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Birth Pangs of Swaraj

Birth Pangs of Swaraj

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Published by Uday Dandavate
Anarchy works. It will challenge and disrupt the power centers but will unleash a new era of a “Convivial Society”
Anarchy works. It will challenge and disrupt the power centers but will unleash a new era of a “Convivial Society”

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Published by: Uday Dandavate on Jan 26, 2014
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06/02/2014

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Birth Pangs of Swaraj
 
Birth Pangs of Swaraj
Uday Dandavate Arwind Kejriwal’s disruptive approach to reimagining India’s democracy has generated a major controversy in India. The extent of this controversy can be gauged by a sense of alarm expressed by President Pranab Mukherjee’s in his republic day address where he warned, "populist anarchy" cannot be a substitute for governance”. The term "anarchy" refers to a society without a publicly enforced government. Used in this sense, anarchy may or may not be intended to imply political disorder or lawlessness within a society. Many anarchists have challenged attitudes similar to the one expressed in President Mukherjee’s address that an anarchy is synonymous with 'civil war. What has escaped media attention is that there are forms of anarchy that attempt to avoid the use of coercion, violence, force and authority, while still producing a productive and desirable society. Gandhi’s concept of Swaraj is essentially an example of anarchy without coercion, violence, force and authority. Swaraj warrants a stateless society; according to Gandhi, the overall impact of the state on the people is harmful. He called the state a "soulless machine" which, ultimately, does the greatest harm to mankind. The raison d'etre of the state is that it is an instrument of serving the people. But Gandhi feared that in the name of molding the state into a suitable instrument of serving people, the state would
 
abrogate the rights of the citizens and arrogate to itself the role of grand protector and demand abject acquiescence from them. This would create a paradoxical situation where the citizens would be alienated from the state and at the same time enslaved to it which according to Gandhi was demoralizing and dangerous. The politician-police-criminal nexus Arwind Kejriwal was protesting against is in fact the anti-people manifestation of the state Gandhi had in mind. It is not surprising therefore that while mainstream media and some civil liberties and women’s rights groups have focused on Somnath Bharati’s behavior in allegedly leading a mob for a raid on alleged peddlers of drugs and sex trade racket in the Khirki area of Delhi, the local residents are coming out in support of Somnath Bharati’s actions and AAP’s exposing the nexus between the Delhi police and the criminals. I want to further add that the claims of African women have not been verified yet. The videos from the media and those released by the AAP do not support the claims of the women that Bharati led a mob or an assault on them. The matter must be investigated through independent and impartial judicial inquiry. Most local citizens attribute police’s refusal to follow Somnath Bharati’s orders to connivance between the police and local drug and sex trade. If, through proper inquiry Somnath Bharati or other people are proved guilty, they should face the legal consequences. Regardless of the outcome of the inquiry moral leadership and disciplined management of crowds is needed in grass roots activism.

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