Our nation never witnessed any mass movement before the British rule. First of all people led by ruling landlords organized the First Independence Movement (1857). The Rising influenced Indian polity in many ways. The British Parliament realized its carelessness, colonized Indian Territory under its crown and took certain steps to improve upon the situation. The second mass movement was led by Mahatma Gandhi (1919-1948). Consequently, India and Pakistan emerged as sovereign nations. After Gandhi’s assassination, his able disciple Acharya Vinoba Bhave led another movement known as Bhoodan Movement (1951). Several Land Reforms were carried away consequent to it. Against Emergency, J.P led another movement (1975) that resulted in Mandal Agitation and other effects. Thus, every mass movement has its own effects. So, it will be logically knave to assume that mass agitations led by Anna will go in vain.
The movement attracted people belonging to all castes, creeds, regions and professions. Anna declared fast unto death that shook the government policy makers. They invited Anna to share a bill (read Lokpal Bill). It was termed civil society that nominated five members.
The government and society could not take unanimous decision. Then the game of politics of mudslinging began. The note of statement became from harsh to harsher and the pitch became louder and louder.
The government Bill was termed jokingly ‘The Jokepal Bill’ while another Bill drafted by the Civil Society members was termed as ‘The The former bill did not bring under Lokpal the PM, Judiciary, class three and four employees. The latter wanted to do so. Secondly, Lokpal Bill prescribed harsher punishment to complainant while legal support and minor punishment to govt. employees that became major apple of discord that suggested that the bill wants to discourage complaint and shield officers. Thus, the bill was not subservient to thevery object of the bill it meant for. And the marathon fast began and gathered momentum. The support it garnered stirred the imagination of the whole world. Anna reminded Gandhi led movement under the British rule.
Though the movement is in its initial stage, it has to decide the courseof Indian politics in many ways. First, Anna provided an outlet channel for people’s wrath, which otherwise suppressed would have erupted in a more devastating form. The suffering masses were nursing several wounds inflicted by corruption prevalent among different walks of life. After a certain stage it was difficult to manage. Second, every party wants to win people mandate. So, publicly, no party could support corruption. However, it has polarized the whole polity on two opposite lines: pro corruption and anti corruption. Every party overtly supports the latter. Third, the youth of the nation has no option but to join to militant groups for protesting against system misrule. It has lost its direction. Anna provided a platform to express its resentment and thereby became a youth icon. Fourth, the legacy of Gandhi was losing ground. The new generation could not imagine the power of non violence movement. It is Anna who showed the Gandhi’s way of truth and nonviolence. Last, the world has seen bloodshed at large scale in other Asian countries in mass movement. It was Anna who prevented such bloody agitation. Further, it gives an awakening call to ruling party to do justice with people’s duty entrusted to them.
Nobody knows which way Anna movement will head away with whatconsequences. However, as a seasoned politician, he knows he will have to fight on various fronts. His future plan includes Electorate Reforms, Right to Recall or Reject the Representatives, Citizen Charters Bill and many pro people reforms. May or may not succeed he but he has raised a brigade of young fighters in Arvind, Kiran, Vishvas and other alike to fulfill his long cherished dreams. May Anna live long for the benefit of our country!
Narmada Smriti, Azad Lane,
Chaudhary Tola, Patna-6.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this report are purely those of the author and may not in any circumstances be regarded as the official view of BiharTimes.