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Tuhin A Sinha
Tuesday , August 16, 2011 at 14 : 10

Anna must enter politics


It is strange how history seems to repeat itself all the time. Anna Hazare's arrest today is reminiscent of 1975 when the then Indira Gandhi-led government, afraid of JP Narayan's sway over the masses, started locking up opponents in jail. Thirty-six years later the same seems to be happening again, the crucial difference being that Anna is leading a purely non-political movement.

I have in some of my previous articles maintained that Anna should turn his anti-corruption movement into a political movement. The main reason I say so is that the Government (until today's developments) was more or less indifferent to Anna as it knew that Anna would be eating into the Opposition pie.

Moreover, Anna's well-known dislike towards politics had made this government complacent- the UPA knew that Anna or his team would not be around at the time of elections. At least the Congress spokesman Manish Tewari's provocation to Anna, challenging him to contest elections seemed to stem out of this mentality.

The latest developments- Anna's arrest and the threat of an impending revolution will, however, make the Government realize that Anna is so powerful today that he can overthrow a government on his own. Anna would be squandering away that advantage if he still chooses to remain away from politics. In a democracy effective changes cannot be enforced by shunning politics. Gandhi knew this. JP understood this. It is time for Anna to realize this as well.

If Anna does turn his anti-corruption crusade into a political movement, it can for the first time make a corruption-free government of well meaning citizens a reality. In the twilight of his career, Anna has attained the kind of popularity and support which only Gandhi, in pre-Independence era, and JP, post Independence, had attained.

The nation will be a loser if Anna does not take this battle to its logical end- overthrow this government and install a government of honest professionals. Anna could still not accept any position within that government. But the important thing for him is to believe that he and his team are capable to enforcing such a paradigm change.

That is the only way India can survive this chronic mid-age crisis.


More about Tuhin A Sinha

Tuhin A Sinha is among the best-selling authors in India, a columnist and a screenwriter. Starting in 2006 with his first book, That Thing Called Love, an unconventional romance set in a Mumbai monsoon, Tuhin has written five novels. They include The Captain (formerly 22 Yards), Of Love And Politics, The Edge of Desire and The Edge Of Power. Tuhin is acknowledged among the most prolific Indian writers with a maverick knack to experiment with new genres. While his first book was an offbeat romance, The Captain was a cricket thriller that explored the underbelly of modern cricket. Of Love And Politics was a political thriller. His last two books which comprise the Edge series can be called socio-political thrillers with a strong feminist skew. Tuhin is a screenwriter of several popular TV shows, the most noteworthy being Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai on Star Plus. Apart from his fiction novels and scripts, Tuhin is a keen political observer. His columns on Indian politics appear regularly in India’s leading dailies. Tuhin has a regular blog on ibnlive.com. He also appears frequently on news channels on discussions around politics and cricket.