The worst possible crusader
Two years ago statutory government bodies like the CAG had uncovered huge corruption in the government. The press was tracking this story and others. The Indian polity was up in arms. Then the movement was taken over by a person clad in the topi that Gandhi made famous, but one whose attitude towards political violence was the opposite of Gandhi’s. Fortunately, the media follows him everywhere, so HT can report:
Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare praised the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray in Mumbai on Thursday, while key members of Team Anna said in Delhi that they did not approve of Raj’s brand of politics.
Hazare was meeting political leaders as part of his campaign for a strong lokayukta in Maharashtra. While Sena chief Bal Thackeray refused to meet him, he was cold shouldered by Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. During his meeting with Hazare, Chavan refused to set any deadline for enacting the Lokayukta bill in the state, saying the government would take a decision only after the Centre spells out its stance.
But Raj welcomed the activist. After meeting Raj at the latter’s Dadar residence, Hazare said, “Raj Thackeray has supported my stance for a strong Lokayukta law.”
He had a few words of praise for Raj. “I was happy with the manner in which he conducted examinations to select his candidates,” said Hazare. Raj had conducted both written exams and interviews of all candidates who wished to contest the municipal polls held early this year.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Delhi, Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan distanced themselves from the issue.
Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, and their friends would do well to remember the foundation of Gandhi’s way of politics: your enemy’s enemy is not your friend; in politics you befriend only those whose methods match yours. Neglecting this wisdom has brought India to its present bog of coalition politics. A Gandhian political organization builds its own strength by mobilizing like-minded people, rather than capturing power by alliances with potential enemies, only to lose all relevance by internal bickering after coming to power. This is happening to the Anna Hazare gang, as well as the UPA II government, and it happened to the failed third front experiments of the 80s and 90s and to the now-forgotten Congress of the 60s.
So, Mr. Bhushan, Mr. Kejriwal, Ms. Bedi, if you genuinely care for a clean India, part ways with petty dictators, go back to the grassroots, and build again. You are getting nowhere now, and you will take us to a dictatorial and communal India if you walk further along this road.