‘Populism’ in Anna`s movement: Tushar Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi`s great grandson Tushar has said there is difference in the way Mahatma and Anna have used fasting as an instrument of protest.

Mumbai: Holding that Anna Hazare`s
anti-corruption movement has an element of "populism" about
it, Mahatma Gandhi`s great grandson Tushar has said there is
difference in the way the two leaders have used fasting as an
instrument of protest.

He also feels that while for the Mahatma fasting was
a means to "reform an adversary", in case of Hazare, a
self-professed Gandhian, it was like targeting an "enemy".

"Hazare`s fast is different because Bapu`s fast was to
reform an adversary into a friend, while Anna`s fast is
against an enemy. It is like a me versus you kind of thing,"
Tushar Gandhi said.

"Hazare has become an icon of the desperation being
felt by the people in India. However, there is an element
of populism in the movement," he said.

"What we are seeing since yesterday is concern of
people about democratic rights. There is a sense of disconnect
between the people and the government. That is reflected in
this whole movement," he added.

Asked how would have the Mahatma viewed Hazare`s
agitation, Tushar said, "Bapu would have never allowed the
situation to reach this level. He would have become active
when the disease (corruption) was at a nascent stage and not
when it has reached alarming proportions."

"However, one positive thing that has come out (of
Hazare`s agitation) is that non-violence is powerful. Not one
glass pane has been broken by the protesters, not one stone
hurled. That is a potent sign. It shows the power of non-
violence," he said.

PTI

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