Politics Without Money - Distant Bed Fellows
The fight against corruption and the emergence of Team Anna, saw India as a veritable battle ground, where the hawks for once felt threatened and insecure. All did not seem too well in Team Anna, riddled as it was with some internecine bickering. It initially professed a apolitical stance, but gradually got more interfering with the politics of the land. We couldn't in a way blame them either as corruption has a direct connection with the murkiest politics. So, be it in India as well.
No amount of trying to throttle the team succeeded, with things like income tax default charges impugned against one of its top leaders. Then again eyebrows were raised against the NGO of one of its vocal and if one may say so, histrionic leaders. That became muted after some time, like the first charge.
Initially the people of the country made the apotheosis; Anna Hazare was its leader against the forces of vile political machinations, and the hot bed of venality. He could be the future leader too. The waxing became a waning after some time as 'spiritual' leaders tried to exact mileage out of the euphoria. That didn't seem to go very well with most of the aposatates and heretics. One was accused of blasphemy, as being a wily government informer, and was promptly dismissed. Another continued to stay with resilience, but I am sure that many people of the country what was he doing in the midst of the pyrotechnics, as he should have stuck to his ever increasing populism of his TV lessons. But the reason became clear after some time, when he started staging his individual dharnas, and fasting lessons.
In the meanwhile the founder member made stylized attempts to combat political allegiances in a state, in an attempt to overthrow the ruling party. Then, differences brewed, with at least one member strictly state in the voice of a martinet, that he simply would not tolerate a political game. The leader hummed and hawed, and finally said that he would not be a part of any party, but would give it (moral?) support. Surely another Gandhi was emerging, but we forgot and still forget that there can be only one Gandhi.
The Lok Sabha met, and in the babble of voices, the bill yes, the bill could not be passed. Then another leader (many thought he was the actual one, who did all the adroit pupeteering!) said that all our politicians were rapists and thieves. This was a severe and extremely rude indictment indeed. What was up? Nothing, except that our politicians became more belligerent, and stood solidly united, cutting across party barriers where a leftist echoed Laloo Prasad Yadav's facetious but ridiculous statements. Now we hear that one of the leaders the spiritualist has quite a bit of money stashed in a bank.
Finally was the denouement. The 'real' leader has finally formed a political party and is flexing the team's muscles to contest the next elections. What will happen is for us to see as everyone knows that without money politics cannot survive in the country. It will be also a test to see how national this team is, or rather this party. Will it be able to permeate its cry against corruption all over the country? To me it is a paradox as the entire country and its echelons are corrupt.
Moral of the story: politics without money and corruption, at least in India are distant bed fellows.
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Ananya S Guha
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