An Encounter with Anna! (Part 1 – 1st August 2012)


 

My OUTLOOK

by

        Raju Parulekar (raju.parulekar@gmail.com) (M) +91-9820124419

The nation feels that anti-corruption movement as a whole is staged against Congress party by and large.

Another story making rounds is anti-corruption movement is people’s movement led by Anna Hazare.

This is disastrous simplification of reality.

Actually if you want to understand the so-called anti-corruption movement properly it’s not a monolith. There are separate verticals which came together directly or indirectly, significantly or subtly for their vested interests. They have different backgrounds for corruption, different political ideologies, different ambitions and different verticals to use as weapon. Some of them are using NGO’s, while some are using judicial system while some are using fundamental religious structure while some are spreading hatred.

In my book I have described and illustrated each and every vertical with significant detailing and each and every personality has his or hers history of lies, corruption and malpractices. Sometimes, some of them had good character and work which finds mention in the book. Give the devil his due credit.

Today I am releasing few pages talking about Anna’s controversial character. It is impossible to release the entire chapter on blog and without context. Some pages are misleading without context. I am releasing only those pages which are significant even if they are in peace mill

Actually when I speak about Anna vertical of anti-corruption movement I should have mentioned Shanti Bhushan and PrashantBhushan, the most ambitious father-son duo. At its initial stages the Anna movement was funded by the Bhushan duo. That is the reason both from the family were included in Joint Committee of Lokpal Bill, though there was a big hue and cry about it. Once again PrashantBhushan who gained fame for his controversial Kashmir statement which was fanatically opposed by Anna supporters, but PrashantBhushan stayed put in his position.

Even the draft of Janlokpal Bill is made by Bhushan duo. Their role in Anna Hazare’s grooming as a national hero is very noteworthy. Basically, Senior Bhushan (Shanti Bhushan) had a long judicial and political past. He was the one who fought judicial battle for Raj Narayan of Janta Party (then Health Minister) and was responsible for Indira Gandhi to lose the judicial battle. Then Shanti Bhushan became Law Minister in Janta Party government when it came to power.Bhushan duo’s character and statements have always played anti-system and anarchist role in Indian politics and judiciary. Latest statement is by PrashantBhushan ‘country is heading towards civil war’ or Shanti Bhushan’s controversial statement about media which created rage. I have written detailed sketch of this duo and analyzed it hence do not want to repeat here in my blog. The moral of the story is without knowing the details of character of ‘who’s who’ of anti-corruption movement, it is impossible to comprehend why they are hiding Anna Hazare’s lies and frauds or dark side of Anna Hazare? They know everything about Anna Hazare mentioned on my blog and in my book. They used it as a weapon to control Anna in private but never made it public or transparent. Why? There is a common aim, object, goal, task to achieve. Anna Hazare is also anarchist in nature. He has no philosophical or spiritual soul. When he grew up he wore robes of deceit. He portrayed himself as a spiritual and a philosophical person to cover the void within. Many times we see absolute contradiction in his statements, actions and we as common people feel and think that Anna is a very simple, rural man. In reality he is a shrewd, raw anarchist who is also a narcissist by nature surrounded by people like Bhushan duo, Kejriwal and Bedi. The most ambitious Gang of Four and their AZAD Anna Hazare is playing ‘MAIN AZAD HOON’. The complex undercurrents of thesefive ambitious people have nationwide effects and international vested interests. We as common people are simply experiencing tremorsof this complex undercurrent. It is not easy to analyze a movement called ‘Main Anna Hoon’ because the more you explore it the moreyou find black holes. One among them is Anna Hazare himself actually following Bhushan duo and sometimes following Kejriwal and Bedi (in script) but playing roles of their leaders in public.

 

The following pages dissecting Anna Hazare’s character are just some sand particles from the Universe called ‘Main Anna Hoon’.

When I am releasing these pages about Anna and as you read them you must be aware that Anna is just a pawn in the game and even those who appear to be Kings are ‘King Pawns’. The entire ruling class is a multi-layered structure. Not only Congress but all political parties and government administration is a part of the ruling class. They always played supportive role in entire anti-corruption movements and in all its verticals. As a commoner we always feel that everything begins with Anna versus Congress or Congress versus Team Anna. This is not the case. We are going by superficial conclusions. Initially, last year at JantarMantar, Congress hadinvited Anna vertical to join Lokpal Committee. Then the journey began. It was at every step; government machinery including PMO and PM himself was always communicative, enthusiastic to cooperate with the movement. It was not for the larger benefit of common people but for their ulterior motives. There are many organizations and people those who slogged for decades for the upliftment of common people of India but even local administration and local political bodies were never so enthusiastic and communicative irrespective of political party they belonged to. Here, we take very small example of Anna. His rise is nothing but absolute due to cooperation and funding of government agencies, most of the time it has been Congress. In the following pages which I am releasing you can easily make out what I have to say. Whose government is it who is helping Anna and turning him into a ‘Hero’?They don’t want Anna myth to die. Even before this JantarMantar, Anna movement was almost counting its last breath. Then come Salman Khurshid, Law Minister with secret deal and secret meetings. Media houses picked on that point and kept the ‘Anna feeling’ burning in the minds of commoners. This happens with every vertical of anti-corruption movement and political party who plays this game alternatively. This is a different issue and I have elaborated it in my book. But one thing you should not forget that nobody from either side (ruling class or anti-corruption movements) are playing with seriousness or with killer instincts except we commoners from either side. This is paradoxical tragedy of Indian common public who is deprived of basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, education, health facilities and infrastructure after 65 years of independence.

Last but not the least, most of the media is handled by Indian feudal industrialists and those who have vested interest; political as well as economic. Their editors, anchors, thinkers are there for Amitabh Bachhans ‘Vijay’ like virtual fight on corruption. Most of the times their role is given to them that are to involve people in virtual fight so that they may not go against the system out of their anger and try for real revolution.  Same role is played by these anti-corruption movements many a times. Anna is the best example hence I am releasing these pages.

 

Many times larger section of media keeps asking me for ‘masala’ about Anna and whole anti-corruption movement. This shows the lack of seriousness about investigative journalism which can bring a change in commoner’s life. But I should not be blaming them because their role also is tailor-made, written by some other forces.

I would not go in deep on the blog but I have tried to explore everything in my book.

I don’t expect a change from either side because real players are somewhere else.

For them ‘Pawn’ and ‘King Pawn’ makes no difference.

Let’s find it out together.

Raju Parulekar
raju.parulekar@gmail.com
(M) +91-9820124419

————————————————————

ANNA- A TWISTED LIE – Part 1 (1stAugust 2012)

                             water, water everywhere…

Part-1

The fame and publicity of Anna Hazare and Ralegan Siddhi are engineered and well managed. To come in the spot light, Mr.Hazare projected everything as an ‘adarsha’ (ideal). He did and made the villagers do everything in an ‘over-zealous-idealistic’ way just for the sake of name and fame. These ideals were short lived, be it the ban on alcohol and tobacco products, be it community marriages or be it ‘shram-dan’! Once the things get publicity, he forgets them and searchesfor something new. He is an addict of publicity.

He twisted the reality to make it ‘ideal’. He projected things as ‘models’ which were not so. And for that, the villagers had to act in the drama along with him. The media persons, political leaders, so called researchers and writers also played their parts in the drama taking him to the height he reached today.

The villagers did not think anything wrong in playing this drama as it is bringing money to the village in the form of government grants. Thousands of visitors are coming to the village which is boosting its economy. The government officers and police are afraid of Anna Hazare. They do villagers’ work without greasing their palms. So what is wrong in acting in Anna Hazare’s drama?

This is how Ralegan Siddhi shot to fame.

Was Ralegan really worse before Anna Hazare’s arrival? What is the reality?

