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28 Aug, 2011

Not a Gandhi, but his protest good for India – Hindustan Times

Britons, more familiar with the other Hazare — the late cricketer Vijay — have also been learning about Anna and his movement. The Lokpal Bill has figured prominently in the British media, with several newspapers running editorial and comment pieces by well-known India hands.

“Mr Hazare does not have, or aspire to, anything like Gandhi’s stature,” said the Left-leaning Guardian. “He does not confront, as Gandhi did, his followers’ complicity in social evils, an aspect of his career underlined by the subtitle — His Struggle With India — of a recent book on Gandhi. But Mr Hazare has found an issue — and is exerting a leverage which on balance must be good for India.”

The author Patrick French recalled India’s freedom struggle in a lengthy piece on Hazare in the Daily Telegraph: “A fast unto death is a touchy subject in India because of the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, who used the tactic against the British.

One thing successive viceroys and prime ministers particularly feared was the popular uprising that would quickly follow if he died on their watch. The viceroy Lord Wavell wrote in his diary in 1944 that if Gandhi were to die in prison: ‘I might go down to the readers of two thousand years hence with the same reputation as Pontius Pilate’.”

Not a Gandhi, but his protest good for India – Hindustan Times.