The dance of Gandhi's ghost at Jantar Mantar?
The sudden expression of respect for Anna Hazare by both the Congress and the BJP is rooted in fear. The spirit of Gandhi and his ways of protest have the potential to dislodge any system that thrives on corruption. No one knows this better than those who have taken turns in the past 60 years in their attempts to surpass Ghazni when it comes to plundering the nation. Those who have played divisive politics for consolidating vote banks can not afford to let the nation unite. Hence the sweet talk: "We respect Anna Hazare."
If anything near to the proposed Jan Lok Pal Bill becomes Law it will gobble all those who are trying to show their respect to Anna Hazare by suggesting he and his team has no right to propose any such thing because that is the sole prerogative of the legislature. The rulers of Independent India have not let it happen for the past more than 40 years. They will do whatever it takes to not let it happen this time as well. Herein lies the challenge, to all those who have responded in any which way, to sentiments that started flowing ever since the ghost of Gandhi danced at Tahrir Square.
The ghost is juggling between continents and has just winked at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi right now. This wink has given birth to a ray of hope. How soon the ghost of Gandhi will dance in New Delhi depends on the reach of this new born hope. It has reached Bhopal and many other small towns. How soon it reaches the villages will be the crucial factor that will decide the date.
Anna Hazare and his team have taken the most difficult first step. The journey has just started. Hurdles await the change seekers at every step but the most difficult hurdle of starting the whole thing has already been overcome. That's how the ghost winked.
The issue is not about the constitution of the group of ministers that is looking into the Lokpal bill. The question is how to kill the termite that has taken over the system of governance in India? The Jan Lokpal bill is just the rallying point. How not to let the termite seep in again, will also have to be sorted out.
Those who have come out on to the streets along with Anna Hazare and his team across India need to be complimented. And the only way to compliment them is to join them in any which way. Overcoming organizational hurdles in a diverse geography is the next big challenge. One way is to rope in all groups like the Bhopal gas victims who have been fighting for justice for years together.
And while Anna Hazare fasts in Delhi, the ghost of Gandhi can be pleaded to exchange his stick for a cricket bat. India's first World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev has already pledged support to Anna Hazare. No one can convince the ghost to take the bat for the lathi better than Kapil Dev. A pan India mobilization Yatra alongside Kapil Dev is just one suggestion. What might happen if Sachin Tendulkar gets convinced is beyond prediction.
More about Hemender SharmaA chance reporter, reporting for CNN-IBN from Bhopal. Has reported for the Sun Magazine, Delhi MidDay, Hindustan Times, Asian Age and Sahara Samay in the past.
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