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'A new Gandhi' shakes India

world Updated: Aug 18, 2011 16:26 IST

PTI
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Likening the eruption of anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare on the Indian scene to the advent of "a new Gandhi," the British media on Thursday described his campaign as "stunningly successful", but warned against creation of a Superman-like authority to check corruption.

"A new 'Gandhi' shakes India", screamed the headline of The Telegraph as it called Hazare the "born-again" Gandhian, who has been receiving wide publicity in the local media in London.

The 73-year-old Gandhian's travails were splashed in almost all the British papers.

"Stunningly successful campaign of Anna Hazare, the born-again Gandhian who has tied up the government in knots with his hunger strikes," is what The Telegraph said in a long report written by author Patrick French, who also took a dig at the prevalent Indian judicial, political and social system.

However, the article said Hazare's success will make it increasingly difficult to argue against proposals which would, "in practice, create yet another layer of government in a country that has too much bureaucracy, and would create a body armed with the kind of powers over the lives of individuals that have previously only been given to Superman."

French lost no words in attacking the UPA-led government for its handling of the situation. He said Hazare and his "cohorts" have sought to impose their programme on the government, buoyed by noisy public support.

"This bizarre situation – where elected representatives started to bow to the demands of a self-appointed saint – has depended only partially on the elderly Gandhian's canny, populist strategy." The daily said at every turn, the organisers of his campaign have been aided by the "blundering of the ruling Congress Party".