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Half of our MPs anpadh,ganwaar: some gems from very civil society

Team Anna used the Ramlila Maidan platform to launch a vitriolic attack on politicians.

A day after demanding that Parliament immediately discuss the Jan Lokpal Bill for activist Anna Hazare to consider withdrawal of his hunger strike,Team Anna used the Ramlila Maidan platform to launch a vitriolic attack on politicians,saying they hid behind “ghunghats (veils)”,that most were “anpadh (illiterate)… ganwaar (rustic)” and “looted” the country.

Actor Om Puri,who stumbled and fumbled as he took to the stage,even targeted TV anchor Barkha Dutt. He told the crowd: “Barkha Dutt moved to Canada,she married a Japanese man and opened a Japanese restaurant.” When TV crews on the ground protested,Puri backed off saying “I had no right to make personal attacks on anyone”.

Kiran Bedi,one of the lead players of Team Anna who was praised by Puri as having been “wronged by the corrupt”,not only taunted politicians but also set the crowd on three BJP MPs,Dilip Gandhi — he is from Ahmednagar,home to Hazare — Gopinath Munde and Ananth Kumar,who had come to the Maidan. They had to beat a hasty retreat with the crowd shouting “chor,chor”.

After meeting Hazare,the MPs had just begun speaking to reporters. Spotting them,Bedi snatched a towel from a compere on stage,pulled it over her face and compared MPs to newly-wed women who hid their faces behind veils. “Yeh neta ghunghat ke peeche shakal chhupaate hain. Sansad ke bahar kuchh bolte hain aur andar kuchh bolte hain. Inko boliye yeh sansad ke andar jo bolenge hum wahi sunenge.”

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Cheered by the crowd,Bedi went on: “Inse puchhiye yeh kal kya kahenge (Ask them what are they going to say tomorrow).” At this,the crowd began chanting “chor chor… go back,go back”. The three leaders made a quick exit.

Earlier,Bedi complemented her signature statement of waving the Tricolour to patriotic songs with marching. She also instructed the audience “not to watch any channel other than Lok Sabha TV,no serial or songs… just watch what your MPs are saying.”

“We will,of course,tell you. But when you come,ask your family to take careful notes on what they said,whether they betrayed you or fulfilled your vote mandate… watch them carefully.” She even told the crowds not to vote for either the Congress or BJP but exercise the “O” option.


Sharpening the attack on politicians,Om Puri said: “Yeh anpadh hain,inka kya background hai? Aadhe se zyaada MP ganwaar hain… hum dekhte hain TV pe,yeh kaise ladte hain House mein (They are illiterate,what is their background? More than half are rustic. On TV,we see them fighting in the House.”)

He then said that anybody who secures less than 60 per cent marks in an examination should be denied a chance to contest elections. “Before giving election tickets to anyone,we should make them take an exam. If they don’t score above 60 per cent,don’t give them a ticket,” he said.

“Yeh kya karte hain MP. Paanch saal tak aish karte hain,lootate hain desh ko… main jaanta hoon inko,inke gharon mein kya hai,mein jaanta hoon,aur inke background ko bhi (What do the MPs do? They enjoy the five years,loot the country. I know them,I know what they possess,I know their background).”


“Where are your heroes?”,Puri went on,“where are the cricketers whose matches you watch all day long? If they are not here,you should not be paying money to watch them in stadiums. Stay at home and watch them free on TV,” he said.

Praising Bedi as “desh ki nayika (heroine of the country)”,Puri said: “Yeh Kiran Bedi hain,ek police officer. Yeh system ki sataayi mahila hai. She was never given a proper posting. Jab isne galat sticker waali gaadi ko hataane ki koshish ki to aap jaante hain iske saath kya hua… yeh neta,tabaadla kar dete the,yeh sabhi imaandar logon ka tabaadla kar dete hain (Kiran Bedi has been wronged by the system… you know what happened to her when she tried to remove a car with a sticker… these politicians transfer honest people).”

Chaudhuri,who runs the IIPM management school,came to the Maidan with his own media crew — a video journalist,a photographer and a reporter. He said all reasons cited by politicians for not discussing the Bill were baseless. “When politicians wanted to introduce a Bill to allow criminals to participate in elections,they did it in two days. So why can’t they do it for the Lokpal Bill?” he said.

First published on: 27-08-2011 at 03:02:53 am
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