Saturday, July 23, 2011

Has anyone heard Anna castigate the BJP over Karnataka?

At least I haven’t. And I am really really surprised by this silence that Anna and his entire team of so called “civil society activists” is maintaining. Why is Anna not taking the BJP to task? Shouldn’t he be seen taking an apolitical line on corruption?

The biggest complaint that I have had against Anna’s Lokpal Bill campaign is that it has never been an apolitical campaign. There have been charges against his being a motivated campaign against the UPA government. Some have gone so far as to call him an RSS “mukhota”. Now honestly, there would be nothing wrong in the BJP or the RSS taking up the anti-corruption fight against the Congress. That can only do the country good. But it should be done openly. Shadow boxing using the good name of a mass leader like Anna sounds like cheap tactics. And for Anna to succumb to this kind of obvious deceit is regretful.

Of course, the BJP seems to have gone into a deep freeze. This is truly something I never expected. After all, whatever my complaints have been with the party, I have never found it lacking TV-savvy spokespeople. Be it Arun Jaitley or Ravi Shankar Prasad or Nirmala Seetharaman or Siddhant Singh or Chandan Mitra or the many undeclared supporters of BJP, the party has always been well represented on TV channels. Why the sudden deafening silence then? Is it that the party has been unable to handle the shock? Where is Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Chief Spokesperson of the BJP? Where is Arun Jaitley, the savvy lawyer and leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha? Where is Advani, the party patriarch, whose extremities in speeches are legendary? And oh.....I almost forgot the party President. Where is Nitin Gadkari? And why is Sushma Swaraj, the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha not tweeting about Karnataka? After all, she was the one leading Anna’s team on at Rajghat and tweeting at the same time wasn’t she? Have all of them been stunned into silence? Is the party going to call another “chintan baithak” where it will try and figure out yet another devious defence of Yeddy? After all, the party found it alright and justifiable to explain Yeddy’s earlier scam (selling land to his sons cheap) as “legally right” but “morally wrong”. What now? Are the legal hawks strategizing whether to attack Justice Santosh Hegde? After all, that must surely be easier than taking Yeddy to task.

The BJP has yet again shown that it is a party that is run by local satraps. First it was Narendra Modi in Gujarat who won the party three successive wins in this economically powerful state. Economically powerful state gives Modi the means to economically power the party’s treasury. And with the party out of power at the Center, it has to count on the local outfits to fund the treasury. Now it’s Yeddy. The charge that many make against the BJP is that even if it wants to, it cannot remove Yeddy. He carries the support of the powerful Lingayat community in Karnataka. An attack on Yeddy could well mean calling for elections all over again. Is the BJP sure of re-winning the state if this were to happen? Going by their silence, it certainly doesn’t appear to be so.

But this post is not about the BJP. It’s about Anna. Surely Anna has had enough time to consider Justice Hegde’s report? Surely he’s had a chat with Justice Hegde? Surely, there can be no doubt in the report’s credibility? If so, then why is he keeping so quiet? And what about his other fellow team members? Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan could be seen on every channel when the UPA blundered with its own corruption cases. I am sorry but this silence is unacceptable to their thousands (I doubt if its millions) of followers. They expect the team to be consistent. After all, their fight is against corruption, not against a political party. And by keeping quiet, they are giving credence to the charge that some Congress supporters make that Anna is just a front for the BJP and RSS.

Or is it that there is a divide within team Anna? Even in the past, there was some controversy related to Justice Hegde joining Anna’s fast starting Aug 16th. First he said he would support but not join the fast. Then he said that he would join. Then there was the controversy about him first saying he would not attend a meeting with the government on the Lokpal draft. Then he said he would. What’s going on? Is it that Justice Hegde understood the movement to be apolitical but later found that it was anything but? Under normal circumstances, I would have imagined his entire team coming out in his support; decrying the efforts of the Karnataka government to tap his phone and to send “negotiators” to his house. Does Anna’s team also want to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds?

And what about civil society? Since I have written a few anti-BJP posts of late, I have been getting loads of comments calling me a Congress stooge. Let me declare it right here. I have my complaints against the BJP, but I am no Congress stooge. This blog is called The Real Truth and I will unearth the real truth wherever I find it......No matter whose toes I have to step on. I wrote against Vilasrao Deshmukh becoming the MCA President also. But somehow, I have managed to irk the BJP supporters quite a bit. Unfortunately, very few of their comments against my posts have been logical. They’ve mostly been an emotional support for the BJP and against the Congress. I thought the intelligentsia would be apolitical on issues of corruption. But it looks like everyone in India loves politics!

The real truth is that I am disappointed with Anna’s silence. I have never believed in his aggressive style. But now, I don’t believe in his motive also. No doubt he is a good man and his work in Ralegaon Siddhi speaks for itself (There is a full chapter in my son’s book on Ralegaon Siddhi and I am happy it is there). But he has been sucked into politics. For the sake of the fight against corruption, I hope he speaks out. Soon......

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