivar being involved in the mobilisation of people. This hypothesis gets strengthened by the overall complexion of the movement and the manner in which it is being run. Its slogans, its demeanor, its attitude, its tone and tenor unmistakably reflect the imprint of the Sangh Parivar. Vande Mataram or Bharat Mata are not merely innocent patriotic symbolisms, they are deeply identified with the RSS. Ideologically, the movement reflects a streak of fascism, which, again, is associated with the RSS. There is no doubt that RSS’s pedigree is fascist; their praise for Hitler and Mussolini is too well-known to be forgotten.
Anna Hazare is not the RSS person, as he calls himself a Gandhian. But he also instinctively conducts himself in a dictatorial fashion albeit for the cause that he believes to be virtuous. But then, Hitler and Mussolini also believed in the virtuosity of their ideologies and the cause they espoused. People, who are not carried away by the rhetoric of this movement, are embarrassed by the undemocratic language he so casually uses. ‘Lao, nahi to jao’ is his recent slogan, which means the government has to bring the Jan Lokpal, and that too by the specified date as per his draft or else collapse.
- What is your assessment of the Anna Hazare phenomenon first in Maharashtra and now in Delhi?
Anna Hazare came to limelight in Maharashtra by transforming his village, Ralegaon Siddhi, into an ‘ideal’ village as acknowledged by the State. He had launched the Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Aandolan (BVJA) (People’s Movement against Corruption), a popular movement to fight against corruption in Ralegaon Siddhi in 1991, which led to the transfer and suspension of 40 forest officials. He carried on his struggles against corruption thereafter against ministers and went to jail a couple of times in connection therewith.