It is difficult not to wonder if this man is all there when he says things like this (link: Anna calls for another ‘jail bharo’ agitation):
Giving a clean chit to Manmohan Singh for the logjam on the Lokpal Bill, he said the Prime Minister is good, but those holding his remote control are corrupt. “It appears, people are creating impediments in clearing the Lokpal Bill for the convenience of some future prime ministers,” the Gandhian said.
PS: Why on earth does everyone insist on using "Gandhian" when referring to him? He may be living a simple life, but that doesn't make him Gandhian. I'm not the only one thinking this for sure. For a detailed take down see this: Spare Us the Gandhian Halo
On a Headlines Today programme, the channel head, an enthusiastic Rahul Kanwal, is talking to Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal (a former IRS officer who is now a prominent civil society activist). As he begins discussing ‘Ab iske aage kya’ (What now after this?), he turns to Anna Hazare, and asks in Hindi, “You say that those who are corrupt should be hanged, is that not against Gandhian principles?” Anna answers, again in Hindi, “That is why I have said that, today, in many things, along with Gandhi we have to look towards Shivaji. [Unclear] Patel committed a mistake, and Shivaji had the man’s hands cut off. This policy of Chhatrapati, in many ways, we have to think about. Hundred per cent non-violence is not possible. Sometimes, even this has to be done, and that is why I have been saying that these people should be hanged…” Kiran Bedi interjects, “Anna is not taking away due process… he is going by the due process, the point is [that] economic offences today in our country are bailable, [are punished] by fines, minimum imprisonment; [there’s] no recovery of property, it is a joke.”
This is a perfect example of how the Anna Hazare movement has been operating for a while. There is little confusion about what Anna Hazare means: when he says “hang them”, he means “hang them”; when he says “cut their hands off”, he means “cut their hands off”. Kiran Bedi did interject to put a palatable spin on these words, but what she said was clearly not what Anna meant. The accompanying profile in this issue clearly shows these words are in keeping with his past. As a result of Anna’s reformist zeal, the people of his native village Ralegan Siddhi have witnessed the public flogging of those who dare to drink, a ban on all intoxicants, and restrictions on cable TV. It does not take much to see how closely this resembles the ideals of the Taliban, especially if you factor in the idea of a few hands being chopped off. Which is why it is no surprise that the sympathy he has long displayed for the Hindu Right has culminated in his endorsement of Narendra Modi.
Even his language is filled with violence. It is difficult to disagree with the author's conclusion:
Hazare’s pretence to Gandhian values is a large part of his appeal. But Gandhi’s opposition to communal divides and violence are central to any Gandhian position. Hazare is no Gandhian, and if you forget appearances and concentrate on substance, adding enforced vasectomy to the list of requirements necessary for residence in his native village, Sanjay Gandhi is the only Gandhi who comes to mind in this context. The varied set of people who have come under his banner should have known this, but people have invested little or no time in studying Hazare’s past. So many are so caught up in the illusion of change, that they have been willing to forgo the truth about the man.