Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Anna Hazare should keep in mind

Peaceful and violent revolutions are destabilizing well-entrenched political dispensations around the world. The mood indeed is catching. It is sweeping over India too, but on a more complex level. The movement triggered off by Hazare is not a fight against suppression of man’s inalienable rights. It’s against the rot that is endangering a political system that ensures fundamental rights. And sadly, the fundamental rights are taken so much for granted that Hazare, the anti corruption messiah, allows sidelining of man’s inalienable right to existence. This we saw when he endorsed Narendra Modi, and held him up as the role model for politicians.

We, the people of India, are so fed up with corruption, and frustrated at our inability to fight it that we look up to Hazare to provide the leadership – as Gandhi and JP did once. JP’s Janata did not survive because groups whose ideologies were fundamentally incompatible were thrown together for a short-term goal of dislodging an autocratic but democratically elected leader who slaughtered fundamental rights through amendments after amendments. One good thing Janta government did in 1977 was the put in place certain built-in defences against easy declaration of Emergency.

I digress, but I wanted to make this point clear. Indian democracy is strong and indestructible, because it is a state of mind – of the people. It is not something that is superimposed on a reluctant people. It comes from within them. Hence it survived famine and poverty, violent and nonviolent left and right wing ideological invasion into its polity, dictatorship and economic lows, wars, terrorism and communalism.

Today, its greatest enemy is corruption. To repeat the cliché, corruption has become a way of life in the country. But we will not allow it to destroy us, destroy our democracy. The country has always thrown up solutions when a crisis that threatens our democracy reaches a point when it cannot but be imperatively addressed. The rise of JP is one such case. Now it is Hazare.

Hazare was destined to be. So it is absolutely important that he keeps himself above blame. He should not indulge in impulsive statements like endorsing a person who committed the worst imaginable crime against helpless humanity. He should not keep the company of people whose credentials are suspect. Not only Caesar, but his wife also should be above blame. If Bushan’s name has to be cleared, take someone else. Our country provides a billion to choose from. Bhushans may be innocent, but the country cannot wait for them to be cleared.

Hazare should not put anyone above the cause. The cause is all-important. Let him not get dragged into a minor tug of war when a great war is being fought. His loyalty is to the cause, not to those who surround him. He should be wise enough to see that efforts are being made to hijack his movement. Unless his vision his clear, his goal is clear, he will be hijacked by vested interest. The movement will then lose its momentum – and direction.


  1. 1- Hazare's comments on Narendra Modi.
    Mr Hazare has gone public putting his comments in the required perspective. All reports on his campaign must be taken with a pinch of salt. Because both the ruling clan and the opposition alike would want to scuttle his initiative.

    2- I wonder if one can disagree if some one opines that Indians can be ruled and not led. Indira Gandhi proved it, and so did the British. State of mind? I guess so, culturally too.

    3- Jantha party experiment. Egos of diverse power groups and disgruntled old men finally messed up, paving way for Mrs Gandhi's second coming..
    4- On the Bushans and the allegations. There are many other people of eminence in the legal fraternity. Hazare must suggest that Shanthi Bushan stay aside until his name is cleared .And not let the vested interests scuttle the Lokpal.

    The bottom line will the status quo ever be reversed? scepticism, cynicism, call it what ever , I am one such , in this case.
    Wish I'm proved wrong.

  2. Anna Hasare is going to be a failed angel. Congress used his mission to escape from the numerious corruption and scandals and put all the responsibility of curbing corruption to Anna Hasare. He knows only Hindi and Marathi. The law will be drafted in English and that too in law terms which even people who has good command over English cannot understand. Kapil Sibal is a shrewed presence in the committee.

    Other players may have o go one by one by mudslinging again supported secretly by UPA government and its secret alley Amar Singh.

    What common man could understand from all these hulla balla is that judiciary is into corruption at a large scale. The tape of Santhu Bhushan is an evidence. Our own malayali minority CJ is another example. He has amassed great wealth in his tenure now plead not to reveal his income under RTI. What a shame.

    I doubt if Anna Hasare has a leaning towards BJP. Truth is that none in politics want this bill or attempts to stop corruption should succeed. Everyone is trying to rig the bill like women reservation bill in parliament.

