There are too many foxes under the tree making too many adulatory statements for the intelligent crow ( kaak chestaa) to sing the tune they want, so that the aromatic piece of bread of anti graft movement in its beak falls to the ground !
This time the fox is stoutly and resolutely supported by too many crocodiles. Their strategy decidedly out-performs the Chakravyuh set up by Kauravs in the Mahabharat. There are any number of sites making a fast buck out of the public mood against corruption by inviting comments and votes. These are in addition to the original website of the civil society, where comments should preferably be left, so that there is no unfair editing. This is required as some of these sites may be promoted by the fox and its companion crocs, who might edit out valuable comments, since it might be yet another of their guile to dissipate public anger !
The organizers of the movement need to watch out. A single slip of tongue can destroy an assiduously built movement. Emotions should not be allowed to overtake ideas in a movement of this kind. Right or wrong, as the people have no means to cross check the veracity of the statements published in the name of the organizers, these can harm the movement and fulfill the wishes of the opponents. The mike should be sparingly handed over to speakers who wish to address the gathering. Impromptu speeches before an agitated mass of people can result in slip of tongue. The better option would be for it to be a written one, duly pre vetted. That will ensure that no grave blunder gets committed unintentionally.
Newspapers on August 21, 2011 carry a statement attributed to one of the organizers saying that Anna is India. Such mistakes can prove very costly. Don’t forget “Indira is India & India Is Indira”, which pulled down the image of Indira Gandhi several notches within minutes of its circulation. I have no hesitation is saying that Anna is not India. Yes, India lives in Anna and people like him, who render self-less service to the people. Why is Anna fasting, putting his health, even life, at danger? To become the Prime Minister of India or President of India? No, certainly no. A resounding no. Anna does not entertain any such ambition overtly or covertly. That unravels the mystery of unstinted support to him from across all sections of the Indian society. It is this selfless service rendered by Anna that has endeared him to the children, students, youth, elderly, men and women, Hindus and Muslims & Sikhs & Christians & Buddhists & Parsis & all other denominations alike. And it is this support that has rattled the Congress most, for its foulmouthed employee politicians fed on a regular diet of creating communal dissensions and strife, are worried at such unity of the diversity! Their political future looks bleak. They were singing their tutored versions of cliché while attacking Anna, his team and civil society. Their coterie of media was also acting as their spin doctors. The people of India, whom the Congress took for granted, have proved that they understand their games. But any misstatement or irresponsible talk can serve their nefarious designs for a song.
While on songs, let me sound another note of caution. Songs, poems, dance and drama are potent weapons to awaken the public and build a crescendo in favour of any movement. Once the movement reaches a certain level of stability, it needs to be tempered. At this stage of the movement, hardnosed negotiations with the government need to be carried on. There is absolutely no room for any emotions or sentiments at this stage. The history of evolution of democracy in India since independence is replete with several occasions when the public was cheated by the government by exploiting emotions and sentiments. There are any number of agitators, who tried to build an alternative to the Congress, but ended up as a small party to serve their personal interests. All caste and communal outfits fall in this category. Many such instant leaders or better, born leaders (aashu netaa) , have fooled the people in the name of socialism, secularism, communism, poverty removal, social justice, etc in the past 6 decades. Once the movement has achieved its objectives, reversion to songs and poems and dance and drama will only befit the celebrations. Till then, emotions need to be controlled and thoughts allowed to conduct business.
One more thing I must hint at: don’t commit the mistake of underestimating ManMohan Singh as a politician. Actually, he is the shrewdest of all. His Kautiliyan mind will put all other Congress leaders in the dustbin of history. Kautilya or Chanakya is the only political-economist known to human history! He is gradually moving to control the party. Then he will consolidate his position in the government. Don’t forget even for a second that his mentor was none other than PVN Rao, one of the astutest of Congress politicians with a large genuine following of his own and enjoying the reputation of a scholar and a polyglot. The attempts to finish the “dynasty” or hijack the party have been made in the past by several ambitious politicians, who ended up only fracturing the nation for ever but failed in their designs. But this time MMSingh is likely to succeed. How and why? Because of Anna Hazare. Anna hazare is the best bet for him to present to the people the politician and the statesman they have been seeking in him, or alleging his lacking such qualities. Remember that he has succeeded in retaining his image of an honest person. It is a big achievement. It is like a lotus in a cesspool. Saving reputation in the midst of humongous scandals, each one running into billions of rupees, is a deft move, a grand success, an unbelievable performance. It could not have been achieved but for personal rectitude of the highest order even while giving a go bye to righteousness. Anna and Man Mohan Singh meet at this point. MMS and many opposition parties also meet at the very same point. MMS has no constituency of his own. The opposition parties don’t have an experienced leader of such personal integrity to win the confidence of the people. They need each other. They can bring about the change the people have been asking for. They can provide a transparent government collectively, to provide an alternative both to the Congress and the coalition politics, which is responsible for such horrible fall in moral standards in such a short time.
If the Prime Minister’s calculations make him take the initiative to root out corruption overnight, he need not look beyond the philosophy of the other Bill pending before the standing committee of parliament viz., Prevention of Bribery of Public Officials of Foreign Countries etc. Bill. If the PM chooses to deliver, the magic can work overnight without even any wand. But for that he will have to silence the astrologers of doom prophesying fall in inflation and prices by a certain month in future, and instead reach the best quality food grains in adequate quantities to the people through the Fair Price Shops under the PDS(public distribution system) as a first step. There are officers of genuinely impeccable integrity and reputation who can deliver it for the government. Their very appointment to key positions is enough to bring the markets to discipline and the corrupt to their senses. In this, Anna, we can’t give any date to MMS- we will have to leave it to his judgement.
The civil society Lokpal draft available on its site requires a lot of cleaning(which they might have done but I am unable to hit that version). It need not look like a piece of legislation to implement the UN convention only, as local problems need proper delineation.
The movement is destined to succeed if the proponents exercise proper care and vigilance.