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S.A.Aiyar..Hey Anna Hazare!! Swaminomics!

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Dear Anna Hazare,

Frustrated by your failure to draw large crowds or sway Parliament, you have decided to convert your India Against Corruption movement into a political party. This is madness. Please abandon the idea.

A mass movement can flourish on a single issue like fighting corruption. A single-issue movement can draw support from many existing institutions and parties. It can bring together those who quarrel on many issues, but are willing to join hands on corruption. It attracts people because its message is simple and clear.
But if you form a political party, you distract attention from your big message.

A movement can be based on a single issue, but a political party has to take a stand on a wide array of issues. This will irretrievably dilute your focus on corruption.
Your supporters are divided on issues other than corruption. Prashant Bhushan is a red-hot socialist who wants to hugely increase state powers. But others see that the state itself as the very fount of corruption, and campaign for economic liberalisation.

Some of your supporters are devotees of Baba Ramdev or the RSS. But others are staunch secularists who cannot stand Ramdev or the RSS. Many Muslims back you on corruption, but hate Ramdev.
Creating a party will stir up all the contradictory ideologies and passions that your supporters have set aside to focus on corruption. Why jeopardise the unity of your supporters? An angry public hates existing political parties. Why convert yourself into yet another hate object?

You want to fight elections to sway politics. But raising money to fight elections can taint you beyond redemption. Success in politics entails alliances and coalitions, and this will mean compromises with the very parties you castigate as corrupt.
You feel humiliated today as a movement that is ignored by parties. Alas, you will face far greater humiliation when your party is, inevitably, thrashed at the polls. Voters vote tactically for parties they think can come to power, and you will not qualify save in very few areas. Electoral defeat will make your claim to speak for India ring hollow.The problem is that you and your team have been spoiled by the mass public attention you attracted last year. You incorrectly thought you had suddenly become great national leaders. Dead wrong.

You were important not in yourself, only as a channel for middle-class anger against existing corrupt political parties.
You are puzzled and frustrated that that you no longer command huge crowds. The lesson is simple: don’t trust the middle class to give you sustained support. The middle class has a very wide rage of interests. It can get angry on one issue for months, and then switch altogether to other issues.This was demonstrated in the anti-Mandal student agitation of 1990. When the Prime Minister VP Singh proposed reservations for OBCs (other backward castes) in government service and educational institutions, Delhi’s upper caste students rose in revolt at what they viewed as casteism triumphing over merit. Thousands of marchers paralysed the city, and college students started immolating themselves day after day. No political party could stem it. The movement looked phenomenally strong.But then along came L K Advani's Rath Yatra. The middle class suddenly lost interest in the supposed iniquity of OBC reservations and switched to the mandir-masjd issue. The anti-reservation movement that once looked so strong just vanished, never to return. Annaji, a national anti-corruption platform cannot be based on support from Delhi’s middle class or TV anchors.

You must get back to the grassroots, strengthen your movement there first, and then expand upward. Learn from Mahatma Gandhi, who did not go on Dandi marches or fasts every few months, or abandon fasts because the crowds were not large enough. He spent most of his life in grassroots work at his ashrams, and only occasionally launched satyagrahas against the British Raj. He did not seek quick success, or switch strategies because the government was ignoring him.
You have failed to conquer Delhi. Instead of seeking a quickfix in a new political party, please accept that the way to change India is not from Delhi downward but from the grassroots upwards.

You have so far enjoyed credibility as a grassroots crusader seen to be above politics. Join politics, and you may doom yourself.
You have more dependable fans and followers in Maharashtra than you will ever have in Delhi. Please go back to your grassroots and try to cleanse Maharashtra first. If you cannot cleanse Maharashtra, why imagine you can cleanse India?

courtesy : TOI Swaminomics : SA Aiyar's blog-The Times Of India
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Mr. ShivKC,
Great post. Very sensible advice. I think Mr. Anna Hazare is being used and he is confused, and frustrated.
What a vainglorious article by SA!

SA writes as if he knows everything and that he has the secret recipe to defeat corrupt politicos.

To form a political party is a good move by TA!

When Hazare was carrying out fast after fast over weak Lokpal bill, some people accused him of blackmailing the govt and trying to do the job of elected lawmakers. Therefore, it would be hypocritical of the same people to complain against him if he tries to take the political route!

TA has generated tremendous awareness against corruption in India. They should be encouraged, not ridiculed!
Team Anna today said it was yet to get an invite from yoga guru Ramdev to join his indefinite protest against blackmoney which begins here this Thursday.
Hazare, Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi attended Ramdev's one-day fast at Jantar Mantar on June three while Ramdev made an appearance at Jantar Mantar during Team Anna's indefinite fast.

