Anna Hazare's 'Just one slap?' statement when asked to comment on the attack on Union Minister Sharad Pawar has now become the talk of the town. Hazare's initial reaction when he heard that Pawar was slapped by youth at a public function was "Just one slap?".
Misunderstood: Anna Hazare
Soon after the seemingly contemptuous statement, the social crusader immediately condemned the attack and his close aides were quick to jump to his defence. "One should understand that Hazare has a hearing problem and whatever he said to the people was in a different context," said Pathade, a schoolteacher and a close aide of Hazare. "Hazare wanted to understand the magnitude of the attack and was enquiring what exactly happened to the minister. The electronic media has misquoted him. Hazare reacted when a question was asked suddenly. Hazare has always been a supporter of non-violence and he has already clarified his statement with the media representatives."
K D Pawar, president, Bhrashtachar Jan Virodhi Aandolan Trust (BJVAT), Pune, agreed it was a wrong comment to make but said people should not make an issue out of it. "This was a wrong comment to make. But Hazare is hard of hearing. And he has clarified what he actually meant to say. So people should not make an issue out of this. On behalf of BJVAT, we condemn the cowardly attack on Pawar," said K D Pawar.
Hazare's former blogger Raju Parulekar, who is in the city, said he was not aware of what happened. "I do not want to comment on Hazare. I don't want to think about my past," he said. Kiran Bedi, who is part of Hazare's core team, tweeted: 'Pray proper Lokpal bill gets passed in winter session or else pent up anger may come on streets. Politicians may get targetted.'