Friday, August 26, 2011

Anna The Fastist

By Manuwant Choudhary

I am getting many, many calls from Anna's supporters who now say they don't want the Jan Lokpal Bill passed.

But I ask them why? Isn't this why your Anna has been fasting for the past 11 days?

And they inform that some actress has offered to go nude if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed.

But there is a split in the camp especially those who sing Vande Mataram because another model has already gone topless and that too has bodypainted the Indian tri-colour?

Whatever happened to the flag code?

And even the Thackeray's are not protesting.

After all Anna is a Marathi manoos.

But the Thackeray's don't like him when he says he is an Indian.

Aaah how great would it have been to see Anna fast under a large photo of Balasaheb.

Apart from Anna's supporters I am also getting calls from Arundhati Roys haters after she wrote, I AM NOT ANNA.

They are more angry this time because she has written both Anna and the Maoists are out to destroy the State.

They ask me how can Anna - a Gandhian be compared to Maoists who kill by the dozen.

Look at Anna he sits on the dias fasting for 11 full days.

And the entire country has started wearing the Gandhi cap with `I AM ANNA' written on it.

But if everyone was Anna then why is Anna fasting alone?

Or is it because Anna knows how to fast and you and I don't.

I recall meeting Anna Hazare way back in 1994.

Like today, Anna was on his 11th day of fast at his village in Ralegan Siddhi, fasting against corruption in the Shiv Sena government.

We travelled by bus and truck to his village to meet Anna Hazare.

I sat with him in his one room in the temple.

He smiled at me.

I am not sure how many journalists would see him then but I was given a tour of his village.

Several projects had been undertaken to improve agriculture and irrigation in the village.

But there was no alcohol available.

Anna and his supporters had forcibly closed the last shop.

Congressmen today want to paint Anna as a fascist - someone out to destroy democracy.

The fact is the Congress Party has already destroyed both our democracy and constitution.

Liberals are not allowed to form a political party in India.

Anna is not a Gandhi either.

I would say Anna is just an activist who has perfected the art of fasting.

Even in 1994 when there was no Right To Information Anna ran a residential camp at his village where the youth from different parts of the country would come and he would personally impart training on how to get information from the different government departments, how to go to court, how to expose a minister.

So when I see him `centre stage' today I am not surprised.

Anna is an honest man so it hurts to see an honest man in prison for even a day.

But I do not support the Lok Pal idea.

We must address the root causes of corruption rather than trying to police it.

We are already a Police State.

Do we need another policeman?

What will our judges do?

Do we need a police to police the Lok Pal?

But yes fasting is a weapon and Anna has proved this many a time.

Even in 1994 he had a loudspeaker on the temple room where the government owned All India Radio News would be broadcast.

I recall Anna's fast entering its 11th day was the headline, the Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi going to Singapore was the second news item.

Anna is still making headlines.

He does not have solutions.

All I want is an honest and hardworking India.

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