ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Vive la Civil Society

Neera Chandhoke compares Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement to the right to information movement of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan. The comparison is not apt as both to a large extent are not exclusive but are complementary to each other.

In a broader sense, a specifi c event/ activity such as fasting meant for the specific purpose of bringing about a specifi c Jan Lokpal Bill cannot be compared to a movement to bring about legislation on the citizen’s right to information, even if the former has the same implications as the latter. And more so because it does not seem to make sense to dismiss the anticorruption initiative by tracing it to Anna Hazare’s experiment in Ralegaon Siddhi. In this exercise, I am afraid, Chandhoke is looking for an ideal civil society that belongs to an ideal world – basically drawn from European history. And not a civil society that is indigenous with all the imperfections of Indian reality.

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