Element of populism in Anna’s fast: Tushar Gandhi | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Element of populism in Anna’s fast: Tushar Gandhi

Holding that Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement has an element of “populism” about it, Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson Tushar has said there is difference in the way the two leaders have used fasting as an instrument of protest.

delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2011 00:12 IST

Holding that Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement has an element of “populism” about it, Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson Tushar has said there is difference in the way the two leaders have used fasting as an instrument of protest.

He also feels that while for the Mahatma fasting was a means to “reform an adversary”, in case of Hazare, a self-professed Gandhian, it was like targeting an “enemy”.

“Hazare’s fast is different because Bapu’s fast was to reform an adversary into a friend, while Anna’s fast is against an enemy. It is like a me versus you kind of thing,” Tushar Gandhi said.

“Hazare has become an icon of the desperation being felt by the people in India. However, there is an element of populism in the movement,” he said.

“What we are seeing ... is concern of people about democratic rights. There is a sense of disconnect between the people and the government. That is reflected in this whole movement,” he added.

Asked how would have the Mahatma viewed Hazare’s agitation, Tushar said, “Bapu would have never allowed the situation to reach this level. He would have become active when the disease (corruption) was at a nascent stage and not when it has reached alarming proportions.”

“However, one positive thing that has come out ... is that non-violence is powerful. Not one glass pane has been broken ... not one stone hurled. That is a potent sign. It shows the power of non-violence,” he said.