Friday, June 10, 2011

My views on ANNA or BABA or both

It was a matter of great regret, that I was not alive at the time of the independence struggle. Would have loved to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Gandhiji and others. Fortunately, we are now living amidst an exciting time in this country. Two unique, people-driven movements led by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have created a climate similar to the fight against the British. The stakes are equally high and both the issues - Jan Lokpal and Recovery of black money, are worthy ones.

The fight to rid the nation of corruption has many aspects, but these two issues have the potential to  reduce corruption to a very large extent. But in the dynamic climate of allegations and attacks using lies, half-truths and deceit, non-stop media attention and unfolding situations, what should be our strategy? It needs careful consideration and debate. In this blog, I am putting forward my viewpoint and encourage all readers to point out the flaws and suggest alternatives.

Two of the primary reasons that the Anna movement succeeded and it touched a chord in millions were
1. The credibility of the people involved. Remember Anna lives in a small room in the back of a temple and has sacrificed everything for others.
2. The movement stayed away from any ideology. No rightists, no leftists, no communism, no communalism. Just pragmatism. Whatever works for the nation. Free of all prejudice and divisiveness.

The Congress party and the media will keep on talking about Baba Ramdev and his alleged wealth, crores worth of trusts, 34 companies, private jet, business deals. Considering the amount of laws and rules that we have and the vast power of the Govt. which is desperately enquiring into his assets- it is likely that they may use half-truths and technicalities to unearth some dirt on Baba Ramdev. The fact is that Baba is close to Rightist organisations and that the BJP is trying to appropriate Baba as their leader. This may compromise the credibility of Anna Hazare's movement.

In light of the above, I suggest the following strategy
1. Anna Hazare's team to focus on a good Jan Lokpal Bill
2. Baba Ramdev to focus for bringing back the black money
3. Leadership should keep distance from each other so that irresponsible statement from either, or any weakness of either does not impact this historical movement against black money nor Jan Lokpal.
4. No public criticism of either party. If Anna is asked about private army comment of Baba - he should say that it is better that Baba explain. If Baba is asked about Narendra Modi comments of Anna - then he should say that it is better that Anna explains.
5. Keep on supporting each other's cause. Anna should support the ordinance for bringing back illegal money and Baba should support Jan Lokpal Bill, in all their public utterances.
6. Volunteers to work on both critical issues. They could have a priority based on their personal choice.

Finally, I am working with Anna Hazare or Baba Ramdev, because they are tools for me to serve my motherland. Everything and everyone is just a mean to serve my nation - including my body and mind.

I request all to give in their considered, brief views. Will try and forward the gist to the IAC main team.