I am NOT Anna Hazare

Punk activism
I don’t know about all those commitment wallas but I did what I have never done before. I switched on the TV still in my satin nightgown. Yes, I am so common, no? I did it because I wanted to feel the heat and humidity seep from my pores into other areas of my being.

Last night I surfed channels and left a man swallowing swords to watch the ‘Anna dekh tera munda bigda jaaye’ show and we the people were informed that “Brashtachar ki haar aur Bharat jeet gaya.” (Corruption has been defeated and India has won). It was like a match with Brashtacahar’s 11 against India’s 100 or rather hazaar Hazares all looking like they had greased palms with oily pakoras, or was it lavender-scented sanitisers?

Now I can breathe, I thought. I don’t have to bribe the traffic cop with a sweet smile. Trust me, I have not ever given a paisa to a single one. I can walk with my head held high and quote saint Aamir Khan who is more like god because he is omnipresent. “Like the country has supported the Indian cricket team in their struggle to win the World Cup, I hope and pray that your struggle, which is infinitely more important and affects each and every one of us, will get an even greater support,” he wrote in a letter to Hazare. Of course, that letter, like the scriptures, made it to the media and the public.

Struggles of cricketers and of the ordinary Indian are similar?

Before the start of the fast
Anyway, he must have broken his fast by now and I am laying a bet with my fellow common citizens whether it will be orange juice, mosambi or neembu-paani or plain contaminated tap water from India’s various cities.

I have been called a cynic, a killjoy for not enjoying this hearty meal of activism. This stuff really tires me out. I have already posted about it and reiterate that we must not wear blindfolds for anything. When Sonia Gandhi said, “The issues he has raised are of grave public concern. There could be no two views on combating graft in public life. I believe that the laws in these matters must be effective and deliver the desired results”, did anyone in that crowd of concerned citizens utter the magic word 'Quattrocchi'? Anyone willing to stand up and be counted?

How can the report therefore talk of a “peace deal between Anna Hazare and the government”? Is there a war? Is Hazare the sole spokesperson? Look at his “middle path”: “Ministers will give the panel more weight, it will make the government more receptive to agreeing to the draft the committee draws up.”

Sure. A panel that wanted to call the bluff of ministers needs those ministers to add more weight.

Of such fluff are dreams made. Am glad that at 10.30 AM I am still in my satin nightgown and know the true metaphorical value of such dreams. Raat gayi, baat gayi: Here today, gone at dawn.

- - -

The Russians do it differently.

Pro-Kremlin activists have posed in lingerie for an erotic calendar with an antigraft message and the slogan “sex against corruption”, youth movement Nashi (Ours) said.

Women students decided to participate by dropping clothes and coming up with slogans like, “I won't marry a corrupt official”, “Brown envelopes are only for letters, “I will teach you to live without bribes”.

Given the nature of their positions (hmm) many will be willing to learn. Besides, if the women are ready to do what they have done for the calendar and make a decent income, the corrupt officials might just decide to lie back and enjoy.

Honestly, no one can completely end corruption. But we can just normally try not to bribe. Though, aren’t all these – fasting, sloganeering and titillating – forms of bribery?


  1. I admire the Russian way and wish such noble souls were there in India too!

    On second thoughts, if it is Anna, Agnivesh, Megha, Kiran and Ramdev on the scene, I am rather happy they are sticking to the good old fast-unto-death!

    Maybe if it was FV, then..... :)

  2. I remember a colleague of mine once told me that large group of female students at UCSD went topless once to protest something (I am pretty sure it was important ;-) and all the guys turned out in huge numbers to encourage more future rallies....

  3. F&F:

    FV likes the Russian way too and would choose a middle path between Stalin and Trotsky and bare her fangs.

    BTW, They could have tried putting Putin.


    I always knew men rallied round causes for ulterior motives!

  4. Touche!!

    Why aren't your posts as delicious?

  5. Parampara! Have to maintain the tradition of pseudo intellectualism.

    Hmm...was that an insult? It kind of shot past my candyfloss. And make up your mind - have cake or eat it?

  6. Farzana,
    A rather curious observation about the MSM coverage of Anna Hazare's "revolution" is the missing questions on "Class Characteristics" (as us left leaning folks tend to view polity - in terms of friction between economicically stratified classes). Those at the bottom wrung have mostly been shut up. A minority amongst the "enlightened ones" - who are not exactly a fodder of the grinding wheels of "System" - are finding it fashionable to participate in the the candle-light marches.
    BTW, does this remind you of Mr. Khairnar's (G. R. Khairnar) agitation in early nineties ?
    p.s.: Tellingly enough, Ms. Medha Patkar - a prominent voice in "such agitations" appears to have chosen to be silent. Have I read it correctly or am missing something here ?

  7. Mahesh:

    That is the beef against the movement - that the real sufferers are sidelined and do not even count.

    Re Khairnar, there is a similarity to the extent of hallowed bulldozing and quite literally so in his case. But he was within the establishment to begin with. It was only later that he became this ganji wearing messiah. Both the situations are geared to please certain sections.

    PS: Medha Patkar was in Mumbai for a slumdwellers agitation. I deliberately did not mention it for it would reduce the argument against the Anna one. Ms. Patkar is not known to steal the thunder from anyone and she also has a good head on her shoulder!

  8. And to all of us, the so called citizens of India, whoever raises their voice against corruption, it is right that we have raised against corruption, but at the same time we have to think few things. Do we really pay our taxes properly and regularly? If we are shop keepers or business men, do you pay your taxes, or do you give bills to the customers for the products they buy? How many Crores of rupees we loot every day? Is it not more than what the politicians do once in five years? Don't we loot the country or don't we do corruption from our part? How can corrupt people fight against corruption, when it is within their hearts and daily activities? Just think.


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