The relations between them were strained after Team Anna attacked Ramdev for sharing the dais with Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi last Sunday. However, the next day Team Anna sought to play down differences saying he was free to meet anyone he wanted to.

A section in Team Anna has always been opposed to association with Ramdev.
Team Anna disbanded, team members taken by surprise.
In a decision that took his colleagues by surprise, Anna Hazare today disbanded his team and appeared to be speaking in mixed tones on the political course taken by the anti-corruption movement.

The decision to dissolve the team came as a surprise to some of the Team Anna members, including Justice Santosh Hegde and Devender Sharma, while Kiran Bedi, who was in yesterday's meeting with Hazare, said she did not know what all it means.
Deccan Herald: Monday August 6 2012.
BJP on Monday said it is not surprised at Anna Hazare's decision to disband his team, saying this was waiting to happen.
"I think this had to happen. Now that Team Anna has withdrawn the agitation and the fast has ended, the team has been disbanded. Team Anna is now going to enter politics," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
However, he did not appear very optimistic about the prospects of Team Anna in the political arena.

"There are more than 500 parties and some of them are represented in Parliament as well. But everybody has a right to form a party and to contest elections," Javadekar said.
Team Anna foolish: Bal Thackeray
Ambarish Mishra, TNN Jan 9, 2012

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray slammed Team Anna and questioned the integrity of Anna Hazare's close colleagues, such as Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan. "They are nincompoops.

They are fighting among themselves. Shanti Bhushan has been found guilty of evading income-tax. Kiran Bedi too has been found guilty of charges of financial irregularity," the Sena chief said in an interview with 'Saamna', the party mouthpiece, on Sunday.
Indian Express Aug 06, 2012
BJP's Nitin Gadkari's jibe at Team Anna

Agra: BJP President Nitin Gadkari today took a swipe at Team Anna for its plans to take a plunge in electoral politics, saying it was not easy to set up a political party and run it.

"It is easy to lead agitations but a tough job to form and run a party," Gadkari said.

He was addressing the concluding session of the two-day state BJP conclave here.

Gadkari citied the case of agriculturist and peasant leader Sharad Joshi, and said he had agitated well but flopped when he tried to run a political party.
It is amusing to see people ridiculing and making fun of that one man who had the gumption to stand against corrupt politicos!

Considering the fact that some of these very same people expressed indignation in a matter that is at worst a breach of protocol, it can only be concluded that people have no sense of proportion!

TA's trials and tribulations are that of the common man of this country. That the corrupt politicos were able to muzzle them out is a matter of shame.
A sad end for a movement sincerely started by Shri Anna Hazare. Corruption is bigger than the biggest Asura known to us through our epics. Perhaps God only should come again in a new Avatara to quell this Asura. And I am sure He will.

Dear All,

I am reminded of a play by humourist Cho called "sorgathil nallathambhi". One politician dies and goes to heaven( how cruel), and makes the life of every one miserable by bringing in politics among every deva/god. In the last scene Gandhi and nehru speak, if one politician can create so much rackus think of the plight of the people of India where they have to deal with thousands of them.

This step of Anna Hazare is correct. He can do the anti corruption thru some other way.

There is always a blessing in disguise. India has come up to this level after so many invasions and foreign rule... We will certianly turn around!!

starting was good....climax ending is bad....we can see the power of money/corruption.....if another political party....party

needs money/men power.....big companies pay the political parties....political party has to dance tune according to them...

this is democratical system....there is one good thing....whole world knows....india is most corrupted in the whole world.....

everybody agreed this point....Thanks to Anna Hazare...
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Anna Hazare is a simple, honest and ethical indian; despite his continued efforts to expose sharad pawar, savant, jain etc. in maharashtra, he is not successful. It is difficult to fight the corrupt combination of sonia, congress and pawar.
I was just wondering how M.K.Gandhi, the simple person from Porbandar could create a mass involvement through his non violent movement and bring millions in his fold...He could create a hysteria among the masses through his civil resistance movements...He could unite the masses despite the opposition by the British...Hats off to the Father of the Nation...

I could not resist comparing Gandhiji movement with that of Team Anna....Anna himself is very simple, of humble background...His vision to free India from the yoke of corruption endeared him to the masses...His fasting for days together has drawn comparison with Gandhiji himself...Alas, Team Anna could not however sustain the public interest that Gandhiji's satyagraha generated.

Team Anna's intention were noble but his own Team members were not above the rule of law...Anna could have done a clear background check of his team members as they were not above board..

