Who after Anna Hazare ?

The brightest light of hope that shone through the corrupt quagmire that Indian Politics have become, suddenly dimmed and threatens to fade away. Was it age ? Misguided support system ? Or was it just that he realized that he had lost the support of waves of followers from his first agitation. Somewhere the simplicity of an anti corruption slogan got lost in the dark complexities of India Politics. Like a Political spiders web that closed around the movement.

We will never know. Anna Hazare’ withdrew his agitation for an effective Civil Society hand over a rampaging Parliament unable to control its own greed and lust for power over the needs of a nation. A nation that is just showing some promise of raising hope for the largest number of people in any nation trapped in poverty.

So searing was Aravind Adiga’s comment on India in his novel White Tiger that I had shut my mind to it. Refusing to accept it. Now I wonder if he was right in his complete pessimism. I don’t want to feel pessimistic, but cant help being overcome with wave upon wave of one thought. That India will never change. The corrupt political system is so inbred into the very fabric of our culture that it will never allow India to change. A change that would allow India to become a far less unequal and just society. Where the true potential of India will be unlocked by giving hope to the 70% caught in a poverty trap at the bulging bottom of the pyramid.

Yet how does one live without hope? Especially after the heady few months where Anna Hazare led a people’s movement that seemed to chip away at the arrogance of the political class. Finally they seemed afraid not of their traditional political enemies, their own counterparts, but of the ordinary people. The ordinary people they for so long considered a minor statistic in their need for vote banks. They were taken aback by the surge of anger that spilled over on the streets. And their response ? Destroy the messenger and the message. Leave the people leaderless. Which is what they all did very effectively.

But there is hope. Just the memories of that surge of anger in the streets still ignite hope. That there will be other leaders like Anna Hazare.

But also the hope that they will agitate as peacefully as Anna Hazare did.

36 thoughts on “Who after Anna Hazare ?

  1. Like I said, his cause was noble but not the surrounding. He was misguided for sure. He was put in front not because he had a point but because he had cleanest image; Poor old man could not differentiate one from another. There goes the crusade and the crusader. We all watched from aside him rising and we all watched from aside his fall.

  2. The agitations like one of Anna Hazare works like medicines. Some antibiotic medicines works effectively on some diseases for some time, but can’t cure the same diseases of a person if it is consumed frequently. Also some medicines works well when the scope of the disease is under certain level, but fail when the disease is spread all over body.

    For Anna, his technique worked against individual politicians and officers who were obviously under corruption charges, but failed on entire parliament which is not under obvious personal corruption charge. Also this is 4th fast in a year all while corruption is still increasing and there are no visible sign of benefits the fasts can bring. That is enough to loss effectiveness. I actually expected (although I didn’t like it) Anna’s movement end not the way he like to see.

    Team Anna needed to understand that his agitation was not “yes or no” type, there were variety of Lokpal proponents with different versions and Team Anna was one among them. People barely pay attention to details, they just needed to hear that Lokpal is passed, which they were told while Anna’s fast is in progress.

    But his whole agitation provide a good opportunity to understand why Gandhiji had to fight for long time before India got independence. I always wondered, why Gandhiji didn’t expanded the movement in 1920s or 1930s to get independence while he got a lot of support. Perhaps, the same psychology worked then as it is working now.

  3. Shekhar, No reason for pessimism. Anna’s health deteriorated rapidly during those 2 days. Doctors advised him hospitalization.
    Crowds were in the range of 25000. Show me one protest in Mumbai where you could pull 25000 people on a working day,without paying them and had to cross over the hurdles of lost mobile communication, goonda threats.
    Let Anna get healthy.And see how he damages the prospect of the corrupt political party in the next elections.
    Lets prepare for the future action and Rejoice for the success Anna achieved so far!

  4. 3 points should be noted for Civil Society’s movement.

    1. Passing of Lokpal in Loksabha is clearly resulted from Civil Society’s movement. But team Anna is not in position to claim it as their victory because of their rejection to Government version of Lokpal. This is strategic failure of Team Anna. Instead of accepting only large victories, they should have keep movement in motion towards end-goal by scoring smaller victories here and there.

