16 August, 2011
A clueless UPA has done what every autocrat does in times of defeat. Crush, show the state power, and stifle the people's voice and then look around with a stiff neck -- hey, any one else? Unaware of the meteoric suddenness with which events unfold, the ruler never realizes that it’s the people who once powered him to ascendancy and it’s the people who will take back that mandate. We love to think we are immortals. Rulers cling to power as if both are made for each other, forever. Anna was willing to talk. He was placid. He didn’t denounce ministers and walked an extra mile to speak to Sonia and her entire power packed group, with Prime Minister and cabinet members. He was given to understand that everyone wants to end corruption. The same ‘red carpet at airport and savagery in Ramlila ground’ style governance unfolded minutes after Anna left the high-profile meeting. Minister after minister mocked at his ideas, in signed articles and on screen. ‘If you want to educate a child, Lokpal will not help,’ said the one who was on the committee to draft the bill. Then why did he accept to be on the committee? Ending corruption does mean providing more for the children’s education and drinking water to the villages. But hate knows no logic. So much was the muck being thrown on anti-corruption campaigner Anna that he had to write to Sonia that Congress leaders were trying to derail the process of drafting the Lokpal Bill by a smear campaign, and she must restrain her colleagues. Nothing happened. By God’s grace, that time she was ok and in Delhi. We wish her early recovery and a healthy long life, but does she have the same sentiments for Anna? If yes, then why this brutality against him by those who are close to her? If anything happens to the old, frail-bodied Gandhian, what will be the consequences? Daily doses of acidic allegations, to the extent alleging he is corrupt, convey a definite message on behalf of the UPA. It's not a joke that the common Indian, children and the aged, are feeling an affinity to Anna and not with those who are out to crush his movement and put an inhuman pressure on him. The one who so transparently leads a historic campaign, without any crutches or a well-oiled framework of organization, relying entirely on people's good faith in goodness, is being attacked by Gandhi cap driven khaki. I believe nothing can be perfect, even Lokpal. But what then is meant by a human endeavor? It’s the closest we can inch towards creating a better environment to nail the bad. Like any other law, that might not be an answer to everything, still there has to be a rule of law and new laws need to be enacted and it helps. Lokpal has to be discussed and passed by Parliament. But how does a fast derail or challenge that process? Anna was assured something, and Lokpal bill draft contains something else. Who ditched whom? Is Anna at fault if he is anguished and feels backstabbed? Even if the government thinks he is being unreasonable and too adamant, is this the way to stop a citizen’s protest and curb his democratic rights? Can this government ask Rahul to limit his entourage to fifty persons and twenty cars? And not to go to Bhatta Parsaul or Amethi? What is not doable to a Congressman, how can that become a lawful act against any other citizen?