When Anna Hazare started his crusade against corruption last year, it attracted people from all walks of life. Corruption was an issue that had created widespread disenchantment. People were seething with rage but were unable to fight the system. Mr. Hazare had a clean image and the reputation of a giant killer. People saw in him a ray of hope. Throughout the ups and downs of the movement — including Mr. Hazare’s recent fast — it appeared that the agitation would gather momentum. But the latest move of Mr. Hazare disbanding his team has triggered mixed reactions ranging from disappointment to cynicism. It has left his followers confused.
H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana,
Team Anna’s decision to enter politics is ill-advised. It should understand its limitations. Politics is loaded in favour of strong local leaders with money and muscle power. Caste and religion play an important role. Although the urban elite appreciate the ideals of Mr. Hazare, their poor participation in the political process, particularly elections, is well known. The semi-urban and rural masses are influenced by their local leaders. Geographically, too, Team Anna’s reach is limited. Mr. Hazare’s Hindi or Kiran Bedi’s English will not have any impact on people from the south.
In the 1970s, Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement succeeded because he provided a platform to all non-Congress parties to join hands and fight the authoritarian Congress. But Anna’s team is only going to add one more party which will seek yet another share of the anti-establishment vote, and pave the way for the ruling alliance to scrape through.
The abrupt dissolution of Team Anna came as a greater surprise than its abrupt declaration of entering electoral politics. The developments expose the lack of clarity, direction and vision to rid society of corruption. At the end of the day, it is obvious that the handful of people claiming the exclusive right to speak for the entire nation bit off more than they could chew.
I don’t understand why many supporters and followers of Mr. Hazare have become hostile and resent the idea of his team entering electoral politics.
I would like to exhort all responsible citizens to think pragmatically rather than just follow a stereotypical ideology, and be part of the beginning of a new political era.
J. Bindu Priya,