The answer is simply, `I don’t know…’



“I am Gokhale. She is Iyer. What are you?” a politician close to former Prime Minister V P Singh once asked me in the decade when the star of the so-called socialist parties, led by Singh, was on the ascendant.

“I am Anandan,” I replied.

“That I know. But you have to have a surname, surely?”

“That is my surname,” I insisted.

I knew what he was getting at but I did not want to give him the satisfaction of knowing – he stared at me for a few seconds, then turned away. I know he thought I had snubbed him but I just could not care enough for I was utterly shocked that politicians who proclaimed equality of all still determined their friendships by the castes you belonged to. It was not surprising that he rarely spoke to me again and, of course, he never again asked me for my caste name.

In a resurgent independent India my father had chosen to drop his surname and go by his own (which is what I chose as my surname) and after years of not understanding I had finally begun to see why he had done so. I was not about to let that be defeated by allowing a petty politician to categorise me not by merit but by caste.

But over the years I have come to accept that this is the Great Indian Reality – one can’t avoid such categorisation particularly in these times when political parties are distinguished by the castes they represent. Like my colleague Kumkum Chadha wrote in her blog this week, I would have liked to see Meira Kumar not be referred to as a Dalit but as a woman achiever in her own right (she has been a diplomat before becoming a politician, after all). But I was comforted by the fact that at least, unlike Mayawati, she was not shrill about her Dalit antecedents and stressed more upon her achievement as a woman (who, by the way, has got there without the benefit of 33 per cent reservations).

However, there is a long way to go yet before we can put an end to this distinction by caste. I can only go by my own experience — a few years ago I was shocked when I followed the sound of temple bells in the jungles of Naxal-infested Adilabad and Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh and was stopped from entering the sanctum sanctorum because I did not know which gotra I belonged to. The question the priest asked me was identical to that Mr Gokhale of the Janata Dal had done. My reply was identical, tool. But the priest was not as easy to shake off as Mr Gokhale. “You have to have a proper surname. Tell me are you Sastry or Sarma, Iyer or Iyengar?”

This time I knew. But I still kept to my dogged answer, “I don’t know.”

“How did you get here?” he then asked.

“I am a journalist who has been brought here by a group affiliated to the People’s War Group. I am reporting on the Mandal elections.”

There was a lightning change in his attitude. Much later I realised he might not have wanted to be caught up in allegations of discrimination (and consequent retaliation) by Naxalites. So he sprinkled some water on me, gave me a gotra and much against his will allowed me to enter the temple.

As I left after offering a brief aarti, he said frostily, “Next time you come here, ask your parents what gotra you belong to.”

I did. My parents were equally frosty as they asked, “Who wants to know?”

Of course, there was never any question of visiting that temple again (in fact, I wonder if I will even find it again) but it took me a while to convince my parents to arm me with these facts of life. It came with a statutory warning from my father: these facts are irrelevant to your performance in school/college/university/ work/life. “Let no one convince you that you are either superior or inferior because of an accident of birth. It is what you yourself make of yourself that should distinguish your life and achievement.”

It was a lesson well learnt but I realised that my father was romanticising too much. India had moved on from the early days of Independence and Nehruvian ideals. And while I was brought up completely without awareness of being either a Hindu or a Muslim, Brahmin or Dalit, everyone now wears both religion and caste on their sleeves.

So I try not to get angry when they ask me for my antecedents, though I still stick with the “I don’t know.” And when others flaunt their identities based on anything but their merit, I still squirm but let it be.

For I am convinced it is just a matter of time before sincerity of purpose alone will be India’s distinguishing characteristic. My optimism is based on the results of last month’s elections – caste and religion was by and large defeated. Merit and performance, hope and aspiration prevailed.

As for Meira Kumar – yes, she is Dalit; she is a woman. But what’s more important is that she is the Speaker of the Lok Sabha despite Goswami Tulsidas (who still has many followers, even in parliament) and what he had said about one half of the human population all those years ago!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 3.78 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
  • http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/expletive-deleted Kushal

    It’s weird, isn’t it, how these things hang on? This is why I am against reservations of all kinds. It just perpetuates stereotypes.

    [Reply]

    me Reply:

    Great sharing with us but its long way to reach where one will be identified with the work and not by class. Meira Kumars example is the latest and important one where she was addressed by the First Lady” introduction part itself with the religion” ,u see religion awareness flows so strongly in individual of this country be it politician or party they have to show off in petty ways .

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    I believe nothing wrong in identifying with caste or religion so long as this does not influence merit and does not create polarisation in society

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    So am I. I believe the only reservations should be on the basis of economic backwardness — the poor among all will then be covered and the creamy layer which still takes advantage will then be automatically eliminated.

    [Reply]

    fisheyed Reply:

    you acknowledge caste discrimination exists that is why you are against programs to counter the effects of caste discrimination.

    okay, player.

