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Friday, 2 September 2011

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Puppet show: "I am puppet, you are puppet," Arundhati aunty

Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy (Aunty Arundhati), an unapologetic critic of the Anna Hazare anticorruption campaign, suggested the 73-year old Gandhian was more of a puppet and less of a leader of the movement he came to symbolize. "So what I act like puppet of government or popularity. It is my right, so as Anna is doing it for popularity acting as a puppet of few other people."

In a Tuesday interview with television channel CNN-IBN, aunty Arundhati accused them of having taken advantage of widespread popular anger against corruption to push through a very specific agenda: their own version of the Lokpal Bill, which she described as "regressive."

"If I knew about all these things that so many people would have gathered in support of Anna, I would have been the actual leader and this had became a Dalit and Muslim event. It was not like Anna's RSS and VHP supported," she said to DCFC reporter in private.

"Anna has done nothing as I think that the anger about corruption became so widespread and generalized that nobody looked at the "dissonance between the specific legislation and the anger that was bringing people there," she argued and asked why Anna is getting real credit. Her voice was choking in between while emotions were clearly reflected in her eyes. Still, she was comfortably and like a lone warrior answering all the questions.
In this context, she described Mr. Hazare as little more than a prop of a movement that owed much of its popularity to an obliging media and to its dangerous use of patriotic symbolism.

"Certainly Anna Hazare was picked up and propped up as a sort of saint of the masses, but he wasn't driving the movement, he wasn't the brains behind the movement," she said. "It was really unfortunate that India Against Corruption did not come to me first otherwise I would have provided required glamor. It would have been more successful than any other movement," she said easily to DCFC reporter. When asked about the progress of her new book "In search of a limelight" she said "yea, that book is my first priority and I will include all these points in that book. Thanks to remind me. I believe this would be another Booker prize winner for me."

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