By Sukant Khurana:
We all love to say, hey look, I said so. I regret to say but I did say so. I foresaw the danger of deification of Hazare and the lack of a democratic process in the then burgeoning anti-corruption movement. Back then, when it was blasphemous to criticize Hazare, I had urged to focus on issues and not leaders. You can read it hereÂ and here.
I will again argue that no one, absolutely no one, including the man in the mirror is above petty personal issues and whims. Now, given the sainthood, the saint of Ralegan SiddhiÂ is cannibalizing the newborn child of the anti corruption movement, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), either because he is envious of the attention to the rebel Kejriwal or maybe the simpleton “siddha sadha bhola” saint is being played by others, the actual brains, who are dealing cards for Congress and BJP. It gives me no pleasure but the chickens have come home to roost.
It is sad to see that the AAP is still not taking off its gloves against Hazare. Apart from respect, the reason could be a short-term political expediency, as not much can be gained by poo-pooing Saints and Gods in the super Holy land of India. I think it is not smart thinking on the part of AAP because this passivity will come to bite them in the rear. The consequences of a delay in confronting the Jokepal fiasco and willingness to form government in Delhi are dire for the people’s movement, as it will eliminate AAP from national stage and keep them preoccupied in Delhi. I think Hazare has had his hazar nakhare and now it is time to completely part ways with a medieval minded self-anointed dictatorial saint. Back then too, I could not find much admiration for someone who sets rules for his village as a complete patriarchal dictator and then claims to fight for democracy. Now, with his backstabbing, I absolutely cannot. Knowing my people, us Indians, if I can use the cheesy phrase of “my people”, I will make another prediction. My people are too full of superficial respect, so we will push the simpleton saint off the throne only once he has done all the damage. I hope the young of India prove me wrong but I am not holding back my breath.
I am not just giving a call to boycott Hazare but it is the same warning about deification of leaders as I did before. If and when the time comes, I would have no problem to take up a crusade against Kejriwal or anyone else. In fact, if Kejriwal goes ahead with making the government in Delhi with the support of either the Congress or the BJP, he loses my support. My struggle still goes on but I will find another face. I have my loyalty to issues and not individuals. I hope that one day India learns to hold ideas rather than individuals dear too. When it does, there will be no Mahatmas and Annas, Saints and still more newer Gods being born but a real progress that puts India front and center on the Globe in every respect.
I think anyone who is against corruption must be willing to go bark and bite for Aam Admi Party at this moment, because AAP is changing the way politics is done in India. It is not just about Lokpal and other issues of corruption, but it is about public accountability. Maybe one day AAP will degrade into Congress. Maybe very soon, maybe tomorrow if they decide to form the government in Delhi but until that day comes, they are our best hope.
AAP is by no means a panacea of all ills. They hardly have any serious vision on economic, defense, foreign policy and environmental issues, but who does? They are “andhon mein kana raja” (have one good eye in the middle of completely blind). Of all the options that we have, AAP is leaps and bounds less rotten, so I hope people and AAP are not distracted to cater to whims of some saint or other reasons of a short-term political expediency. It is time to say goodbye to Hazare and fight the battle for a national revolution, with or without AAP, as the need be.