Mainstream

Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2011 > Parliament and People are Both Supreme

Mainstream, VOL XLIX, No 44, October 22, 2011

Parliament and People are Both Supreme

Tuesday 25 October 2011, by M K Bhadrakumar

Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman’s opinion-piece on the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests could as well have been written about the Indian political elites’ visceral reaction to Anna Hazare’s war on corruption. Look at the similarities. Both are manifestations of the popular revulsion against greed—“the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a per cent”, as Krugman writes.

Obviously, there has been a lot of “police overreaction” to the confrontation in both the US and in India. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, denounced the protestors as “mobs”, which is not unlike some of the ridiculing references to Hazare by the Indian politicians such as Digvijay Singh or Laloo Yadav. The protestors in America are alleged to be “aligned with Lenin”. Remember Hazare’s alleged CIA-cum-RSS connection?

The Indian political class is chanting in unison that Parliament is supreme, people are not “above Parliament”, blah, blah. L.K.Advani and Rahul Gandhi are soulmates here—except that the latter didn’t come under compulsion to size up the potential of a Jan Chetna Yatra for the career graph.

Krugman explains what this matrix is all about: “The way to understand all of this is to realise that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favour react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.”

The campaign maligning Hazare and the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protestors is the same, quintessentially—suppression of criticism of the sources of wealth of oligarchs. Krugman is here.

Notice: The print edition of Mainstream Weekly is now discontinued & only an online edition is appearing. No subscriptions are being accepted