    Even if bill is passed, there will be loopholes, and with corrupt and slow judicial proceedings all stalwarts will escape.

    19 year old Bofors is still not solved, except Pillai no politician has been sent to jail for corruption.

    Madhu Koda, Shibu Soren, MK & family , Reddy brothers are all going to continue.

    If we want to stop corruption, Government should reform judiciary first of all. Why we need vacation judges and 2 month leave for court? Why judiciary now a days find a person guilty but defer the judgement for a later day?

    Also Judiciary now meddles in administration. Why Supreme court ask government to implement oneway onetime security numberplates for all vehicles? Only monopoly company gets benefit out of that. Which crime is stopped by such number plates ? Who is going to check all number plates if its oneway or two way (detachable)

    I am damn sure that the movement of Anna Hasare has lost its momentum and very soon Anna Hasare himself will be in scandals. Already allegations started that his own accounting is corrupt.

    Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi now became two sincere honest leaders with intention to stop corruption and poor Anna Hasare is the man who has to perform that.

    Great think Tanks of Congress already won their agenda.

  3. I completely agree! Hazarre and those who joint better not flinch, UNTIL the bill is passed. We should better be aware that the politicians are looking for a tiny gap they could skid out this thing through. We should not give way to it. Now is the chance to at least fight corruption in our own capacity, and we should not let it fly in air just like that amid other chatter.

  4. Of course the seasoned tricky politicians have proved it again .Through this card of bhushans,they at least made a terrific confusion among the activists and people who support them.Even if I believe that,let me share some of the questions I have been asking
    1.As you mentioned it right,the hazzare's endorsment of Modi
    2.Reg,the Bhushans;the names associated being Mulayam and Amar Singh..
    3.A thread to V.S there.Bhushans are the advisors for V.s for long.Keeping this mind,If we remember the comments of Adv.Ram Kumar on V.S lobbying in Delhi with the help of 'some'
    4.The press conference of the activists yesterday where they being adament on Bhushans and as you rightly said "none should be above the cause".

    If you didnt see this,may read this too.

  5. ..very well said!I agree...!!

  6. The corruption in India has strong roots.The mafia will try to torpedo all the efforts that come up,and will look for all reasons to pull down Hassare.The whole nation should stand up with him if the mission has to succeed.

  7. Hi,
    Your comparisons of Anna with JP might be good in parts. Vidya Subrahmanyam in the Hindu too wrote a column of how the two movements can be compared.
    Note that much of the cadre in JP movement and emergency actually belonged to RSS. While there was no Hindu identity presented during this; the movement gave a political legitimacy to Bharatiya Jan Sangh. The RSS membership was the same reason why the Janata Party govt formed after emergency could not last.
    However I think comparing the current sentiment to that of JP movement maybe too farfetched. While those were situations of high unemployment, low income, high inflation and corruption atleast today the youth hav far upwardly mobile jobs and are reasonable able to meet their family requirements. That is the reason why although support would remain on CLICKERATTI; not many would continue to support the same on the streets where the real form of protest is available.
    Again on your question of people with him; the Bhushans were going to be targetted at some point and time. In particular Prashant Bhushan who has been fighting a flood of PILs mostly against this government. So all of a sudden old scamsters like Amar Singh would resurface carring a CD under doubtful circumstances. The media always liking sensation would play along with, the Indian Express in particular.
    It is important for Anna Hazare to defend them. Nobody is saying tehy should be above scrutiny; but it is hard to imagine what will they get being on a drafting panel where the draft law which would be legalized only by the Parliament. It is not that they are sitting in the jury to determine a case.

    BTW ... the Bhushan's have come out with clarifications which I think much of the media are not publishing or selectively publishing.

    Thanks for the post though

  8. Brilliant analysis. Hazares have a responsibility...It is often the situation that throws up the leader. The momentum for any change comes from the bottom. Corruption and greed have grown and acquired a critical mass in our country. The counter forces too have been working silently. What people like Hazare do is to provide the platform for the disorganised counter forces to come together, the seed for the crystalisation to take place. They should be deeply aware of their role.


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