Mr.Hazare describes the condition of his village as the worst when he returned from his service in the Army. He claims that about 70% villagers had to borrow food grains from the rich to feed their families. Reality – not more than 20% villagers had to borrow. He also goes on to say that there were 35 to 40 liquor dens in the village brewing alcohol and selling in Ralegan and neighbouring villages. Reality – there were only 5 units. He tells that it was difficult for women to walk on the streets of village due to drunkards. Reality – there was nothing like that as 70% families have blood relations with each other. Ralegan Siddhi is a closely knit community, like a clan.

There is certainly an improvement in agricultural production in Ralegan Siddhi, but Mr.Hazare has not played any major role in that. After the green revolution in the country, Ralegan also reaped benefits of technology, new hybrid varieties, extension services and various schemes of Agricultural Department. But the most important factor which contributed to the village development is the hardship and labour of the farmers of Ralegan Siddhi. There is no significant difference between the development of Ralegan and the development of other villages where Anna Hazare or his organizations did not work.

Mr.Hazare claims that all the developmental works in the village are done by villagers themselves, through ‘shram-dan’, without taking any outside support. But the fact is that all the watershed development works were done either by the government department or Tata Relief Committee. The villagers’ contribution is not more than 3% in watershed projects. The only significant contribution by villagers in cash and kind is to the construction of temple, school and hostel buildings. For the renovation of temple, Mr.Hazare even accepted donations from outsiders. For the school building also, he accepted donation from late Mr.NavalmalFirodia, an industrialist from Pune.

On the contrary, watershed projects implemented by the government generated and provided employment to the villagers.Mr.Hazare used to take photographs of villagers working at the sites of project on wage employment and show these photographs to visitors as villagers doing ‘shram-dan’. Sometimes, visitors went to the sites to meet Mr.Hazare. There, in front of paid labourers, he would lie and tell the visitors that they were doing shram-dan.

Where did the water in the structures come from? :

The visitors, who were coming from different parts of the country, were shown water in some of the water harvesting structures and dug-wells even in the peak of summer. They were told that due the impact of watershed development programme, which was implemented through ‘shram-dan’ of villagers under the leadership of Anna Hazare, the water table had risen and the structures and wells were full of water. The visitors, including researchers and journalists, believed the story because they could see water with their own eyes.

In reality, the water which was shown in the months from February through June was not due to watershed development. This water was actually imported from another watershed by lifting it from the Kukadi project canal, which passes nearby at a distance of 3 km. There is a Cooperative Lift Irrigation Society comprising farmers of 3 villages; viz. Narayan Gavhan, Ralegan Siddhi and Pimpalner. This Society has constructed a jack-well and pump house on the bank of Kukadi canal. The water from the canal is lifted using heavy pumps whenever water is released from the Kukadi dam into the canal and stored in the jack-well. This water is then used for irrigating the fields of member farmers. Mr.Hazare used this water to fill 1-2 earthen nulla bunds and 2 check-dams at the end of winter and during summer. The dug-wells near the nulla bunds got recharged with the water percolated from bunds. The rainwater, at the most, could be retained uptoJanuary in the structures. To give a false impression, Mr.Hazare needed water in the structures to be shown to visitors. The Kukadi canal solved his problem. The farmers could not raise objection due to fear and suppression.

Mr.Hazare illegally constructed a 3 ft. high wall in the canal, without the notice of Irrigation Dept. (ID) that worked like a barrage. So whenever water was released into the canal, this structure retained water for longer period. This water was then used for both drinking purpose and filling the structures. When the ID officials came to know about the wall, they approached Hazare and requested to dismantle it. But Mr.Hazare brought pressure over them from the concerned Minister. However, during Hazare’s ‘fast-unto-death’ in 1997, the Shiv Sena-BJP-alliance government could show enough courage to dismantle the wall. But this Government too could not take legal action against Hazare or the Coop. Society.

Hazare’s volunteers / employees were well trained to praise his work of watershed development before the visitors. The visitors included water experts, geologists, engineers and environmentalists, but nobody could ever doubt the ‘success story’.

