Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Team Anna finally accepts movement is political…..

Team Anna finally got out of its coyness yesterday with team members openly accepting that their movement was political. Everyone with a half-active brain for politics already knew this. But Anna’s repeated assertions that he was not for or against any party – even though his actions spoke otherwise – made people trust and believe him. His assertion that no politician would be allowed to share the stage with him during his fast went down well with his followers. As much as his movement was against corruption, it was against the political class in general. Now the veil is off. Anna’s movement (apparently) always was and surely now is political. He may still not have a political party and he may still not contest elections, but he has to be called a politician. Just another politician…..

Not only is Anna a politician, he is going to be pro and anti select political parties. His disdain – or rather aggressive dislike – for the Congress is well known. His opposition to the Congress at least partly ensured that the Congress candidate lost his deposit in the Hisar bypoll. But since the primary agenda of the Anna movement has now become political (rather than fighting corruption), it does not matter that Anna may support other parties which are equally embroiled in corruption. Anna is a politician whose primary persuasion is “anti-Congressism”.

Of course, like any politician does, Anna too has found a clever method to justify his political form and still hold onto his anti-corruption line. Accordingly, since Congress is the ruling party at the center, he will oppose it everywhere…..even in UP. Wow….that’s some logic. If that means supporting the BSP, which some consider to be one of the most brutally corrupt parties in the state, that’s a small compromise to make. Apparently, this opposition to the Congress will compel the party to secure the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. In fact, if it means supporting all parties opposed to the Congress, including the SP and the BJP (wait, the BJP is special….we’ll talk about that later), then that’s also ok. Maybe we can afford to have corrupt governments installed one after the other all over the country, but that’s alright. After all, Anna believes that it is the responsibility of the Congress – and only the Congress – to pass the JLP.

Small realities like our Parliamentary form of democracy, the role and importance of the Standing Committee, the support of other political parties required to pass a bill…..are things that cannot concern Anna. In a language remarkably similar to what any BJP politician might be expected to use, Team Anna compares its resolve to pass the JLP with Arjun’s focus on the eye of the bird in the Mahabharat. He could see nothing else; and supposedly Anna can see nothing else. Maybe that’s why he is unable to see the divisions that are already being created amongst his followers because of his strategy to oppose one single party in Hisar. Maybe that’s why he is unable to see the extreme anger that many in the country feel against his compatriot Prashant Bhushan’s Kashmir remark. And the damage that this has caused to his movement. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t see the damage that two of his core team members’ leaving is causing the movement. Maybe also, that’s why he doesn’t see that so many intellectuals are against specific proposals of his JLP….All that he can see is the passage of HIS bill. Nothing more, nothing less.

So Digvijay Singh was right after all. His accusations of Anna being an RSS “mukhota” could indeed be true. Since Anna is anti-Congress and the beneficiary of that is the BJP; hence one must assume that they must be supporting Anna. This is not my logic; this logic of “since you benefit, you must be the culprit” was used by the BJP in the Cash-for-votes scam. The Congress was a beneficiary and hence they must have bribed the three BJP MPs. The same logic is used whenever any attack is made by anyone on Team Anna. If some team members have left Team Anna and the team is getting divided, surely the Congress is the beneficiary and therefore it must be behind it. Arnab Goswami found it necessary to ask this pointed question to Salman Khursheed last night on tv – “why are you dividing Team Anna”? Wow. Politics has never been sensible; but it’s still shocking how senseless it has become these days.

So if the Anna movement is political, then why should we sympathize about Prashant Bhushan getting whacked by an ex-BJP member in public? Politicians get whacked all the time. In our criminal-infested political system, politicians are often even murdered. No one sheds any tears for them. What’s wrong if Arvind Kejriwal has a shoe hurled at him by an ex-Congress member? Shoes were hurled at many in the past – most notably George Bush and P Chidambaram – they never complained in media. What’s wrong with Manish Tewari accusing Anna (unfairly in my opinion) with charges of personal corruption? Baseless charges are levelled against politicians all the time in politics. If the coyness is off, then let Anna brace himeslf for more personal attacks in the future.

