Support for Anna: A followup

Heading towards the dais - Anna Hazare

Image by vm2827 via Flickr

I wrote yesterday on why I think Anna should not use the current approach and make his political party to fight for the bill. A friend had asked me this question and on my suggestion he responded with details of an interview that Anna did with Aap Ki Adalat. The interview was a good one and the points that Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal brought up were valid ones. their concerns that the ruling party and their members are corrupt and so is the opposition is true to its very roots. Their point that changing the ruling party will not solve the issue because the opposition is also corrupt is try too. And it is evident in the way our MPs have enacted in this entire matter – I have not heard of MPs who have come forward in support of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

As Anna concluded his interview, he did mentioned a couple of points that call out the need of such an Andolan:

  1. Youth has come forward to support the movement; and it includes those who have never even voted. He mentioned that he happy to see that Youth can relate to the patriotism for India which has died over the years.  Today when people do not stand up to the National Anthem or stand up making faces, here is one movement that has brought all of them together for a greater cause;
  2. Anna said that someone who has a wife, kids and parents to support can not come forward. He added he does not expects them to come forward and go to jail because they have family to support. However, he does asks them to come forward and stand if it is harmless or support in a way they can;
  3. Anna called out to people are over 60 years and asked them – why can not they come forward. Their families are all settled and even if they go to jail, they will still get food in their;
  4. Anna and Kejriwal said many times over that this has to be a peaceful movement – no violence.

All of this makes so much sense to me. In all the material I have been reading, various activists or people; no one articulated the need or this movement the way these two did.

There is only one point that still baffles me – why does Team Anna does not want to fight for political power, get elected and then pass the bill. Given that this is not the only issue India has, if they come into power they will have the power to do not just one right thing, but lots of other right things. This question was asked many time to Anna and Arvind. The points I can make out are:

  • Arvind said (rephrased): why do we have to be power for something that is wrong?
  • Anna said (rephrased): I stay away from all government parties because if I would have not, I would have been unable to do all that I did
  • Anna said (rephrased): This is mud, and I do not want to get into the ditch

I hope not, but if this Andolan takes a turn like the recent event at Ramlila Maidan with Baba Ramdev, then this movement across India may take a turn for the worse or maybe Team Anna has been able to provide the leadership to the youth that they will not reach out to violence and stick to Gandhiwadi principles.

IIM Calcutta Alumni Association seminar on a C...

Image by vm2827 via Flickr

 

Of course, the movement has now started and no one can stop it. Anna has been fasting for 10 days now (almost 250 hours). But, whatever Team Anna is doing it is for a greater cause. They can do only so much, and even after that the Lokpal gets corrupted then we may need another Anna, but this is the right thing to do. I may never fully agree to the methods, but I always supported and will continue to support the sentiments and the need for the Lokpal bill.

 

I will pray for the safety and success of Team Anna, so that in next elections I can go and vote for an honest minister.

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