Millennium Post

Not a game for the saints

Not a game for the saints
The recent developments in New Delhi have made it crystal clear that corruption has become a non-issue like inflation, and both are going to survive despite the hue and cry at various levels. Team Anna made a sudden shift from its one-point, dedicated anti-corruption agenda to jump onto the bandwagon of the supposedly disgraced and unwanted politics  where one has to become a juggler elections. It is like an unexpected shift during the ongoing Olympic from shooting  to swimming sport despite never having ventured even once into the water. The political turf is not so smooth. It is not easy to survive and flourish. One has to be dashing, assertive, with foresight, visionary, calculating, dramatic, wily and shrewd. It is a game which involves walking on swords. All actions of politicians are open to public scrutiny. It is also a circus being controlled by the money power, muscle power, mass power and mind power. The results in politics are sometimes astonishing and stunning too. One has to possess a steel heart to face rough weather and blunt comments. Anyhow the politics is not a game for the saints and idealistic persons.

The decision of Team Anna has become debatable even in its own circle. It is evident that the  team has been losing its sympathisers and supporters day by day. The team has not at all been able to hold its flock together, what to talk of its mass support which touched the lowest mark during its recent anshan at Jantar Mantar. The team got disturbed  as none from the government came forward to initiate talks. This reminds one of the days of the then prime minister P V Narsimha Rao who diffused hostage crisis at holy Hazratbal Shrine at Srinagar by not responding to the demands of the terrorists and not taking any military action against them. The then government gave the impression that nothing had happened and there was no cause for concern. The crisis continued for more that 45 days and the terrorists ran away after vacating the shrine. The present United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, headed by an economist, Manmohan Singh, who is a silent though intelligent political player, decided to ignore the euphoria of social activist Anna. The team had never thought that the government’s thinktank and dark room directors would come up with such a strategy.

The team, as well as Anna is claiming to bring about a noticeable change in the next three years, by forming a political party, touring every nook and corner of the nation during the next 18 months and through the selection of clean candidates to be fielded in elections. It is not certain that Anna will be taken in a personality like Jayaprakash (J P) across the country.

The last sit in by Anna at Mumbai proved to be a damn squib. Moreover, his influence or magic is not going to impress in his own state, Maharashtra, what to talk of the states situated beyond the Hindi heartland. A SMS survey conducted by a leading electronic channel asking people to respond on formation of a party by Anna was looking like a stage-managed show in which their own sympathisers participated as the dissenting voices were just limited to less than three per cent.

Loknayak J P had influence beyond his place of residence Kadam Kuan in Patna whereas Anna’s empire of influence is restricted to just within his village Ralegaon Sidhi where he has undertaken constructive social work. A leader of the highest stature, Gandhian and freedom fighter J P could not hold together the Janata Party, conceived and nurtured by him. How will Anna be able to pull it off? It may be recalled that J P administered a pledge of unity and upholding Gandhian principles to the newly elected Janata Party MPs in 1977 at Rajghat.

The MPs left no stone unturned to disappoint J P. Anna, said to be a true Gandhian of the present days, called off his hunger strike without having even a simple assurance from the authorities. This has not only shattered the faith of his followers but also of all right minded people. Our Bapu, Mahatma Gandhi would never had called off his satyagrah or fast without achieving his goal or without inculcating a sense of realisation of truth and non-violence in the hearts of his fellow citizens. The decision of Team Anna is being interpreted differently by various political parties as they don’t see any danger from a party which is yet to take shape. Our democracy has seen the rise of a number of parties and extinction of a large number of them as well parties. Moreover, the established parties feeling buoyed as appearance of more parties, makes their contest easy with a division of votes. It is only because of this that the candidates securing less than 30 per cent of the votes polled are emerging victorious.

It is an apprehension that Anna may become a member of a club of spent force leaders. Leaders who decided to form parties and later on become spent forces includes heavyweights like Balraj Madhok, V K Saklecha, Madan Lal Khurana, S Bangrappa, N D Tiwari, S S Waghela, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and the one-man army of Subramanian Swamy. A big question mark hovers over the much talked of upcoming Anna party.

Sat Pal is a communication consultant and has worked with several central and state ministers.
Sat Pal

Sat Pal

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