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 an author, scriptwriter and columnist based in Mumbai, India.
Tuhin was born in Jamshedpur. He has studied at Loyola School, Jamshedpur, Hindu college, Delhi and the National Institute of Advertising, New Delhi.
Tuhin is best known for his novels, Of Love And Politics, That Thing Called Love and 22 Yards. That Thing Called Love is now out in several regional languages as well. Tuhin has scripted several TV shows, apart from having worked as story/script/creative consultant with leading Film and TV production houses.
Tuhin is also a guest columnist with TOI, DNA and some lifestyle magazines. A keen observer of national politics, the subject finds its way in many of Tuhin’s writings.
Tuhin is presently working on his fourth book, the Autobiography.
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