    2. No media or public support was present at venue decades ago when Anna had his first fast against an officers, but that didn’t deter him from going on fast. Now lack of interest by media and people is one of the chief reasons behind ending fast soon. That make is sounds like publicity stunt more than genuine anti-corruption movement.

    3. Members of team Anna, including Anna, were in news after August for the reasons many intellectuals don’t like. Like Sarad Powar slapping, Kiran Bedi’s air-travel bills, quote by Kejriwal “Anna is above parliament” etc. A focused movement members would have to ignore most of the things which is not directly related to the movement, and contributing to the movement. Ron Paul, a republican presidential hopeful, is a good example of it. Whenever he is asked about something which is not related to policy matters, he straightly say that it is irrelevant, too small matter to discuss on national media and request to talk about national problems, their proposed solutions etc. In contrast, Anna made headlines for congratulating Virendra Sehwag after double century. This make some people feel that Team Anna is publicity hungry and not focused on the end goal.

  5. Time has changed,now protesting on the streets is not democracy,but its considered as mobocracy.The only option left out for Anna hazare is to form a party of his own,contest election,win & amend the bill in the constitution.At present he is been doubted by the millions as a face not only of the millions,but of the BJP & RSS as well,which manny indians could not digest.And cong cant do anything on his own,coz of his coilation with NCP & other’s.Its being handcuffed,cannot take decision on its own.

  6. India is a country of poor,, Also it is a country of apathetic behaviour. So any person like Anna Hazare,Arvind Kejriwal who try to bring about a change are subjected to this apathy . Who cares anyways . We don’t mind being a part of this rot as we are comfortable being rats . We scavenge , steal , destroy ,bury ,hide from sunlight in darkness and are happy . Anna is wasting his time .

  7. Shekhar for some reason I find you in pessimistic mind set just now.

    One question, when your films didn’t do well, did you stop making them?

    Answer is yours Shekhar!

    I am not great admirer of Anna, but have seen him for last many many years. Especially in western Maharashtra, near the heart lands of Pawars. He has been knocked down many times before.

    The principles he follows are well known but highlight of attitude he has is simple & is ‘try to fall on your back, if you can look up, you can get up!’.

    After hating Anna for first few years, now having slightly different opinion about Anna, “It is easy to bend principles of your life for short/long term gains. But those people who live their life on principles with minimal bends they end up living life of significance.”

    Anyone can be next Anna, if they have lived life on certain principles like him(with minimal bends!) Shekhar.

    But wait for the old man to take breath or two. He is one hell of a guy.

  8. From the beginning Anna Hazare was a mirage. The lay masses were misled is understandable. The so called educated also followed the cattle crowd is a sad story that screams out a loud question? IS THE INDIAN LITERATE, EDUCATED? All the canyons of the world can easily be accommodated in the gap between the ‘saakshar’ and the ‘sikshit’
    Jesus Christ could not prevent the corrupt. In the Indian polity, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi could not prevent corruption; Jayprakash Narayan could not do so either, how do you expect Anna Hazare to do it, that too with publicity seeking Police Officer and Revenue Officer as his aids?

    From the beginning, the movement was misguided. Even if the Anna version of Lok Pal Bill is accepted nothing will be achieved. I sometimes wonder, how many people who comment on Anna Hazare have actually read the bill as drafted by him and the Government version. I have not because I strong hold the view that the bill and the law passed on this subject is mere addition to the laws in this over legislated country.

    I find it stupid to say that the Lokpal Bill must include the PM, CJI, AGI et al. To start with this cannot be done by an Act of Parliament but needs a Constitution amendment. Again if you are to include the CJI and AGI why leave out the President and Vice-President, Chairman UPSC. On the other hand the more complex the administration becomes, the more corrupt it becomes.

    The idea of Anna actually means that instead of three wings now the Government should have four wings resulting in more conflicts and more complicated arrangements. If the PM and CJI could be corrupt or otherwise indulge in questionable practices, what is the guarantee that the Lok Pal (who will also be amongst the same group of people) will not be corrupt or indulge in questionable practices?

    The problems of Corruption cases against the politicians in power can be solved by the Courts exercising power to dispense with the requirements of Cr.P.C and IPC to obtain a prior sanction before proceeding against a public servant. This can be done in two ways, one is by simply declaring that the matter relating to criminal offences are not covered by the provisions of the existing laws ( including the constitution) and the other is to issue suo-moto a Writ Mandamus directing the Government to obtain and file the required sanction.
    If the courts are not willing to do what is even now within their powers, what is the big point in making one more law!!

