Hazare`s approach authoritarian: Mahesh Bhatt

Last Updated: Friday, April 22, 2011 - 21:42

New Delhi: Noted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and
eminent historian KN Panikkar on Friday raised questions on Anna
Hazare`s anti-corruption movement, accusing him of adopting an
"authoritarian" approach in selecting civil society members in
the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill.

They also took exception to Hazare`s praise for Gujarat
Chief Minister Narendra Modi as one cannot ignore the menace
of "communal corruption" and said the anti-graft legislation
proposed by his group was "flawed" as it gives overriding
powers to a group of people.

"Methods adopted by Hazare to press his demand has an
element of coercion, as he has left no room for discussion,
debate and exchange of views. There is no true representation
of civil society in the Joint Committee. He has adopted an
authoritarian approach," Bhatt told a joint press conference
here.

The Jan Lokpal Bill alone cannot stop corruption and this
"monster (corruption) has been nurtured by all of us including
me", he said.

Panikkar said the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill was "full of
flaws" as it gives overriding powers of investigation and
punishment to a group of people.

"The real problem is the centralization of authority.
This has not been addressed by the Bill," he said, expressing
fears that the legislation would create a "permanent state of
emergency" and it goes against the principals of democracy.

"There is no representative character in the joint
committee...The most glaring aspect of the Bill is that it
comes to play only after the event. Its role is not to prevent
corruption but to punish the corrupt. We need to find means to
prevent corruption first," the former JNU professor said.

On Hazare`s praise for Modi, Bhatt said one cannot ignore
the aspect of "communal corruption" as it is one of the major
problems the country faces now.

"How could he praise Narendra Modi for prosperity of
Gujarat and not talk about the need to root out the menace of
communal corruption? Until and unless you address the problem
of communalism, this movement will not succeed," he said.

"The attitude of Hazare is that of justifying the past
history of communal violence...I want to ask Anna Hazare: I am
with you in your fight against corruption but are you with me
in my fight?" he said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 22, 2011 - 21:42

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