Millennium Post

Anna’s difficult makeover

For those who were always with skeptical with the ulterior motives of Anna Hazare and his team, the decision to join politics comes as no surprise. But for many others it is somewhat of a compromise that they did not expect the anti-corruption crusaders to offer so easily and so quickly. For them, Anna was kind of a new-age a-political leader [though with no new ideas], much like JP Narayan who has come from outside the political class to provide those failed by politics, if not with anything else, but at least with a voice. When the movement of Team Anna began, the middle class was the first to respond. It is the middle class, educated and tax paying and generally lawful, who find themselves increasingly helpless at the maneuvering, corruption and the utter disregard for public life and property that the political class has been repeatedly accused of. What Anna and his team said was at least heard and the middle classes liked to believe that it was their collective bargain with the political class to provide proper, clean and steady governance that Team Anna was putting across to the nation. He made the right noises and was heard in the right places, if not always favourably. No wonder that last August, at the peak of his movement, Anna become a national hero.

The urge to join politics may have been born out of the movement and more so because it was increasingly becoming difficult for Anna to influence the government decision, especially on the Lokpal Bill. There is perhaps no other way for team Anna to ensure the kind of anti-corruption law that they want. But then Anna has a huge task ahead. Politics comes with huge responsibility, needs great managerial skills and is ridden with provocations and pitfalls. Stepping into politics means  joining the very corrupt system that Team Anna has been fighting. They will have to handle issues from campaign finance to the influence mongering of powerful industrial houses all of which breeds corruption. The political party that they found will attract all sorts of people, including many who are only interested is the benefits of office, and will no longer be restricted to dedicated activists. How well will team Anna cope with all the new pulls and pressures that will tend to pull the movement off its high moral horse. One would hope Anna Hazare knows what he has stepped into. It is one thing to put up a banner of fasts and angry rhetoric in a climate of public anger, against the government. It is another to thing to successfully run a political party and to become part of an evolving demography. The quicker Anna understands that, the better.
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