Different yardsticks – When Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal were assaulted, conspiracy theories started doing rounds. Government was blamed. There might have been government’s instigation in it but that remains just a conjecture. The thing that has to be kept in mind here there were no significant protests by the common man on these assaults. Okay, such incidents are never to be accepted or justified but then how come Anna went on to justify his ‘Pawar slapgate’ remark?
Sometimes, Team Anna members exceeded the brief in using corrosive words; sometimes, some of them defended their wrongs with weak defences; sometimes, they, too, washed their dirty linen in the public; sometimes, they looked so disconnected from the movement; never, post-August 28, even on a single occasion, they looked to be working and implementing on future course of action to spread the ‘Jan Lokpal’ word to the hinterland!
Isn’t there a need for Team Anna to realize where it faltered to take corrective measures?
But that might be too late now. December 11 (proposed day for one-day Fast at Jantar Mantar) is just two days away while December 27 (Anna is to go on Fast this day onward if the Lokpal promise is broken) is about just two weeks away. It’s tight – no time left. And anyway it wasn’t to happen. Team Anna got ample moments when it could have realized its faultlines to take corrective measures. Either they couldn’t see it or chose to conveniently ignore it.
I have been a die-hard supporter of this anti-corruption movement but I am being questioned by such questions concerning the health of the movement at this crucial stage. And I am sure I am with multitude who thinks similarly. It sucks here.
The ‘Jan Lokpal’ movement had started gaining foothold in the conscious of the common man; a common man who was feeling lost and hopeless on an ‘evergreen’ issue like corruption. And this movement had given him this hope that he had the power to change the system. It had become a serious, very serious business thereafter. And so the dent that looks very much on the face of it hurts now. It is yet to be seen how much damage to the movement has been done. I wish whatever that I have written on the issue in this series of write-ups be just a conscious thought based on the events post-August 28. But its precipitation will only be realized on December 11 when Anna Hazare sits on a day Fast.
The movement needs much beyond holding car and bike rallies in metros. As said, from Delhi Belly to Dilli-6, the movement had to connect to all. This was to be the prime concern and objective post-August 28 with favourable sentiments riding high on the mass surge of the anti-corruption wave. Alas! The opportunity that it had during the last three months was simply allowed to be skipped. The movement till August 28 had witnessed a homogenous urban crowd and this homogeneity had to be blended with the heterogeneity of the folks from the small town and rural India to build a formidable movement that would give no breathing space to the government to manipulate the things further that it has been doing and doing audaciously now.
One of the cliché comparisons that movement has drawn is with JP’s movement. Logs have been written on similarities and differences, but one thing is sure – JP’s movement grew and grew connecting the dots and ultimately encompassing the whole country. Anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare, at the moment, seems to have lost its growth track. (We wish that not be the case!). Another thing is JP’s movement, after success, failed to capitalize on the gains owing to the mismanagement of the post-movement strategy aided well by internal team differences nailing the first non-Congress government whereas this movement led by Anna Hazare has seen damaging negatives even before getting any concrete success owing to the poor strategy and internal team differences.
Human first – and the movement had to be and has to be human faced beyond the limits of in-use political definitions of parity where everyone could feel important about being the reason for a change that is the most desperate need of the society called India – an India where corruption would not be accepted as a way of life.