    [Reply]

  • ram

    Anandan Ji,

    What else can you can be expected in Indian culture of hypocrisy which is the hallmark of Indian life except for few honorable exceptions? Take education in India for instance why do meritorious Indian students have to go abroad for studies if Indian Government allows reputed foreign universities to set up shop in India? it is against License-Permit Raj mentality! Why do BIMARU state politicians like laloo yadav want to keep people backward and illiterate? Only quality health and education for all Indians can save the future of idnia is my firm belief.

    [Reply]

    aparichit Reply:

    So long as castes do not become an instrument of discrimination, they could bring about a great sense of belonging and community. But sadly that rarely ever happens in our society, the communities then get set very apart and become the root of all social evils…

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Agree completely with your viewpoint

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Sujata,
    Let us say caste disappears all of a sudden with a magic wand.

    Can you tell us what would be the society look like after that ?,

    What will replace the community, certain values, …

    Humans want to believe that they are something more than just themselves.
    By be being part of a bigger group, there is a certain pride, …

    So please tell us what the world would be without this.

    By the way, gotra has many scientific usages.
    So even if you want to throw away the caste system, do not forget the gotras.
    Marrying away from your gotra could lead to better results from some fatal diseases…

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Am not asking for disappearance of castes. Am only saying a person’s merit should not be distunguished by caste — superior even if a nincompoop because he belongs to an upper caste and never promoted etc just because he belongs to a backward caste. All I am saying is castes should not be politicised (which they are in this coutnry). And yes, I agree with you — castes give you a sense of belonging but that’s what they should be limited to.

    Sam Reply:

    so why are you presuming, that when priest asks gotra that he is going to discriminate based on that ?

    (it could have happened and it may keep happening in the future)..

    but to presume that and refusing to answer is making stereotypes on your own.

    you could have answered this way.
    1. if you are going to discriminate based on my gothra, i am not going to tell
    2. tell the gotra and ask them not to give any extra favors.. for any particular gotra’s

    instead you are discriminating and want to refuse the age old ritual, without any basis to show that by anwering you will be discriminated..

    Sam Reply:

    Why can’t there be castes and do away with discrimination for jobs, housing…

    What is wrong with having castes ?

    [Reply]

    WhoAmI Reply:

    I don’t want to know who I am either all of a sudden. I am “an upper caste” and a woman…wonder what that makes me, a minority or a majority. I was born and brought up in Delhi, but my parents are from Kerala. Does that make me a “north Indian” or a “south Indian”? there was one time in a temple the priest had asked “What are you?” and I had smiled back at his scorned face and said, ”
    A human being”
    In college, I was still struggling to come to terms with my identity and suddenly some people refused to share a table with me in the college because i was from “the North” and the “north Indians” refused to talk to me because I’m was ella-pilla bolne waali Madrasi(apparently Madras is the only place in “south India”).
    So I am back to the question…Who am I??

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Indian, I would say. And that’s all that should matter really. But it doesn’t always, does it? BTW, I have a North-South background, too, and face the same problem all the time!

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    You are right. but hope we can get to that utopian ideal soon

    [Reply]

  • http://choosingmyconfessions.wordpress.com/ Pankaj

    Ha, you just reminded me the incidence that happened with me in Mumbai. I was looking to change my flat and i called up a broker. I had never met this broker and he wanted to know my surname before he confirmed if he could get me a flat or not. I was so disgusted that I abused him over the phone for asking my surname.
    I can’t imagine why would he need to know my Surname for doing business? People are just weird and are still living in the 15th century. This sick attitude of our very own people keeps India from developing.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Its happening in Bombay all the time. it is discrimination, of course, but this housing segregation has had the nod of courts, you know.

    [Reply]

  • saurav

    Well written ma’m, I believe the people who hang on to these kind of identities, be it caste related, linguistic, region or religion based or any other, suffer from low self esteem. They seek to boost that by affiliating themselves with false notions of superiority based on what certain distinguished individuals of their communities have achieved.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Thanks. But it is both low and high self esteem that perpetuates the system.

    [Reply]

    Allytude Reply:

    I know “who” I am, but I am trying my best to forget. And now I claim I do not know, nor want to.

    [Reply]

  • renuka

    Why pick on old Tulsi? He was the wrong century for women…but aren’t they all?

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Well, this century has one great follower — Sharad yadav. Among other things cannot forgive him for `baal kati’ remark of a few years ago

    [Reply]

  • Anil

    It is strange. You ask any priest or sadhu his gotra. He will reply, ” never ask a priest his gotra”. Take away their right to ask ‘what are you’ and they will be non entities. Who gave them this right in the first place ? Nearest to the temple, farthest from God.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    very well said!

    [Reply]

    Indian Reply:

    What is so well said about this.

