Hazare`s movement driven by mass media: Aruna Roy

Aruna Roy believes Hazare`s movement lacked the ideological tethering required to hold mass campaigns together and was driven by the mass media.

Jaipur: Anna Hazare`s anti-corruption
movement might have aroused high sentiment in India but social
activist Aruna Roy believes it lacked the ideological
tethering that is required to hold mass campaigns together and
was essentially driven by the mass media.

Debating protests, their forms in India and their
inclusiveness at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Roy said
while "mainstream Indians" were all too happy to join the
Jantar Mantar protest, they are least bothered about a
plethora of other struggles going on in India.

"Corruption is a huge preoccupation of India. An
anti-corruption campaign is bound to be a good campaign, but
what was lacking in this movement was an ideolological
tethering which is crucial to any kind of political
movements," she said.

Roy was one of the social activists who had dissociated
themselves with the core team of Anna Hazare over their
rigidity over their draft of the Lokpal bill.

"When you call for eliminating corruption people will
join you, but the moment you say you want to get rid of
corruption only in a particular way, it becomes a problem,"
she said at a session here where panelists debated the
logistics of movements in India.

Roy said Dalits too felt marginalized by the
anti-corruption campaign, and the people who joined in had
little sympathy for parallel struggles like the 11-year-old
anti-AFSPA hunger strike of Irom Shormila in Manipur.

"Shormila`s fast is not popular because mainstream
Indians who support the Jantar Mantar protest want army rule
in Kashmir and North East, they do not quite mind the loss of
democratic rights for a huge chunk of people," she said.

Also criticizing the selectivity and discrimination the
media shows while covering different sections of people, Roy
said, "There is never a TV shot shown of tribals who are
mobilised for their causes."

"The behaviour of the Indian state is creating more
insurgents," she said.