“We learn from history that we do not learn from history.”
People of India gave mandate to Sonia Gandhi. Sonia faced resistance from opposition parties who were earlier rejected by the people of India. She devised a strategy of least resistance and outsourced premiership to Dr. Manmohan Singh. Her party men agreed to it readily because of what is famously known as TINA (There is no alternative) factor
Sonia’s decision was glorified as sacrifice and not as shirking and manipulating responsibility. Opposition to her acceptance as rightful political leader got blunted. Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharati etc got silenced.
We have a history of respect to people who while abdicating responsibility lay claim to supervise the authority. They have been accorded far greater respect and following than those taking responsibility and struggling to grapple and solve the complex challenges before family, society or nation. They have been considered power hungry. This value system is well known to the self-styled civil society of Shree Arbind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi etal; so they have put Anna Hazare in the front of their agitation. This also is a variant of outsourcing. It was natural for Baba Ramdev to get alarmed that his campaign may be hijacked by this team.
The panicky reaction of the government to their maneuvers was in sharp contrast to the response of the government to the movement led by Jaiprakash Narayan in 1974. The then government did not give recognition to it as a legitimate movement and treated it as a law and order problem. It stood by the supremacy of elected democratic institutions. It did not opt for soft options and shortcut formulae. It appears the present government decided to be cleverer.
Repeated threats by Shree Anna Hazare of resorting to fast is reminiscent of of a story from the Mahabharata.
Sage Kaushik was meditating under a tree. Suddenly excreta of a bird perched on the tree fell on him. He looked angrily it. The bird got tuned into ash. The sage was now satisfied that his meditation was successful. After that he visited a household for alms. The lady of the home kept him waiting for some time. He expressed his anger at the delay, threatening punishment. The lady smilingly told him that she was engaged in more important work.