Apr 13, 2011, 04.21am IST
Adverse reactions from his own supporters indicate that civil society is not satisfied with Hazare’s clarification that he had patted Modi only in the context of rural development and that, as a Gandhian, he was opposed to communal disharmony.
Hazare is under pressure to come up with a more direct denunciation of Modi because many of the proponents of the Jan Lokpal Bill see the ongoing cover-up of the 2002 riots, by not just the Gujarat police but also the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team, as an egregious form of corruption.
A statement signed by, among other civil society stalwarts, Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Sandeep Pandey and Kavita Srivastava, said that Hazare’s endorsement of Modi was “unfortunate and unacceptable”. Besides recalling his alleged complicity in the riots, the statement issued on Tuesday under the banner of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) questioned the Modi regimes’s claims to have done well in rural development and in combating corruption.
Urging Hazare to be vary of Modi’s tendency to divide secular forces, NAPM said that the Gujarat government’s lack of commitment to probity is evident from its failure to appoint a lokayukta for over six years even as it is selling land to a clutch of industrialists at throwaway prices leading to scams and displacement and livelihood problems for the poor.
“The common people of India have supported the battle against corruption with faith in our campaign and credibility as people’s movements based on the core values of equity, justice, democracy, secularism and plurality,” NAPM said, adding, “This should not be compromised at any cost.”
It also cited a statement issued by Vadodara activists Rohit Prajapati and Trupti Shah on Gujarat saying, “The success story of the two-digit growth has masked the several digit realities of loss of livelihood, land acquisition, displacement and loss of natural resources, which are treated as free goods in this process.”