Saturday, September 22, 2012

Will the India Against Corruption movement lose steam?

Dear friends,
I have just returned after attending a marathon meeting called by IAC to enable Anna Hazare to take the views of some people on the political alternative that he had announced when ending the fast at Jantar Mantar on 3rd August. The meeting started at 1000am and ended at 1915pm.
In spite of a fervent plea from many eminent people, including Shashi Bhushan, who was one of the founder members of the Janata Party in 1977, Anna stuck to his oft repeated stand that he will not join or allow his name to be used by any political party. He expressed the fear that politics will taint his reputation and image in Maharashtra. He said that he would continue to agitate for the Jan Lokpal Bill, and make sure that it is passed before the next elections, in 2014.
Most of us were sorely disappointed. Many people felt that the movement will lose the momentum and goodwill it had gained during the last two years. Anna's credibility will also suffer. People want a change and will not forgive us if we back out at this stage.
I am reminded of the words of Alexander the Great, who once said "An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep."
Veteran Maj Gen VK Singh

India Against Corruption
Although many feel disillusioned with the way the movement has dissipated and disintegrated, some of its spectacular successes won’t be forgotten easily. Among the most captivating was the Sense of the House resolution adopted by Parliament in August 2011 accepting “in principle” some of the demands of the Lokpal movement.
Eventually, the manner in which the movement was outwitted by the politicians and the high expectations created by the 24×7 media coverage also brought with it many valuable lessons. While Hazare is determined to fight his battles apolitically —as he has done all his life —Kejriwal is not entirely wrong in wanting to establish a political party. After all, politicians get their power from the votes cast by the people and if the people truly want to bring a change, there’s no alternative but to go and cast one’s vote.
If the politicians of the day have reduced Parliament to a dirty commode, as conveyed by the cartoonist, can one expect the politicians to clean it themselves? The people have no choice but to undertake this task themselves.
Why Arvind Kejriwal deserves our unstinted support
Comment: Kejriwal's route of forming a Political Party and taking on corruption is a long drawn out affair- There is many a slip between the cup and the lip. Anna's and Arvind's route may differ but in essence it is same... to fight corruption... the Lokpal Bill is only a starter.

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