Stories about Anna hazare

Publicity versus public welfare: Has AAP gone morally bankrupt?

I vividly remember how as a young reporter at the Press Trust of India, I got the wonderful opportunity to cover the first three nights of anti-corruption crusader and social activist Anna Hazare’s fast unto death, demanding a strong Jan Lokpal at the historic Ramlila Maidan in August 2011. “This movement will change India,” I recall saying to a colleague at the venue. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was born out of the Anna movement and I like many others had high hopes for it. When no one was ready to give the AAP a ghost of a chance, I wrote extensively in its support, ...

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60 years ago Saadat Hasan Manto knew what Pakistan was in for today

“I have seen him;  On the cleanest roads, in a dust-covered amazement;  In the gathering storm of blind, overturned cups; Tossing the empty bottle he shouts, ‘Oh world! Your beauty is your ugliness.’  Booms becoming the noise of chains, The world stares back at him, Their bloodshot eyes rattle with the question, ‘Who nabs the pillar of time, By the noose of his drunken breath? Who dares to break into dim corridors, Of twisted conscience? Who intrudes upon poisonous dens, Of demonised souls? Through icy glasses his rude glance, Chases us like a footfall, Foul monster! Bang! Bang!” (A poem for Manto – Majeed Amjad) The man who saw beauty in the world’s ugliness and for whom this poem ...

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The Aam Aadmi Party is good news for democracy in India

Staring at the sky while lying on a wooden plank in the media section at Ram Lila ground – the venue of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s fast until death for a strong anti-corruption ombudsman – I am rapt in thinking about the fascinating revolution that is taking place in India. At a stone’s throw away, Hazare is spending the first night of his fast until death in his private chamber. It is also my first night of reporting for the Press Trust of India at the venue. It seems that the sky is also being economical in the use of light tonight for it ...

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Who cares about Pakistan’s Anna Hazare?

The success of the Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and the defeat of his Pakistani counterpart Jehangir Akhtar in their almost similar missions perhaps reflect the nature of politics and how it is perceived in both countries. The 75-year-old Indian shot to fame, thanks largely to the power of the Indian media, when he undertook a much hyped fast. That, more or less, brought the Indian government to its knees and made it agree to move a bill in parliament to establish the office of an ombudsman (Lokpal). However, in Pakistan, the story was quite different with the fasting Akhtar largely ...

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Anna Hazare, you are not welcome in Pakistan

Not long ago, international media saw the rise of a new star; a man who vowed to reincarnate the principles of Gandhi, who is respected universally for his passion for peace and non-violent political activism. Well, we too were happy to see, despite the mudslinging that Ziaul Haq and his prodigal children did towards Gandhi, a man who would strive for peace. We hoped his anti-graft movement would come to Pakistan as well. Moreover, we prayed that the Pak-India border would be adorned with flowers and candles rather than barbed wires. However, today all of my hopes suddenly evaporated when I ...

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Why protesting against this government will fail

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. George Bernard Shaw Last month, Pakistan celebrated the 64th year of its broken democracy (30 if you discount the field marshal and generals). Whether you prefer 64 or 30, the fact remains, our democracy is broken. While many accuse politicians of breaking it, this is just proof of our national past time, blame it on the other guy. As much as I want to agree with the sentiment of people on the street, that Parliament is full of thieves and liars, I am reminded of one fact ...

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Anna Hazare’s movement: An invitation to anarchy

Amidst the din, noise, and clamour against corruption in India in the past week, there is a deafening silence – the silence of political class. This is the first time democratic India is witnessing a popular televised revolt against the institutions of democracy, the inefficacy of the democratic system to deliver, and the ineptitude of the political class who are at the receiving end of the anger of the middle class din the country. This revolt is being led by non-political players. A group of civil society members under the leadership of a veteran, anti-corruption crusader, Anna Hazare, have come ...

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Anna Hazare: Fasting for change

Fasting in Pakistan is reserved for the month of Ramazan whereas in India, it has taken on the shape of a non-violent movement under the leadership of Anna Hazare. Carrying on with the legacy that Mohandas Gandhi left behind, Anna aims to pressurise the Indian government to enact strong anti-corruption laws by issuing the threat of a fast unto death. The “Gandhian” or the “crusader” as he has come to be known is a 74-year-old veteran who follows closely the words of Gandhi: “Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today.” His successful attempts at ...

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