Anna movement: To support or not to support?

Written by: Manoj Kumar.R
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Anna Hazare
Bangalore, Aug 24: That is up to you, however, beyond an iota of doubt, Anna Hazare is the flavor of the season. The anti-corruption crusader who is making headlines from last few weeks seems to have lost a support of section of people. Since Hazare started his indefinite hunger-strike for the implementation of Jan Lokpal Bill, many college students, professionals and people from different walks of life across the nation came down to the streets and held marches in support of Anna's movement.

In Bangalore the Freedom park was the hub of the protest in support of Hazare's movement. Where tens of thousands of supporters, cutting across ages, caste, creed gathered and lend their highly vocal support. The protest was headed by Justice Santosh Hegde.

There is a notion that any debate with Anna movement is 'anti-national', which sounds undemocratic, and Pakistan's activists are taking cue from Hazare to fight corruption. But ironically, Hazare is being ridiculed by a brigade of compatriots, who termed his fasting as 'blackmailing'.

If we closely take a look of anti-graft movement supporters, deviant behavior could be visible in large. Though political parties are coming out in support of Hazare by organising protests, eventually politicos may have their own political claim in this agitation.

For instance, ex-Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa, who is indicted in illegal mining scam and later booted out from his post, launched his support for effective Lokpal bill. This was touted as an image makeover exercise.

Many opposition parties have thrown their weight behind Anna, in order to thrash the government's public image. Recently, BJP leader LK Advani demanded PM's ouster and for a fresh mandate.

There is another section of supporters backing Hazare's movement blindly, over the individual feeling that nothing has been done over years to fight corruption, even if they doesn't know the ABC of Lokpal Bill. However, even the supporters who are aware of the cause, are participating in the agitation hoping to weed out corruption.

Meanwhile, learned and distinguish eminent public figures have their own take in the ongoing Lokpal stir. Recently, Aruna Roy, an former IAS officer and an active social worker, asserted that Anna is ill-guided and forayed to prepare her version of Lokpal. An eminent writer/activist, Arundhati Roy, in her article on The Hindu, have ridiculed Anna's movement.

Now, after taking a sense of all kinds of perception on anti-corruption agitation, I can't help the question that strikes me weather Team Anna want an effective Lokpal bill or the Jan Lokpal Bill? Is it a class war between Team Anna and government? Do the Lokpal have the ability to obliterate corruption, completely?

At the very beginning of the agitation, large number of youngsters poured in their supports. But after going through a series of debates over Anna's movement and Lokpal versions, have those supporters changed their stance or still they spin their hopes on Jan Lokap Bill? When OneIndia asked the people, here follows the few responses that we received:

“Yes, I support Anna Hazare for fighting against corruption, but not the way he is doing / carrying it on . Since everyone are protesting ( most of them in that don't even know what Anna Hazare is fighting for ) our country may incur huge economic loss . I feel each one of us, student or worker has to do over time and show our protest against corruption than just leaving our work and marching on streets. and most important for me is not just passing of the bill but also the amendment of the bill," said Anu Shree, a student.

Chitra, a lecturer by profession said, “No, I don't support Anna Hazare, there are many other ways in protesting. Fasting-unto-death is a blackmail against a properly elected government. 'I want a marriage sans dowry', thus an anti-corruption bill through a parliamentary procedure but not by dominating it."

“No, people who are supporting Anna's movement, about 70 per cent don't know what is Lokapl is all about. According to me, he is misguiding the youth. Fasting is not a device to be used in modern India, it's a kind of submissive method for me," said Varalakshmi.S, a lecturer by profession

“I support Anna Hazare. I truly believe that introduction of Jan Lokpal bill will drag all the perpetrators, involved in corruption, to justice. I personally want PM to come under anti-corruption bill purview," said Prasanth.K, a lecturer of journalism.

Tilak Dp, a student said, "My fight is against corruption. I haven't taken a closer look at Lokpal and Jan Lokpal. I only have a broad picture that news dailies have given me. I have different ideas of protest too. I think not fasting is the best, but at least he is doing what he thinks is the best, unlike me ! At least people are responding, awake from there long time hibernation. I am happy for that, I support that at least something more than just talking is happening from us- citizens."

Mixed responses on anti-graft agitation could be seen in above quotes, however, freedom to speech itself is a precious freedom that should be respected in a democratic nation. Support Anna Hazare or stand by the government over Lokpal draft, but before taking any stand, arm yourself with information. First know/learn why and for what, you should go on protest.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe famously quoted, “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action."

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