The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


After series of flip-flops and negative steps by members of Anna Hazare’s team and even by Anna Hazare, the anti-corruption movement needs a whole revamp.  The media that was drafting his powerful imagery is now questioning the developments that have potential to sacrifice the Lokpal Movement, be it the Indian media or the international media. And they have valid reasons.

What India’s anti-corruption movement needs to do to regain its focus and strength? Let’s chart out the basics:

Restructuring - Restructuring of team to run and spread the movement is the core requirement.  But even after the much hyped reports and demands on restructuring the movement, nothing seems to move on the ground. Sometimes Anna seems to be clear on his course of action, sometimes he looks confused. He can easily get many eminent persons, social activists and religious leaders to spearhead the Lokpal movement across the country. Why is he taking so much of time when it is slipping out? Why can’t the Lokpal Movement have more faces than this trio? No doubt contributions of the trio in the Lokpal Movement are beyond any speculation but given the flurry of controversies, they should be given the other roles like strengthening the movement away from the lens-glare.

Anna needs to realize Lokpal is not like his other missions, restricted in scale and scope, it is pan-India and Anna certainly needs lieutenants beyond this trio. Though there are some other faces like Abhinandan Sikri working as spokespersons, they don’t bring anything to the movement in terms of connecting it to the masses. As of now he doesn’t seem to act on this thought – a must have for the success of the Lokpal movement, more so after confusing signals from the government on enactment of a ‘as weak as almost dead’ Lokpal Bill.

  • There are many social activists with unblemished track record who can be respectfully invited to be part of the movement.
  • Also, there should be no problems with religious leaders being parts of it barring them who are so visibly political like Ramdev (It was yet another mistake when Anna Hazare said during the MMRDA fast that he had invited Ramdev, a move seen as signifying a weakening movement that now needed controversial face like Ramdev to bring people to the fast venue.)  
  • The movement should be restructured keeping in mind the fact that it must utilize the resources fully and no member should quit the movement sighting reasons like what Rajinder Singh and PV Rajagopal had quoted.
  • Also, having more faces with active voices would make it difficult for the government to target individual members of the movement.

In the next phase, this anti-corruption movement needs to go beyond Team Anna and Anna Hazare and there must be a mechanism to promote internal democracy among the volunteers working for the cause.

Expansion - Forming and sending teams to different parts of the country is to be the next priority on the agenda. It becomes even more important in the light of the multiple instances of the government backtracking on its promises since April 2011 when the Lokpal Bill began its journey to the national conscious to the latest shameful ruckus in the Rajya Sabha on December 29, 2011.  

A movement like ‘Lokpal’ needs to have a pan-India team of committed volunteers, say two representatives in each state. Adding to it the count of the Union territories, the number goes well beyond the 50 mark. If a pan-India movement has to be sustained, that is not a big figure.  Even the base figure of 50 strong Core Committee members who are all on same trajectory voicing each other to propel ahead would make it extremely difficult for the government to target the movement indirectly by directly targeting the personal and professional lives of the Core Committee members, something that has been happening.

That brilliant calm - Why didn’t he realize the August Fast placed him much ahead of any of political figure of India? He didn’t seem to realize it during the last four months? He is still not realizing it. Though he broke his fast midway amid reduced public appearance, he again chose to target the UPA and threatening anti-UPA campaign in the five state assembly elections while dodged the question on BJP’s stand on CBI inclusion in the Lokpal. There have been incidents like this and it created confusion diverting away the supporters.

His silence on government’s attempts to malign his credentials would have been the most apt and direct reply to the loose cannons like Digvijay Singh. But by replying on every move of the government and answering every Tweet and letter of the likes of Digvijay Singh, he is undermining his own sanctity as every such move gives rise to another such move of controversy.  He needs to maintain and balance phases of strategic calm and strategic dialogue with the stakeholders involved be it the supporters or the opponents.

No too much of media - A movement like Lokpal is not about being lens-friendly. It is much beyond that. Media needs stories and it will follow. Can we deny sincerity of Medha Patkar? We cannot but certainly she doesn’t look eager to come under the limelight. The scale that the movement has achieved gives an opportunity to take it to the psyche of the common man and this realm has to be widened. That would be done in an efficient way if the leaders of the movement devote more time in small towns and hinterlands than in TV studios or in holding press conferences to counter the verbal volleys of the government. Why dissipating energy and risking the movement for some petty facial show-off?

The scale has to be achieved - That would come by an absolute realignment of the focus to the ‘Lokpal Bill’ with ground level work by social activists to connect more and more people to it. It is premature to say that the movement has scaled the total of 120 crore Indians. Much has to be done for that on the ground level and it is needed to be accepted honestly.

Once the scale has become so significant that it has reached small towns and hinterlands (something that cannot happen without taking the grassroots social workers in the fold), masses across the sociopolitical spectrum would find a spontaneous connect with the cause and its leaders (obviously not political leaders of the day but the grassroots workers).

If that happens, the silly strategists of the government would never dare to venture into the territory of character assassination that they are finding so lucrative now. The loose cannons will have to find the dock to hide somewhere then.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -