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Anna’s intention important, not numbers

Apropos the editorial ‘Need for course correction’ (December 29) the advice to Anna Hazare to stay clear of politics seems unjustified and unfair. Anna Hazare’s movement, based on people’s support, or for that matter any people’s movement, should not be seen from a narrow viewpoint. People’s movements must not be judged from the crowd on the ground, neither should these be compared with other agitations.

Our political leaders pay people to exhibit big attendance in rallies. Can you call such rallies a success? People attended Anna’s rallies out of their own free will and purpose. What is important is the intention and purpose of Anna’s crusade.

The public movement initiated by Anna to stop unabated growth of corruption is a cause of concern for everybody, except the political class. Political parties giving support to him in his movement does not mean that Anna is playing politics. It must also be understood that Anna’s crusade against corruption to bring an effective Lokpal Bill cannot be achieved without the help of political parties because only Parliament is empowered to make laws. Why should he be advised to remain a saintly figure when he is fighting against the unethical, unwarranted, selfish political parties. They are levelling irrelevant and baseless allegations against Anna Hazare to portray a bad picture and divert his demand for a strong Lokpal Bill.

Humiliation suffered by the Congress party is selfinflicted because it introduced a weak, ineffective, illogical and irrelevant Lokpal Bill. Why did the UPA bring about a Bill with inborn contradictions? Calling off the fast and the jail bharo agitation and squatting at public places are pressure tactics used in any public agitation. No rash conclusion or judgment must be drawn from this. Mass movements for a bigger cause sometimes fail to draw crowds, which should not be mistaken for a street play.



The editorial has rightly suggested that Team Anna must leave politics to politicians and work as an effective agent of change. The mild response to Anna Hazare’s fast in Mumbai by the aam admi should be an eye-opener to Team Anna.  No doubt, Anna Hazare captured the imagination and attention of the entire nation over the last few months but it is not clear as to why he is choosing to ignore the real poor of the nation?

A slight doubt has also arisen as to whether the Anna party is fighting corruption or the Congress. In fact, people have started misreading the whole scheme of things as they have begun to believe that the moment the Lokpal Bill comes into force, the malaise of corruption would end forever. But this could well come as a huge disappointment when the common man will come face to face with the office-bearers who will fall in the ambit of the Lokpal and the situation will remain as grim as it is.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur


Team Anna is responsible for the dilution of Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption. They have given the movement a political colour by asking people to revolt against the Congress party holding it responsible for all the ills and corruption in India. People have come to believe that Anna’s movement is not against corruption but an attempt to launch yet another political party in the name of ‘Team Anna’. Anna Hazare has been cheated by his own men. Had Anna stuck to his only aim of eliminating corruption, his campaign would have started showing results by now. But it is unfortunate to note he is now trying his hands in politics. People seem to have lost faith in him as the low turnout of crowds indicated at his Mumbai rally, which he had to give up midway.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh 


The nation should thank Anna for pressurising the UPA to at least introduce the Lokpal Bill. The Parliamentary debate was worth watching which brought to the fore the forced opposition of the BJP to obstruct the Bill at any cost. I am sure Team Anna has analysed the debate threadbare and is clear on who is responsible for diluting the Bill. It was a very good initiative by the UPA and the speech by Pranab Mukherjee was very convincing. We need to appreciate that the UPA has been able to achieve what successive governments could not do in the last 48 years. Anna has achieved a rare feat and he should now act on his own conscience to maintain his stature. The advice for Team Anna appears to be governed by a borrowed agenda.

Maj R S VIRK (retd) Chandigarh

Illicit liquor

The Bengal hooch tragedy brought to light the sorry state of affairs in the manufacture of illicit liquor. Ethyl alcohol is the main intoxicating ingredient of country liquor, whisky, rum and gin. The Excise Department prepares the denatured spirit by mixing 5 per cent methyl alcohol with ethyl alcohol. Methylene blue is added to it to differentiate it from pure ethyl alcohol. This denatured spirit is prepared specifically for paint and wooden paint purposes only and thinner for industry use. Liquor companies manage to procure the denatured spirit containing 90 per cent ethyl alcohol c and 5 per cent methyl alcohol easily at Rs 30 per litre. Two bottles of whisky can easily be prepared from it with a concentration of 43 per cent of ethyl alcohol. Countrymade liquor is officially allowed 27 per cent ethyl alcohol and whisky 43 per cent ethyl alcohol only. We should always go with known liquor brands.

Dr AK Wasuja Solan (HP)

Laughter capsule

The middle ‘Laughing Matters’ (December 28) was interesting and reflected the might of laughing and smiling. Smile and laughter are the two blessings bestowed by God only on humans. No other creature on earth has these two traits. Smile smoothens the wrinkles irrespective of age. Laughter not only pumps oxygen into the lungs but also improves breathing. These are the two greatest blessings of God to mankind; let us use them to the hilt.

Dr VK ANAND, Patiala

The fog of change

Raj Chengappa’s article The fog of change (December 25) touched on the numerous uprisings that took place all over the world. Certainly, people rose in protest against misgovernance, corruption and exploitation. They shook governments and toppled regimes in the year which witnessed unprecedented democratic rebellion, worldwide economic recession, unfinished wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a wobbling Pakistan.

A popular revolt ousted Mubarak in Egypt, Gaddafi was hunted and shot dead in Libya and in India, civil society took on corruption head-on. The public wanted instant change here and now, irrespective of consequences. A new order was emerging but the fog of change cast a shroud on the final shape it would take. Governments must learn a lesson or two and desist from testing patience of the people.

Capt SK DATTA, Abohar



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