Time for stock taking, now that the euphoria is over. Been reading the different perspectives on the movement. There are plenty of dissenting voices and there are some valid arguments being put forth by those who oppose Anna Hazare and mock those who supposedly got carried away.
One myth I would straight away like to bunk is that all the protesters look at Anna Hazare as some kind of messiah to deliver the nation from corruption. I for one don’t. And a number of people I have been talking to, feel the same. Anna is clearly the man of the moment and helped us mobilise our anger and rage against a corrupt government. His action of fasting at the capital to draw attention to the menace and malaise of corruption was inspirational. But I will draw the line at saying I am inspired by the man.
If he is endorsing Narendra Modi’s model of development, then Anna is clearly fallible. Modi’s actions post Godhra revealed corruption of the worst kind. Corruption is not just about money, it’s about misuse of power and a chief minister who was complicit in a state sponsored genocide can’t be resurrected however forward thinking his actions are, post his misdemeanours. Until he serves time for his crimes just like Raja and Kalmadi ought to.
Anna himself has been at the receiving end of state terror and it’s a bit silly of him to label what happened in Gujarat in 2002 as ‘communal disharmony.’ It was more like communal carnage. He should have a dialogue with Mallika Sarabhai, one of his biggest supporters, on this. And maybe also check with Nitish Kumar about how Kumar feels about being bracketed with Modi on the issue of rural development. The Bihar chief minister abhors his counterpart from Gujarat like most ‘civil’ Indians of the ‘civil society’ do.
Coming back to the more pertinent issue, does Anna having his own pair of feet of clay devastate me or make me feel silly for having supported him...no it doesn’t. My support for him was over a particular issue, at a particular moment. It is not for all times and over all issues. I endorsed his stance and his actions because I was fed up of being taken for granted by this government and I wanted to remind the people in power, we hold the reins in a democracy. Now that the message has reached those who it was intended for, I would like to go back to playing it by the rules and respecting the constitution. I am not an anarchist for all times.
I will be disappointed of course if Anna turns out to be another Manmohan Singh. But I don’t think it would pose a hurdle to my own set of commitments regarding corruption. Nor should it hamper anyone else who’s in the same boat as me.
The true victory is always about finding the leader within you. And all of us have a dormant one within with a set of unique values and beliefs.
It’s time to evoke that leader and persist. Let's make Anna redundant now.