    I agree that caste discrimination or any discrimination should go and merit should prevail. But why generalize and make the Priest a villian. Who is anybody to give or take away what the priests do. Let us not remove and start making fun of everthing that is associated with either religion or culture of tradition. It seems to have become fashionable to do so. I again reaffirm what you say about discrimination.

    A priest asks for the gothra because they use the gothra to bless you, not sure what discrimination does that bring? There is nothing to feel irritated about this. My two cents.

    [Reply]

  • Atul

    Categorisation is not a Great Indian Reality, its the Great International Reality.

    Hasnt the current US President used it brilliantly in his run up to the elections? He did not use it even once, and yet the world celebrated it.

    All I ask is that In our desire to attain our utopian meritocratic, egalatirian and democratic ideals let us not grind our cultural roots into the dust.

    [Reply]

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Of course not. But these roots should also not become so entangled that they get in the way of our progress.

    [Reply]

  • belike

    Very well Written mam really appreciate…..you made me remember my old days. Because of caste i did not get seat in good college. And only because of cast and religion today iam not with my love one.

    [Reply]

  • http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/singly-political/2010/05/14/willing-to-stand-up-and-be-counted-2/ Willing to stand up and be counted : Singly Political

    [...] later, after I became a political journalist, that the reality of castes was brought home to me (The answer is simply, `I don’t know…’) quite brutally. But considering the way I was brought up, it was but natural to react rather [...]

  • http://xanax-pharm-a-02.indieword.com Xanax withdrawal.

    Xanax overdose….

    Buy cheap xanax. Xanax 2mg no prescription. Xanax. Xanax with 5-htp….

  • http://www.answerbag.com/profile/1375269 Xanax.

    Xanax as a party drug….

    Side effects of xanax. Xanax. No prescription needed purchasing xanax. Xanax withdrawal….

  • Anonymous

    I like this straight forward blog and will become a regular reader. This looks better than Vinod Sharma’s inane comments on Indo-Pak issues.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    The only thing USA , India need to understand is that Pakistan is an incorrigibly vile, duplicitous and treacherous entity , which will violate every agreement signed and defraud the other party. So lesson number 1, do not engage Pakistan in any shape or form. Once you disangage ( stop any aid, trade and minimal relations ) , then you can formulate policies to protect yourself from it.

    [Reply]

  • Mycar Helpline

    Ultimately – on a longer term perspective it makes sense to go for Diesel car if your monthly driving exceeds 1800km… However Registration cost has increased recently
    You may read more:-http://www.mycarhelpline.com/index.php?option=com_latestnews&view=detail&n_id=29&Itemid=10

    http://www.mycarhelpline.com/index.php?option=com_latestnews&view=detail&n_id=11&Itemid=10

    [Reply]

  • Kbilaney

    Hi Sumant,
    Many thanks for such a detailed report. Staying in Mumbai, it def. looks like, CNG is the name of the game in future.
    However, some inputs received for a CNG + Petrol car – for which, wud request your further inputs :-
    a) Does Petrol mileage in a CNG+Petrol go down to 50%. For example, if SX4 petrol
    variant offers a mileage of 10 kms / litre, would petrol mileage in a CNG/Petrol variant
    offer only 5 kms / litre ?
    b)If yes, what is the solution out ?
    c)btwn a SX4 diesel variant and a SX4 CNG/Petrol variant, what is preferred ?

    [Reply]

  • Bvnagarajarao

    very good analysis& detailed report.It helped me to decide in favour of maruti CNG car.B.V.Nagaraja Rao.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    It is because of people like you who always prefer to sit on the edge, the country has come to this passe. The nation needed a strong willed person to lead the cause & we have got it in the form of Annaji. You do not seem to have observed the conduct of Parliament in past few sessions. You may prefer sleeping & let the people wear Anna cap.

    [Reply]

    Abc Reply:

    I agree with you, Ghoda.

    People like him sit on their couch and talk about all the ways to handle critical issues and then themselves are eager to get their work done by paying bribes. If somebody is doing anything, they always criticize.

    What exactly do you know about Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and Kejriwal ? How do you know that they are corrupt or they are thinking about bad policies. If you are smarter than them, please come up with better ideas or keep your mouth shut, otherwise.

    [Reply]

  • Ravi

    Let me confess: I also find Anna Hazare preachy, prickly, sanctimonious, dogmatic and dictatorial.

    For reasons listed above some clever person has given him the sobriquet TalibAnna.

    If team Anna had stuck to a single issue – corruption – then it would have acted as a pressure group and would probably have been more effective.

    By widening its agenda and attacking other people, it has become just another political party. If that is what they want then they will have to participate in electoral process and if mandated can bring about the Lokbal Bill of its choice and ferocity.

