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India Against Corruption

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India Against Corruption (IAC) is an anti-corruption movement in India which was particularly prominent during the anti-corruption protests of 2011 and 2012, concerned with the introduction of the Jan Lokpal bill. It primarily sought to mobilise the masses in support of their demands. Divisions amongst key members of the IAC's core committee eventually led to a split within the movement- Arvind Kejriwal left to form the Aam Aadmi Party, while Anna Hazare left to form Jantantra Morcha.

Rise

The IAC popular protest movement began in2011. The official position of figureheads in the IAC movement was that it had no formal organisation beyond a 24-member core committee.[1] In 2011, the organisers of IAC determined to launch a campaign to mobilise the masses in support of a demand-the creation of a Lokpal (ombudsman) who would have powers to arrest and charge government officials accused of corruption.,[2][3][4] that they hoped would help to bring about a corruption-free India. The campaign gained strength through social media, building a massive network of supporters. Initially, they approached Ramdev, a populist Indian yogi to be the figurehead for this campaign but his connections to the right-wing Sangh Parivar threatened to damage the credibility of what was perceived as an apolitical movement. This led to him being replaced by Anna Hazare, a veteran social reformer. Hazare, too, brought a large support base with him, described by Meera Nanda as being largely "from urban middle-classes and idealistic youth". 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.[4]

Mahendra Prasad Singh, another professor of political science and a former Director of the Indian Council for Social Science Research, sees some similarity between the Hazare-led IAC campaign and campaigns of the 1970s-spearheaded by Jayaprakash Narayan. The significant difference, he says, is that rather than using "conventional means of political mobilisation, [it has] mainly thrived on the private electronic and social media, supplemented by mass congregation in cities".[5]

Internal split

In 2012, the IAC began to splinter with Hazare's followers coming to be known as Team Anna.[6] By late 2012, the split had deepened, caused by differences of opinion among the central figures regarding the IAC's lack of practical success and it's unwillingness to be directly engaged in the political system. An IAC survey of the masses 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.[7][8]

In August 2012, Hazare announced that he was disbanding Team Anna, around the time that the divisions were coming to a head.[9] 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 to be addressed.[10][11]

The new Team Anna, sometimes referred to as Team Anna 2.0, prepared to tour the country from 30 January 2013, coinciding with the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.[12] On 30 January 2013, 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.[13]

Criticism

Historian and commentator Ramachandra Guha has questioned the image that has been presented of IAC and of Hazare. Acknowledging that Hazare had previously been successful in campaigns for infrastructure reforms at the local level in his native Maharashtra and that the IAC campaign of 2011 had an impact, Guha doubts the claims that the 2011 and 2012 protests overwhelmingly engaged the masses. He notes that liberals were concerned with a perceived anti-democratic rhetoric while socially oppressed communities, such as the dalits and Other Backward Classes, were worried that the "savarna" led movement would undermine the gains they have made 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 KolkataGuha in 1998 when 400,000 marched in an anti-nuclear movement. Guha further said that scandals, such as the 2G spectrum scam, were high-profile examples of the endemic corruption prevalent in Indian society at all levels but the IAC solution — the Lokpal — was only a "simplistic" reaction.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Ghosh, Abantika (29 December 2011). "Shifting stir to Mumbai a mistake: IAC". Indian Express. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (2013). Patriots and Partisans: From Nehru to Hindutva and Beyond. Penguin UK. pp. 119–122. ISBN 9788184757538. 
  3. ^ "A PATRIARCH FOR THE NATION?". The Telegraph, Calcutta. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Nanda, Meera (2011). The God Market: How Globalization is Making India More Hindu. NYU Press. pp. xxii–xxiii. ISBN 9781583673096. 
  5. ^ Singh, Mahendra Prasad (2013). "Administrative Reforms in India". In Sabharwal, Meghna; Berman, Evan M. Public Administration in South Asia: India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. CRC Press. p. 152. ISBN 978-1-43986-911-6. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ "So what is the Aam Aadmi Party all about". New Delhi: India Today. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Hazare disbands Team Anna, says no talks with govt on Lokpal". The Times of India. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "After announcing team, Anna Hazare to inaugurate new office in Delhi". IBN Live. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Team Anna gets new people. But will their gameplan be a game-changer?". India Today. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Team Anna 2.0 announced, will tour country from January 30". NDTV. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Gaikwad, Rashi (31 January 2013). "IAC is now Jantantra Morcha, says Anna". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (2016-10-25). Patriots and Partisans. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 9788184757538. 

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