Will Anna Hazare’s movement sustain or fizzle out?

By Biplob Ghosal | Last Updated: Jul 27, 2012, 17:45 PM IST

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.
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The hustle and bustle of Ramlila Maidan has been replaced by the less than enthusiastic response to the ongoing agitation at Jantar Mantar.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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First, the less than optimum seriousness on the part of the government – which has been battling scams - and now the people’s disdain.
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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.
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The next few days will reveal whether the aam admi is just being pensive or he has given up on Anna Hazare.
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Who knows, the silence of the janta may be the ‘silence’ before the storm.