  9. It is like saying that one fall and baby loses hope of getting up and run. History/evolution/movements advance in cycles, the next may be bigger when that reaches at the identical time/phase.

    From the Gadar of 1857 it took about 100 years for first freedom. Let us allow some time if it is indeed to be the second freedom.

  10. I guess Anna is making jut the right moves. That parliamentarians could be forced to work tirelessly for 12-hours to pass a bill creating Lokpal is message to the people that there IS a way for us to get things done: Consolidate parallel public opinion on concurrent issues AND make it visible to the powers-that-be.

    Anna’s move of foreclosing the fast, in my opinion, is a deft strategic move .. in his long drawn battle.

    For people, it’s like a sitcom that went in hibernation one Thursday, with untold promise to return on the ensuing Monday. Suspense, anticipation is alive in the minds of supporters. And ‘Fear’ will now haunt the minds of (now proven) corrupt politicians .. as in, what will be the next move of Anna!!

    I say, Anna’s hoodwinking is a near-perfect enactment of Sun Tzu’s principles (the Art of War).

    What say, People?

  11. Shekhar even Independence Struggle was not won by Gandhi in one movement against most civilized nation of world.Have patience. There were many withdrawn agitations
    Don’t think one struggle or one movement will free you from the crunches of vested interests.
    Today world looks at INDIA and wonders Was Winston Churchill right that ‘India is still not mature to deserve democracy’
    Today each and every INDIAN including vested interests have to ‘work’ to prove it wrong

  12. One setback and people are writing an “obituary”?! Where is the optimism? This is just another step in a journey of who knows how many to wrest control from politicians who are drunken with power. Jayaprakash Narayan tried in 1975 and failed. This time the politicians have woken up to the “political flogging” Team Anna has meted out to them. The citizens of Mumbai have failed Team Anna! If Team Anna fades away, then we Indians deserve what we have voted for and the poor who vote for some of these rascals deserve their plight! We live with the “trash” on the streets everywhere. We live with people throwing garbage out of their cars and windows. We accept being the country with the highest percentage of open defecation. We can live with corruption too. Jai Hind!

  13. Dear Shekhar Sir- I was as pessimistic- as you sounded- when I went to bed with at least one remaining hope of waking up to India win at MCG. When i woke up next day, my sole optimism proved to be like a castle in the air…..And, a voice within told me to wait for next test and optimism took no time to return……… “Why cant same logic be applied to Anna agitation” is a question that Im often asking myself?
    I wasn’t even few months old when Independent India saw its first Anti Corruption movement under JP…..started reading newspaper as a 6 year old and interest in polity grew- took an active interest in famous 81 Garhwal election where HN Bahuguna thrashed the might of Indian Govt and Indira machinery riding on the strength of people power. Then came 86-87 and news of Bofors broke out….Fairfax happened and VP moved out to form Jan Morcha, Jethmalani used to ask his ten questions everyday to RG. VP movement threw Congress Govt of 405 MP’s out of power; again riding on people power, as was seen in the case of HNB. Many events happened thereafter including mysterious killing of Olof Palme (Swedish PM who was overseeing Bofors investigations at that time)…..then came ferocious Mandal movement and Mandir movement……and all through Indian polity continued its downhill journey while people’s aspirations continue to multiply…..and so were the deeds of corrupt….A nation that saw Nehru’s govt shake for few lakhs of Jeep and LIC scam also had to see the scam figures multiply in GP and see nation duped by 176,000 crores. As if this wasn’t enough, India’s PM defended the corrupt minister and another minister sought to recalculate the 2G loss as zero……thus making governance to hit its nadir.

    Like on previous occasions, few people said Enough is Enough, posed their faith in Anna Hazare and galvanised the entire nation…..Eagerly waiting nation stood up and is not ready to go back to sleep again………… So, let’s not question the resolve and patience of that common man anymore and lets accept that there is no fatigue that has set in…..the common man is waiting and Anna and his team will continue to be the pivot of this fight to hold on to people supremacy…our track record has proved it time and again…..

