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The Don Quixote of India - Anna Hazare?

By Nitin Vats | Last Updated: Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 21:08
Nitin Vats

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."

"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.

"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."

These are lines from the well-known Spanish novel 'The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha', written by Miguel de Cervantes. But, they seem so real in the recent scenario of the agitation between the government and Team Anna, over The Ombudsman Bill, aka Jan Lokpal Bill.


Just then they (Anna and his team members) came in sight of thirty or forty windmills (the seat holders in Parliament) that rise from that plain (the democratic extravaganza of Indian politics). And no sooner did Don Quixote (Anna Hazare) see them that he said to his squire (the frustrated mob favoring Lokpal bill), "Vande Mataram, Bharat mata ki Jai... Lokpal and a corruption free environment is our birthright and we'll take it at any cost. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho (the trio Kiran, Arvind and Prashant), thirty or forty hulking giants (Sonia, Manmohan, Kapil, Pranab, Narayan, Khursheed, Lalu, Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav, Rahul, Mulayam... and all the other parliamentarians supposedly opposing a strong Lokpal)? I intend to battle with them and slay them. With their spoils (the corruption and scams) we shall begin to be rich (a corruption free system and an organized society) for this is a righteous war (the battle of lokpal) and the removal of so foul a brood (the corrupt politicians and corruption itself) from off the face of Earth is a service God will bless.

And what happened after that with Don Quixote is soon going to be the fate of Anna and his teammates. The cutting edge politics of a dynamic democracy is stealthily decapitating the head of a not so strong, frail and inadequate revolution. Anna's noble gestures, in the form of non violent hunger strikes and Gandhian protests against the so called ruthless, cruel and a feeble government, are backed by a group of ambiguous, effete bureaucrats and a baffled and thwarted mob with a sheep like tendency of walking nebulously. Quixote, on the other hand, was lucky to have a friend like Sancho Panza who advised his master whenever the situations arose.

Revolution is not about organizing large camps with a carnival feel, but to gather the heart and soul towards a goal and then surrender your senses to a cause which you think is right. Inspired mob doesn't purchase costly flags and propagandized caps from a publicized procession, but it's like a tide let loose so that it sweeps every obstacle in between the way towards an absolute change. "Mohabbat mein junoon ki kuch adaayen aur hoti hein, hawas-o-hosh kho dene se deewane nahi hote" (Insanity in love is something else, mere emotions are not love).

Anarchy is justified only when it is productive. What happened in Rajya Sabha over Lokpal Bill has proved the vagueness of this whole melodrama scripted, choreographed and directed by a bunch of bureaucrats on an issue which is dead – and I shall prove that in a moment.

Democracy can't be more dramatic than that. In a house of 243 stalwarts (as they all think they are), each one had his own individual Lokpal. The Government acted like a clown trying to persuade Trinamool to give up its opposition to the bill's Lokayukta clause and cajole the BSP and SP into walking out of the house.

Like it is not a bill, but some kind of beverage in which everyone has a flavor of their own to add (the so called 'Constitutional Cocktail').

After all this 'Choreographed Chaos' has anybody noticed where our Don Quixote is? Let me tell you! Mr. Anna Hazare is planning yet another attack on the windmills. With an acute bronchitis and failing health, the captain of this lost ship is confused about where to sail. Stormy waves of amendments in the ruthless ocean of the Constitution are forcing the raft of Lokpal Bill towards a silent plunge into an abyss of ignorance.

Corruption is an issue... an issue it is... alas!! It is only an issue. And issues are being created. I see an issue I like, and I support it... that's it. I know I am corrupt, you know you are corrupt; we all know we are corrupt. That is not at all an issue. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt "The reactionary is always willing to take a progressive attitude on any issue that is dead."

The fundamental issue is the moral issue. Keep a check on your morals and the rest follows automatically.

With all this agitation tumult and uproar, Hazare campaign has only pushed the country towards paralysis. This movement from the very beginning was a product of a sudden gush of hot blood boiled by the media chefs in the kitchen of public emotions at room temperature. It is like all the eleven players are running after the ball to save it from crossing the boundary line and no one is there at the stumps to catch the throw, which results into a safe running between the wickets to grab maximum possible runs (A sixer without a shot).

Criticizing the Centre, that too in a democratic country, is very easy. Even a school boy can do that. The need of the hour is to take a step forward with the government (not against it) and amend our ways. Because it is not political parties or campaigns, but people that build a nation.

First Published: Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 21:08

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