When a bespectacled man with Nehru cap stood up for the first time last April, the whole nation went into tizzy. Candle light vigils, silent protests, fasts – the common man participated with Anna, the Gandhian like he had touched the raw nerve. Even the people who had no idea about Jan Lokpal bill were following in a herd. He was touted as the New Age Gandhi who brought together the population of one billion.
But what exactly happened over the last year that today there is no interest, no follow up on what Team Anna is up to? Corruption has not disappeared, black money is still stashed in the bank accounts abroad and Government is still plagued with scams one after the other.
- While they were fighting for the cause of passing a stringent anti-corruption bill, their own team was involved in inflating bills and diverting funds to their own NGOs. People got confused. The team they were blindly following and believing had holes in their own pocket.
- Then they did another blunder by campaigning against the party in power. It meant two things – one, they felt that failure of system was only due to one political party and second, they were too incoherent and naïve to believe that if a certain party does not come to power the bill will see the light of the day. They forgot that politicians as a community was against something that could make them accountable. Suddenly the agenda was no longer wiping corruption. It was about wiping the ruling party. Again something that made the faith of people flounder.
- When no strategy worked, they decided to accuse the PM as one of the benefactors of corruption too. He may be lacking aggressive leadership, his economic policies may be a stalemate and he may be unable to control the social scene in the country but believing that he himself has taken money under the table is incomprehensible. Some people have a reputation that is almost impossible to tarnish. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh, APJ Abdul Kalam have some honest vibe about them. So even if such kind of people make wrong decisions or stay quiet which is also not acceptable, no one can believe that they are actually being benefitted from any of this.
- The last nail in the coffin came today when I saw Arvind Kejriwal on TV saying that Pranab Mukherjee is corrupt but they will not show the proofs today. They will show it on July 25th. It seems he is a big fan of TV serials where creating suspense and engaging the audience in melodrama is everything. Why such an important issue needs to be sensationalized? I know the swearing-in is due for the same date but do they want him to swear-in and then release the proof?
Team Anna has lost its way and now they are hanging on to every little twig. With near to zero public support, the future seems bleak. I don’t doubt their sentiment but I do doubt their campaign which is left in tatters now.