Home » India News » 2011 » June » June 9, 2011

Anna Hazare slams Ramdev's announcement to form armed wing

June 9, 2011 - Pune

Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday slammed yoga guru Baba Ramdev's decision to raise an armed force to resist government crackdown on the anti-corruption movement.

Talking to mediapersons here, Hazare said he did not support the use of arms in protesting for civil rights.

"We believe in non-violence. I don't like arms and ammunitions," he added.

Fuming over the use of brute force on his supporters in New Delhi), Ramdev had threatened the Central government on Wednesday that his supporters would be armed and ready to retaliate.

On the Central government's decision to ban Jantar Mantar in New Delhi as a protest site, Hazare said that this would be an act against democracy.

"It's okay if the government is denying permission to hold protests at Jantar Mantar but they will have to give a place to the protestors. In a democracy, everybody has the right to protest. If they have banned us from sitting at Jantar Mantar, then they will have to give us another place, or this will be an act of murdering democracy," added Hazare.

Hazare also slammed the government's claim that his fight against corruption was backed by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), saying that he was not associated with any political party.

"The people of this country know that in my entire life I have never been associated with any political party. We cannot have any hope from any of the political parties of this country. Each political party is running behind power and money. If the government connects me with RSS and BJP, then they are liars," he added.

Hazare on Wednesday gave the government a deadline of August 15 to agree to their demands for enactment of the proposed Lokpal Bill.

"If the Lokpal Bill is not passed, I will go on fast again from August 16 at Jantar Mantar," said the 72-year-old activist, who has become the face of a campaign named India Against Corruption.

"If the government does not listen I shall fast till I breathe my last," he added.

Emphasising that this is the new independence war against corruption, Hazare said: "In 1947 we just got independence but not real independence so we are striving for new independence."


Comment on this story