Maintain gravitas!
Anna shouldn’t go for fast-unto-death too often!

That would expose him to many criticisms and even derail his otherwise noble mission of service to the nation.

Yes, there are some very good developments in the Indian political space lately. The 2009 Lok Sabha elections brought the UPA-II to office on the note of some good work done by the Singh government.

But within a few years, two years, Singh government came for much criticism and great disappointment. The reasons for such a sudden disappointment are many. The Prime Minister who was known for his rather some routine administration seems to have faltered.

One of his many not so welcome habits is his total insensitivity. Lack of concern for the aam aadmi in whose name his government was said to have been carried out. So too his political boss, Sonia Gandhi. Madam Gandhi too seems to have some severe limitation of character and personality. She is now the President of the Indian National Congress for over 12 long years. She seems to be so unperturbed about this anomaly. She seems not to have read the history of the Congress. It was always an honour to become the president of the party in its 125 years. Now, the president of the party takes it to be a family property. She should have taken steps or indicated that she is uncomfortable about continuing in the post for so long.

But she hasn’t done anything to justify her continuation in the post. She is presiding over the party that is progressively disappearing in all major states. The party is not there in UP, Bihar, TN, W.Bengal and Maharashtra and even in the Hindi heartland. Rahul Gandhi was very active for such a long time that he suddenly seems to have disappear5ed from the scene and it makes everyone uncomfortable in the party and outside about what the future course of action in the oldest party.

As for the Prime Minister he is really putting everyone in great discomfort.

In the series of mis-steps, starting from the CVC fiasco to A.Raja and now with the 2G spectrum spreading before him as a zigzag puzzle, he is neither talking nor taking any action or step to diffuse and dissolve issues. Rather he seems to have suddenly become clueless.

Poor man, the Prime Minister! Poor person, Sonia Gandhi! They find themselves in such an unenviable situation.

As far as the ordinary citizen is concerned, it doesn’t need so much wisdom or so much genius to fathom out their predicament.

The two leaders don’t respond to letters or seeking audiences from the common people. They don’t travel out of their cocooned environment. They lost touch with the common man. They also lost their own common touch!

I have much to write and say about my own experiences and reactions.
Here I like to remind the readers this much only.

Anna Hazare is now like a new genie let out. It won’t go away so soon.
The Anna Hazare phenomenon was waiting to bust out. It has by now.
Now, there is no way you can contain the Anna Hazare genie so easily.
The future course before the government seems very messy given the way the ministers have conducted themselves in recent events.

Manmohan Singh doest talk!
Sonia Gandhi doesn’t talk!
Rahul Gandhi nowhere!

What sort of government is this?

Who sent the four senior Cabinet ministers to the airport to receive the Baba Ramdev?

They lowered the image of the Central government. They weakened the authority of the government in the public eye.

Now, Anna Hazare had undertaken his second fast unto death at the Raj Ghat, it is time, we the public, the citizens and the intelligentsia and the intellectuals must come out and speak out.

Anna must be told that he is already weakening his stand on corruption. When he launched his campaign against corruption and came out with his own version of a Jan Lok Pal bill there was a mass upsurge of support from the very middle class and intellectuals. He must know that he is enjoying the protection and the privileges of a parliamentary democracy and its all strengths. A free press, an active TV channels network and also the younger generation’s disgust with the prevailing corruption.
Now, the government agreed to work with him, he must be seen as very tolerant and giving the government, as the word goes, a long rope.

If the government dillydallies, it is for the public to react and here Hazare and his team could work for more support and articulate their views in much more detailed manner. The civil society members, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Justice Shantosh Hegde and others like Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh, all enjoy tremendous mass support and these are rare achievements.

To rush for a second fast in two months and that too to the controversial Ramdev fast seems to be a bit too premature, in my considered opinion.

And as the newspapers and the TV channels already given out, the latest second fast had led to some lower level discourses and even some Bollywood numbers and even Hazare had recited some such lines. We would like to appeal to him and remind him that this is not strictly a Gandhian dharma; there must be gravitas and some deeper spiritual meaning in whatever a leader says in such a somber moment. And that too in the Gandhi Samadhi!

And much more serious and much more thought is the fact that we live in a free country. We are now a great nation. Our freedom is now well-established, our Parliamentary Democracy, if I can quote a great sage and a leader of ancient Greece, Pericles, as he said at his funeral speech after the Peloponnesian War (The book with the same title by Thucydides), as Pericles said of Athens, we Indians can say with some such justification, Indian democracy, is an education to the world!

Yes, Anna Hazare and his team of great men and women must
Pericles, the Greek statesman, I quote, tells his audience:”Our constitution is called a democracy because we govern in the interest of the majority, not just the few”. This, we, the civil society representatives must bear in mind and speak and act, this is my plea.
We have to ponder over the fact that we are a living democracy and as such we have to live and operate within the disciplines and freedoms of such a free polity.

How can we rush to call the second fast as a second freedom struggle? If someone had so called it, then the leaders must be very uncomfortable about such cheapening of the noble cause.

L.K.Advani, the senior-most BJP leader sounds so immature. He compares the police action at Ramlila Grounds as action by General Dyer at Jalialwalla Bagh! Funny! Entirely false and cheap publicity-seeking move!

Become real leaders. Behave with some seriousness of purpose. It is again silly for Sushma Swaraj to dance at Rajghat. We all expect her as Prime Ministerial material. Madam, please show some seriousness!
And pray, now, Anna has announced that he would resort to another fast, a third fast if the government didn’t complete the Lok Pal Bill by August 15th?

No, this is no good, Annaji!

A free government, an elected government, would have its own compulsions, administrative and otherwise, and we as the civil society protestors, must be patient and must appear to be patient and giving the government to come out with its promise to complete the bill.
Yes, some of the ministers made a mess of things. For instance Mr.Kapil Sibal. Nut then collectively, there is a government and we must all respect the promises of the government.

In fact, if we rush and do things in a haste and use languages that betray our resolve in any mis-steps, the losers are not just we, the Hazare brigade alone. It is the loss for the common man, the last man and the rural and the urban have now united for a common cause and I would urge in conclusion that Anna Hazare must abandon any notions of delusions, there is no room or such delusions.

Let us operate within a free democracy, a free press and media and an alter public opinion and wait and give enough time for a government to deliver. The ultimate weapon is the elections and the vote/.
Also, let us not fall into the trap of the Opposition, the communal elements and a secular, democratic republic is the best guarantee for long-time and sustainable evolution of the common man’s freedoms.

Jai Hind!

V.Isvarmurti. 8.5.2011.

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