Anna Hazare once again landed in Delhi after seven years of his anti-corruption crusade that trembled the then Congress-led UPA government; this time he has sprung an indefinite hunger strike against the BJP in Centre for establishing Lokpal. Exactly the similar way, he visited Raj Ghat and marched to Shaheedi Park before coming to Ramlila Maidan where thousands of his supporters were gathered, but the enthusiasm was not the same as it was few years ago. Last month, Hazare accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not being interested in the appointment of the Lokpal at the Centre. He said Modi was “never serious about Lokpal”. He wrote several letters to PMO but received no reply. Somewhere now, the ruling party got shattered because there is already cropping anger against Modi and his government over various issues. This agitation can fuel it further. Government tried its level best to interrupt Anna’s agitation by cancelling trains carrying protesters to Delhi. Police forces were deployed for the old man. Since Anna had forwarded several letters to the government mentioning that he required no police protection but security was offered to him. Therefore, he was angry at the sly attitude of the government.
Let’s talk about the word “Corruption”. Thanks for “Main Hoon Anna” Movement. A big credit goes to him for bringing people together in Ramlila Maidan. Hats off to Anna for starting the fight for Lokpal! But my question today is that what have we achieved against corruption till now? What will we achieve by appointing Lokpal? What is the status of corruption after years of your services? Fake promises, lies, cheating, lathi charge — aren’t these all that we have got from the government despite such strong protests. Corruption has not stopped, black money has not returned, rather all the rich businessmen duped the banks, looted country’s money and settled in foreign lands, a bunch of Gujarati merchants gave big jolt to economy but government had no control. What Anna was doing for seven long years, why was he silent for four years of BJP rule? Our judiciary and VCs are compromised. Police, media etc. are compromised. Scamsters have corrupted every institution. How can Lokayukta become neutral in such circumstances? Firstly, all the institutions that were supposed to function honestly should be brought back into honest path. Only then people will trust the institutions. Otherwise, Lokpal will also remain just a tool for corrupt political parties.
I agree that Anna has a good vision for the country but the press has made it a point of not mentioning any of his activities in the recent times. The support for social crusader’s movements mainly came from the middle class, upper caste people, since Anna was against reservation and quota. Though, the movement generated a lot of demonstrations, actual grassroot support from poor lower caste people was lacking. Now his own people are isolating him. Anna wishes to remain apolitical, but Team Anna — Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Bhushans, VK Singh etc. joined the political arena. When Kejriwal launched AAP, Anna refused to endorse any political party on principle. This created a rift between them and it was Team Anna’s resourcefulness and organising skills, which were actually responsible for the mass agitation in the first place. Without Kejriwal like support, Anna’s agitation has no weight. All those youth who once supported the activism are now Aam Aadmi Party supporters; Anna’s unreasonable attack on Kejriwal will not permit these youth to be at his side. He has lost his credibility.
To brief it all, we must know that Anna is short of political awareness and the so-called Jan Lokpal Bill is a road full of potholes. Anna Hazare doesn’t even address other political issues in the country. His Gandhian way worked but lacked the extra effort for a spectacular finish. Earlier, Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal were fighting corruption with the same approach and social revolution. However, after fighting for so many years, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and many others felt that, to really bring some change, politics need to be changed, as that is the core of all the problems. However, Hazare, Kiran Bedi and a few others still feel that social revolution can still bring in the changes. Cleaning up a system, which is rotting every single minute since independence, is not going to be an easy task. It might need many AAPs and several Anna Hazares, before something substantial can be achieved.
The fact is that Jantar Mantar has been a downer so far. Anyone who had been to Jantar Mantar and the Ramlila Maidan during Team Anna’s hunger strike last time, would easily notice what is critically missing this time. With poor public response and therefore, dwindling media interest, the question is whether Anna could, finally, boost his crashing TRP in the coming days, or, whether he will have to, finally surrender his lead role and accept a supporting role to Baba Ramdev — who openly chided Team Anna for their inability. Let’s see what time has kept unfolded, but I don’t see that fire in Hazare. He is rather hallow and fragile.
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