It remains to be seen whether any political party will give any importance or not to the political options and alternatives which Anna is talking about. And if political parties do not give importance but the public gives importance to the principles and theories of Anna, then what kind of a political test by fire the people will have to face nothing can be said about it. But yes, it can be said that the kind of political wave that is flowing in the country, there is Anna on one side and the political parties on the other side.
In December 2012, Anna Hazare met General V.K. Singh and the editor of a newspaper. During this meeting, Anna spoke of holding a rally in Patna on 30 January, 2013. Anna also told all his colleagues that on 30 January, 2013 he wanted to hold a rally in Patna, but most of the Advisory Committee Members did not pay much attention to what Anna wanted. When Anna expressed his desire again, a final message was sent to him that that there were now two offices there, two groups had been formed and the leaders were fighting amongst each other. At this, Anna was even more heart broken, as before this Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan had said Anna had no option but to return to them. Yogendra Yadav had issued a public statement that Anna Hazare would return to them in three or four months, but these people were not familiar with the willpower of Anna. This was in fact their mistake. Those people thought that if we can isolate Anna, he will come back to us, but the process through which Anna has become Anna has made him a ‘Loh Purush’ – a man of iron. In fact, every new man in the Advisory Committee wanted to gather a reputation and recognition like Arvind Kejriwal had done, and at the same time Anna was on a search for associates for fighting the battle of changing the system. During this time, many people who knew Anna came to him from Maharashtra, but Anna felt that they may not be able to work on a national panel, so Anna sat tight in his village in Maharashtra, Ralegan Siddhi.
When Anna met General V.K. Singh and the newspaper editor, he felt that now the picture of associates who would take forward his vision of changing society was becoming clearer. Whatever concepts and desires he put forward for bringing about societal change, General V.K. Singh and the editor agreed with them. It was decided there itself that a rally would be held in Patna on 30 January, and Anna too would go for it and everybody would together help realise Anna’s dream of changing society and changing the system. With this, the new beginning of a social revolution had already been.
But Anna was cheated once again, because Anna advised General V.K. Singh and the newspaper editor to try and make all their old associates a part of Anna’s political plan. A sincere, honest attempt was made to contact old colleagues in Bihar, including old Sarvodaya colleagues and those from Anna’s India Against Corruption (IAC). Everyone came, everyone held talks. It was decided to make preparations and everyone went away happy. The message went to Anna that everyone would work together to make preparations for Anna’s rally, but a farce was revealed on 15 January, when General V.K. Singh and the newspaper editor went to Patna and discovered that the people there, including the Sarvodaya people and those from India Against Corruption, had not made any preparations. Instead, work was afoot on a plan to see what should be done so that Anna does not come to Patna. It appeared to those people that General V.K. Singh and the newspaper editor had misled Anna. Anna was in Ralegan Siddhi. In Patna, there was a zero in the name of preparations.
Fresh preparations were made from here onwards and after 14 days, a rally of almost one lakh seventy five thousand people was held in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan. For this rally, not even Rs. four lakh were spent. People spent their own money to participate in the rally, whereas the Chief Minister of Bihar had held a really with almost the same number of people at this very Maidan and spent crores of rupees.
Anna announced in this rally that he did not have any relationship with the organisation named India Against Corruption. He also said that no organisation would now use his name. Only a website named ‘Join Anna Hazare’ would run to provide information. Anna made the announcement of a new organisation called the Jantantra Morcha, and said this would be an organisation of volunteers, there will be no office bearers and it will be compatible with democracy. Anna announced here that he would fight for democracy.
