The Anna'tomy of a fall
Have you ever fallen off a cliff? No? Of course, you wouldn't be alive reading this here now if you had (only a miracle would have saved you)!
Have you ever even dreamt of it?
The iconic freefall with your arms spread wide open, (did someone just think of Titanic?) with monsoon besotted lush green mountains and colourful rock layers oozing with geysers around you; and a huge stretch of turquoise ocean with frills of white froth, underneath you, adorning your peripheral vision?
Well, that's about an absolutely calm and graceful and perhaps hypothetical fall!
If you retain even a hazy memory of your Class 12 Physics, you would know the Newtonian mechanics of a freefall. At least, the simplest definition that says – it’s a free descent of a body when the only force acting on it is the force of gravity, that is one's own weight.
But what if the object in question, keeps on getting split mid-air into various pieces (out of sheer buoyancy), resulting in many different centres of gravity and being influenced by many other forces?
Well, my dear, that fall will of course not be free, calm or graceful!
That would be not-so-smooth a fall, where the entity has smashed into smithereens even before colliding with the ground and the descent continues even after the pieces have come rolling down heavily, getting pulverized in the process.
If you try to superimpose the above paragraph on the trajectory mapped by Team Anna within a year, you might draw an uncanny similarity between the two.
The entity in this case, being Team Anna, that hasn't yet hit the ground though, yet fragmented time and again (acted upon by the forces of an arrogant buoyancy and overexcitement of being popular?) and the descent continues...
Earlier, Anna captured higher echelons of public imagination (people used to take leaves from their offices to get hypnotised by the Ralegan-Siddhi's Gandhi at Jantar Mantar), but now, just one year on and Team Anna's potential energy has petered off in line with his downward slide in people's minds.
The dominant mood at Jantar Mantar is green. Not the metaphoric one, but literally green, thanks to the wide swathes of unoccupied green carpet, waiting for last year's feverish footfalls!
Now, lakhs have shrunk to hundreds and crowds to bunches!
They have stopped chanting Mai bhi Anna, Tu bhi Anna… the Anna caps have given way to thinking caps, with people realising that they already know what would be the next line in Anna's speech!
The same old recital of his own celibacy, government's very own corruption and a dream legislation of Lokpal that, we know, will die a slow death with bouts of cacophonic debate and betrayal and pain of the seeming honesty of historic resolutions!
The monotony of a monologue (however genuine) adulterated by the 'relentlessly redundant', superfluous talks with dollops of indecent selection of words, played spoilsport with people's emotions, silently taking the charm away.
And damned be the strategist, who after sensing the danger of dormancy, decided to inculcate few new elements into the script. A new demand for an SIT probe into 15 ministers (including Pranab Mukherjee) tagged corrupt by the over zealous Team Anna!
Who suggested them to pitch against Pranab da on the very day he was being bestowed with the highest honour of the country? Sadly, that Wednesday became a grand day for Pranab the President and not a revolutionary 'A Wednesday' as picturised by Naseeruddin Shah and re-fantasised by Mr Hisar.
To worsen matters, the government has dropped some dangerous words to linger around, 'informing' about Team Anna's hidden agenda - politics.
Team Anna, in turn, has done its best to let people believe that with the mission taking on the notorious hues of politics. With Team Anna's torch shifting focus towards a select few from the UPA - the general giant of corruption has been left in oblivion, weaning the aam aadmi away from Anna's mission.
Because, corruption is as 'all-pervasive' and omnipresent in India as God is thought to be. Everyone - a Hindu or a Muslim, a Left-winger or a saffron coloured person, a woman or a man, a Brahmin or a Dalit - everyone can relate with it. Everyone can recall a particular instance of corruption that still ails his memory.
People, in general, have no hostility towards Chidambaram, or Pranab da, personally. There are many who have heard of 2G and 3G in advertisements only and get reminded of Junior Bachchan's what an idea sir ji, and not A Raja and his 2G spectrum scam.
People, in general, that formed Anna's crowds, do not know or remember that Chidambaram was the finance minister when the huge scam took place.
All those sloganeering at Jantar Mantar, do not know about the long history and the painful journey of the Lokpal Bill. All they know and talk about is corruption. One term - corruption that engulfs all.
So, it fuelled a fire within them all, when they saw an old man starving for their cause - to end corruption.
When Anna sat at Rajghat, people saw a Gandhi. When Anna rallied from Rajghat to Jantar Mantar, people accompanied him and thought it was another Dandi march. When Anna was arrested and sent to Tihar, people thronged outside, drawing inspiration from the wafting aroma of a revolution that filled the air.
But now, the air smacks of politics and trivial statements meant to target a particular individual or a particular government. The cult that was Anna, has lost its spell, and Brand Anna stands functionally disbanded.
Team Anna that was once catapulted to the stars now seems to be hurtling towards ground, waiting to hear the inevitable thud.
Power is an illusion. It stays with you only till you stay ignorant of it. In Physics, they say, power is the rate at which energy is used.
I am afraid, if the energy is misused or not properly guided, all the power gets dissipated as heat that could further burn the remnants. And then it would take a miracle to enable rising like a phoenix from the ashes!
So, if not from its own mistakes, Team Anna must learn from principles of Physics and try to turn its chaotic fall into a calmer and more graceful freefall. Mr Kejriwal, you are an engineer! Physics must not be Greek to you. Why not return to your old profession?
And let the wiser old man do his job!