    Hence just as my faith in Team BCCI to bounce back is intact, so has been my faith in Team Anna…..after all Iam also one of the millions of members of that team Anna….Team Anna is not a team of few people but of millions of people who comprise the idea and shape called India!

  14. I think this it was a late, but right step by Anna. The bill is in parliament and it’s futile to sit on fast.

    It’s much better to teach the politians the language they understand the most ie language of ballot. Now IAC will campaign against the fall guys in elections in 5 states. If they are able to get a reasonable effect on elections, the political class will be forced to accept the changes in lokpal, as proposed by IAC. For this they need the support of common man. They should come out in large no and vote as an Indian, instead of being of various castes and comunities.

    This movement has certainly forced the political class to rethink their strategy. They cannot befool the aam adami for on and on. The results are already coming, each party is atleast trying to present itself as supporter, of Lokpal. We see it in delhi and even in places like Lucknow where 6-7 ministers are sacked just before elections.

    Its time for team Anna to finetune their strategy and come out with a bang and get results for the aam adami of India. Focus on the aim instead of entangaling in the diverting tactics of the politicians.

    Also, Dec – Jan is not the best time for agiations. As students are busy in their exams and many on vaccations and plannings. Probably one of the reason for low turnout in Mumbai.

  15. The mistake of Hazare and his team was that they were arrogant and they thought that 6 or 7 or even ten thousand people can bring a change in such a complex nation. They should have shed their arrogance and co-opted maximum number of people and NGOs and should have made a concentrated action. They thought they were the only pure people and others were sullied. If their aim had been to bring a change in the mental structure of the nation and not merely to hit at Congress Party, better tactics would have been to join with people like Aruna Roy and Mander etc to influence the highest echelons of the government and the party. . Even now it is not late. we need bigger confluence of right minded people God has not given wisdom only to the members of Hazare’s team,

    I am not a supporter of Hazare and they were necessary at a point of time and they were effective. But I believe in Iconoclasm. If government and the party are arrogant we need an iconoclast. When the reformers become arrogant iconoclasm is necessary to bring them down.

    Tactics have to be changed. cooperation with more NGOs and well minded people is necessary. weeding out the arrogant personalities from the team is necessary. The most important tactics is to hear all sides without abusing them and then take necessary action.

  16. sometimes losing also helps, sir. it help to realise the mistakes and reorganise strategy better. lot of things were missing, including working on ground, making an organisation involving the villages, i.e expanding into the villages. Money fr diff programmes doesn’t reach villages, they never know it, never care. If only a team can be created to make villages aware + to make them work fr food. Why can’t the likes of us, patriotic, come together and use this huge manpower india has. They r the voters, remeber. who r cheated after paying Rs 200 during election time.

  17. Who after Anna Hazare?

    What about Deepak Chopra?

    He’s the one who did in a way ignite the peaceful activism already from his book number One…..

  18. I guess message was to create awareness to remove corruption and is done previously months back. Low turnout this time maybe the indication – awareness created.

  19. Parliament is SUPREME. That is what I am hearing through out on Media and Parliament from Lalu, Paswan, Sibbal, PanabDa, Singhvi, Yatuchri so on so forth. I must congratulate BJP for not towing that same line hope they believe in constitution which says by the people for the people and Parliament is answerable to the people of India. Let these very people be on streets or Ramlila ground or miles away in villages (who you only tour during elections).

    I demand this parliament to be dissolved for the only reason we the Indian do not want a parliament which is NOT aware of its own constitution and articles under it. You cannot pretend to be a Maulavi if you do not have the knowledge of Quran. Kindly raise your voice and ask them to leave parliament if you are not aware of the constitution and its provisions. Rile

    Impeccable credentials: Rajniti Prasad was Lalu’s legal counsel in Chara Ghotala Scam

  20. Shekhar ,

    That is the whole point – making Indians lose hope.

    Adiga’s book ‘White Tiger’ ,’ Slumdog Millionare’, ‘ God of Small things’ , a host of ‘Indologists’ and their atrocious translations , Foriegn Intelligence / Foriegn Mafia controlled MPs are all agents of this Hopelessness that has gripped India.

    Anna Hazare is an individual – let us not make the mistak of investing in individuals – it is a Judo-Chritian concept . The Indian Genius way has always been to focus on the movements , ideas , institutions , works – but never individuals.

