It has been but a week since Anna Hazare ended his fast and people celebrated it as a day of victory for the country (Note – see Losers below for exceptions). Since then, there have been more than their fair share of analyses, critiques and opinions of the events that spanned the 13 day period between August 16 and Aug 28. Clearly, the 74 year old man and his crusade captured the imagination of Indians around the globe.
I can think of various winners and losers that emerged. Here is strictly my (non-exhaustive) take on the subject. Who and what did I miss?
1. The People of India
The fight to end corruption rallied the nation like nothing else in recent times, and the the victory of the underdog is still being relished.
To this selfless man, service to the nation and its people has become his mission and way of life. Anna – who with his simplicity and plain but powerful message – took on the government and ended up winning the hearts and minds of a country. Now, we can add youth icon (the real one) to his attributes. Who would’ve thought?
3. Arvind Kejriwal, Medha Patkar and Prashant Bhushan
Standout strategists and tacticians – the core of Team Anna, working in the background and foreground to ensure that Anna’s cause would bear healthy fruit. Clever, tough, insightful, transparent, honest, credible…all these words can be used to describe them.
Who would have guessed that it would take a 74 year old man to mobilize India’s youth? Indeed, to make them involved, engaged, connected, passionate and committed. Yes, they won big too.
5.Pranab Mukherjee of the UPA ruling party, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj of BJP
If there is one group who were definite losers in this battle it was the politicians, but for a few standout spokespeople, negotiators and deal makers who were there as exceptions just to prove that rule. I’ve picked the three that stood out for me.
6. The Media
For unstinting coverage of what they saw as a good cause for the people and nation, while being unapologetic and non-objective about it! The media did make a difference. Take a bow.
1. The UPA Government
For fighting the wrong fire with the wrong tools and the wrong people. They lost. Of course. Specific losers from this group follow.
For his lack of insight, leadership, communication, judgment and political savvy. Ultimately costing him his credibility across the country. For all his position and power, he looked positively diminutive next to Anna.
He missed a great opportunity to show leadership and courage – to really become the youth icon that his backers promote. Clearly, he does not have it in him. Especially when his mother is away. [On the other hand, his cousin Varun Gandhi outshone him in every way possible].
Clueless fighters who used legalese and elitism against the raw emotion and disgust of people. They’re probably still wondering why and how they could have lost.
For his most famous quote: “Anna Hazare is corrupt from head to toe“. Really? Thanks for adding fuel to the fire in people’s belly, pal. Now, we can forget about you.
6. The Cynics and Critics
There are always some, and its important to have them. By existing, they showcase the power of democracy. Even if they were on the wrong side this time…;)
7. Arundhati Roy
She emerged as the poster child for nutcase critiquing. Temporarily got her what she was obviously laboring for – some attention. This post did a great job of rebutting her nonsensical tirade.
I hate to end this post on a sour note (i.e. with losers). Therefore, here’s another great cartoon by Kureel to round it out. Guess which side won the battle? *
UPA Govt Cartoon By:Thomas A. Kodenkandath, Ph.D. (Thommy); http://InnocentLines.blogspot.com
Note: All other photographs, cartoons and images used in this post are courtesy of the Facebook page for India Against Corruption.