Dear Anna, does India need a simple PM or a performing one?

Written by: Pathikrit

Even as Anna Hazare was batting for Mamata Banerjee, one of the largest and emerging apolitical group in Bengal named Hindu Samhati was organising a rally in the heart of Kolkata. Almost 30,000 people had gathered in that rally, the theme of which was essentially the deteriorating law & order in the state, the incessant and relentless infiltration of Bangladeshis in West Bengal which is creating an alarming demographic shift and several instances of atrocities by TMC cadres with the police, as per Hindu Samhati members, essentially playing a partisan role, the last point being something which even the left parties echo now in Bengal.

The Unanswered Questions....

Anna Hazare's decision to campaign for Mamata Banerjee must have irked not only those who were organising the rally against lack of governance in Bengal today but also perhaps many across the country. Is Anna Hazare campaigning for Mamata Banerjee as an alternate Prime Ministerial candidate for any specific reason or out of his own belief in it? Or is it that Anna Hazare is campaigning for Mamata Banerjee's party just as celebrities do for parties?

Is PM's post a competition for simplicity or that of better leader & governance?

Is Mamata Banerjee using Anna Hazare as a trump card for her own national ambitions? And even if she has national ambitions, does she have numbers to even reach anywhere near a contention? Or is it that even with a projected seats of around 28 for her party in the next Lok Sabha election, Mamata Banerjee is harping on a possible stalemate in the next Lok Sabha Election with a beleaguered Congress with less than 100 projected seats would somehow try to create a rag tag Government like the United Front in the nineties and somehow Mamata Banerjee would sneak in as a contender for the top job even if it is a temporary one for a few months much like IK Gujral or Deve Gowda?

What Does Anna Want?

If Mamata Banerjee has such ambitions for herself, however impossible they might seem, it is her own problem. But then what is the role of Anna Hazare in all of it and why is it that Anna Hazare is rooting for Mamata. Is he seeking his next protégé in Mamata Banerjee now that even Kiran Bedi and Gen VK Singh has made their preferences clear by rooting for Modi ? If it is so then what are the credentials of Mamata Banerjee that Anna Hazare is backing on? Well in the words of Anna Hazare himself, ‘Mamata stays in a 12X8 ft home. She still wears slippers and simple saris. She doesn't avail an (official) car and takes no salary....' (Read here)

Is the PM Seat a "Who is more simple?" Contest?

Are these good enough reasons for deciding on a Prime Minister? Is the seat of Prime Minister of a nation a seat for competition among people as to who is more simple?

Does India need a simple Prime Minister or a visionary and aggressive Prime Minister who has the conviction and the aggression as well as ideas to take India into that realm of global affairs? By that standard Manmohan Singh has essentially been a simple person. Yet it has been his simplicity and inability to take firm decision, tendency to remain quiet even against malpractices and corruption, and lack of passion to create a strong India that became the nemesis for his government. Therefore, simplicity is not necessarily a great virtue when it comes to running a nation of a thousand complexities and a million challenges.

Over the last one and a half month people of Delhi has been witness to a simple Chief Minister coupled with his tantrums, sheer inability to govern and an eventual resignation, a final culmination of his whims. Do we need a similar one for the PM post?

Therefore the contention or pretention of simplicity does not hold ground because India has a multiplicity of economic, geopolitical, governance, social and security challenges to take care of, each of which is in a state of mess. And each of these would require complex (and not simple) manoeuvring to bring the nation back to path. Simplicity perhaps is not too good a reason to have someone as PM of a nation.

What About Mamata's Track Record Anna?

In terms of governance too, perhaps Anna has not been advised by his close aides on the present day predicaments of Bengal. Kolkata always took pride in the kind of safety it provided for women. Today it has turned into a nightmare. Every other day there are instances of rapes, molestation and sheer reluctance of the state police to pursue cases. Perhaps Anna was not even advised on the Saradha Scam or bad condition of the Bengal economy. Perhaps Anna has not even been advised on the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration and the manner in which it is leading to massive demographic transition. Is each of these not a reflection of failure of Mamata? In terms of governance, the record of Mamata is perhaps no better than that of Akhilesh Yadav in UP.

Is there a Team Anna Anymore?

Mamata Banerjee is perhaps not just the only contender for the PM post among the third or fourth front constituent parties. There are perhaps half a dozen more with each day dreaming for the post. How many seats she eventually wins would be decided in due course of time.

The bigger issue here is what is now left of Team Anna? It is for sure that Gen (Retd) V K Singh or Kiran Bedi is not with him in this. With Kejriwal on a different plateau altogether, what is now left of the Team Anna or the India Against Corruption movement? Perhaps sadly so, the entire paradigm of India Against Corruption has gone for a toss now. It was perhaps one of the most vibrant and self evolving movement that India has seen since the JP Movement. Yet it seems to be in complete disarray now.

With elections merely a couple of months away, questions arise as to whether Anna Hazare is looking for redemption. And if that is the reason for his rooting for Mamata and a possible Third or Fourth Front, he may not find too many takers for his arguments in the times to come.

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