30 January, 2013, was a significant, important day in Anna’s life and for the nation. After this, preparations were started for touring the entire country and Anna announced that he would begin his Jantantra Yatra from Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab on 30 March, 2013. From Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab Anna set out with his colleagues on a tour and in going from Punjab to Haryana and talking to people en route Anna felt that a lot needed to be changed in the country. As he reached Dehra Dun after passing through Noida, Meerut, and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, the veil of a new truth lifted before Anna. He had read many books, talked to many people. By this time he had learnt that the whole country was being run contrary to the Constitution of India. Anna called for and sourced books on the Constitution of India. What has happened in the Constituent Assembly; what had been said about elections in the Constitution — on all these things he gathered information from the colleagues who were accompanying him. After studying all these, Anna realised that nowhere in the Constitution is there any mention of the words ‘political party’. Then Anna began a search that how did these parties reach the Lok Sabha? It then became evident that entire party system itself is against the Constitution of the country. In the Constitution, there is mention of the public – that it will make its own candidate stand for elections. Elected candidates will go to the Lok Sabha, where they will debate on conditions in their election area and in the country. They will make a diagnosis of problems and will make laws. Whoever has the support of the majority of the members in the Lok Sabha, will become the Prime Minister, who will choose his Ministers. Nowhere in the Constitution is there mention of parties or an alliance of parties, or only the leader of the largest party will become the Prime Minister.
Anna also found that that when the Constitution was enacted, political parties were in existence. Despite this, the Constitution makers have not mentioned anywhere what political parties will be like or how they will work. Anna then felt that basic change in this country cannot come about till political parties continue in the Lok Sabha. At the same time, Anna also reached the conclusion that problems like corruption and price rise and inflation would not go away till parties remain in the Lok Sabha. Anna also understood at this point that where there used to corruption in lakhs of rupees in the country, it kept increasing and now it is in crores of rupees. It became five thousand crores, ten thousand crores, fifty thousand crores, one lakh crores, now it has reached one lakh seventy six crores and twenty six lakh crores. Political parties and Governments together started to collect through corruption that amount which cannot even be keyed into a calculator. As soon as Anna got to know that every
party had a share in this huge corruption, his eyes opened. Anna began to say that till the party system remains, corruption will not end. Problems and difficulties like inflation and unemployment will not be eradicated. Anna held the party system responsible for corruption, a bad education system and a bad health system.
In Mumbai, along with General V.K. Singh, Anna issued a draft paper of which the title was ‘This Parliament is anti-Constitutional’. This was because Anna had reached the conclusion that Parliament, going against the definition of a welfare state given in the Constitution, was making market based laws and was not accepting the responsibility of the people of this country as its responsibility.
In fact, it is a violation of the Constitution, but the Government, without saying anything, decided to run the country against the basic concept and principles of the Constitution and began making laws and rules. In this, all the Governments after that of Prime Minister Chandrashekharji participated and in a way turned the country over to market forces. Then, Anna made a 25 point program. Anna called upon all the political parties to implement this 25 point program and asked them to clarify their viewpoints on it, but except for Sonia Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav, no politician or political party replied to Anna’s letter. In her four line letter, Sonia Gandhi replied that the Congress had always fought for the poor and Akhilesh Yadav wrote that we welcome your views and ideas and in your struggle against corruption we will always be with you. Apart from these two letters, no party even bothered to reply. Even in the two letters which were received by Anna, there was not even a single line of reaction to Anna’s 25 point program.
When Anna reached the conclusion that the party system was against democracy in the country, he decided to fight against the party system. He called upon the people of the country to join and be a part of the second freedom struggle against the party system. In Uttarakhand Anna got the answers to the question whether people will be able to understand the subject or not. He found that all the intellectuals, the journalists, they could not understand how the country could be run without political parties, while people in Uttarakhand were saying it was very necessary to remove the parties otherwise corruption will not be eradicated from the county. Anna wound up his Uttarakhand visit, came to Delhi and met Subhas Kashyap, the well known Constitutional
expert. Subhash Kashyap said that it is correct and true that the Constitution does not
mention political parties, but the system of political parties has been continuing for so long, how will the country be run without political parties.
