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Anna Hazare Unleashes the Power of One
|by Aneeta Chakrabarty|
It could be a scenario straight out of any decaying empire where the rulers have long stopped to think, feel or act. An old man runs this empire of the corrupt along with his much-loathed foreign sphinx. While the old man manipulates a rickety old congress that belches smoke yet calls it oxygen, the grand dame somberly presides over the tricks of a virulent empire that divides and robs with deadly precision. Rising from the anger of this injustice are a billion people whose hurt and rage have snowballed into a tempest of protests led by a simple man with an epic faith, Anna Hazare (Annaji).
The stalemate continued with the Government pulling out one rabbit after another from its bag of tricks. First, the haughty and repressive Chidambaram justified the arrest of the austere Gandhian along with over 2000 of his followers. Then, accusations poured out with the likes of Manish Tewari’s notorious, “Tum upar se niche tak bhrastachar me lipta ho" speech that astounded India with its sheer brazen disrespect. Not to be outdone, the oracular Arundhati Roy pronounced the movement as “draconian” and the old sardar with a “I don’t know what I’m doing” look spoke in a sing song monotone that the path to change was “totally misconceived.” Pranab Mukherjee chimed in with “nobody was stifling the voice of protest, but at the same time there are certain rules and laws”, as if the citizens of India do not know the rules.
If anybody in India has flaunted rules with impunity, it is none other than the Congress ministers. For over 60 years, they have broken every rule in the book to keep their thrones. However, the furious backlash all over India at the crackdown on a peaceful protest checked the rampant insanity running thru the likes of Kapil Sibal and Chidambaram. The Government was forced to release Annaji and unconditionally agree to a 15 day protest fast.
During the next few days, the crowds grew bigger and bigger. From the aisles of Bollywood to the slums of the poor, all of India was one with Annaji so much so that Kiran Bedi twittered, “Anna is India and India is Anna.”
In spite of Annaji’s fast entering the 10th day, the morally fuzzy brown sahibs dug their heels and talked a lot but conceded very little. The tribe of looters now came up with a serpentine logic and deviously harped on the “supremacy of the parliament,” “respect for the constitution,” “democratic process”, similar to a serpent making their evil intentions appear reasonable. Even Ali Baba and his chaalis chor would respect the parliament more than the likes of Imperial Mayawati whose ministers routinely murder and rape, the likes of Lalloo Prasad whose reign of terror in Bihar can approach Attila the Hun, the unelected NAC which nevertheless can form laws to govern you and me, and of course, our very own unelected Prime Minister, who is away on Mars or Pluto most of the time.
Add to this eminent group, an assorted bunch of incompetent, unruly, corrupt, calculating and predatory anti-nationals of the ruling UPA who could not stop being a “bakasura” and preying upon the poor and hapless people.
In the midst of all this, out of the blue, Rahul Gandhi suddenly realized that he was “tapped by fate” as the grandson of Nehru, and son of Sonia, to do something. He spoke out of turn, at the zero hour for over 10 minutes when lesser souls had to follow the “rules of parliamentary democracy” and not speak more than 3 minutes. His borrowed idea, purloined from T.N Seshan, of creating a constitutional body like the Election Commission was nothing new and yet he called it a “game changer.”
Annaji’s conditions of breaking the fast, bringing the lower bureaucracy under the Lokpal, setting up Lokayuktas in states and setting up Citizens Charter in government offices, were not even addressed. All in all, Rahul’s speech was just another delaying tactic under the Machiavellian umbrella of parliamentary supremacy, possibly “parliamentary stupor.”
It is obvious that the Government was not serious about the Jan Lok Pal bill. For the ministers perched comfortably on the tree of wealth, the Jan Lok Pal bill would be tantamount to cutting the trunk of this tree. There is no incentive on their part to chisel away the corrupting trunk. There will of course be several half-hearted attempts such as “we will try,” or “we will do our best,” or “we will suggest” spun by the fawning media as ground-breaking. To this state of affairs, consider the mother of all wonders, the all-important standing committee, a procedural wall that will take months to climb and come out in one piece, and you can get the picture. The corrupting trunk will stay unless the people declare a war, physically, psychologically and emotionally, a second war of independence from the brown sahibs.
Meanwhile, the country waited with bated breath as the simple man gave up eating, and heroically battled the mammoth evil gnawing at the fabric of India. The betrayal on the part of the reeling state along with its benign, misleading picture has not stopped Annaji’s unflinching determination to fight. The inner voice which lights up his path refuses to compromise until he sees results. And as Annaji faces this wrenching odyssey for a resurgent India, he is not alone. Forces in the Universe have aligned with the cause. The BJP has for once acted decisively, rallied the opposition, and successfully battled the stubborn Congress mule to accept all the three demands of the veteran Gandhian. As Lord Tennyson would say, “The old order has changed giving place to the new and God fulfils himself in many ways.”
Annaji will end his 13 day fast on Sunday at 10 a.m., as he always breaks fast after sunrise. Like the “Old man and the sea”, his formidable spirit chose the road least taken and in so doing he roused a nation that had almost given up.
An awakened India rises with the euphoric cries of victory and the people’s power will have its way. As the saying goes, “The river of freedom, like the Nile, may bend and twist, but will never die.”
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Comments on this Article
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
08/28/2011 15:31 PM
08/28/2011 06:26 AM
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