If Anna is a politician, then it’s going to be such a disappointment to his followers. Next time he starts a hunger fast, how many people will come out in support it? Much of the public outpouring – though the numbers were vastly exaggerated by the media – will vanish this time. No one cares if the Telangana agitators go on a fast. After all, they are politicians. No one will care now if Anna does the same. Maybe this time, Anna should officially call Advani to grace the stage and give some speeches from the podium. At least, there will some intellectual honesty in it.

Imagine the comparisons that people made between Anna and Gandhi. Imagine the “I am Anna” cult that was created in the name of an apolitical revolutionary. What revolutionary? Anna was just another politician. Imagine the pride that many had in their hearts when they wore the cap bearing Anna’s name. Would you wear a cap which said “I love xyz politician” unless you were a member of that party? We were all conned big time…... What a shame.

Once Anna accepts that his movement is political, it takes just one more step to link him to the RSS/BJP. That explains why his initial instinctive reaction was to support Narendra Modi – ignoring Modi’s record against minorities; his tricks at keeping the Lok Ayukta’s position empty for so long. That would explain why Anna has hardly ever spoken out against the BJP’s corruption. Anna supporters cleverly showcased Justice Hegde’s report against the BJP government in Karnataka as proof of their apolitical nature. Why did they bother? Now we know that Justice Hegde is, unlike Anna, still apolitical. That explains why even now, Anna has not spoken a word against Yeddy’s antics in avoiding jail, while when Amar Singh was arrested, he demanded that all corrupt MPs should be hanged. It’s clear now why Team Anna has always been soft on the BJP – ignoring their objections on including the judiciary under the Lokpal, covering the MPs’ conduct in Parliament, etc. That also explains why Anna’s team never objected to the audacious suggestion of Modi of having 3 out of 5 members in the Lok Ayukta selection committee from the ruling party. If only Anna had accepted his political nature earlier – it would have helped explain so much of his past behavior.

The real truth is that if the Anna movement is political; let it be called a political fight. There is no need to shed tears for him when the Congress and others rip him or his team members apart. Why even call it a movement? If it’s political, it’s no different from Advani’s Rath Yatra – full of contradictions and deceit. It’s time to remove the halo around Anna. Let’s evaluate him for what he is – a politician. If you agree with his political views, support him. Else, oppose him without feeling guilty…..


  1. Pls dont mind Mr. Panday, I have never seen such a biased write up ever before. It seems you have some personal grudge against anna and his team. I hve seen a lot of ppl opposing anna bt none so personal... it only makes me laugh. Curious, I just flipped through ur blogs n ws surprised hw any other topic except anna or congress doesn't interest u ever! r u trying to get a ticket from congress... atleast tht wt ur writeups suggest... Otherwise hw could u be so naive to justify the scams done by the party. I mean a lot of ppl support congress bt none hve said the 2G scam is ok or the CWG scam... ur desperateness to justify every wrong doing by congress makes on think wt hidden agenda u hve. N u talk abt hidden agendas of others... it makes me laugh!
    and u hve any doubts about it just flash some cold water on ur face and think why dont u get any comments at all on ur long blogs which u write everyday! thts some effort u r making to impress congress boy! I wish u really get a ticket from the party... otherwise we will lose faith in the popular saying 'Hardwork pays'... anyways happy blabbering

  2. What is apalling is the fact that NDTV didnt hesitate in giving them the Indian of the year award. Why not to Pranab Mukherjee then...he bailed his party, parliament and the country out of the mess these people from Anna's team were putting in to.

    If the criterion to be the Indian of the year is the square inch space in newspapers, secondage on television, and illogical usage of social media...then NDTV surely needs to understand what it means to be an Indian.

    Who doesnt like power? Anna n Kejriwal are no different. Who gave them the right to be a representative of 1.2 billion people? Every issue in the country can not be resolved by the protests on the roads like theirs.

    When Prashant Bhooshan is attacked for the fool that he made of himself trying to be intelligent and address Kashmir issue without even realizing the depth of the issue....what is wrong in it? People have their own modes of protests.

    If kejriwal is greeted with Chappal, why crib? They desperately have been trying to get in to politics...Hissar was just for starters...so in politics...be ready to face its consequences.

    I am the actual winner of Indian of the year because I am a lay man. I have been suffering terror attacks, inflation, bad roads, auto strike, the corrupt politicians, scams, self-righteous Anna and his cronies and the works...I survive it all. I am the Indian of the year. I dont participate in any of the issues I suffer...but I suffer.