Last night, I had a dream and Anna Hazare in his quiet, reassuring dignified voice spoke to me. I recount his conversation with me, verbatim.
“I was a social activist in my native village of Raelgan Siddhi, living my simple bucolic life, till the countrywide movement against corruption thrust me in to this post as the moral heart of the Revolution, a year ago.
Last July, was a heady period. The adulation, the press, the country wide chorus, a corrupt, morally bankrupt political system on bended knees…but I knew that this would not last. Rainbows, unlike diamonds do not last forever.
So, this last couple of weeks the ride has been rocky. Lots of potholes, and unpredictable twists and turns, the crowds have thinned out, the adrenaline rush is missing. Even a fast doesn’t seem to last. However our goal remains the same, but I guess our tactics will have to change and evolve.
Therefore I wonder, what is it that went wrong? Did we Team Anna, overplay our hand? Did we trap ourselves into a sanctimonious corner? Did we heckle and hector everyone who disagreed with us, thus diminishing all our chances of man ouvere? Did we fail to understand how the politician – corporate – media bed fellows operate and outplay their rivals? Did we search for utopia forgetting grass root realties?
Perhaps, we did! But remember this; the reason our movement made so many mistakes and gaffes is because it was genuine and spontaneous. On the other hand, any other political movement that is well oiled, that says politically correct thing and is opaque and dodgy is the one you shouldn’t trust. Ours was a cry from the heart against, the criminal loot and plunder of our country. A heartfelt cry for truth and probity in governance. But then may be a cry for the truth in our society to day, is a cry in the wilderness.
I do accept that our team members spanned the spectrum of political thought and ideology in our country. Some were right leaning ( so apparently in the tune with the established right wing party, the BJP) some left leaning ( more in rhythm with CPI/ CPIM and even sympathetic to the Naxals) and some were centrist ( so apparently in sync with the UPA )
But is it any one’s case that people of varying political ideologies shouldn’t come together on one platform with a single point agenda of slaying this demon of corruption that is eating in to the vitals of our society? Or is corruption in our country an illusion after all ? A mayajal that needs to be acknowledged and not fought.
So that’s what we did. Fight it out and because of that perhaps all political parties joined forces to bash us up gleefully
The question that then remains is where do we go from here???
A volcano comes from bottom up. So if, it has erupted and I don’t know if it has, the anger and the lava of people’s rage will lead to a successful political party and transition. I’m sure of that.
But if it hasn’t, then this is my wish list for the people of India
Can we reduce corruption, at our individual level every time we are tempted to bribe or be bribed?
Can every industrialist and member of corporate India vow to eliminate the concept of speed money and be as a accountable to society, as he expects politics and the state to be accountable to him?
Can our policemen and judges do a more effective, and speedy job of dispensing justice within the frame work of our existing laws. We need more brave hearts within the system as much as outside.
Can the RSS, a potent political force, jettison its archaic world view and throw its aim of relegating minorities to second class citizens in our country in the dustbin, because if we as a people remain divided, what chances are there of putting up a united force against corruption ? And those inclined to the UPA which is in power can you convince them to bring in an effective Lokpal or else 2014 may be a disaster
Can we re-energise and re-organise ourselves to understand that there is only one form of patriotism we need to pursue. A patriotic fervour towards a love for our land and our forests; our water and our air; our people and their standard of living? That “ patriotism “ directed towards religion and culture language and caste is nothing but distracting and diversionary hogwash ?
The path ahead appears tortuous and the mountains ever so steep and treacherous. And may be we will trip and fall but climb we must, because we have no other option.
The media, political pundits and columnists will tell you that Team Anna has flopped and failed. I am 74 now. Success and failure is immaterial to me because I will simply continue my work but can you- especially the youth of this great country – afford to fail and allow this monster of corruption and all smooth talking parliamentary democrats ( whatever that means ) overwhelm you forever?
Democracy, as they say, is not a spectator sport. You have to jump into the filth of the arena to preserve it.