Monday, August 27, 2012

The revolution so far...

So the Rebels have lost, the Party has won.

I was skeptical about the Jan Lokpal movement from the outset, when Anna had fasted at Jantar Mantar last year. It was too idealistic. But it had a person of theandnbsp;statureandnbsp;of Kiran Bedi, which was a good indicator. I finally visited the Jan Lokpal movement during its second innings at the Ramlila grounds, and came back a changed man. Looking at the electric atmosphere there, where the people braved the elements are listened to people like Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Om Puri and many others speak. I started believing in the Jan Lokpal movement, but not in the methods. Anna's movement did bring the idea of the Lokpal to the people, but to believe that his fast could bring about that change would beandnbsp;naive.

At Ramlila grounds, looking at the sea of humanity and the throng of celebrities, it was obvious that it would be a tough act to follow, a fact that was proved right a few months later in Mumbai. The fatigue had set in. People would not be willing to take time out to hear Anna speak again.

So, when Anna announced a fast again, people had a right to be skeptical. Since Ramlila, a lot had happened. The people India Against Corruption were not the saints they were a year ago. Stories, real a well as planted, about the mismanagement of the movement had tired the people.

That would have been a good opportunity to separate the movement from the people - Jan Lokpal should have been placed above Anna and Kejriwal. But the movement started worshipping Anna and Kejriwal, thereby undermining it themselves. Kejriwal even proclaimed that the Jan Lokpal was above the Constitution of India! So much so for humility!

To be sure, this movement didn't implode by itself. The government too planted stories about Anna and Kejriwal, leading to a lot of misinformation.

As things stand, the Jan Lokpal movement didn't achieve what it set out to achieve. Even the presence of Anna in the anshan could not drum up the hysteria of a year ago. The government chose to ignore the latest protest, and even the public stayed away, largely (I know, I was there).

The final nail in the coffin was announcement by Anna of forming a political party. The rebels had lost and the powers had won. While their demand of a Lokpal Bill was unfulfilled, the government's demand that Anna join active politics was fulfilled. Score one for the Institution!

By giving in to the demands, Team Anna have dashed the hopes of many Indians. What brought a diverse group of people together was a common dream for a better society. By going political, they have again divided them along regional, religious and political lines.


Nitin Maheshwari said...

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