    Parliament must remain supreme.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    Anna is from very begging arrogant, dictator everybody accept his order.His only qualification is he can sustain hunger some day. On this capital he agitating movement against corruption in Maharashtra from last forty years..Remove this minister send jail to that officers this kind of demand he forced on government.He have no knowledge how corruption arises,how we can reduce corruption.? Corruption is very deeply inserted in our psyche.Hindu too much afraid to break the law of caste religion but not afraid to break the law of government.He think himself guilty when consciously or unconsciously he break the law of religion but never feel guilty when he break the law Government on the contrary he think government doing injustice for punishing him. When Laloo Yadhav came out of jail on bail he declared what is wrong if I went jail even Lord Krishna was also in jail

    [Reply]

  • Yahoo1

    Govintra: Anyone in the whole world , who is against corruption is against Congress.

    [Reply]

  • Unkanny

    If you were a journalist in Mahatma Gandhi’s time .. you would have found him extremely preachy, dictatorial and prickly too …geez. Mr. journo, grow up . The Indian janta ..the old man from a village in maharashtra is way smarter than you and able to see Anna and team noble intentions ..beacuse he is not a pseudo intellectual ..he has an intuition and a heart , and the guts to support a right cause when he sees one. Perhaps you see Sonia Gandhi , PC, Rahul and the likes as the the cultured , non dictatorial ones ..well, get beyond the outer and you will see who the real DICTATORS in India are , presicely these ruling people..Grow beyond your distorted intellect and get is touch with reality mr.

    [Reply]

  • NRI

    Brilliant. This is the basic problem with Anna and his team. Just imagine what will happen if every politician, every local leader, every bureaucrat, every dera chief, every yoga guru starts behaving like these people saying that whatever they say is final and should be accepted without debate. There will be anarchy and civil war. Corruption is a major problem besides out of control population in India. But removing corruption starts with individual. If every Indian decides that he/she will neither give nor accept bribe or will not use influence for personal benefit, will not jump the que in any form of life, there will be no corruption. If anyone thinks, a Lokpal will come and sweep corruption out of India, then that person is living in a fool’s paradise. Where will this Lokpal come from? If he/she is one of the Indians, then the mindset will be the same. And obviously no one will appoint a neutral foreigner and give so much power to that person.

    [Reply]

    Indian Reply:

    Why you are writing on behalf of NRI, I am also NRI and support Anna ji. It seems Arnab Mitra is a Congress agent like Digvijay Singh, whose only motive is to have a weak effective lokpall bill and please congress party

    [Reply]

  • JNSS

    It is the most opportuned moment to check the commitment of the opposition parties (in the Parliament) towards the Jan LOKPAL bill.To change the system ,it is the logical necessity to be in the system.If Anna Saheb does not believe in the parliamentary democracy then start delivering instant justice the NAXAL WAY (& people will bless you for it), if not. None of the current political parties will ever let us see a JANA LOKPAL implemented in the true spirit. Hence remaining apolitical is no longer going to help the cause of Jan Lokpal or the Right to recall. And before we do this we should bring together all organizations (small & big) giving them a choice of fielding their own candidates. We should then go to the public seeking support to bring the biggest political revolution by fielding new candidates from all constituencies across India for the 2014 elections with ANNA ji projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

    [Reply]

  • Guest

    Cunningly crafted article to personally attack and malign an ex-soldier who by some unknown who believes in a “mandate” to stand against corruption. Pathetic article by a low life human being.

    [Reply]

    Bob M Reply:

    I’m sorry to disappoint you…not an ‘ex soldier’ but an ‘ex army truck driver’

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    Any member of the land component of an army is termed as soldier. Please don’t get disappointed. Understand English. Ignore Italian.

    [Reply]

    Go Anna Reply:

    Bob, When IEDs go off the brave truck driving soldiers get killed, not the generals.
    Take some time off from being stupid and have some shame. Meantime go Anna.

    [Reply]

  • pramod

    ANNA is a people’s movement, not an individual. ANNA, Kejriwal or Bedi provide subject matter support to this people’s movement. The history says how Nehru behaved to keep the power himself and I doubt if we can expect anything different from his descendants. Many in the current political clan believe they are born to rule. See the anarchy, the mayhem going all around. The power brokers, the croons, the musclemen play big roles in determining the fate of the common people. Let me tell you, there would be a day when you will asked to pay hafta to breathe in India. You will need to prove your connection to a politician/bureaucrat to live in India. The rulers in current India….are not they dictatorial ? Do they have any respect for the rules, regulations or their constitutional obligations ? Where should we go as a common man ? ANNA is the only hope who is not only telling about the problems, but providing a solution. He who has done it in his village, who has proved how mighty he can be to fight against the corrupt monsters. Do you have a better solution than JAN LOKPAL ? If you have, bring it before the public. If you do not have accept ANNA, not matter how he is trying to push it through a bunch of corrupt politicians sitting and vandalizing the noble institution of Parliament.

