Anna and the dance of democracy

As I am writing this blog, Team Anna is up for a political move at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. If their party comes into existence, India will see a new front in the list of many fronts.

The movement of Anna Hazare under the banner of ‘India Against Corruption’ has been challenging the UPA government since the last one and a half years to come out clean on the charges of corruption against many of the UPA ministers and the Prime Minister himself. After coming up with an idea of a revolution against corruption, they were taken with open arms by a majority of the Indians who are very much disgusted by the way governments after governments, no matter of which party they had been, were in a habit of promoting corruption at the government offices. But the way Anna and his team seemed to have given up on fasting and leaving their chosen track of movement has caused many Indians’ to drift away from their notions, as the very idea of their movement was no more transparent to them.

“In the earlier days of Anna’s movement, the selective targeting of corruption (corruption of the congress while ignoring that of BJP) smelled of some political motive behind all this anti-corruption movement.”

The selective targeting of corruption cases against the ministers of the Congress or the UPA only, raised many eyebrows about their intentions and political backing of Team Anna. At the end of his very first fast against corruption last summer, Anna showered praises on Modi and his so called governance which drew a lot of criticism. After that, Modi’s letter to Anna was enough to cause massive damage to the credibility of Anna and his movement. Majority of people drifted away after getting a sense of Anna’s sympathy for Narendra Modi. He and his team members have always tried to evade the questions, whenever asked about their views on Narendra Modi and the Gujarat riots.

After Anna’s challenge to the government over graft issues, the God man and Yogi, Baba Ramdev jumped into the fray and went for his own fast at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, which was forcefully disrupted by the Delhi police. Baba Ramdev was arrested and flown out of the capital and his entry was banned in the National Capital region.

There is no denying the fact that the influence of capitalism has made this government of UPA more corrupt and corruption among the government’s ranks and files has touched its zenith. The influence of the corporate houses and India Inc. has certainly forced the government to get more anti-people policies, thus causing a bigger discontent among the masses; Aam Aadmi. Lokpal might bring about change in the functioning of the higher offices, but what about the corruption which the Indian poor faces on a daily basis, in hospitals, police stations, schools, colleges, the corruption of the corporate class which causes the crisis’ which we had nearly a month ago in Haryana’s Manesar’s Maruti Suzuki plant. What about the corruption the poor workers from Bihar, UP and Bengal face on a daily basis on the streets of the cities like Delhi and Mumbai? Anna never talked about the corruptions in the areas, which are facing Naxalism.

In the earlier days of Anna’s movement, the selective targeting of corruption (corruption of the congress while ignoring that of BJP) smelled of some political motive behind all this anti-corruption movement. Most of the people participating in rallies and marches might have been honest in their resolute, but the leaders of this movement seemed to be remote controlled by somewhere else.

India doesn’t only consist of the urbanized middle class; most of which never cares to think or ponder about the problems of the people living far away from the glittering metros. Most of the people carrying candles in their hands and chanting Vande Matram were the ones who had been in a business of subjugating their sub ordinates, or the ones who have been weaker to them since ages because of the faulty socio economic policies. It’s only when that the political class started to exploit them, then they woke up to think that corruption is such a malaise. The IPS officer from Gujarat, Sanjiv Bhatt, who was dismissed by Narendra Modi, wrote in one of his Facebook status updates, ” Corrupting the minds of people with virus of communalism and hatred for narrow political ends is the worst form of corruption as it tends to destroy the very secular foundation of our constitutional democracy”. And this is what the main, powerful supporters of Anna, the BJP and the Sangh have been in a business of doing since last two decades. Can anyone wonder why Anna Hazare doesn’t speak against communalism? It doesn’t mean that Anna is communal in his approach but he has been soft whenever there came a chance to rebuke the communal forces like the way he keeps on rebuking the ‘’ corrupt’’ ministers of the UPA.

In India, everyone wants to get rid of corruption but there must be a way to want it. Indeed Anna has been the centre of this movement shouting at the periphery, but in a democracy and a country like ours, it does not take much time for the ones on the periphery to take centre stage and capture that place. And that is when the problem arises. This government of UPA has presided over many corruption charges and many a ministers had to quit, but corruption is in the DNA of the system here, it’s not only confined to either the BJP or the Congress. We have to get rid of it for all and from all levels, not just for a few powerful people who are corrupt in themselves and who have always been in a business of exploiting their subjugates, but when the political class started exploiting them, all hell broke.

Good Luck Anna for your political future. Welcome to the dance floor of democracy.

Syed used to work with the Hindustan Times, Delhi till 2010 December and then he took a sabbatical for academic purposes which continues till date. Currently pursuing his masters in Peace and conflict studies with Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, Syed has studied journalism from Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi.

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