The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

August 20, 2011

Is Anna Hazare's movement against Dalits, Tribals, Minorities?

Is Anna anti-reservation?
The murmurs that Anna Hazare's agitation is elitist and against the interests of the Dalits, OBCs and Tribals are getting stronger by the day.

Prominent personalities, intellectuals and organisations representing Dalits, OBCs and Muslims have now openly begun criticising Hazare's team and its 'arrogance'. They claim that a section of elite and upwardly mobile middle class that mostly comprises Upper Castes is supporting the movement.

Dalit writer Chandrabhan Prasad has termed it a dangerous sign that a non-elected person is leading a movement which is driven by upper castes. He feels that the agitation is against the spirit of the Indian constitution.

Section of Muslims echo the same sentiment. Urdu poet Manzar Bhopali says that Anna Hazare talks of a revolution but it can't be compared at all to 'freedom movement'. 'Innumerable people gave sacrifices for independence. This is not such a movement'.

Manzar Bhopali says that Anna Hazare's movement is exclusivist and has no place for Muslims. "Where are Muslim faces. Have they been taken along? There are 200 million or 20 crore Muslims in India and they have been bypassed", he further says.

Questions are being raised about the lack of any Muslim, Dalit, Tribal or OBC in his team. But the Other Backward Castes (OBCs), an increasingly assertive section, that comprises one of the biggest chunks of Indian populace is now restless. The  feel that 'manuvadi' and 'hindutva-vadis' are supporting this movement that represents injustice.

"The Upper Castes particularly Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Kayasthas and Vaishyas who constitute less than 10% of India's population had control over 90% seats in jobs and educational institutions but when reservations for SCs/STs changed the situation, they were upset. Now they see another chance to gain power by subverting Indian democracy", says a prominent writer. 

"They want to hijack power which slipped from their hands after the great social revolution in India during VP Singh's era. But OBCs, minorities, tribal populace and Dalit bahujans won't let this media manufactured movement to take over the nation and sabotage the struggle of the real majority".

Says Dilip Mandal, "Anna's movement that is driven by casteist forces, moneyed elitists and corporate world is against constitution and is in conflict with the interests of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes other than OBCs. So can a movement be pro-poor and yet against interests of Dalits, Tribal, Muslims, who comprise majority of the poor in India.

Thinkers, activists and writers representing these sections are increasingly getting worried by the RSS penetration in the movement. They feel that while Jan Lokpal bill will hardly do any good to the society, it has raised false expectations that corruption would be eliminated in India. 

It is felt that Hindutva groups are supporting the movement to get mileage over Congress and to turn the tide in favour of BJP and Sangh Parivar. There are allegations that TV is giving unprecedented coverage to the demonstrations just because the vocal middle class upper caste is supporting it while those opposing it are not being spoken to and their protests are not visible.

TIH Bureau

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