I am not signalling an epitaph for Team Anna...The movement is dissolved ...But ultimately Team Anna has decided to form a political party to fight for their cause..Only time will tell whether the disbandment of Team Anna & forming a political front is going to create a new chapter in India's democracy.
In an earlier post also this topic was discussed. Shri Anna has decided to end the fast at Mumbai because of lack of crowd and more becuase of lack of TV coverage. All the TV channels were after him when he did the fasting first time. Recent one at Delhi did not have even 10% of the original coverage - as all channels were busy with other interesting events. As Shri Anna is very much interested in TV coverage he has decided to end the fast and announced the decision to form a political party. Let us Welcome the 1001st party of India. Thanks to Shri Cho Ramasamy who could foresee the movements of Shri Anna from the very beginning.

Venkat K
During his fast, Gandhi never gave hatred speech against alien government. For him, fast is the self-purification of himself. But Anna roared a bitter speech many times during his fast. So at this ground Anna again is not Gandhi.

Gandhi never demanded a capital punishment in open and he is the worshiper of non-violence so he always kept himself away from violence even in the completely adverse conditions. But Anna demands many times a capital punishment or shoot in public like a Taliban Raj which is totally against the non-violence policy so Anna is not the preacher of non-violence. So at this ground Anna again is not Gandhi and his way is not Gandhian.

For getting mass-support, Gandhi never chose a hot-spot. Wherever he sat, Mass always followed Gandhi. But Anna cant gather such a mass support by doing Anshan in small city . For getting mass-support, Gandhi went to villages but Anna came from village. Anna again cant match himself to the gut of Gandhi.

Gandhi always fought for poor people like farmers, weaker sections of societies. He always stood against atrocities. But Anna never open his mouth during the atrocities of Raj Thackerey against North-Indians in his own state. Anna never utters a single word against the suicide of farmer under his own umbrella. So this shows that Anna is not India. He is simply a part of India. But Gandhi is India.

Gandhi got the mass appeal at that time when there was no communication tools except some newspapers. But Anna got a part of mass appeal at the time of social networking which make the very easy for attracting mass. Gandhi put himself away from politics but Anna is not away. So Anna is not Gandhi.

Disagreeing with the supporters and media who dubbed the Anna Hazare campaign as a second 'Gandhian' movement in the country, Tushar Gandhi, author and great grandson of MK Gandhi, described it as 'movement lacking high morales.'

Gandhi added that Anna Hazare had the courage to criticise the government, but he failed in making the society realise its own mistakes . "Even if Jan Lokpal bill is introduced today, it will not significantly help in curbing corruption, as each and every individual is corrupt in one or the other way," he said.

He described Anna Hazare as an individual crusader who could not be equated with the Gandhian vision. "Today what we seek is punishment. But if we really need to change the system, we need reforms. Punishments do not end crime. Frequent fasts just stir the nation. It does not lead to any permanent solution," he added.
"When Hazare said his movement will now enter politics, the media should have asked what exactly he meant by that. Most of our politics is on the basis of caste and religion. If he forms a party, which caste(s) will it represent? Without such a vote bank, all his candidates will lose their security deposits. Recently, Hazare said that he will not contest elections because each election costs Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 crore, and he does not have money, but he will support honest candidates. Now there is a clear contradiction here. If an election costs a candidate Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 crore, then where will his honest candidates get so much money?"
Markandey Katju is chairman, Press Council of India, and former judge, Supreme Court of India

​Is Mr. Hazare naive?
Targeting the now disbanded Team Anna, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today said that their single-point agenda was to abuse politicians.
"At first they managed to fool the country. India has seen the effects of their success in fooling people," the 86-year-old Sena patriarch said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

Ridiculing the decision to disband Team Anna, Thackeray said, "This should have been done much earlier. Their single point agenda was to heap abuses on politicians".
"When Hazare said his movement will now enter politics, the media should have asked what exactly he meant by that. Most of our politics is on the basis of caste and religion. If he forms a party, which caste(s) will it represent?

I do not understand. Katju opposes Anna Hazare because he considers politics is filth beyond redemption. Is that his view? Then, how can alternates emerge in democracy? Even a large section of media is sycophantic and subservient, but that did not prevent him from becoming the chariman of press council of India!
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Targeting the now disbanded Team Anna, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today said that their single-point agenda was to abuse politicians.
"At first they managed to fool the country. India has seen the effects of their success in fooling people," the 86-year-old Sena patriarch said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

Ridiculing the decision to disband Team Anna, Thackeray said, "This should have been done much earlier. Their single point agenda was to heap abuses on politicians".

Sometimes I wonder whether our friend Prasadji has become the spokesperson for Shiv Sena :) An unusual number of posts from him on Thackerays' views on TA!

I think political parties like Shiv Sena were hoping that all these corruption charges against Congress will automatically push them to power in the next elections and they are afraid TA's participation will split anti-congress votes!
Hazare, if he goes ahead with the idea of entering poltics, is likely to start in Maharashtra and that, perhaps, explains the reasons for his verbal diarrhea against TA!
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