“Civil society good at flagging, not flogging”
New Delhi: A noted economist today backed
the UPA government`s handling of Anna Hazare`s agitation for a
strong Lokpal, saying the civil society was free to make
suggestions but it cannot be allowed to impose solutions.
Senior fellow at the Columbia University Jagdish N
Bhagwati said perhaps the greatest disappointment with the
country`s civil society activists was their presumption that
they can supplant the democratic process.
"The UPA government has been exactly right: civil society
can agitate, it can make suggestions, but it cannot be allowed
to impose solutions. They are good at flagging an issue; they
are not good at flogging," he said delivering the 24th
Intelligence Bureau Endowment lecture on `Designing
Institutions for Governance Reform`.
Bhagwati said the civil society is an important
supplement to parliamentary democracy but caveats must be
added if it is to play a creative rather than a destructive
"At minimum, they (civil society) also need to learn the
value of dialogue instead of diatribe. The Anna Hazare
movement was startling in the way that the NGOs fell out,
often with high decibel denunciations directed at their own
kind, turning into uncivil society instead," he said.
The internationally renowned economist referred to the
often reported diatribe between different civil society
activists like Arundhati Roy in one side and Aravind Kejriwal
"The mayhem among these activists reminds one of American
free-style wrestling where there are no rules or, more
cynically, the only rule is that you must hit below the
belt!," he said.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Ceasefire violations by Pak: Should India carry out surgical strike part-II?
- Pak High Commission staffer grilled for spying, asked to leave India
- Panel discussion on the need of Pakistan's ambassador in India
- Intelligence agencies warn of firing by Pakistan along LoC, international border
- Meet Lynlee Hope - Texas baby who was 'born' twice!
- Pakistan's brutality exposed; `Black Day` protesters thrashed in PoK - Video goes viral
- Pakistan High Commission staffer, briefly detained for espionage, asked to leave India in 48 hours
- Diwali 2016: Dhanteras Puja timings, Tithi and Vidhi
- Pakistan declares Indian High Commission official persona non grata, asks him to leave country
- UPA govt thought of attacking Lashkar HQ, training camps after 26/11 strike, claims ex-NSA Shivshankar Menon