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Now it ’s time to say three cheers for Anna

I am tempted to call it the biggest victory for our democracy. But then one should be cautious while using superlatives in the context of history. Yet, I feel confident in asserting that both the Gandhian crusader Anna Hazare and Parliament demonstrated extraordinary courage and understanding to bring a historic celebratory end to an agitation, that at times ran the risk of becoming rather corrosive for the health of our constitutional democracy. The people ’s desire as expressed strongly through the agitation has been endorsed, and the sanctity of the constitutional process has not been violated.
This is what we call a win-win solution. Within five months of launching his fast from Jantar Mantar, the 74-year-old former army truck driver

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Two cheers for Anna

AND WHY I HOLD BACK THE THIRD ONE

A man from a village in Maharashtra--Ralegaon Siddhi-- has captured the imagination of the entire nation, like no one has done in recent times. Indeed, right now his name Anna --reverberates even across the borders. Even in countries like Pakistan and China that have remained otherwise hostile to us, he is seen as the symbol of people ’s power. He has surely touched a chord, and struck a raw nerve with the people. In him, they see hope.

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Simply not done, Mani Mani Shankar

UNLIKE MOST of the run-ofthe- mill politicians, Mani Shankar Aiyar belonged to the elitist Indian Foreign Service before he took the plunge. As a trained career diplomat, he handled many sensitive posts including one in our volatile neighbourhood of Pakistan. He is wellversed in the art of using words as weapons for he has worked as a regular newspaper columnist (his articles have appeared in this paper as well, when he has been out of power), and knows how to draw blood with his verbal arrows. Aiyar is aware that to criticise anyone you do not have to lower yourself in the esteem of others. As an ex-Stephenian, he also knows that when you get abusive, you expose the limits of your own vocabulary.

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Why a no to JPC?

IT IS tragic that the Parliament has not been able to function normally for even a single day during the on-going Winter Session. The nation is witnessing the daily spectacle of the Opposition members going into the Well of both the Houses and shouting slogans demanding the setting up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to inquire into the 2G spectrum allocation scam. The chair is virtually left with no option but to adjourn the House and no serious business can actually be transacted in the din and bustle that prevails in the House. Quite clearly, the Opposition has stuck to this disruptive tactics because it feels that it is better to get the House adjourned without discussing any business rather than having a debate.

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