Hazare justifies 'just one slap' remark against Pawar
Acknowledging that he "committed violence" when he made the infamous remark "just one slap" after Sharad Pawar was attacked in Delhi last month, Anna Hazare on Tuesday said he did not consider this violence as wrong.
"For the betterment of the society and the country, I have used strong words many times in the past. 'Just One Slap?" -- I admit that I committed violence when I said that. But for the betterment of society, I do not consider this violence as wrong," Hazare posted on his blog.
"Many politicians felt very bad about the slapping incident. Many of them got very angry also. But it is important to discuss as to why did that youth slap," he said.
"Sharad Pawar is the agriculture minister at the Centre and the power minister of the state is from his own party. Today after 22 years, the electric pumps of the farmers still get burnt due to low voltage, the crops get burnt, the transformers get burnt, but the politicians still don't get angry. This is unfortunate," Hazare said.
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Image: Anna Hazare
'Politicians got angry only when Pawar was slapped'
"The farmers protested at Mawal near Pune. They were shot at. Three farmers died. But the politicians still did not get angry about it," he said.
As agriculture minister, Sharad Pawar imported rotten wheat and since it was not edible, the wheat was buried in huge pits, he said, adding crores of public money was wasted but none of the politicians got angry about it.
"Padmasinh Patil, a relative of Sharad Pawarji, who was a minister in Sharad Pawar's cabinet, indulged in corruption while he was minister. I demanded an enquiry. When enquiry did not take place, I started a movement because of which the enquiry had to be ordered. The minister was found guilty and he had to be removed from the cabinet. To take revenge, this minister gave 'supari' (contract) of Rs 30 lakh to someone to kill me," Hazare said.
Image: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar
'Do whatever you want to insult me, but don't damage national property'
"Many people got angry due to one slap, but when the people who have dedicated their entire life for the society and country are victimised, then no one gets angry," Hazare said.
"This is unfortunate. I have a request -- if you have anger against me and want to burn my effigies, then continue doing that as you have been doing it till now. Do whatever you want to insult me, but do not damage national property because it belongs to all of us. Protect it," he said.
Hazare alleged that Pawar's supporters hurled "choicest abuses" against him.
"I have kept a CD of the same for my record. At an appropriate time, I will play it before the public," he said.
Image: NCP workers burn Anna Hazare's effigy in Thane irked over his 'just one slap' remark against Sharad Pawar
Photographs: Sahil Salve
'Crores of people supported my fast, but none picked up a stone'
"Padamsinh Patil was corrupt -- this was proved. He gave supari to kill me -- this was also proved. Despite this, Sharad Pawar attended to his programs during elections and appealed to people to support Patil despite the fact that he was so corrupt and Pawar supported him; these politicians still did not get angry?"
"The politicians got so angry with that one slap that many buses were burnt, national property was destroyed, many shops were damaged, many private vehicles were damaged, but this did not make anyone angry. This is unfortunate," he rued.
Recalling numerous movements run by him in the last 20 years, the Gandhian said, "We never allowed any national property or private property to be damaged. On 16 August, 2011, crores of people came on the streets but not even a single person picked up a stone. There is nothing wrong in participating in movements but the movements should be non-violent."
Image: School students in Jammu shout pro-Anna Hazare slogans in an anti-corruption protest