Anna, on emerging from the meeting, took the firm view that this question is political and Constitutional. Since political parties are not mentioned in the Constitution, therefore he would fight with the political parties on this question. All over the country, Anna gave a call against political parties because they were un-Constitutional and started a virtual battle. An answer can also be found here to the political issue of options given by Anna to the country. Anna said that if an election area, even 20 people not affiliated to any party are chosen to stand by the people, it is not really a matter of concern – whoever the people choose will be better than the representatives of a party. He also said that parties do not give tickets to their sincere and honest workers. The parties are indulging in ‘dynastyvaad’ or ‘familyvaad’ or selling election tickets. Even if a good person reaches a commendable position, then he does not dare to speak out because of the mafia like form of the parties. Anna, after talks with his colleagues, has also thought of another way here. Anna is appealing to good people in various parties to leave their parties and fight the elections as candidates of the people.
Now, the question, who will Anna Hazare support? If from one constituency, 15 people are standing, who will Anna support? Anna has clarified many times to his colleagues that he will support the person who listens to him and heeds him the most. For instance, whoever says that I will campaign to make laws for villages so that they can become self reliant super powers — that person will get Anna’s support. Whoever promises that I will raise issues and questions related to the people in the Lok Sabha — that person will get Anna’s support. The third condition will be that he or she will beforehand file or deposit his or her resignation with the Election Committee in the form of an affidavit, and will give that Committee the authority that the day the Committee feels that the person is not raising in the Lok Sabha the issues and questions promised to the people of country, the Committee will directly send the person’s resignation affidavit to the Lok Sabha.
Anna has not yet made public the conditions for his support, but despite this queries are coming from all over the country that if ‘they’ stand in the election, will Anna support them? Anna is saying to everyone that if they leave their party and fight the elections in accordance with the Constitution, he will think about giving support, but the candidate who will comply with the conditions for support, Anna Hazare will campaign for him.
There is also the question of the Aam Aadmi party. Arvind Kejriwal is making his candidates stand everywhere as Anna’s candidates. People from the Aam Aadmi party are saying everywhere that they are supporting Anna, while Anna is saying everywhere that no party, even if it is the Aam Aadmi party, can claim his support, because they are standing against the Constitution. He said that I consider Arvind Kejriwal a good man, but today Arvind Kejriwal is standing against the Constitution. What if Arvind Kejriwal and his associates dissolve their party on this issue? Anna replied clearly that then he will support good candidates. Good here means that the public image of the candidate is clean, there should be no charges of corruption and adultery and the person should be ready to fight for the people.
In fact, Anna wants to bring back the status of workers in politics. Whatever work Anna does, he wants to lay foundation of new political options on the principle that it should go to Parliament. This means that if Anna makes 500 candidates stand in the country, who have character according to his definition – it means that these candidates will work for the people of Anna and accept the 25 point program of Anna. At the same time, Anna will campaign for those people who under the principle of Right to Recall deposit their resignation with their area Committee. If out of these 500 candidates, from one upto three hundred reach the Lok Sabha because of Anna, then the political history of this country will change. In this political option of Anna’s there are many questions and convolutions. Many people are concerned that given the kind of money bags being used in our politics and the way big industrialists try to purchase MPs, if that happens then what will happen. When Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister, there was news once that 80 MPs of the Lok Sabha were paid monthly by K.K. Birla and those MPs were loyal to K.K. Birla. Cannot someone who can arrange for one thousand, two thousand crores of rupees not try to purchase those Lok Sabha MPs who do not belong to any party? Anna has a simple, direct answer to this – that it cannot be done. Because, when one talks of bringing change in the country, talks of bringing democracy, then in the minds of the persons elected by the people there is also a fear of the people, that if they do something wrong they will not be able to win next time and the people in the constituency will call the person back from the Lok Sabha.
It remains to be seen whether any political party will give any importance or not to the political options and alternatives which Anna is talking about. And if political parties do not give importance but the public gives importance to the principles and theories of Anna, then what kind of a political test by fire the people will have to face nothing can be said about it. But yes, it can be said that the kind of political wave that is flowing in the country, there is Anna on one side and the political parties on the other side. Now it is upto the public whether by supporting the political parties, it votes in favour of corruption, inflation, a bad education system and a bad health system or whether it votes in favour of Anna Hazare and expresses a resolute desire to fight against them and eradicate them.