20 September, 2012


Here is an earnest adieu to Team Anna.

The Team tore away - as it was destined to - fractured as it was from the beginning with inherent contradictions. The break is now formal, complete and probably irreversible.

Having written this epitaph - and to conclude my series of comments on this topic - I must add this, in all fairness.

Anna appeared to me a delectable elderly, if naive and simpleton, but above personal and mundane motives. Rooted in the soil, he came out a typical Indian sarpanch full of good intentions but seeped into tradition with all its vices and impracticalities. Too good for a large nation, very good for the Panchayat. No visionary, or statesman, no scholar or philosopher, he is yet a great crusader having suffered many a marathon hunger strikes for his causes, and should have remained just that.

And to be fair to his team, more particularly to Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, they also appeared driven by a missionary zeal, and unselfish motives. Their team work - so long as it lasted, given that it comprised basically disparate individuals - and dedication delivered one of the best run media-backed mass movements of recent times. I won't also doubt their integrity. There were undoubtedly those on the banks that came in and washed their dirty hands in this promising, if short-lived stream.

So, what went wrong with such a well-intentioned campaign? I dare pronounce: UTOPIA. They were asking for too much too soon with too small sacrifices. Nations and societies unfortunately do not seem to give anything cheap.

Their definition of 'corruption' was far too narrow [leaving out from its purview many more shades of heinous corruption, such as medical terrorism, educational industry etc]. Then their insistence on blaming all that ails us on merely this one vice of corruption was unrealistic, even if it sounded credulous.

I personally hope and wish that their dedication and energies continue to contribute to the nation building processes. If they remain bipartisan and focused many like me are more likely to support than oppose them.

To the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Congress our compliments for facing this challenge with due decorum and dignity. Differences apart a point was well made: that corruption is a serious menace. We hope that all of us will work in our respective ways to eradicate this evil the soonest.

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