Do we see the Anna Hazare Movement as a “Hindu Majority Movement”?

A senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav has said that  the Anna  Hazare movement “was a Hindu majority movement because of Anna”.

Yogendra Yadav was elaborating upon the various stages of his association with this movement and later with the Aam Adami Party. Dwelling upon  the thinking of the main players behind the Anna movement, Yadav said the following:

 

After Anna Hazare‘s movement it was very important for the party to come out of the shadows of the Jan Lokpal movement. It was a Hindu majority movement because of Anna. After forming the party it was a major work for Arvind (Kejriwal) to reach out to Muslims

Do we see the Anna movement as a ‘Hindu majority movement’? Does this description of the Anna movement  by Yadav amount to a fair description?

The thousands of people who participated in the Anna movement against corruption would not have imagined that one day somebody would describe the movement in this manner. If the question is put to the participating people now –  ‘Did you participate in the Anna Hazare movement as Hindus or as Indians, a resounding reply would emerge from them: ‘AS INDIANS!

This statement from Mr. Yadav is undoubtedly highly objectionable and speaks of the narrow communal mindset of the leaders who are running the affairs of the AAP. In any case, the statement does warrant deeper analysis.

Some questions emerge out of the statement.

  • On what basis did Yogendra Yadav  assess that it was a Hindu majority movement?
  • Can we say that Yogendra Yadav made this assessment under the belief that  the crowds had assembled there to demand something dear to them as ‘Hindus’?  
  • Can we say that since there was a lot of display of patriotic fervor in terms of the thousands of tirangas fluttering at the venue of the gathering or the chants of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ filling the air, and this led Yogendra Yadav to believe that only Hindus would be enthusiastic about such scenes and Muslims may be feeling no attraction for it?

Perhaps Mr. Yadav believes that Muslims have no interest in issues like corruption and are more seized of other issues, therefore they may not have been part of the crowds.

There is another possibility that Mr. Yadav may be of the view that if only Hindus are the participants in an agitation (even on non-religious issues), the agitation shall not take a secular and respectable form unless some Muslims also join it and should therefore be dubbed as a “Hindu majority movement’.

Since the BJP and the RSS vehemently supported the Anna Movement and a large component of the crowds at the Ramlila Maidan comprised of BJP-RSS supporters, did this lead Mr. Yadav to dub the movement as a “Hindu majority movement’?

Whatever be the logic followed by Mr. Yadav to conclude that the Anna-Janlokpal movement was a “Hindu majority movement’, the fact remains that the statement must be causing a lot of hurt to the participants in this non-religious national movement.

Yogendra Yadav goes on to say that the Hindu majority nature of the movement was owing to Anna. What does that imply? We know that Anna is a Hindu and is known to be a true patriot and crusader against corruption. There is no doubt that there was a common spirit in the crowds and Anna Hazare – the spirit of patriotism. If Yogendra Yadav is suggesting that with such a spirit, only Hindus can be mobilized, then this is a shameful assertion, to say the least.

Yogendra Yadav also states that their party had to ‘come out of the shadows of the janlokpal movement.’

From all that Yogendra Yadav has said,  some conclusions can be derived:

ONE, Yogendra Yadav seems to believe that an anti-corruption movement should not seem to be steeped in patriotic spirit. One may surmise that in his scheme of things, an anti-corruption movement must be steeped in hatred against all.

TWO, Yogendra Yadav seems to suggest that patriotic spirit should not be reflected through slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

THREE, Yogendra Yadav very wrongly believes that Muslims tend to keep away from programmes where patriotic spirit is in display. May be, people like him nurture a desire that this should be so, but that is not the reality.

FOUR, Yogendra Yadav believes that Anna Hazare’s ‘limited appeal’ of patriotism is not enough to build a political party. So Anna will have to be kept at a distance if the movement has to be turned into a political one capable of attracting minorities.

FIVE, Yogendra Yadav seems to have kept himself away from the centre of the Anna movement because of its very patriotic fervor. He suddenly appeared on scene, when the visible patriotic fervor had subsided.

SIX, Yogendra Yadav seems to desire that the patriotic spirit of the anti-corruption movement which attracted BJP-RSS cadres in large numbers has to be replaced by a ‘left-oriented’ spirit to become a left political movement in the garb of an anti-corruption movement.

If we look back, we note that with a view to speed up the transformation of Anna’s movement into a leftist platform, a venomous campaign was unleashed against BJP-RSS by Arvind Kejriwal. On the sidelines of this, gradual appeasement steps were taken to “reach out to Muslims”. These steps included the open letter to the Muslim community to highlight ‘Muslim’ issues, the dubbing of Batla House encounter as fake, meeting Maulana Taukeer Raza Khan of Bareilly.

The supporters of AAP have to rethink. This party is certainly not the inheritor of the Anna movement. Its entire tenor has changed. It is no more a patriotic movement for nation-building but a left-movement for gaining power. It has a larger political design and the anti-corruption rhetoric is only a façade. The AAP supporters are absolutely free to make their own choices, but they should be able to understand the way things have happened in the name of anti-corruption movement.

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