    [Reply]

  • Dev0999

    stop sucking your thumb Arnab.. also stop referring to the dictionary for terms to stamp on people. doers and talkers…. find out the difference between these 2 terms and then realise that you are nothing but a talker. and while you are at talking and not doing anything worthwhile, do write something on the politicians who have been caught with their hands in the till, with their pants down, with smoking guns in their hands….. maybe Anna might have some meaning for you if you remove the filth which is stuck to your glasses.

    [Reply]

  • Gargmurari

    How much money you have taken to write this article from Congress.

    [Reply]

  • anil

    Are you practising an year 7/8 essay?
    Even kids in schools can write better with sensible arguments, now a days!

    [Reply]

  • guest

    Congress sponsored article. How much money has been paid to you by congress?

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    I think he can have his own independent thought that you and Anna don’t like

    [Reply]

  • Bevinda Collaco

    We, and when I say we, I mean those who support Team Anna, are not electing Anna Hazare to make laws for the country. A substantial section of the citizens of India stand solidly behind him for one thing and one thing only – getting the government to adopt a tough Lokpal Bill. The rest of it, the flogging of alcoholics who beat up their families in Ralegaon Siddhi, Bhushan’s views on Kashmir, FDI, or smearing the holy cows of India Sonia, her son, her daughter and her son-in-law, though of interest to the nation as a whole are incidentals. They are being used by ‘intellectuals’ like you to obfuscate the main thrust of the movement.

    We are interested in the Lokpal Bill. We want the CBI to be under a strong Lokpal. It is a matter of shame that the 2G scamsters are sitting in Tihar, or were sitting in Tihar ONLY because the Supreme Court was monitoring the case. We want the lower bureaucracy to come under a strong Lokpal. Candidates pay up to Rs 3 lakh in bribes to get a job in the lower bureaucracy in government. They have to recover that money.And finally the Prime Minister. He or she should also be answerable to the Lokpal. At the same time the Lokpal has to have balances and checks. That is what those who look to Anna Hazare and his team to push the Bill through are hoping for.

    [Reply]

  • Guest

    His not wearing Anna Cap’s is not going to make any difference to this movement.I would question this person’s integrity before he raises a finger on Anna.I also wonder how a useless article like this got space on this newspaper.

    [Reply]

  • Kattooparambil

    The BJP is jumping into Anna bandwagon is to fish in the trouble waters-congress headed UPA is beset by venality. Anna is an antithesis of Gandhian ideologies, who has some extreme views-like violence against people. He is a disgrace to call himself as a Gandhian. He is an attention seeker who is set out to wipe out corruption from the Indian polity and has corrupt ones in his fold and the BJP is also one big happy with corrupt ones in its fold as well. Combination is the key to impact; the Anna coteries and the BJP are the perfect combination-like Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Even more bizarre is Anna is going to bed with the BJP-a member of the BJP’s parent organization, the RSS killed Mahatma Gandhi.

    [Reply]

  • Kattooparambil

    The BJP is jumping into Anna bandwagon is to fish in the trouble waters-congress headed UPA is beset by venality. Anna is an antithesis of Gandhian ideologies, who has some extreme views-like violence against people. He is a disgrace to call himself as a Gandhian. He is an attention seeker who is set out to wipe out corruption from the Indian polity and has corrupt ones in his fold and the BJP is also one big happy with corrupt ones in its fold as well. Combination is the key to impact; the Anna coteries and the BJP are the perfect combination-like Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Even more bizarre is Anna is going to bed with the BJP-a member of the BJP’s parent organization, the RSS killed Mahatma Gandhi.

    [Reply]

  • Greatthnkr

    Anna has sacrificed every thing what he has and willing to sacrifice every thing for the future of this country. There is no personal gain for this soul who has led a life of sacrifice for the betterment of the people. Only an individual who lives this life can pass a judgement on a person of his stature.

    [Reply]

  • Virumandi

    Even if you want to, you cant be Anna. Paid blogger A$$Ho!e. BTW, the issue is removal of corruption. Kongross is digging it own grave by throwing muck on Team Anna.

    [Reply]

  • Virumandi

    Even if you want, you cant be. Paid Kongross blogger. Kongross is digging its own grave by throwing muck on Team Anna.

    [Reply]

  • Virumandi

    no one can stop the movement.

    [Reply]

  • Nsharma

    Anything written objectively and thought provoking is labelled as congress propaganda.
    Keep it up ,very well written

    [Reply]

  • Deepak

    Who gave Anna the right to represent all people. I too was supporting him initially, until I saw more of him. He didn’t say a word against the Modi Govt not appointing a Lokayukta for 7 years. And not a single comment against corruption in the BJP. Yet, he has extended his scope to tell people to vote against Congress in Hissur. And he has been bashing Congress leadership with vague baseless statements. Add to that his flip flop on the Pawar slapping incident. And the reaction of his cronies to the corruption issues against them. I still support Anna’s efforts to get a strong Lokpal bill through as also anyone else on the same issue. But Anna’s real agenda and political bent makes him unappealing on the rest of the issues he is extending to.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the blog, especially part on being dictatorial. Here is guy that seems to be fighting corruption by not checking that around the people surrounding him and I at times feel he is fighting corruption or the administration in the guise of corruption. I was on his side until it became to wacky in his own circles. By doing what he is doing, he is placing too much trust in the people opposing the govt who themselves aren’t any saintly. One disadvantage he has is that he had never been in administration (pardon me if he had held some position in the past and I’m ignorant of the fact) to know how changes need to be implemented. I don’t think he should try to destabilize the govt (I’m not a fan of any particular political party) to get what he wants –without any clear understanding of what the country wants.

