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Posted on 22 August 2011

We Are Not Like the Maoists: Medha Patkar

One of the core members of Team Anna, Medha Patkar, today lashed out at Arundhati Roy for comparing the anti-corruption movement with the Maoist struggle.

Vishwajoy Mukherjee
New Delhi

In an opinion column in The Hindu newspaper on Sunday, author-activist Arundhati Roy drew a parallel between the Jan Lokpal Bill and the Maoist struggle to overthrow the government.

“For completely different reasons, and in completely different ways, you could say that the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common — they both seek the overthrow of the Indian State,” Roy wrote in her article. This comparison was met with resentment from members of Team Anna.

Social Activist, Medha Patkar, believes that such a comparison is unfair. “We do not carry guns on our shoulders and kill innocent people,” said an irate Patkar. Roy in her article displayed her skepticism towards a movement that she believes is elitist. She wrote, “One (Maoist struggle) working from the bottom up, by means of an armed struggle, waged by a largely adivasi army, made up of the poorest of the poor. The other (Jan Lokpal) , from the top down, by means of a bloodless Gandhian coup, led by a freshly minted saint, and an army of largely urban, and certainly better off people.”

Medha Patkar reacting sharply to the comment said, “Such comments by a writer like Arundhati Roy are highly misplaced… we are a peaceful, non-violent, people’s movement.” She further added, “There has not been even a single instance of violence in this movement, how then can we be compared to those who kill innocents with their AK-47’s.”

Vishwajoy Mukherjee is a Trainee Correspondent with Tehelka.com.
[email protected]


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Posted on 22 August 2011



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