Ralegan Siddhi: Anna Hazare came under fire
from political parties for his controversial comments that
alcoholics should be flogged and shamed in public, a
prescription dubbed by Congress as a Taliban-type action.
The 74-year-old anti-corruption crusader`s approach to
combat alcoholism also kicked up a debate on Tuesday in the
cyberspace with some bloggers saying the Gandhian is exceeding
his "mandate" and that he should not go "overboard" and remain
focussed on his campaign to fight graft.
Hazare`s way of going after drunkards came to the fore
when he spoke of how he got people in his native village here
in Maharashtra to give up drinking. He however advocated
giving prior warnings before taking any such steps.
The social activist said that if anyone after drinking
creates trouble he would be simply warned thrice because he is
"our man(belonging to our village." The person will also be
made to understand that it is not good to drink.
"But even after warning him thrice if he again drinks
then we will take him to temple and he has to swear by God
that he won`t drink in future.
And even after all this he drinks then we will tie him up
to the electric pole in front of the temple and then beat him
up so that he gets scared," he said.
Hazare justified this type of approach saying it is for
the benefit of alcoholics since it will force them to get rid
of their habit of drinking out of shame after getting beaten
According to Hazare, alcoholics who have been reformed
have told him that but for the action of public flogging they
would have lost everything.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari when asked for his
reaction equated Hazare`s suggestion to the way Taliban used
to punish those who did not comply with the Sharia law.
"I think the Taliban used to say the same thing. By that
analogy, you will possibly have to flog half of Kerala,
three-fourth of Andhra Pradesh and about four-fifth of Punjab.
Therefore that`s quite a tall order."