I am reproducing some pointers here from my earlier analytic write-ups on the Lokpal Movement written when the movement started derailing and now after the December 27-28 MMRDA fiasco, much to our dismay, they seem to have gained their ground!
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!
Rhetoric, rhetoric and rhetoric – words but no substance!
The goodwill eroded - This Team Anna has much of the blame to share. Consistent flurry of controversies since August 28, especially with members like Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Bhushan duo corroded much of the goodwill.
Dislocated functionality - Good names like Rajinder Singh, PV Rajagopal left. Others aired their displeasure about functioning of the ‘core committee’. ‘India Against Corruption’ happened to be a 21-member effort but we have been listening to and hearing none but these four-five faces. No replacements came. No fresh faced joined the movement. It has been an area of utter failure that Team Anna created itself.
Empty words – Sometimes impregnated with political overtures like expanding the ‘core committee’ with multilayered structure giving representation to all sections of society like Dalits, Muslims - such promises were made multiple times in but nothing happened except confrontation and war of words with the government and its representatives as well as the intensifying internal differences of Team Anna.
Ethically wrong – Campaigning in Hisar is a historical mistake for this anti-corruption movement. When the movement was all about anti-corruption, taking partisan steps even remotely linked to helping someone with questioned credentials win should not have been practiced. Kiran Bedi’s defence of her inflated bills controversy is just absurd. In yet another disappointing move, Anna, more or less, justified his ‘Pawar’s just one-slap’ statement when he blogged about it. Here a Gandhian says that he, apart from Gandhi, believes in Chhatrapati Shivaji, too. So slapping Pawar, according to him, was akin to following values propagated by Shivaji! Smelt of Thackerays! Flatly, just not acceptable!
Unfocused - no strategy - There was nothing on strategising the movement further. The much-hyped but left into the oblivion Uttar Pradesh tour is a classical example of resource spoilage. Not much is heard when it comes to the summative evaluation of the tour. Days were wasted. Public money was wasted (the tour was funded by money donated by likes of ‘you and me’ during the anti-corruption agitation in Delhi). The anti-corruption movement was not restructured or reoriented for the next step to add more people with it. Instead, big ticket empty announcements like electoral reforms, education reforms, group expansion, anti-government campaigning, etc., in the upcoming elections have been made again and again.
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?
Too much of media exposure – It has been too much of Anna Hazare and his team in the media. We sit and took note of that. We didn’t find any of them inculcating that passionate flow of the energy on the street that was benchmark during the April and August fasts last year. Too much of exposure when many of your team members are in controversies may create fatigue. And the same thing happened when Team Anna started giving explanations and excuses on every allegation by the government spokespersons. It diluted much of the screen equity.
No clarity – Time and again Anna Hazare threatened to fast even when the Parliamentary Standing Committee draft was nowhere in the scene. But it ensued in ugly war of words. At the same time, the repeated threats by Anna Hazare were justified as pressure building acts but almost zero mobilization on the ground and ultimate survival of controversial Team Anna members at the cost of restricting its appeal to attract other activists created a sort of confusion among the supporters about the sanctity of the intent of Team Anna members. Being political in the fight was a welcome step but indulging in the politics of the politicians of the day added to the confusion only. The open debate involving political parties on December 11 at Jantar Mantar was another mistake as it turned out to be in the Parliament when none of them supported the draft by the civil society. Post-August 28, 2011, the Janlokpal Movement has been a series of haphazard and erratic steps with no clear vision in sight.
This all is much to the dismay of the common man, the ultimate loser!
Isn’t there a need for Anna Hazare and his people to realize where it faltered?
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/