Only last year the entire nation — from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Bhuj to Manipur — was agog with the massive appeal generated through the anti corruption agitation launched by Anna Hazare and his team members in New Delhi. People, irrespective of their age and affiliations, were on the streets in support of the cause raised by Anna & Co.
After a year , a complete reversal has been observed, and the support that Anna and his teammates received is on a steep decline. In Mumbai particularly, the change was quite noticeable. In comparison to the crowds that had descended to Bandra-Kurla Complex when the winter session of Parliament even a few months back, the apalling lack of support witnessed for the Anna’s recent rally at Parel offers a baffling picture. One wonders what exactly went wrong, because the all-pervasive issue of corruption hasn’t suddenly disappeared from the day-to-day life of the common man.
Team Anna may have lost its confidence due to the spate of controversies it was mired in, soon after the Jantar-Mantar agitation. First it was Kiran Bedi, later Arvind Kejriwal and then Prashant Bhushan — the trio, which was leading the team from the front, faced some uneasy questions. Before that, retd Justice Santosh Hegde and Swami Agnivesh had already come under criticism. Our political classes are also responsible for their relentless campaign against the trio. Because Anna’s agitation posed a direct threat to them, it was necessary for them to break itup.
Even Anna and his team made the fatal mistake of taking the direct political path and campaigning against the Congress in the Assembly elections and a few by-elections to the Lok Sabha. The agenda changed from anti-corruption to anti-Congress. The masterminds befriended Anna’s colleagues and confined him to his native place —because of which the Gandhian did not undertake his much publicised nation-wide tour against the cause. And soon, public support vanished.