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Will Anna Hazare’s movement sustain or fizzle out?

By Biplob Ghosal | Last Updated: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 17:45
Biplob Ghosal
Loud and Clear

Last year social activist Anna Hazare gave momentum to the anti-corruption movement. The nation was enthused and victory seemed near. However, lack of clarity on the movement’s direction, selective criticism and some ill-timed steps has led to a perceptible decline in popular support for Anna and his team.

The hustle and bustle of Ramlila Maidan has been replaced by the less than enthusiastic response to the ongoing agitation at Jantar Mantar.

Many say the Lokpal Bill movement is a lost cause. Others swear support; they term the movement as the last chance before India to fight graft.

Though from the beginning, it was a known fact that our elected representatives didn’t want a watch dog on their head, but Anna made us believe that powerful lawmakers can also be questioned in a democracy.

The low turnout during Team Anna’s agitation in Mumbai and now in Delhi has raised some pertinent questions not just about Team Anna, but also on the common man.

The 74-year-old man is not fighting for himself, but for the country’s future and it would be premature to write him off as just an RSS agent.

If not for anything else, at least for having awakened the ‘chalta hai’ nation of ours and initiating a debate on the need to tackle graft at all levels. Last year he was an icon for the youth of the country and today the Gen X seems to have deserted him.

Is the common man bored or does he lack the determination to fight for a just cause? Can the movement be allowed to fizzle out just because Team Anna appears to have an agenda of its own?

First, the less than optimum seriousness on the part of the government – which has been battling scams - and now the people’s disdain.

However, it would be premature to write the obituary of the movement. The critical test would the coming week end and the aam admi’s response.

The next few days will reveal whether the aam admi is just being pensive or he has given up on Anna Hazare.

Who knows, the silence of the janta may be the ‘silence’ before the storm.

First Published: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 17:45

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