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India’s Anna Hazare: ‘Gandhi Lite?’ focus 08/27/2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

India’s Anna Hazare: ‘Gandhi Lite?’

focus

08/27/2011
NEW DELHI — He may dress, talk and fast like his hero Mahatma Gandhi, but critics say anti-graft activist Anna Hazare has only managed to co-opt the style, not the substance, of India’s independence icon.

The figure of Gandhi looms large — and literally — over Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign, with a giant photograph of the apostle of non-violence providing the backdrop to the 74-year-old’s public hunger strike.

Hazare’s speeches are peppered with Gandhian references to a “second freedom struggle” and his own diminutive, bespectacled appearance, and preference for simple white clothing, all serve to reinforce the link in the public mind.

If the effort to embrace Gandhi’s legacy is sincere, it is also conscious and calculated, and observers say it has paid dividends by tapping into a national yearning for an inspirational leader..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110827com3.html

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