HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Anna on the rocks over flogging fix for alcoholics

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 23, 2011
First Published: 00:23 IST(23/11/2011) | Last Updated: 07:55 IST(23/11/2011)

Anna Hazare's remedy for alcohol addiction - a public flogging - has not gone down well with political parties and has drawn angry reactions in cyberspace too.

The anti-corruption campaigner on Monday said this was the practice in his village, Ralegan Siddhi.

"We give them three warnings because, after all, they are our people. Then we drag the person to the temple and make him promise he will never drink again. After all this, if they continue to drink, we tie them to a pole near the temple and beat them up."

According to Hazare, those who kicked the habit told him the flogging saved their lives.

"I think the Taliban used to say the same thing," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said on Tuesday.

"By that analogy, you will possibly have to flog half of Kerala, three-fourths of Andhra Pradesh and about four-fifths of Punjab. That's quite a tall order."

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, "It is not something you can implement, not because you can't but these (steps) are not the ways of today."

Hazare's comment, in an interview to NDTV, set cyberspace abuzz.

One blogger wrote: "Dear Anna Hazare, please accept: people won't stop drinking, smoking, infidelity, violence, prostitution, etc. Just focus on corruption."

But there was some support too: "Anna is an honest person with a simple view of the world."

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