The visitors almost came to Ralegan Siddhi with preconceived notions about Mr.Hazare and development of his village. Most of them had already read in newspapers, periodicals and books or watched on TV about Anna Hazare and his work in Ralegan Siddhi. After going back, they presented a biased version of Ralegan Siddhi and Anna Hazare, sometimes out of ignorance, and sometimes in a pursuit of presenting an ‘ideal story’. This has been going on since eighties and is still continuing to-date. Even today, the village faces water scarcity for drinking purpose. There are 4 dug-wells along the bank of Kukadi canal to supply drinking water to the village, training centre, school and hostel. The seepage from the canal is harvested in the wells to quench the thirst of villagers, students, trainees and visitors.

Ralegan Siddhi is not a model of participatory watershed development, but a model of “participatory intra-basin water theft”. Why participatory, because the villagers with exception, willingly or unwillingly participated in the illegal, immoral and dishonest practices and deeds of Mr.Hazare. What for? To gain the benefits from the schemes, programmes and funds which Mr.Hazare brought to the village by hook or by crook. Besides the monetary gains, they also feel elated and enjoy a mental satisfaction of belonging to a ‘super-model-village’ headed by a ‘super-hero’, Mr. Anna Hazare.

The water theft went unnoticed from 1984 till 1997. This stolen water, which legally belonged to villages downstream, had played a crucial role in the emergence of Ralegan Siddhi as a model of ‘participatory watershed development’ and ‘sustainable rural development’; and Mr.Hazare as a role model of ‘selfless dedicated leadership’, ‘development activist’ and an ‘environmentalist’. The farmers and villagers downstream of Kukadi canal could never complain against Mr.Hazare, because they were aware that their complaints would fall on deaf ears. Everybody knew that neither the bureaucracy nor the political leadership had the courage to take up cudgels against Hazare.

After demolition of the wall in 1997, Ralegan again started to face drinking-water scarcity. Also, there was no water in structures during February – June to show to visitors. On many occasions, the Government had to supply drinking water to the villagers by tankers during 1998 – 2009. Mr.Hazare started writing letters to other State Governments to send visitors during July – January only, when there was water in the structures harvested during monsoon. That resulted in decline of number of visitors to Ralegan and affected the financial condition of the training centre which solely depended on income from paid services of lodging and boarding provided to visitors. So, Mr.Hazare was desperately in need of a project which could solve the problem of water scarcity permanently. And thus came the:

Watershed Recharge (Recycling) Project:

This project has recently been completed in 2010. The total project cost is Rs. 2.30 crores, which has been implemented by the Government of Maharashtra. The main objective of the project is to recycle the water runoff within the watershed. That is, to lift the water with the help of electric pumps from the exit point where it leaves the village boundary and to pour it back in the water holding structures; like percolation tank and earthen nulla bunds. The topography of the village is such that the percolation tank and the earthen nulla bunds are situated in the upper ridges of the watershed and the exit point is situated at the lowest point of the watershed.

But, the hidden objective is different. After the demolition of the wall constructed illegally in the canal, Hazare found it very difficult to “show the impact of watershed development project of the ‘model village’ Ralegan Siddhi” to visitors, as there was no water in the water harvesting structures during Jan. – June. This was going to erode the image of Ralegan Siddhi as a model of ‘watershed development’ in the country built over years. So, he needed water to be lifted from the Kukadi canal and to bring that water to different water harvesting structures in the watershed. He could not do that directly. So, the idea of watershed recharge (recycling) project took shape in his mind.

So, he convinced the then Chief Minister, concerned Minister and high level officers to prepare and implement “an innovative project on watershed recharge which would be first of its kind in the country and which would be a guiding model project for other states”. At the same time, he sent signals to the Government, as usual, that he would go on hunger strike for some cases of corruption. The Govt. succumbed to his pressure and sanctioned the watershed recharge project costing more than Rs. 2 crores, and Hazare gave up his proposed hunger strike.

