India Against Corruption
|Key people||Anna Hazare, Sarbajit Roy|
India Against Corruption (IAC) is a term that was used, along with Team Anna, to describe a movement that sought to mobilise the masses in support of their demands for a less corrupt society in India. It was headed mostly by middle-class professionals and lawyers and was particularly prominent during the anti-corruption protests of 2011 and 2012, the central point of which was debate concerning the introduction of a Jan Lokpal bill. Although nominally apolitical, IAC at that time had Hindu nationalist leanings. It spawned the breakaway Aam Aadmi Party and Jantantra Morcha; the present group of people who refer to themselves as IAC are no longer promoting the Lokpal agenda and have turned instead to efforts relating to Right to Information.
In 2011, the mostly middle-class organisers of IAC determined to launch a campaign to mobilise the masses in support of a demand that they hoped would help to bring about a corruption-free India. Their proposal for the creation of a Lokpal (ombudsman) who had powers to arrest and charge government officials who were accused of corruption. They approached Ramdev, a populist yogi with millions of supporters among the middle-classes of small-town India, to be the figurehead for this campaign. His connections to the right-wing Sangh Parivar threatened to damage the credibility of what was nominally an apolitical movement and he was soon replaced by Anna Hazare, a veteran social reformer with a history of undertaking fasts in support of his causes. Hazare, too, brought a large support base with him, comprising mostly middle-class people from urban areas and idealistic youths. The urban sophistication of Hazare, compared to Ramdev's rusticity, attracted high-profile support for the campaign from Bollywood stars, the internet-savvy and mainstream English-language news media but he, too, struggled to disassociate himself from Hindutva symbolism and this meant that support from non-Hindus was less forthcoming.
Historian and commentator Ramachandra Guha has questioned the image that has been portrayed of IAC and of Hazare. Acknowledging that Hazare had previously been successful in campaigns for infrastructure reforms at local level in his native Maharashtra and that the IAC campaign of 2011 had an impact, Guha doubts claims that the 2011 and 2012 protests overwhelmingly engaged the masses are clear-cut. He notes that liberals were concerned with a perceived anti-democratic rhetoric and socially oppressed communities, such as the dalits and Other Backward Classes, worried that the Hindu-led movement would undermine the gains made by them through legislative reforms such as those resulting from the Mandal Commission. He considers that the attention given to the protest by 24-hour news channels and internet resources has masked the realities, such as that popular participation at the Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan protests in Delhi was a fraction of that evidenced in Kolkata in 1998 when 400,000 marched in an anti-nuclear movement. IAC and Hazare in particular piggy-backed on and gained from discontent surrounding some coincident corruption scandals involving the government. These scandals, such as the 2G spectrum scam, were high-profile examples of the corruption that is endemic in Indian society at all levels but Guha believes the IAC solution — the Lokpal — was a "simplistic" reaction.
Those at the head of IAC became known as Team Anna. In late 2012, there was a split in the IAC movement caused by differences of opinion among the central figures regarding its lack of practical success and how much this might have been due to its unwillingness to be directly engaged in the political system. An IAC survey had suggested that direct involvement in politics was preferable, leading to Arvind Kejriwal and some others splitting to form the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in order to cause change from within the system. Hazare rejected the survey findings.
Hazare had announced that he was disbanding Team Anna in August 2012, around the time that the divisions were coming to a head. In November 2012, after the split, he said that he was forming a new Team Anna, that it would retain the label of India Against Corruption and that its members were discussing other societal issues that they might address.
The new Team Anna, sometimes referred to as Team Anna 2.0, was preparing to tour the country from 30 January 2013, coinciding with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. When that day came, Hazare announced that he had formed Jantantra Morcha, a campaigning group that included the previously-named members of Team Anna 2.0 and which he considered to be a replacement for IAC but with a broader agenda.
In September 2013, Sarbajit Roy claimed to be the national convenor of IAC, which by now comprised mostly Right to Information (RTI) activists. The membership appears to have abandoned the Lokpal demands, which they no longer considered to be practical but which the AAP was still promoting; IAC aimed to concentrate their efforts on RTI matters.
Notable members of IAC/Team Anna prior to the breakaway of the Aam Aadmi Party were:
- Anna Hazare
- Arvind Kejriwal
- Chandra Mohan
- Gopal Rai
- Kiran Bedi
- Kumar Vishwas
- Manish Sisodia
- Medha Patkar
- Prashant Bhushan
- Sanjay Singh
- Santosh Hegde
- Shanti Bhushan
- Shazia Ilmi
Following the split with the AAP, notable members were:
Following the later division, when Hazare announced the Jantantra Morcha, people associated with IAC name include:
- Guha, Ramachandra (2013). Patriots and Partisans: From Nehru to Hindutva and Beyond. Penguin UK. pp. 119–122. ISBN 9788184757538.
- Nanda, Meera (2011). The God Market: How Globalization is Making India More Hindu. NYU Press. pp. xxii–xxiii. ISBN 9781583673096.
- Schoen, Douglas E. (2013). The End of Authority: How a Loss of Legitimacy and Broken Trust Are Endangering Our Future. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 185–186. ISBN 9781442220324.
- "Anna Hazare tells Arvind Kejriwal not to use his name, photo for votes as they part ways". New Delhi: India Today. PTI. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "So what is the Aam Aadmi Party all about". New Delhi: India Today. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "Hazare disbands Team Anna, says no talks with govt on Lokpal". The Times of India. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "After announcing team, Anna Hazare to inaugurate new office in Delhi". IBN Live. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Team Anna gets new people. But will their gameplan be a game-changer?". India Today. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Team Anna 2.0 announced, will tour country from January 30". NDTV. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Gaikwad, Rashi (31 January 2013). "IAC is now Jantantra Morcha, says Anna". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Khandekar, Nivedita (3 September 2013). "Anti-corruption body abandons Janlokpal". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Hensman, Rohini (September 2011). "Converging agendas: Team Anna and the Indian Right". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Megwanshi, Bhanwar (5 September 2011). "India: The Communal Character of Anna Hazare’s Movement". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
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