“What is called the “genius of a people” is only a set of reactions to a given stimulus.” –Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude
It is said that humans can experience different forms of realities--unconsciously or consciously--such as scientific reality, academic reality, cinematic reality, political reality, etc. Among all these diverse forms of realities, the people of
, or the people especially belonging to the locale to which I belong (Kerala) experience an incessant bombardment of one form of reality, within which they locate their pleasure, sorrow, sin, redemption, life, death, and space. For them it is the beginning of existence and its edge as well. No one bothers to change this form of reality perception. The form of reality mentioned here is the ‘political reality’. And anyone or any movement or any idea emerging would inevitably find itself or themselves within the enchanting walls of this labyrinth. Anna Hazare is no exception. India
Who is Anna Hazare? An old man of seventy four, who is courageous enough to challenge the Indian democracy for answers to his questions and to implement a bill in its parliament for stopping corruption; he is the man about whom the youth of India says “though we are bound by the totalitarian culture (the culture that dedicates most of its time and resources to restrict, redeem and remodel the lives of its inhabitants) and a democracy that denies its own presence vehemently in its exercise of power, but curtails every other attempt of individualism through moral and ethical or stricter legislative means, this old man is doing something, for us. In a country where everyone born is fated to be enveloped with the label of Hindu, here is the man who made us say “we all are Anna”, protectors of righteousness and justice, words that meant little or mostly pilloried by the mob and the sahibs alike until this time. Anna is the man who filled the hollow word with depth that meant much more at a point in the past of this great nation, morality. The greatest service Anna Hazare did to this nation, where every moment one of its citizens were cheated by shop keepers to politicians, is to resurrect the idea of ‘morality’. Morality, a word that was dead somewhere, sometime between 1947 and 2011, and was commemorated in bollywood movies and in meaningless speeches made at the Red Fort, alone. Who is Anna Hazare? The social activist who supplied meaning and depth to the word, ‘morality’ within the ‘political reality’, the only form of reality that is actively part of the realm of experience of an Indian citizen.
Anna Hazare’s major demand is the implementation of Jan Lokpal Bill, a bill that could apparently curb corruption in various governmental positions including the prime minister’s. But as the article, “Which democracy Do We Want?” by Kanti Bajpai published in The Times of India, dated 20th Aug. 2011, pointed out, even though the strike against corruption is the lead slogan of the campaign the core of the issue lies in the title question. It is about the question whether we need a democracy with a substance or just a ‘procedural democracy’.
The way the people or, precisely some people, in
has reacted to the stimulus called Anna Hazare, demonstrates in identifiable ways that this populace is no moronic. The movement against corruption, which Anna Hazare himself calls the ‘second freedom struggle’ is thus a movement against the hypocritical political reality existing in the nation. Anna’s struggle is an individual’s struggle against a totalitarian culture that favored in the name of democracy, organized mass betrayal, and sheltered in the name of politicians, scoundrels and thieves within the regions of its constitutional power. Even though, the number of swamis and ochre clad politicians are rising up around the old man, the cause for which he stands justifies every prank from the Indian Communists and the BJP lead Indian Hindu rightwing people to assimilate this movement. India
What difference can this movement make in the Indian reality, (which is essentially and totally political)? This movement will forever lift the trust of the commoner from the politicians, good or bad, and the totalitarian culture will suffer a great deal in its attempts to outcast Anna and people like him by accusing them for being American spies. The central government and related authorities, who are in the fragile regions that could possibly suffer a great deal if Jan Lokpal Bill is passed, allege Anna for receiving help from the US, which Anna denies incessantly. There is no logic in extrapolating political antagonism against a particular political party or group from the “Anna Hazare Movement” after this realization that each of his steps is shaking the pillars of hypocrisies of the contemporary Indian democracy disregarding the political group ruling the at the centre. Moreover, this is a movement that marks for the first time in Indian political and cultural history, an individual’s attempt to stand up for his own convictions.
Who actually is Anna?
“I am Anna.”
“I am Anna.”
The Indian Commentator stands up and supports Anna.