    [Reply]

  • http://samirsrivastava.typepad.com Samir Srivastava

    How many people vote to elect these parliamentarians? Are they true representatives? We need ELECTORAL reforms. We need good education. So that people can make good educated decision while polling. We need to sit down and devise carefully new system in place of our hopelessly broken system whether in India (largest Democracy) or USA (Greatest Democracy, they too have lobbyists etc…). We have the system where GDP is NOT at all reflected in the Quality of Life of Citizens. We need to eradicate misuse of privacy, IMO, lokpal bill is just for corruption in public life… When watchers get corrupted then? Judiciary, PM, UN Human Rights Council, etc….

    Is there anyone on this planet who has not done single WRONG
    (unfair) thing in his life even as childhood activity… Even hinud gods Rama killed Bali from behind the Tree, Krishna (Butter Thief) also played tricks in Mahabharata..

    Sir could you fast for a day for the common man?

    [Reply]

  • NpIrnbru16

    Good article, but do u write same things for Sibal or Sonia?

    [Reply]

  • Sb

    another paid article by Govt. Utterly shallow and baseless argument. Can he say with the other person in the govt? Why object someone who is fighting for ppl. This is a ploy to confuse the minds of the ppl.

    [Reply]

  • TopCorner

    I agree with “SB”. Its not about Anna… Its about people. He is asking for a better future, which Indian politicians were not able to provide to indian people even after 60 years of indepenedence. Only SCAM and SCAM…. Also this article is very much paid… Its quite visible. I haate HT for this.

    [Reply]

  • Indian

    Why do you not write about what you disagree with in the article ??Why are you so biased that any article against Anna is being brushed aside ??His own conduct is suspect with him going maun when Kiran bedi …

    [Reply]

  • PJ

    Mr Indian… Or Mr Aam Aadmi.. Or whoever You are… I hope You are truly indian because what ever you are saying is totaly bluff! and you are trying to convince the people of india that there is a better life after death.. And about HT.. Dear Sir it is the people who are going to make your newspaper number one and not congress so please stick to honest reporting as it is required from a matured Newspaper such as yours or are you trying to gain cheap publicity as Miss rakhi Sawant does so often!!

    [Reply]

  • Sb

    who says you have to agree with him but don’t hinder it.. this is just a beginning.. someone has to start the revolution… u are talking only when he has raised it publicly

    [Reply]

  • Indian

    Very easy to paint some one with tar .I think the points raise by the writer ring a cord with a majority of the people o the country.The country wants answers not baseless comments like you have written.Why not answer point by point i you think you have a point of view ??

    [Reply]

  • PJ

    Hahaha Yes it strikes a point with the people that is why u can see so many people at the jantar mantar!

    [Reply]

  • Indian

    Is Anna some angel that he has no failings? Everybody else seems to be wrong but him. What stand!

    I wish he acted more like JP, at least JP openly supported one party over the other during the emergency.

    [Reply]

  • Irnbru16

    Good article, but do u write same things for Sibal or Sonia?

    [Reply]

  • GS

    Straight from Congressi HQ. Arnab kitney mai bech diya apna IMAAN.

    [Reply]

  • Tina

    I have always supported corruption. I have always supported corrupt politicians. I will support corrupt Sonia and incompetent Rahul Gandhi who has to read a speech , lust like his mommy.
    Rahul’s great grandpa, grandma, father and mother were all corrupt politicians.
    Totally agreed.
    Still I will support them.
    i will never support Anna or anyone’s Anti-corruption movements.

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    You can always find a reason to blame anyone. You are just helping deviating public from the main topic. Personally I don’t care about Anna’s views on other matters. But the issue he is raising now matters most to me. I find journalists like you as a keyboard warrior who will never importance to the main topic, but everything else.

    [Reply]

  • Mohan

    very true. these people are not important to us as they do not care of public good. What is important to all of us is what Anna is attempting to do because that will potentially turn millions of lives around for the betterment.

    [Reply]

  • Guest

    Still another brilliant analysis. Who’s actually deviating from the main topic of corruption? Team Anna members or Arnab Mitra?

