Indian students on the disorienting focus of the Hazare ‘anti-corruption’ drive

[The recent ‘anti-corruption’ campaign in India led by the self-proclaimed Gandhian Anna Hazare has received enormous attention from media in India and internationally.  Simultaneously it has received substantial criticism from those who have noted its funding by major NGOs and corporate groups, and how, in its focus on government corruption, it has become an argument for reduction or dismantling of basic programs in favor of privatisation/corporatisation.  By turning a blind eye to the criminal appropriation by the largest capitalists of public resources, and attacking social government spending, it bears the same marks as the rightist and fascist “austerity” moves in Western Europe and those championed by the so-called “Tea Party” initiative (championed by Fox News and popularized by other bourgeois media) by corporate interests in the US.  The Democratic Student Union in India has turned a spotlight on the features of this anti-corruption campaign. — Frontlines ed.]

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Voice of the Revolutionary Youths

Manufacturing Dissent, Making Mahatmas: Manu, Market, Media And The Anti-Corruption Sham

By Democratic Students’ Union (DSU)

3o Agust, 2011

Source : Countercurrents.org

All historical struggles, whether they occur in the political, religious, philosophical or some other ideological domain, are in fact only the more or less clear expression of the struggles of social classes – Engels

When two events occur in the same space and time, more often than not, there is a correlation between the two: On the one hand the Indian Army, paramilitary and police forces — acting so plainly and clearly on behalf of the Indian ruling classes and multinational corporations—which continue to mount a war on the people of central and eastern India in order to facilitate a naked appropriation of the region’s resources is given marching orders to fight the most dispossessed yet resilient masses. Then there are 80% of the country’s population forced to eke out a living on a mere Rs.20 per day and over half of the children suffer from the permanent malnourishment because of the genocidal famine conditions their families have been placed under; land acquisition of a mammoth scale affects millions of people whose sole means of livelihood is being alienated from them; thousands of small peasants are forced to find ‘escape’ from an endemic agrarian crisis by committing suicide; over 2700 bodies of Kashmiris murdered by the Indian army once again reveals a Kashmir under occupation by India and the crushing of its struggle for national liberation—to name but a few instances revealing the brutal and systemic exploitation, oppression and occupation. And people are waging resilient struggles in many

Anna Hazare's campaign wrapped itself in Gandhian imagery

parts of the country against the ruling classes. On the other hand a base, distasteful drama is unfolding in front of us—the drama of an ‘anti-corruption drive’, which is supposed to serve India a ‘second independence’. Needless to say, although this latter ‘struggle’ seldom refers to the first set of struggles, events and phenomena, there is so simple a connection between the two that the silence over the relation between the two sets is nothing but deliberate.

The ‘Second freedom struggle’ is nothing but an attempt of the ruling classes to consolidate themselves: The Indian ruling classes today face an immense crisis, and are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain the mask of ‘world’s largest democracy’. Given the onslaught on the people and their livelihood—through the acquisition of resources such as land, forests and other means of livelihood; the steep price rise of basic commodities; the privatisation of health, transport, water, electricity and education — the state faces the resistance of militant peoples’ movements. And everywhere, the state is responding to this discontent and resistance with brute force. In addition to this central crisis, the ruling classes were reeling under the exposure of a series of scams such as 2G, Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Housing, etc. involving unimaginable amounts of money. It is precisely these circumstances that have given rise to an ‘anti-corruption drive’ led by the so-called civil society and made it possible for the corporate media to project a reactionary like Anna Hazare as a hero in the eyes of the urban middle classes. Sweeping under the carpet more urgent structural issues affecting the vast majority of people and their very survival, ‘Team Anna’ has projected corruption as the central issue plaguing Indian society. Continue reading