Team Anna and Political Entry: Why is it Significant?
The once successful ‘fast unto death’ gatherings by Team Anna with huge crowd have vanished in thin air. Before the remaining folk walks away, Team Anna are back with talks of launching a ‘people’s’ political party. Being cold shouldered not only by the people of India but also by government and media there are no other alternatives left for a movement which once ridiculed politicians to the core. But it is premature to write off the movement as insignificant. In a country which witness regional parties flexing muscles and calling shots at national level hampering overall development of India, the move by Anna and co. is significant. Can the political party by Team Anna be a credible alternative to Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)?
The Need for Team Anna’s Political Party
The sorry state of affairs in India is worrying. The ever increasing Corruption and policy deadlocks, lack of leadership have sent the Congress led UPA government sinking and stinking. But no one among the ruling coalition seems to be hurt by the increasing dent in public image. The insecure opposition has a great role in creating a insensitive government. With NDA struggling to keep its allies together resulting in a weak opposition, the accountability of the government have gone to the dogs. Moreover BJP as a national party are still reeling under the Hindutva ideology with RSS and Sangh calling the shots. The Hindutva outlook is a major vote winning factor of the BJP but it is this same ideology which holds it back from becoming a party with mass appeal. Thus Congress gets an undue advantage as being the only national party with secular credentials.
In this mess created by the two national parties the regional parties are thriving. Key decisions like FDI in retail are derailed for the short term benefits of regional thugs. The influence they wield in the central government would be detrimental for nation’s growth in the long run. The Communist parties with their outdate ideologies have been routed from Kerala and West Bengal, their strong hold for years. Busy settling the innter party feud, they show no urgency to innovate and update themselves.
The Political situation in India is at cross roads. The people are yearning for a credible alternative. The movement led by Anna Hazare has the golden opportunity to project themselves as a credible alternative in the messy situation created by the political parties by forming a national party. But the path won’t be rosy and team has to be patient and persistent enough to take one step at a time.
Missed Calls won’t win Elections!
The innovative succesful strategies adopted by Team Anna to garner support had taken the government by surprise in their initial days. But missed calls and likes in facebook won’t win elections. Team Anna should not be blinded by the support they received from the so called ‘general public’. It is no secret that the ‘general public’ was mostly RSS, Sangh and BJP members trying by all means to bring down the government. Getting Baba Ramdev too would be suicidal. He may bring in his followers, which might be good for a gathering but in a national level he would surely be a dampener.
Team Anna has to shed the general perception that they are the B-Team of BJP. If the team is set to wage a long term political battle, short term benefits and gains has to be kept at bay. They have to give a convincing vision for India and its people. Winning the election would be laborious task. Being legitimate and truthful may result in drawing blank in the upcoming election tally. But they got to be consistent, slow and steady. Once they make a convincing impression that they are a genuine people’s own party, then there won’t be any looking back.
Jump, don’t get drowned!
As Rahul Kanwal, executive editor at Headlines Today rightly tweeted, “You can’t clean a dirty river by crying from the bridge. Need to jump in & get your hands dirty. Good that Anna wants to jump into politics.” It’s beyond doubt that India needs a credible alternative to Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party. But team Anna has to be careful enough not to take short cuts for momentary gains. Team Anna has two choices: Either drown pathetically in the dirty river of politics by taking shortcuts or regain the purity of water at least to some extend by dedicated and visionary action. Let us hope for the best!
The author is on twitter as @jeffshawn
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