    [Reply]

  • Singh

    exactly!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  • Ravi

    Mr Mitra
    Tragedy of professional class is exactly what you are going through . Before we achieve our objective , we start analyzing our action and start dragging our feet. You must analyzed how your criticism of annaji is going to affect this movement. This movement is against corruption and what kesariwal or x,y,z is saying or how some team member behaving shoul not matter because they are seasoned politician. We should give them opportunity to improve . Yes if they have done any thing wrong action should be taken but government should pass strong lokpal bill. One can see how political class has cleverly tried to buy time and has tried to discredit Anna team. They are not interested in lokpal bill because they do not want to give up their power to loot this country. After 60 years of independence, politicians of all parties have not done any thing to remove corruption. All are beneficiary to loot , some directly, some indirectly. Let us support annaji in this movement. This is last chance to get lokpal bill. You and others like you and me have no time do any thing for this country which this old grand man called annaji is doing at the age of 75 plus. Get up man , do some thing and stop criticizing.

    [Reply]

  • Sanj

    It is shocking to see that most of the main newspapers in India is under the influence of corrupt Indians. I fed up with TOI and for a change typed Hindustan Times in google. Now, look at this article. Another paid penpusher’s unsolicited opinion published here. These kinds of people are the curse of modern India and should be considered as an antinational pest. He is trying his best to stress that he is against corruption and trying to divide anti corruption supporters, but in an idiotic way apparently supporting the corrupt politicians and defaming the individuals who is selflessly leading the anticorruption campaign. He is manipulating the whole anti corruption campaign and challenging the intelligence of the readers. What a shame on Hindusan Times by publishing these third rated article.

    [Reply]

  • Gsmahla

    Who has given any right to this Hazare & the company to speak on behalf of the people of India??

    [Reply]

  • Govintra

    You are right. Let the elected members rule and loot the India.

    [Reply]

  • Sanj

    It is shocking to see that most of the main newspapers in India is under the influence of corrupt Indians. I fed up with TOI and for a change typed Hindustan Times in google. Now, look at this article. Another paid penpusher’s unsolicited opinion published here. These kinds of people are the curse of modern India and should be considered as an antinational pest. He is trying his best to stress that he is against corruption and trying to divide anti corruption supporters, but in an idiotic way apparently supporting the corrupt politicians and defaming the individuals who is selflessly leading the anticorruption campaign. He is manipulating the whole anti corruption campaign and challenging the intelligence of the readers. What a shame on Hindusan Times by publishing these third rated article.

    [Reply]

  • Rahul

    Hope khaungrass paid you well to sell your soul. Thankfully the average Indian is smarter and can read through the paid articles.

    [Reply]

  • TopCorner

    Agree with Rahul. Atleast there is a Rahul who understands the difference in paid and genuine articles. Jai Hind mere dost. Long Live India and lets hope for a better and scam-free india.

    [Reply]

  • Delhite

    Why are u a BJP /RSS guy ??? If any one who question Anna is a Congressman ??

    [Reply]

  • Cynic

    Hello!! What mandate??
    Anna came out alone, people joined him because they were fed up.
    So if you think you are giving some sort of “mandate” to Anna, just get lost. He doesn’t need “mandate” or support of cowards who need a 75 yr to go hungry for 15 days to rouse them out of their sleep.Take your mandate and leave.

    [Reply]

  • http://blogs.hindustantimes.com Hindustan Times

    Our biggest problem is, we are afraid of leading a good cause but if someone doses it for us we criticize him or her to show I am an intellectual. I think we don’t need so-called intellectuals like this gentleman.

    [Reply]

  • http://blogs.hindustantimes.com Hindustan Times

    truly…….d pseudointellectuals will ruin ol d efforts made by any ppl……

    [Reply]

  • http://blogs.hindustantimes.com Hindustan Times

    I share the same views as the writer. I lost faith in Anna when he started literally lying after “just one slap” remark and his narrow views on FDI – especially his comments about East India Company. Anna seems to me like very simple and old fashioned person, but he cannot go on acting he knows everything.

    [Reply]

  • http://blogs.hindustantimes.com Hindustan Times

    ‘anna’ says what he is paid do say, isn’t that obvious?? Whom are we kiddin here?

    [Reply]

  • Guest

    Really? I thought you were anna and wanted to be Anna lol

    [Reply]

  • Ravi

    Mlamba

    If I am from Mars then you must be from Venus.

    Parliament must remain supreme.

    The Parliamentarians are corrupt, I would agree, but they were elected by their constituents. Anna is not mandated by any one.. He is free to get elected and then fight corruption from within the Parliament.

    The Parliamentarians are corrupt because our whole society is corrupt.

    So I think if you look in the mirror then you will see a man who is aloof from reality and steeped into an unreal form of idealism.

