Skip to main content

Anna agitation flipflop: The government "saint" broke fast relying on empty or hollow consolation on paper

By Gautam Thaker*

Anna Hajare had announced 'Fast Unto Death' in the last week of March 2018 at Delhi in order to pressurize the Government on the appointment of Lokpal at the Centre and that of Lok Ayukts in the States, as well as to secure fair price for farmers' crops aimed at resolving agricultural crisis as also for electoral reforms. 
While commencing his fast, he had announced that "I am firmly determined to continue my fast unless and until our demands for strong Lokpal, solution of farmers' problems and free and fair polls are met with" and had added that the Prime Minister harbours fears that upon formation of Lokpal, the P.M. Office and his cabinet colleagues shall be covered under the purview or ambit of Lokpal. Anna further stated, until concrete action plan is formulated, he will continue his indefinite fast and 'Satyaagraha'.
While Anna had started fast for an indefinite period earlier, in the year 2011, persons like Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, V. K. Singh, Swami Agnivesh, Prashant Bhushan, Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar and Organization like R.S.S. etc. were associated. In order to raise anti-corruption slogans youths and concerned citizens and organizations from all over the country had joined together. In the hope of major anti-corruption revolution, people voluntarily participated in the movement and the agitation. 
The Lokpal and Lok Ayukt Act, 2013 had received approve of H.E. the President of India on 1st January 2014 and in pursuance of that, this Act came to be implemented with effect from 16-1-2014. The present rulers deliberately diluted or weakened the said Act by not providing proper infrastructural facilities, adequate funds or required man-power that were needed for effective implementation of this Act.
When the N.D.A. Government came to power at the centre in the year 2014 it was felt that to fight against corruption, implementation of said Act will be sincerely and honestly made but the present regime did not take any kind of concrete steps to that effect. During the course of four years, Anna had addressed more than 42 letters to the Central Government but the latter did not take pains to reply to even a single letter. 
During the agitation in the year 2011, people harbored thought that with the change of guards at the Centre usurping the U.P.A. regime, the country shall become corruption-free but by not initiating any steps, the new Government threw cold water on the hopes and aspirations of the people.
People were cherishing hopes and expectations that when the new Government takes over the reins of power, it will soon make appointment of Lokpal, and shall resolve the problems facing the farmers including the common men, on a war footing basis. But even after ruling for over four years, in absence of any solid – concrete steps, Anna Hajare once again commenced his fast at Delhi. But within 7 days only, he rolled back or back tracked his agitation. 
Merely on the basis of a letter of solace from the Prime Minister's Office that steps will be initiated in the direction of resolving the problems, the agitation was abruptly called back and wound up. The stalwart Social Servant Kishan Baburao alias Anna Hajare suddenly ended up his agitation. While the sun of such a person was shining or risen at its peak then all his demands were acceded to by the U.P.A. Government even by passing an Act in the parliament. 
All that he required was offered in toto. For implementation of this Act, BJP had made promise in its election manifesto for the 2014 polls. By encashing fullest benefit of that agitation, N.D.A's main constituent party i.e. B.J.P. came to power. Even though the Government changed, the talk of corruption-free nation was shelved off. 
In support of Anna's demands way back in the year 2011 even Hinduist organizations had also openly come out in the streets. They also could not bring about any solution or a change. Present rulers have indulged into uncanny passivity.
Having had lost credibility, Anna agitation did not receive enough support and the agitation met with a tragic end. Anna's image got transformed into "a Government saint" like that of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Baba Ramdeo. It is a matter of surprise that fast-breaking rites or rituals were performed at the hands of Chief Minister of Maharashtra and not a single senior or responsible representative of the Central Government had remained present. 
It is hard to predict as to what will happen if the problems do not get resolved in coming six months. Due to such types of compromises or settlements there does not appear any kind of enthusiasm among the youths or the people. It is indeed a miracle or irony of time that the masses which thronged spontaneously during Anna's agitation in the year 2011, did not openly turn out in the like numbers or measure. It is being felt that the issues which were raised by Anna shall scarcely be resolved in coming six months.
---
*National President, Indian Radical Humanist Association

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.

Women, business, law: India scores worst among all BRICS, several African nations

By Rajiv Shah
A new World Bank report ranks India 125th in its Women, Business and the Law (WBL) index among 187 economies it seeks to analyse across the globe. The report's main aim claims to be to "gain new insight into how women’s employment and entrepreneurship choices are affected by legal gender discrimination. On a scale of 100, India's score is 71.25, worse than the global average of 74.71.