    Who cares if Anna comes or goes ? India is bigger then a Self-besotted Gandhi or a Self-effacing Hazare.

    Corruption , Imposed Western ideas of Secularism, Religious conversions and Western Mafia rule in India are all inter-linked.

    India has to return to Dharma – this is ht eone and only true and lasting solution. It is bound to happen , sooner or later.

    Let us all do our correct Dharma. It is that simple – thats all it takes !!

  21. Dharma is supreme, not a west europen style , british copy of parliamentary ‘ democracy’.

    How is India a democracy, if its Prime Minister is a ‘nominated’ MP from Rajya Sabha, never won a single Election??

    How is India a democracy when Gutter mouths like Mani Shankar Iyer , a Gandhi fanily sycophant loses the lok sabha elections and comes back into the parliament via a Rajya Sabha Nomination and becomes a Minister ???

    How is India a democracy when an Italian citizen , who has not given up her passport, claims Indian citizenship and runs the country via an extra constitutional body called the NAC? ( national advisory committee).

    How is India or Parliament supreme when it does not recognise the native culture of India as its national culture?

    How is India a democracy , when its Elections are stolen? Electronic Voting Machines have been proven to be tampered with remotely!

    Democracy is rule of the majority, however minoritysm and vote banks destroy India. Democracy os rule of people, however one Mafia family using the name Gandhi has usurped power. It is under direct foriegn control. How is this democracy and how is the parliament ‘supreme’ under these circumstances??

  22. Shekhar im not sure if ur gonna be able to read my comment but let me tell u tht curroption in india will mever go away. its gonna stay like this forve and the reason i say this cuz There was this DSP in Jalandhar, Punjab who was the most honest police officer you ever gonna see. When he came there he start going after curropt ppl who were running big compnies and were doing illegal things to get their things done. He himself start going to Liquore stores by dressing up in normal cloths and see who serves it after forbidden hours and start shutting their stores up and cuz of tht he had to pay big price. The guy who own almost all the liquore stores in Punjab is the biggest GUNDA in india and knows all the politicians so tht poor police officer had to lose his job. thts why i think india can never get rid of corruption.

  23. Shekarji, You nailed it…

    I am sure that there are many Regional, National and International personalities like you, from Movies, Art, Literature, Sports, ex-Diplomats/beauraucrats etc, fully agreeing to the fact that India needs to change, change FAST. Especially the whole Parliamentary system, Law making process and procedures, Election system, Inner democracy and policy decision making withinn political parties [In congress it is sabotaged by the High Command (read the Two G’s, not the 2G spectum!!)].

    All Indians should ask an important question and search themselves to have a clear answer..

    1.Who are responsible for and who are the beneficieries of the present toothless systems???

    Answer to the 1st is very simple..They are the Persons who are the most powerful and most corrupt..who are they?? They are none other than the powerful politicians..in congress, it is the “High Command”. In other parties there are similar core groups..who control the HIGH corruption and HIGH power..The filtering effect of this trickles down to all levels in polotical parties and also to bueraucracy and other wings of democracy..

    So from the above we should understand that the primary largescale beneficieries of this system are High Power Politicians. Then there is the High Power Bueraucrats/Executives.

    This leads to the MILLION DOLLAR Question:

    2.Who will fix all these burning issues???

    Politicians being the primary beneficiaries will always try to defend, protect and nurture this system at any cost..for this they will play any and all tricks..use any kind of shields and support..like “parliament and constitution is supreme”. They will use all channels for propoganda.. TV Channels, Reporters, News Papers etc. We can easily see this happening every day…THE ONLY WAY TO “SCARE”/BRING IN LINE THE GOVERNMENTS AND ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES IS BY SHOWING THE CIVILIAN MASS POWER..PURE STRENGTH OF PEOPLE POWER..MASSES..THAT IS HOW INSURMOUNTABLE SITUATIONS AND REVOLUTIONS HAVE BEEN WON…

    As you wrote Anna is the only one who came up with some fight..this is really sacry to see..why? Because he is first of all 74 years old..Where is the “Yound India” ?? Our youngsters need to take leadership if such a national movement has to succeed against all odds.

