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Anna Hazare's Hunger Strike In India

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook

Seventy-four-year-old Indian activist Anna Hazare’s hunger strike has mobilized masses in India against corruption. We’ll get the story.

India's anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare rests in front of a giant portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the ninth  day of his hunger strike, in  New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011.  (AP)

India's anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare rests in front of a giant portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the ninth day of his hunger strike, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. (AP)

It’s day 10 of Anna Hazare’s hunger strike in New Delhi. Hazare –- a 74-year-old follower of Mahatma Gandhi –- has galvanized a middle class fed up with pervasive corruption.

Thousands of people have peacefully taken to the streets, demanding more accountability from their government. They’ve embraced Hazare’s message of reform. His vision for a fully transparent government.

This hour On Point: the mass protests in the streets, and Anna Hazare’s vision for a cleaned up India.

-Jane Clayson

Guests

Anand Giridharadas, writes the “Currents” Column for the New York Times and is former Mumbai bureau chief for the paper.

Santosh Desai, author of Mother’s Pious Lady: Making Sense of Everyday India.

From The Reading List

The Guardian “But beneath the surface, there are potentially troubling sides to Hazare’s movement: a developing personality cult, an authoritarian tendency and the essentially urban, middle-class nature of the phenomenon. “Anna is India and India is Anna,” proclaimed one of his leading followers recently, a disturbing echo of Indira Gandhi’s dictatorial “emergency” during the mid 1970s, when a sycophantic politician came up with the slogan “Indira is India and India is Indira”.”

The New York Times “NEW DELHI — Aruna Roy’s two cellphones were ringing before breakfast on Tuesday as she braced for another day in the media storm of the Anna Hazare anticorruption movement. Ms. Roy, a pillar of India’s civil society who has fought for greater government accountability, has been appearing on television to talk about Mr. Hazare’s populist campaign, which includes his current hunger strike. She might seem a natural ally.”

The Hindu “If what we’re watching on TV is indeed a revolution, then it has to be one of the more embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times. For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you’re likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind.”

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