Anna’s Stunts Pose More Questions than Answers !
Sitting at his desk, Tejas Shinde looks behind at all the events that occurred during Anna’s agitation, he is left with more questions than answers because of the way event has unfolded.
Anna Hazare’s movement began with a stir against corruption. There cannot be any denial to the fact that anger and frustration was simmering among “the middle class” (euphemistic terminology media has coined for higher castes) and masses alike. That was the very reason why DMK had got defeated with such a humiliation to AIADMK in Tamil-nadu elections. The frustration with corruption was built up so much that Congress would have had the same fate as that of DMK in 2014 all over India. Although India’s two leading parties compete with each other, they love their oligopoly rather than facing an undeniably rising opponent like Mayawati.
Thanks to Anna, all the frustration & anger that should have worked at the ballot-boxes in 2014 got dissipated with Anna’s agitation instead. Everything about Anna’s agitation smelt fishy from day 1 of his declaration of battle against corruption. He managed to grab space in the headlines of all national and regional dailies. Huge hoarding began erupting around every nook & corner all of a sudden. Who were sponsoring those hoardings if this was a one-man crusade? Can he be in any way compared to Irom Sharmilla who has continued with her fast for last 10 years in an obscure corner of this nation for much worse thing that Govt of India is doing to her people?
He had only been a tool to deal blows on Congress & NCP alliance government in Maharashtra by doing Satyagraha with an effficiency & negotiation skills of a contract killer. There was a moment In Maharashtra when common man had stopped taking him seriously. The credit to his rise from nobody and nothing to a national hero goes to the Indian media & alleged role of RSS-Sangh.
Within a few days, team Anna got formed which included Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal. What incentivized them to join an ill-educated megalo-maniac limelight-hungry fakir and bow at his feet anytime the later commanded? Is it merely altruism? Is it merely patriotism?
Within a few days of formation of team Anna, frequent visits of Ram Madhav (RSS-honcho) to camping site of team Anna made it quite obvious that RSS had a role to play in this agitation. Social-workers, intellectuals & activists from backward castes and minorities were snubbed aside confirming the role of RSS since bigotry is later’s peculiar trait. Given the dismal record (of RSS) of consideration towards anybody else but Brahmins, how are backward communities and minorities expected to trust Anna & Co. in which presence of Sangh-elements was quite apparent?
Within a few days of rise of Anna Hazare, Ramkishan Yadav aka Baba Ramdev also declared his battle against black money stashed in the west. Why was nobody ready to volunteer for team Ramdev? He had called his followers to congregate at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi. The Government deemed the congregation as illegal & whole agitation was cracked down with an iron-fist. His days of activism were over within a few days while Anna & Co. continued their assault for months. A major figure like Baba Ramdev had to abscond from the site of agitation in disguise of a woman while Anna & Co., when arrested, before Anna going on hunger strike at the same location, were given “red-carpet treatment” to the jail. Baba,Ramdev’s followers were ill-treated, lathi-charged, tear-gassed & chased away. Whole of their agitation was ridiculed & publicly made fun of while the same media and Anna Inc. romanticized filling the jails after Anna & Co.’s arrest.
Was Baba Ramdev offering some kind of competition to the agitation of Anna & Co.?Why such step-motherly treatment offered to Baba Ramdev’s agitation? Was the arrest of Anna & Co. an engineered move to show that Anna & Co. were treated just the way Baba Ramdev was?
Arrest of Anna & Co. had more of symbolism than substance.
Jan-Lokpal bill in itself seemed half-baked, hare-brained, anti-democratic, draconian & some kind of populist “quick-fix” solution. A lot has been written & talked about why that is so throughout Indian media. A strong bill for curbing corruption is already in place and that is Right to Information. Why have social workers and activists chosen to ignore the right to information? Why are they not curbing corruption using RTI-act? Over the other side, if anybody who uses RTI for dealing with corruption, she is simply killed in broad day-light. No investigation are carried out; evidences are forged, witnesses are bribed or threatened, hearing are post-poned, cases are closed, murderers are scot-free and conspirators strengthen their grip over their territory by intimidation. If such a legislation that is effective the world over is not working in this nation, what a difference is Lokpal going to make being anything else but a mere puppet among the hands of the high and mighty!!
The fast got over on 13th day; conspicuously, it was a weekend leaving people to break into jubilation. Were all the events engineered to end on weekends? Am I being too sceptical? People said while celebrating, “Common man’s voice prevailed over the parliament.”, as if those two are unrelated entities.
Anna’s agitation had nothing like that of Tunisian uprising or spontaneous agitation & riots that occurred a month after shameful Khairlanji massacre. It felt like more of an engineered agitation with smirk on the faces of the organizers rather than one that has restless revolting minds and a racing heart which leads to an agitation that throws a characteristic state confusion all around.
Was Anna’s agitation a muscle-flexing of so called “middle class” to show that they can match the levels of agitations that disaffected Dalits go on spontaneously once in a while because they are humiliated, lynched, raped and murdered daily?
With all due respect, who is this Anna Hazare anyway? Does he really understand the repercussions of what he is being part of by going on fasts against the government? Isn’t going on fasts his only talent? Isn’t he merely a poster-boy?
When the so called leader of such a well-organized agitation himself doesn’t know what his agitation is exactly about, then who are the real players? How can this agitation be called as a spontaneous one?Can we afford to count Anna Hazare among revolutionaries like Lenin, Castro or Guevara who epitomize revolt against oppressive and corrupt system? If not then, isn’t this an artificial agitation?
Anna’s agitation has shown that a movement organized in the interest of the nation & which can influence every citizen of the nation can have communal and casteist bigotry by simply excluding backward communities and minorities out of it.
Tejas is a final year medical student and a free-lancing writer who thinks good writing has a purpose, “At last, higher purpose of serving the cause should get fulfilled rather than deluding oneself with a chest-pouting glory”.
Filed under: Caste dynamics, democratic activism | 1 Comment