Team irrelevant after Anna achieves objective
The last few weeks have seen so much being written on individual views and actions of Team Anna members. Of course no one can endorse what Kiran Bedi has done. Similarly why should Arvind Kejriwal not pay his dues to the government or why should Prashant Bhushan’s remarks on Kashmir be not considered anti national. These points are good to start a debate but we should not forget that these debates become secondary given that Anna Hazare has achieved his twin objectives already.
Many people will wonder what his objectives are. The stated aim of his movement was to get people together on the issue of corruption that is so rampant in our society. Having achieved it through his unprecedented rally at the Ramlila ground, Anna also achieved his hidden objective—that of damaging the Congress extensively. What most analysts fail to see is that Anna has been able to link corruption with the Congress and has thus done incalculable harm to its prospects in all future elections. It is immaterial whether he campaigns against the party or not, the Congress is being perceived as being the fountainhead of corruption by the aam aadmi. In a country which is by and large hugely corrupt and where if you are caught accepting a bribe you can get free by giving another one, Anna has indeed put the Congress and the UPA government on the defensive.
A lot was made out when Team Anna decided that it would work against the Congress in Haryana’s Hisar by election. Many people said that Anna’s movement was now becoming political. What these people forget is that Anna’s movement was always political. There is no such thing as apolitical if you get into the realm of interacting with the people. As a matter of fact every individual is first political and than social. Politics comes into play the moment two or more than two people are involved. Famous playwright Vijay Tendulkar had once said that there is politics in every job and a job in every politics. Anna and his supporters are all political beings and there should be no mistake about it. Being a Gandhian does not give you immunity from being political. Those who hate politics themselves indulge in politics in places of their work, homes and with friends and acquaintances. There is no escape from being political and therefore there is no reason to hate politics. The campaign that all politicians are bad is fallacious and lacks any logic. Anna and his team are in politics and the only reason why people do not believe they are political is since they do not function under the banner of any organized political party or institution. This, however, does not make them angels and non political. Their objectives are political and their ways speak the same as well.
Having said that, I reiterate that Anna has achieved both his objectives and should be a very satisfied man. Since the mission has been accomplished the relevance of the team is solely cosmetic. In real terms, it is immaterial whether the team stays together or a new team gets constituted. These things are not of any interest to anybody except that people living in glass houses should not throw stones at others.
Another thing is that Anna by his repeated threats of going on fasts has also started looking like a blackmailer. He must realise that politics and functioning of institutions like Parliament have certain compulsions By dictating terms from outside no person, not even the Prime Minister can give a full assurance on behalf of Parliament which has a mind of its own when the issue comes up before it. As things are shaping up, the winter session of Parliament is going to be very stormy and may lead to long hours of adjournments on some count or the other. There is every possibility that the promised Lokpal Bill may not get discussed at all with the agenda being so diverse. Therefore to put a gun to the head of either the Prime Minister or any political party is of no use. They do not have any power to ensure that Parliament behaves in the manner in which they want it to. That is the beauty of our democracy.
Anna should now simply keep his fingers crossed that the Lokpal Bill makes it. Regardless of whether the Bill is passed or not, he has otherwise achieved his twin objectives – of highlighting corruption and damaging the Congress party. His team therefore does not have the same kind of relevance any more.