Sunday, February 26, 2012

Team Anna lost its battle : Yes ? No ? Why ? How ?

When Anna Hazare revolted against the ruling congress party way back last year, the country expected a big revolution, drastic change in politics and dethroning the corrupt government as fast as they can. But, with the proceedings of the Lokpal bill, cases pending in courts, team Anna dropping their sail, things haven’t actually changed as expected. Let alone bringing the change, but the survival of the movement itself is at stake. Reasons – many.. Solution – ???

Starting from the time the movement started, if one has closely observed the way team Anna marched forward for what it believed will change the country’s fate – the Lokpal, there are many a flaws to be noted. Some of them --

Initial Success Hangover:

When the agitation was launched, it drew unprecedented support from across the nation. For the first time, there was a mass movement against a below-par political class. Team Anna connected with the average Indian like no party ever did. For the first time, 'people power' dictated the schedule of Parliament. Anna Hazare became a rock star-like youth icon. There was glee all around at the plight of the all-powerful politician being held to account. But soon, Team Anna got carried away, ironically, by its own success. From being an effective pressure group, the general feeling was that it had become too arrogant to be a super-Parliament.

Political Orientation towards a particular Party:

The frequency of and the force with which Team Anna attacked the Congress gave the impression that this was an anti-Congress, pro-BJP movement. Why Anna was angry with Congress is understandable, but the tone and language that was being used, gave the feeling that this was another political slugfest. Team Anna did little to focus on corruption in BJP-ruled states like Karnataka. Also, the team let itself be used and abused by the political class. The statement, "We will campaign against the Congress" was a huge blunder. Even if Team Anna didn't mean it, that was a clear political statement.

Projecting only themselves and ignoring others fighting for the cause:

The message that was going out was that everyone except members of the anti-corruption movement are corrupt; that only Team Anna has the solution; that Lokpal is the magic wand that will, one fine morning, end all corruption. Lokpal was being made out as a super-powerful authority. While the obsession with Lokpal was disconcerting, the Utopian scenario that was being made out, was too good and unrealistic to believe.

What Team Anna can do to keep the movement alive and bring the change:

- Ensure the observers that they are not oriented towards any political party, rather they are working for a better country tomorrow. Let them clear the airs of having a political agenda – dethroning the congress.

- Do not step into political arena. Many mouths make the conversation meaningless. So, let one speak at a time and let them clear the country about what the team wanted to achieve and how it can be achieved. Stay away from politics.

- Stop projecting Lokpal as a magic wand that can kill all kinds of demons prying on this country. Explain the common man the real intention behind bringing the law, educate the youth and uneducated about how to use the bill.

If the team continues to run its movement in the same way it is doing now, I guess there is not much time left for it to perish. Rather, I’d expect them to open their eyes and work on succeeding in what they ‘ve taken up for the country.


Sources: Times of India, Google, flickr.



  1. This is the tragedy of most protests, where they lose focus, get sidetracked, and are washed away under the propaganda unleashed by those in power. The Anna movement truly captured the imagination of the Indian citizen, but failed to deliver. THis is a learning phase for the movement for clean governance, and I hope that the future will see the people coming together again in a mature and consistent manner. Nice post.

    1. Yah.. they truly captured the imagination of an indian citizen.. but that is too realistic to achieve. hope they land on ground and get back to strengthening the movement.