Anna Hazare movement- the good, the bad, and the ugly

It’s almost as if we are seeing history. Now, after seeing the support that Anna Hazare is getting, it’s no longer hard to imagine how Mahatama Gandhi was able to inspire millions into channeling their collective energies towards one single goal.

The people are just spilling out on the streets, raising slogans and cries for second freedom. Freedom from an evil that has looted our motherland with just as much ruthlessness as the British did. The only difference is that we ourselves created and strengthened this enemy. And now, the battle of freedom from it must start from within our own hearts.

I don’t know if the multitude spilling out on the streets is really ready to go anti-corruption in the long run. In a country where corruption has become a way of life and source of livelihood for people from all walks of life, thinking that just a bill would magically cure all ills is just ridiculous. ‘Where there is will, there’s a way’ applies for cheats too. So, the battle against corruption can only be won if people give it up voluntarily, religiously. I hope and pray that with the rising fervour that’s visible on the streets now, this battle will truly be won.

It’s wonderful to see the show of unity that has come up to sparkle on the roads all over the country. People joining their voices to Anna’s call don’t belong to one caste or class. They are all only Indians today, rising together against corruption, as they once did against slavery. It’s heartening to see that the great Indian unity in diversity is still alive. It may not be visible all the time. But thankfully, it revives and gets charged up every time there is need. Also wonderful to see the youth being concerned enough for their country to even pull themselves away from their laptops and mobiles to really come up on the streets. That, in itself, is a great achievement, if you ask the parents of these youngsters.

But while it’s thrilling and uplifting to see the mass movement, it’s also troubling. It’s like a gunpowder being let loose. A small spark and it can explode. Though the people in Team Anna are all sensible and judicious people. I trust them to act in the best interest of the country. But people can get swayed in the heat of the moment. Things can get out of control. And people may jump in to gain selfish profits. Besides, the Government is clearly panicky now. And with the sort of foolhardy actions they have been taking, there’s no knowing what they might do next, and what that might lead to.

Another troubling thing is that the movement is shifting from being anti-corruption to being anti-government. And I lay the blame of it on Government’s mishandling of the situation too. They have created a crisis for themselves and tied their own hands and feet. They have become more of a hostage now. And maybe I’m entirely alone in feeling this, but I don’t like it. I don’t like seeing Government of India being made a hostage to a civilian’s demands. But again, it’s their own fault. They turned the situation sore. And the opposition was always there to draw blood and scratch the wound deeper and deeper. Very sorry to see the government being so helpless. Had they only behaved more judiciously and kept their tongues in control, they could have actually gained from the movement.

And then, there’s an uglier colour staining this entire movement. I understand public’s anger against the politicians. But I can’t understand and accept the sort of attacks that are being targeted at Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. They may not have been able to deliver what was expected of them. But what right does anyone have to call for their blood? Today, on facebook, I saw someone wishing that they be killed just as Indira Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi were. Horrible! Shameful! I can understand just criticism. We have every right to indulge in it. But what right do we have to indulge in this sort of hatred? It’s plain ugly.

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21 thoughts on “Anna Hazare movement- the good, the bad, and the ugly”

  1. I love India but i don’t like indians
    because they never react when something wrong is happening in front of them and when the bad deeds are done they will comeout with candle asking for justice
    they really sucks

  2. excellent article..this might be the one which will help me out of debate competitions with the topic anti-hazare movement…thankyou…and keep doin the gud work…

  3. due to the current law the a raja , kani mojhi n kalmadi in jail i simply want to say that we do not have any extra as stated by anna hazare to combat corruption we simply need to implement the law which is stated in our constitution strictly even the central vigilance commision has the power to arrest the ministers if it indulges in any corruptional activity but these all in vain due to wrong implemetation and even if the jan lokpal bill is drafted and implementation was wrong then the condition remains same
    by Dr abhay vimal

    1. Hello Sir,

      You are so right. What is needed is a change in mindset of the people and a strong will in the authorities. Otherwise, it would not matter no matter how many Lokpals we raise up. Where there is a will, there is a way is what we should remember. If the will of administration is strong, the offenders cannot escape the law. If not, then the stronger will of the offenders will prevail, no matter how many laws we raise up.

      Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

    1. Hello,

      Thanks for visiting my blog and taking time to express your views. It was a pleasure to see that this post is still being read!
      I’m not comparing the two. Honestly, I wouldn’t like that either. I was only expressing how the fervor created by the Anna movement made it easy to imagine the fervor that Mahatama Gandhi must have created. It was like seeing how people must have been moved by one man to rise for one cause and use the weapons of non-violence and unity. The value of Mahatama Gandhi, and even respect for him, had been dwindling especially among the cynical youngsters. But this movement silenced them, and brought the value of Gandhiji’s ideals back into favour. This is what I liked best about this Anna movement.

  4. People like Swami Nigamanand shud also be remembered when we remember Anna, as the man laid down his young life of 34 years just to save Ganga River of gettting degraded due to its illegal stone crushing, and this movement was more sincere looking as it did not have that hype, that stage of Ramlila Maidan. But he fasted for about 4 months and then succumbed. One young sadhu implementing Gandhian methods to save his beloved river which bears religious importance is truly laudable. Hope he would have been saved and noticed

    1. Hello, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
      You are so right. Swami Nigamanand was a true Satyagrahi. If only he had received even a part of the media attention that Baba Ramdev received. But his team couldn’t create the hype that the media feeds at. Very sad.

  5. A word for the government too. Just what exactly are you thinking when you are trying to shove an impotent law down people’s throats? And what makes you feel that threatening, crushing or insulting Anna will take away people’s need to rid India of corruption? Anna did not create an anti-corruption sentiment, he merely tapped into it. Crushing Anna will not take away that sentiment. It will just make it fester more. Right now, the movement is still controlled. By going back on your word, displaying arrogance and not listening to the people, you are risking the country’s descent into chaos. Be careful. Accountability is much easier to deal with than anarchy. Fix the Lokpal Bill now, please.

    Finally, for the people of India, it is time to prove Uncle Cynic wrong. There is a bigger truth than his ‘nothing ever changes in India’. That truth comes from the Gita, which states “Nothing is permanent”. The Gita also says, “When the pot of sin overflows, something happens to restore order.” Now, it is up to you to determine if the pot of sin has overflowed. It is for you to say what it means for Indians to act out their dharma. And you, and only you, will decide if it is time to come on the streets.

    1. Hello,
      Thanks for visiting my blog and taking time out to leave a comment. I totally agree with you. The Government grossly mishandled the situation, taking wrong steps and going against public sentiment again and again. There was a major policy failure leading to public’s anger. And I call it a just anger. Thank God it did not burst out into an unfortunate event. Team Anna deserves a salute not just for their victory, but also for the way they managed such huge crowd.
      I’m glad that finally Government has done what they should have done several days ago.. Let’ just hope the Government would behave more sensibly now. And I also hope that the fervor of unity and patriotism that this Aandolan has revived won’t slip back into slumber again. Long live our unity!
      However, I still am totally against people who are insulting and calling for blood of our politicians. I can understand humour and satire. I enjoy it too. But I’m sad to see things going way beyond good humour and just satire these days.

  6. Well brought out Jyoti.
    I really don’t know what to say about this whole thing… its been oft discussed and people have n number of views about it. Like you said, even a good thing gone awry can spell doom. About the right to criticism – well, I guess its a subset of our right to speech and though we may find it shameful or unjust on moral grounds, much of society is otherwise amoral. Newspaper headlines, note the crime section, should be enough evidence.

    1. Hello Deboshree,

      Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your views.
      You are right about the right to criticism. But it’s sad when it turns ugly, and then it actually becomes meaningless.

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