Sunday, 8 January 2012

Jan Lokpal Bill unGandhian

Writer Arundhati Roy at a book launch function in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: M.Vedhan

Describing most of the anti-corruption movements in the country as right-wing and majoritarian in nature, writer Arundhati Roy on Saturday said the Jan Lokpal Bill, which she said nobody had read, was totally an unGandhian piece of legislation. She alleged that it would concentrate power in the hands of a few.
Ms. Roy, who was here in connection with the release of a Tamil translation of her work Broken Republic published by Kalachuvadu, said a very strong anti-corruption law would always be a tool in the hands of the middle class to take advantage of the poor, who had already been alienated.

She stressed the need to view the anti-corruption movements in the country in the backdrop of the attempt to corporatise people's struggles and to turn people's anger into a blind alley.
Asked for a solution to the Maoist problem in the country, she wanted to know what would be the solution to the Indian government and its Prime Minister and Home Minister openly speaking about violating the Constitution, which she said “does not allow taking away the adivasis' lands and handing them over to corporate houses.”

She also wondered how one could preach to a person on giving up violence and following the Gandhian path when his hut was surrounded by CRPF men and women were raped.
Pointing to various struggles launched by the people across the country including the fight against the Nuclear Power Plant in Kudankulam, she said “to me these battles were somehow more profound than the battle for self-determination and ethnic nationalism.”

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