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.

Monday 26 March 2012


After writing regularly on Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement and on the incumbent traits of the stakeholders involved, i.e., the common Indian on the street, the political class and the media, I decided to take a break thanks to the disappointing show by the so-called ‘Team Anna’ that began last year and climaxed in the anti-climax of December 2011.  

And I still don’t see any significant introspection even if the media eyes showed a Jantar Mantar packed with supporters amply amplified in long-panning shots. And there are valid reasons for me to reason like that:

  • The dismantling force of the movement, the so-called 'tiny' ‘civil society’, still remains the same plainly overlooking the urgent need of reform to go ahead to become a truly representational ‘civil society’ group with members from across the country.
  • More ironically, what we saw yesterday was present even today, and in a more pathetic form – the verbose ‘Team Anna’.
  • Away from the dignified semblance that the movement needed desperately, it continued to harp on theatrics of the verbal duel with words like ‘looters, goondas, rapists, dacoits, thieves’ for the members of the Parliament. Such practices ultimately fly back in the face of the person using them. And to compound the debacle ratio, there has been this, the dismal performance of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement in terms of the ground level mobilization of the masses.
And like it has been happening, after the high points of the April and August fasts last year, the lost focus of the movement, even this time, was written everywhere.

  • The daylong symbolic fast was to show solidarity with the whistleblowers’ families who have lost their members fighting the malaise of corruption but, soon, it was completely defocused engaging in frontal verbal attack politicians. Whistleblowers went somewhere in the background and anti-Jan Lokpal politicians dominated the psyche of those present on the dais. And so we had the same old worn-out, expected, agenda-driven verbal volleys. (Arvind Kejriwal needs some immediate mental rehabilitation!)
Like many other illogical steps in the past, Anna said he would collaborate with Ramdev for further protests.

  • Now Ramdev’s commercial and political ambitions are out in open and he may be anyone but an anti-corruption crusader. Anna’s comment, that if the corrupt politicians can forge alliance to derail the Jan Lokpal, why can’t we to fight back, is not acceptable. Anna has once again committed the mistake of undermining the values that give any mass movement the credibility it needs – no spots, an unblemished record to stand any scrutiny. (And ‘Team Anna’ already has a controversial record on many fronts now!) Being political in such a fight is strategic but adopting ways of the politicians of the day in fighting them is like committing harakiri.
  • Oh! dear ‘complacency’ – yes, the mood of the likes of Arvind Kejriwal looked upbeat as they saw the swelling crowd at Jantar Mantar yesterday. Probably that was the sole reason that gave them liberty to become loose cannons and target the politicians again (yes, most of the politicians deserves regular scrutiny but the way ‘Team Anna’ is doing it now tells more of a personal vendetta).
Some more deadlines – and some extended deadlines! (And no clarity on what would be the next step!)

  • There is one about political targeting during the Delhi assembly election due next year. Then there is the ‘grand’ deadline of Jan Lokpal that now expires in 2014. And at the same time, Anna also warns the government to pass it in the ongoing Budget session. Finally there is this recent one – ‘Jail Bharo’ in August if the promises are not met. (Confusion, confusion – isn’t it?)
Donning the urban spectacle, while handling a movement that required hinterland access, too, was the ultimate nemesis of the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare.

  • And Sunday’s fast at Jantar Mantar tells us they are still living with that mindset. The illogical appeal to the people to form 15-member committees in different areas and discuss issues with ‘Team Anna’ through the website interface is absolute rubbish. This is not the way mass movements on ‘nation building issues’ are handled.
  • It is not about few thousands of ‘Sunday in CP’ loving Delhi crowd but it is about the millions of the Indians who are crushed daily by the corrupt political and bureaucratic machinery.
The anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare needed to realize it in the very beginning. They couldn’t. And Sunday’s events tell they have lost the plot.

I don’t deny of the presence of serious protesters in the crowd but they would certainly have felt let-down by the evening. You don’t fight mass movements with impulsive attitude.

And it is equally true that in-spite of all the debacles and controversies, the name Anna Hazare still echoes in the Indian psyche as an anti-corruption symbol. And so, he was at it again.

Sunday’s fast was for whistleblowers after the recent murder incident of the IPS officer Narendra Kumar in Madhya Pradesh and Anna Hazare’s call on it mobilized people to be there at Jantar Mantar to identify with the cause of the whistleblowers’ families.

Then why the likes of the Arvind Kejriwal were allowed to give the event an anti-climax again by the evening giving the political class another day to take rest from doing serious real job a Parliament is expected to do.


What Anna Hazare had intended to do on Sunday? What he roared for?

 ©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -