New Delhi: Nine days after their fast, the anti-corruption activists, members of Team Anna, will end their agitation on Friday. This comes after Team Anna made a dramatic announcement of giving the country a political alternative.
As the government refused to budge, hopes of an encore of Ramlila Maidan, when union ministers were forced to come and appeal to Anna Hazare to call off his fast, faded away. So it took an appeal by two dozen eminent citizens for Team Anna to change track.
Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said, "We are happy that they have decided to call off their fast, this really was an instrument of coercion being used by them."
There was an attempted referendum of sorts too, with Team Anna member Arvind kejriwal himself asking questions to the gathered public about the road ahead.
"What should we be doing, should there be a political alternative," Kejriwal asked the people gathered at Jantar Mantar.
Questions will be raised about what has been achieved by Team Anna through this nine-day fast as to whether this was a strategic mistake and is the move to call off the fast simply an exit route.
The strategy now is to look for a political alternative, but Team Anna isn't sure whether that alternative is launching a political party.
"We are seeking a revolution, how we can change the way politics is done in the country, launch a parallel form of politics in the country," Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan said.
In the end, the wheel seems to have turned a full circle for Anna and company. It was from the Jantar Mantar, when Anna first mounted a challenge to the government and now it's from this very spot that Anna will have to decide how to channel the momentum he generated over the past year.