    [Reply]

  • Pankaj#1

    Manohar;
    Wanted to reply to you, but only in 10 minutes or so, the blog has gone viral and I do not have patience/ time to go that far back. You said people who welcomed Arnab Mitra’s last post should eat crow? why, what is there which suggests that you have discovered a perfect hook for Vijay and Co.? First few lines of Arnab, where he is in total agreement with Anna and his motive, to remove corruption from public life, is all that is supported by 99% of people. Rest is aberration, which must not be there but some how one feels that Arnab is saying here–U unwashed, trying to preach us. While he was silent, when just behind the veneer of being politico ( MPs, MLAs or just office holders), this class was riding roughshod over everybody.

    [Reply]

  • Indian

    I completely agree with Arnab, If there are 2 dangers confronting our country it is anarchist like Anna and the disruptionist like BJP.

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/lofty2304 lofty

    Mr Mitra, you picked on the wrong guy. Anna hazare…..bad timing Mr Mitra..now time for my 2 cents. i totally agree with you. i am shocked and mortified at how intolerant people are for anything negative said against anna hazare. well we are a democracy so deal with it. from lokapl bill …F.D.I….now whiskey….he wants them all… good intention but i love my whiskey …so my viewpoint is “butt out” Mr hazare.. learn to be more flexible…and.. Mr kekriwal….i see a politician in the making and a damm good one too… Mrs Bedi…you madam were my hero still are but show some flexibility.. live and let live… “I agree to disagree with you all”.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shekhar-Lamba/100000180826821 Shekhar Lamba

    Dear Mr. Mitra… It is sad that the media and journalist like you have mess up this country. Like the congress says to team ANNA to contest elections … I suggest before you give your views please prove that if you can be like Annaji ,,,,,,, just fast for 3 days an d I will admire you as the most dedicate Journalist of this country. I will accept that you are not the one who is looking out for stories for fame and wealth….. Jai hind

    [Reply]

  • Concerned about India

    You are absolutely right and our country in in need of objective thinker like you. Sadly people are following Anna as some kind saviour, but people need to put their trust in our democratic institutions.

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/saurabh_In saurabh kumar

    This article by HT, who sponsors the likes of Veer Sanghvi, one of the most corrupt journalists. The likes of Barkha Dutt and Veer Sanghvi who are being openly endorsed by such platforms as HT and NDTV can not be relied upon. Both Veer and Barkha played key role in the 2G scam. Why the hell is India even wasting time, rather concentrate on building the economy ?

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/IndiaGarage India Garage

    Which is better – cng / lpg / petrol / deisel http://www.indiagarage.com/thread11689.html#post27169

    [Reply]

  • pradip

    can i fit CNG kit in maruti 800 1999 model??

    [Reply]

  • http://www.facebook.com/sushill.sundar Sushill Shyam Sundar

    You are a rockstar..Very nice and thoughtfully writtten article..Please have a look at the article in the link below and let me know your views.

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-03-22/news/31225054_1_cng-models-cng-cars-diesel-cars

    [Reply]

    SK Reply:

    After reading the article in the link provided, I am bit confused now. What should I opt for? CNG or Diesel?
    Sumant Banerjee, Please help us. Please suggest.

    [Reply]

  • Shraman N L

    Very good article.

    [Reply]

  • ajay

    very well written. sumant can u suggest CNG factory fitted car in range of 5 lakh ?

    [Reply]

  • akshay

    I HEARD THAT ANY gas ENGINE WILL BE DOWN AFTER 60,000 KMS IS IT TRUE ?
    PLZ LET ME KNOW IF THERE WILL BE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GAS AND OTHER FUELS ??
    PLZ REPLY ME AT katakam.akshay@gmail.com

    [Reply]

  • James Allen

    There is another problem which is not addressed in the CNG cons, that is the cars servicing. The cars using CNG will take up more air and thus the air filter will need to be changed frequntly, it also dirties the mobil so the oil change frequency needs to be increased. These costs do add up.

    [Reply]

  • Abhilash

    thanks….

    [Reply]

  • r.k.rustagi

    I bought Santro GLS model 2010 with company fitted CNG kit /duly endorsed in RC by Sunrise Motors, a authrised dealer of Hyundai.
    Periodic maintenance was done. To my surprise all of sudden Engine oil vanishes and damaged the bearings etc including piston rings.
    As per car experts, this is a technical fault and may come up in a few cars with CNG.

    Any advise on how to claim from company /insurance company if pertains to poor performance of engine components ???

    The car is running at 65K Kms.only.

    Please help me
    R.K.Rustagi

    [Reply]

  • r.k.rustagi

    I bought Santro GLS model 2010 with company fitted CNG kit /duly endorsed in RC by Sunrise Motors, a authrised dealer of Hyundai.
    Periodic maintenance was done. To my surprise all of sudden Engine oil vanishes and damaged the bearings etc including piston rings.
    As per car experts, this is a technical fault and may come up in a few cars with CNG.

    Any advise on how to claim from company /insurance company if pertains to poor performance of engine components ???

    The car is running at 65K Kms.only.

    Please help me
    R.K.Rustagi

    [Reply]