    From the above facts one could easily conclude that although Anna has been successful in projecting Lokpal as the top issue and to certain extent pressurise the Government and the Political class, no one still belives that the force of this mass movement is sufficient to pressurise these Hardcore politicians to make / pass a strong enough Lokpal bill.

    So ultimately the whole efforts and drama are all wasted. This is the sad story of ‘NEW INDIA’. Unfortunately, our new generation (i mean people in the age group 25-55, the people who are most productive..whose money is being eaten up thru corruption) is a disappointment in their role/participation as true Civil society in Nation Building.. This is the time they should take lead and get things done… Nobody is going to get them a corrupt free environment..a corruption free India..

    Hence, my appeal to you and people like you, who can analyse and synthesise the issues and be independent from strong political affiliations and more importantly, who has a srong influence on the citizens (25-55 yr olds) to get directly involved in the movement.

    With the kind of law making prevelent in India, without direct pressure on parties, the srong bill will only be a dream..so please yourself and other such eminent personalities, please come forward to supprt the leaders of the movement and help in bringing more masses to the movement…please come on National TV, come on Stages, Come on Campaigns ..Discussions over blogs are good..but of little impact in aligning the major masses..


    Please don’t let down the people of India at this historic period in time..



    I have a feeling that vast majority of Indians are underestimating the real Anna Hazare. As Yogesh indicated, he is not revealing his full thought to the public, his core team or to the politicians he is negotiating..he knows that no one can be trusted..He’s playing his cards close to himself..He has seen enough corrupt and scheming politicians to know what is possible and what is not. Same with his proposal and content of Lokpal & Lokayukta… He is not an arrogant person..He is only taking that position temporarily for negotiation leverage with the bloody political calss…that’s all..


    LAZY, CHARACTERLESS, UNARTICULATED, SHALLOW, WEAK/MEEK, SELFISH etc. are adjectives matching to the vast majority. Nobody knows this fact better than ANNA.

    Having all these factors working against his crusades and still having the dedication, energy and courage to continue, ANNA has to be saluted. He knows the limitations very well, but imagine what will be the plight if he express this outwardly?? He or his many movements would not have survived more than a week. The Scavenger and Kolaveri Politicians and Corrupt would have swallowed him alive…

    This is why he is playing his own mind games and tactics primarily with the Two G’s , the High Command, The Core committee and The Goverment. And then with the Opposition, BJP, Other parties, the media (Goverment backed and others) and his own team and followers.

    Whoever is critisising ANNA HAZARE (74 year old) should look in the mirror.. if the person critisising is between 25 and 55 they should hang their head in shame..cos it is for those shameless, supposedly most active people that the old man is fighting…SHAME ON INDIA (YOUNG INDIA)!!!!



  25. Let see… i think rvind Kejriwal will be the right person if he says no… so all Indian will be sit on the seat of Anna Hazare to fight against corruption… If all Indian will not support hin than I will follow his guidelines and fight alone.

  26. When Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption received such an unprecedented support from people of all walks of life, it was hoped that the end of this evil might be in sight. However, it was a mistake to take the wily, corrupt politicians of all hues and shapes lightly. They are so resourceful that they could go to any length to scuttle the whole campaign. See how Anna and the members of his team were targeted one after another.See how they gave a not so decent burial at the dead of night to the Lokpal Bill. Now that the campaigners themselves are wondering what hit them and are in total confusion, the beneficiaries must be laughing their heart out!

  27. A movement succeeds when there is inspiration followed by perspiration. Anna has inspired us. People have to perspire !. With existing laws and some amount of patience one can achieve results in fighting corruption. Also your pessimism can be watered down when you see the Judiciary working like a well oiled engine. If you consider the 4 wings of democracy as Executive, Legislation, Judiciary and Media then we should be proud that atleast Judiciary is 99% intact !. The rest are not even close !. So we must strengthen our resolve to support atleast that part by appointing corrupt free judges etc., and ensure cases are handled speedily. The rest will fall in place once we know that law works in India- Lokpal or no Lokpal !.

  28. If he fails i think nobody cover the whole activities again. That time fire is in its initial stage if it stop once anybody can’t place it again as same.

  29. Nice post! Who after Anna Hazare ? Shekharkapur.com certainly makes my life somewhat better 😀 Continue together with the amazing posts! Best regards, Margarette Stang

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