Ahmedabad/New Delhi: Under attack from camp
followers in Gujarat, social activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday
cautioned people against those trying to create "schisms" and
"discord" in the anti-corruption movement and appealed that
they stayed united.
Warning against attempts to break up the civil society`s
campaign against graft in the wake of the controversy over
his endorsing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and some
allegations, the 73-year-old anti-corruption crusader also
said he is pained that he has to explain himself time and
again on the BJP stalwart.
Hazare had praised Modi for his developmental efforts in
Gujarat but quickly came under criticism by several activists
in the state involved in the campaign against corruption.
The activists included Mallika Sarabhai who said she was
shocked at Hazare`s endorsement.
Social activist Medha Patkar also said Hazare`s public
praise of Modi is unacceptable and it compromises the battle
against corruption. Swami Agnivesh, however, came to the
defence of Hazare saying the controversy over his praise of
Modi was "needless."
In an open letter to "fellow citizens", Hazare said
people involved in the campaign against corruption cannot
afford to dissipate their energies on "arguing over non-issues
and quarrelling with disinformation campaigns" undertaken by
the people who see an effective Lokpal as a "grave threat" to
Hazare`s comments came against the backdrop of the
controversy over his praising Modi for his work in Gujarat
refusing to die down and charges in the initial days of his
indefinite fast--which he called off after 97 hours--that his
movement was politically affiliated.
"Our victory so far over corruption, falsehood,
injustice, and oppression is indisputable and unprecedented.
But it is also clearly evident that there is handful of people
who are already active trying to create schisms in this great
coming together of all sections of our society to fight for a
corruption-free future," he said.
Noting that a handful of people want to break up our
collective power and try to create discord, he said, one way
was to try to break up the collective power was to spread
disinformation and rake up issues that will distract attention
from the fight against corruption towards extraneous matters.
"It is important that we are able to see through their
designs. We need to not only frustrate their plans but also
keep our collective enthusiasm at a level that must keep
rising," he said.
Hazare in a letter to Mallika Sarabhai yesterday said,
"I am pained that I have to explain myself on Mr Modi. I was
asked about Gujarat and Bihar Chief Ministers` development
work in the press conference held in Delhi, and based on media
reports I said Bihar and Gujarat have done good work in rural
"At the same time I had condemned 2002 riots and
communalism," he said, adding he was "totally apolitical and
strongly against communalism."
Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh also took
exception to Hazare`s praise of Modi.
"How can someone praise a chief minister in whose state
innocent people were massacred (in the 2002 riots) and fake
encounters were staged," he asked in Kanpur.