An open letter to Anna!
When we conquered the world of cricket beating Sri Lanka, India erupted like never before! Many like me wondered whether there was anything else that could unite India better than cricket. Not really until Anna happened to all of us. But as Anna gets ready to take the next big step in his metamorphosis into an unrivalled mass leader, an ardent supporter of his cause dares to raise ten questions to the man who has demonstrated the potential to get the government on its knees.
1. You have ignited India into the second wave for independence. The country is waiting with bated breath to get your vision on how do you convert this unprecedented energy into true action for a better India. It is a historic opportunity.
2. You have singularly exposed the Congress doublespeak on curbing corruption. Why do not you now expose BJP, which is simply basking in your glory? Why do not you ask them to adopt key provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill and muster courage to introduce them in Lok Sabha as a symbol of their true support to you? No amount of support on road can get Jan Lokpal Bill through on the floor of the House unless and until a majority of parliamentarians support it.
3. You have emerged as the most potent mass leader in recent times galvanizing even the timid Indian middle class to embrace the streets. Why do not you start a signature campaign on ‘Anna Oath’ from everyone who turns up for you across India declaring that he or she would neither accept a bribe or take a bribe?
4. Bringing an end to rampant corruption is the driver of your campaign and you have rightly articulated its debilitating impact on the society at large. Why do not you appeal to masses to pin point corrupt officers in the government who ask for bribes, book evidence against them and finally broadcast their names all over the country with a call for social boycott of all these corrupt people in the country.
5. Anna, you have repeatedly said Parliament is sacrosanct. We know you have all these years shied away from directly being in politics. But now you have a nation waiting 24x7 for you to deliver justice. You are the mass leader today. Why do not you become the change agent and float a political party after pressing for the dissolution of the present Lok Sabha? You might not get another such great chance. Worse, India might not have a better opportunity to redeem itself!
6. You have inspired faith in millions including the cynics. How do you ensure competing ‘Gurus’ do not hijack your agenda? Many of them have been seen hovering around seeking their own piece of action. You did earlier say ‘Godmen’ were not your true allies.
7. You started the campaign against corruption using Jan Lokpal Bill as the symbol. India now expects you to deliver beyond ending corruption. Why do not you get your milling supporters to declare under an “Anna Oath’ that they would not discriminate between a boy and a girl child and say emphatic no to dowry? Both these are no less (than corruption) evils that plague the country from within.
8. Anna, you have shown the world a novel way to demonstrate peacefully and get the government on its knees. Your demands are noble. But how do you ensure that anti-national elements across the country do not use this method sans you to force their demands? Remember we have a precarious situation in Kashmir, North East and the Naxal belt, and we have held on largely because the magic formulae have evaded elements there that want India further weakened.
9. Anna, terror threat cannot be dismissed lightly. India is one of the worst sufferers of the curse and we do not want you (the hope of this generation) to be extinguished at the hands of a few motivated cowards. Please ponder how you would ensure that your rally at Ramlila Ground remains free from any untoward incident. We do not have a great policing record either and with milling crowds how do we ensure your safety? And, yours is an open invite, is not it?
10. Anna, finally, last but not the least, we want you to be healthy and wish you a long life. You yourself say this is a long drawn battle. Your magic has worked in the sense that masses expect you to be able to bring about the change on the ground. Why do you risk your life by going on an indefinite fast? A healthy Anna today means a healthy action for a healthy India.
An open letter from an ardent supporter of a healthy India!
<i>The writer is Editor-Zee Research Group (ZRG)</i>
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