New Delhi: Firing a salvo at Anna Hazare,
former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor has said how can a person
"who never stood for elections" claim to be the voice of the
Asserting that laws can be made only by Parliament,
Tharoor, who is a first time MP from Kerala, said, "We cannot
have a small group of unelected people imposing their will on
Parliament because in the long term the danger will be to you
"I do not believe that we can conduct democracy either
from Ramlila Ground or from television studio. Democracy must
be conducted through both Houses of Parliament."
The Congress MP said there are more than 500 MPs and
thousands of people`s representatives in state assembles who
have gone out to seek votes of people and have to preserve the
support they have got.
"If such people cannot claim to represent the people of
India, but somebody else, who never stood for elections but
has lot of television cameras cameras around him and a few
thousand people in a Maidan.... Will he be the voice of the
people? Is that democracy?" he said addressing a gathering at
Jawaharlal Nehru University here last night.
While stating that arresting Hazare was a "mistake" and
that no government can disagree with the cause of the
Gandhian, Tharoor stressed that the "question is the means".
"Saying that I will starve to death thereby potentially
unleashing disruption violence and anarchy in the country
unless you pass a bill which says exactly what I see it should
say. Is that democracy? That is the question we have to ask,"
Tharoor said during a question-answer session with students
Noting that the country has a constitutional system that
has kept it together for 64 years and in which people can tell
their representatives about the issues, Tharoor said, "If
these representatives do not pass the laws you want or pass
the law you do not want, vote them out an get other
At the outset, he said that nobody can be opposed to
one`s right to protest or fast or the idea of Lokpal for which
"I think it was a mistake to arrest Anna Hazare," he said.
The lawmaker, however, wondered what is the guarantee
that Lokpal will "magically" be something different from other
agencies, which were created to fight corruption.
He at the same time made it clear he admired Hazare, who
has "lot of good qualities" and an "exemplary record of
service to the country".
"I am certainly not one of those to suggest that he is
anything but a man of great integrity," Tharoor said.