NEW DELHI: The anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare has found huge support across the country. But several prominent dalit activists, intellectuals as well as those writing regularly on dalit issues have severely castigated the movement. They say it is casteist in nature and against representative democracy.
Dalit columnist Chandrabhan Prasad says Team Anna seems to have a profound contempt for constitutionalism. "The Anna Hazare phenomenon is leading us to the rejection of representative democracy itself. The movement is an upper-caste uprising against India's political democracy. That apart, vesting so much power in the Lokpal, a non-elected person, could lead to a dangerous situation," he says.
Hyderabad-based dalit-bahujan thinker Kancha Ilaiah offers similar views. "The Anna movement is an anti-social justice, manuvadi movement. The Dalits, tribals, OBCs and minorities have nothing to do with it. We oppose it," he says.
Dalit activists insist that corruption means much more than just bribes and kickbacks. "For us casteism is corruption, caste-discrimination is corruption, not filling up reserved seats as per constitutional norms is also corruption. Is Anna and his team willing to talk about all these?" says Anoop Kheri, coordinator of Insight Foundation, that helps Dalit and adivasi students in higher education.