The Irrigation Department of the Government of Maharashtra, which formulated and implemented the project, has not done any feasibility study or cost-benefit analysis before sanctioning the project. It sanctioned the project in hurry under the pressure of Mr.Hazare. During the project work, one extra pipeline connecting the jack-well on the bank of Kukadi canal and the last check-dam near the exit point was laid down. This pipeline would be used to bring water from the Kukadi canal to the check-dam at the exit point, and then it would be recycled in the watershed. Actually, Mr.Hazare needed this project for covering up the failure of his much acclaimed watershed project.

Is Ralegan more developed than other villages in the vicinity?

It is a matter of research!Ralegan is not different from other villages in Parner block as far as agriculture is concerned. Entire Parner block falls in the rain-shadow area of Sahyadri, the part of Western Ghats in Maharashtra. The agro-climatic conditions are similar throughout the Parner block and parts of neighbouring Shirur and Shrigonda blocks. The rainfall varies between 400 and 600 mm. per annum. There is a limitation on the use of groundwater for irrigation, as the water table has sunken due to excessive withdrawal in the past. The Kukadi canal passes through some part of Parner block. The villages which use water from Kukadi canal are certainly more developed as they grow onion, wheat and orchards. Ralegan is situated 3 km. away from the Kukadi canal, but it uses water through Cooperative Lift Irrigation Society. Still, compared to other villages, Ralegan has not achieved any remarkable growth in agriculture owing to only watershed development.

The State Agriculture Department implemented land and water resources development programme under various schemes in the last four decades in the entire Parner block. The impact of this programme is similar throughout the block. The only difference is that the Department has invested much more money in Ralegan Siddhi compared to other villages; on their own in the pursuit of creating a success story in the beginning, and under pressure from upper echelons later. The bureaucrats, different Ministers or Chief Ministers have done undue favours to Ralegan Siddhi under Hazare’s pressure or due to fear of his hunger strikes or for their ulterior motives.They belong to Congress party or NCP! Due to heavy investment in unnecessary water impounding structures, the impact is visible but only during July to December if rainfall is satisfactory. From January onwards, Ralegan depends on the water from Kukadi till the commencement of monsoon.

The Agriculture Department has gone to the extent of changing the technical designs of structures to satisfy Mr.Hazare, which resulted in escalation of cost and wasteful expenditure. In such instances, the entire Agriculture Department, from state level Commissioner of Agriculture to village level Agriculture Supervisor dance to the tunes of Hazare.

Undue favouritism of Agriculture Dept.:

In the last 35 years, so many water harvesting structures have been constructed in Ralegan Siddhi that there is no scope for any new structure now. There are many redundant structures which resulted in wasteful expenditure. In the pursuit of creating a ‘model village’ (under the pressure of Anna Hazare), each and every department of the Government of Maharashtra has invested lakhs of rupees in works which were not at all needed.

Similarly, the Agriculture department of the Government of Maharashtra has recently constructed 4 cement nulla bunds (check-dams) unnecessarily. Out of these 4 check-dams, 1 is not for the purpose of water conservation, but beautification of the Padmavati temple premises, where the Collector has already constructed buildings under “Teertha-kshetraVikasYojana” and the “Urvarit Maharashtra VaidhanikVikasMandalNidhi”.

Actually, there was no suitable site for this structure near the temple as there already existed 2 check-dams and 1 Gabion structure. But for making place for the new check-dam, the Gabion structure was removed. Mr.Hazare wants to rear colourful fishes in the water trapped in the check-dam for attracting customers. Customers? Yes, the buildings constructed under “Teertha-kshetraVikasYojana” is rented to villagers and outsiders for arranging marriages. They are charged between Rs. 20,000 and 25,000 per marriage. Hazare is also planning to rent these buildings to other institutes for conducting workshops, seminars and camps.

Statistics, Bank Accounts, Government records and evidences speak volumes about Anna’s twisted lies which are devastating and shattering for those who have faith in this phenomenon.

…..to be contd Tomorrow with Part 2

RajuParulekar
raju.parulekar@gmail.com
(M)  +91-9820124419

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About Raju Parulekar

I am original, everything else is copied...
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