By Sunil Dang
After a gap of seven years, crusader against corruption Anna Hazare is once again on hunger strike at RamlilaMaidan demanding inception of Lokpal — a demand that mobilize whole nation against the government in 2011. The 2011 movement was such a huge success that it made a perception against the UPA-2 government of being corrupt and incompetent among the Indian mass. It helped principal opposition party BJP to take advantage and storm to power with full majority. It also helped Anna’s back room aides Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodiya, Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav etc. to romp into politics by incepting new party. Some of his aides, who were not in mood to take risk, joined BJP and are now enjoying perks of being in power corridors. Some of them who joined BJP have become member parliament, ministers and even governor. One of his close aides Arvind Kejriwal is chief minister of Delhi.
Therefore, as a social activist, Anna must be hoping huge success in this agitation as large number of his 2011 prodigies who are now in both centre and Delhi government would become active in making the dream which they saw in 2011 into a reality. Ann has all the reasons to have such kind of expectations as that time both Delhi and the Central government was run by the Congress Party and it achieved resounding success. Though in 2018 when his aides who reaped benefit of 2011 movement, Anna’s hunger strike and intruded the power corridors were expected to make this agitation an equal success, if not bigger than that. However, Anna’s falter is not new. After emergency agitation led by Jaiprakash Narayan, Janata government dethroned Indira government in Delhi. This movement has such a huge impact on the people of India that even Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi lost elections in 1977. But, once the Janata government formed, JP was dumped by his prodigies too. Leaders who emerged after the JP Movement continue to take a vow in the name of JP, but they never cared about the preaching of JP.
Anna is going through the same trauma. His prodigies — who have make a cut into the politics — hit the lime light like a satellite of Anna Hazare. But, the question is, from where lime light ? Why media provide exhaustive coverage to Anna’s movement of 2011? Why, subsequently, did Anna become irrelevant to both his prodigies and media? Anna did sit on hunger strike in Delhi after 2011 on some other occasions as well but on all such occasions he failed to grab that kind of media and public attention. Hence, it’s not the first time when Anna has failed to mobilize public as he did in 2011.
Being a political observer, I can assure had there been media attention of that kind this time too, all his prodigies (including Arvind Kejriwal) would have cued outside Ramlila Maidan to reap few more benefit of Anna Hazare. I also have no hesitation in making it clear to my readers that 2011 Anna Hazare Movement was stage managed and had its moles even in media. Media professionals who had made a large cut into the mainstream media were behind such a huge media coverage and bombarding agenda of their political masters. It also included some of the media professionals who were on verge of completion of their career. These cocktails of media cum social activists were in actual choreographing Anna Movement with the help of some political aspirants posing themselves as aides of Anna Hazare. They were doing this to carve their political career and once Anna Movement was over, these media professional who had job in their hand resigned before joining either of BJP or the new party floated by Arvind Kejriwal. And those who were jobless and were getting their both ends meet through their social activities jumped into the political bandwagon with an alibi that they are forced to enter the politics because system is full of corruption because it is run by corrupts.
Hence, the way JP and Anna have been ill treated by their prodigies, I am pained to write that even Mahatama Gandhi would have faced same kind of treatment had he lived for few more years!