A movement folds up
New Delhi, Aug.6 (ANI): Politics seems to be the last resort of frustrated do-gooders. This is evident from the way the Anna team's agitation against corruption has ended up.
To most people who did not go to Jantar Mantar Road to consume daily rhetoric, the Team's decision has caused little surprise. The politicians - of whatever the hue - are having the last laugh.
The Anna movement and the fasts - which implied a threat to die unless a Lokpal of the Anna vintage was passed - was no longer attracting big crowds at Jantar Mantar Road.
Despite the movement --- which a section of the urban middle class thought would abolish corruption from Gandhi's land --- corruption remains rampant through out the body politics. The Lokpal Bill remains distant. The Anna Team thought it is better not to admit defeat. Hence, the decision to change tack and form a political party.
There are over a thousand political parties already in the country. Why not one more? The Constitution gives the right to citizens to form as many political parties as they want. Any group of seven can form an association, or a political party.
The decision to form a political party does not, however, seem to have the approval of all followers of Anna. Voices are being heard from among Anna loyalists that they were with the movement to end corruption, not to seek political power.
Arvind Kejriwal and co. have not yet come out with any design for the proposed venture. Will the new political party fight only corruption, or will it promise a set of alternative policies which the political parties have avoided following.
Slogans can be catchy and aimed at chosen targets, but ground realities of Indian politics are too harsh and unwelcoming for anyone who believes that he or she has a single-medicine cure of what ails India.
Anna Hazare has made it known that he himself won't join the new political party, but support it from outside, caught perhaps as he is between his movement and the fear that the new political party might also degenerate into one of the familiar outfits that promise big and achieve little.
In the heat of the movement, Arvind Kejriwal went to Hissar and did not find himself influencing the parliamentary election in his home town. The team wanted to make a difference in U.P. assembly election, but chose to beat a retreat fairly early finding that elections in U.P., issues other than corruption matter more.
Corruption certainly runs through most of the country. And anti-corruption mood has been created. Politics, however, is no longer a game which the innocents at large can play.
Anna's Team says the new political party will field good candidates in the 2014 elections. There is no dearth of men and women who have some values to cherish, but can they jump into the political arena and fight elections simply because they are "good" candidates? Mere "goodness" does not win anyone elections these days.
Electoral politics in India is governed by different dynamics - money, muscle, caste, region, religion, and many other factors that the Anna Team should be knowing, but wouldn't know how to overcome.
To create an alternative to the political parties that are in power in some part of the country or another is easier said than done.
The present situation is not ideal, but to reform the political system and its functioning requires much else than what Anna and Team are equipped for. (ANI)
Attn: News Editors/News Desks: The above article has been authored by Mr. H.K. Dua, a Rajya Sabha MP and senior journalist. The views expressed are his own. By H K Dua (ANI)
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