'Such statements will not strengthen democracy'
The Congress on Wednesday attacked activist Anna Hazare for his remarks that alcoholics should be flogged and shamed in public, saying it amounted to instigating people to take the law into their own hands and weakening democracy.
"It is like instigating people to take the law into their own hands. Democracy will be weakened through such acts. People who claim they are doing things for public welfare should make statements with responsibility," Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi said.
Taking strong exception to Hazare's controversial remarks on alcoholics, Alvi said, "Such statements will not strengthen democracy, they will only weaken it."
Image: Anna Hazare has taken a strong stance against consumption of alcohol
'By that analogy, you will possibly have to flog half of Kerala'
Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari equated the social activist's suggestion to the way Taliban used to punish those who did not comply with the Sharia law.
"I think the Taliban used to say the same thing. By that analogy, you will possibly have to flog half of Kerala, three-fourth of Andhra Pradesh and about four-fifth of Punjab. Therefore that is quite a tall order," Tiwari said.
Taking a strong stand against alcoholics, Hazare had on Tuesday said in his village Ralegan Siddhi that alcoholics should be flogged and shamed in public.
Image: Activist Anna Hazare
'He has to swear by God that he won't drink'
The social activist had said that if anyone creates trouble after drinking, he would be simply warned thrice, because he is "our man (belonging to our village)." The person will also be made to understand that it is not good to drink.
"But even after being warned thrice, if he drinks again, then we will take him to temple and he has to swear by God that he won't drink in the future. And if even after all this he drinks, then we will tie him to the electric pole in front of the temple and then beat him up, so that he gets scared," he had said.
Image: Anna Hazare's Hind Swaraj Trust at Ralegan Siddhi
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com