‘Team Anna should avoid creating a cult figure’



New Delhi: Swami Agnivesh, who was earlier associated with activist Anna Hazare, on Saturday demanded an apology from Team Anna members for trying to project the Gandhian as a "cult figure" and asked them to refrain from slogans like 'Anna is India and India is Anna'.

"There should not be any attempt to create a cult figure and the people associated with Anna's movement must apologise for this. Cult leads to a kind of dictatorship. It is elitist in origin and the slogan 'Anna is India and India is Anna' should not be used," Agnivesh said here.

Participating in an open discussion on the Lokpal Bill organised by All India Confederation of SC/ST organisations, Agnivesh said there is no place for individual worship in the country.

"There is no place for individual worship in this country. We will never accept it whenever a person is represented as god or the country," he said.

Without naming Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, Agnivesh sought an apology from him for his statement that Hazare is above Parliament.

"Whoever said that his leader is above the Parliament, should apologise. Parliament is a temple of democracy which represents the country. Even if there are few corrupt people there, its dignity should not be tampered with," he said.

While he condemned the attack on senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan for speaking in favour of plebiscite in Kashmir, Agnivesh rubbished the option and said the government should take steps to include Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in India.

"I am not in favour of the statements given by him. Kashmir can never be separated from the country. Kashmir means Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, and after Parliament's resolution even PoK is part of our country and we must take steps to include it in our country," he said.

PTI