People like Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev must be careful. Even after so long they have failed to grasp what and which questions and issues they must raise and which they should not raise. There comes a time which is known as saturation point. Perhaps something which should not be happening is coming to pass: democracy is moving towards saturation point. Those traditions and provisions which marked democracy as an ideal and the best system are no more finding favour with any of the political parties in India. But why are Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev not able to understand such a simple, small thing ? Why are people like them still under the illusion that their voices will be heard in a democratic way in this country ?
Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev will have to understand another principle: the law of the land lays down that the punishment for stealing 4 lakh crores is the same as that for a quarter of a rupee. After all theft is theft. The Court, in tandem with the arguments of the government, says that one who stole a quarter of a rupee must be punished first while the verdict for the one who has stolen 4 lakh crores must be stalled. Perhaps this is why recently many an honourable judge fell into the trap of the law by mistake. The government brands whosoever it wants as dishonest, affronts and insults whosoever it wants, proves whoever it wants as a traitor and when it is unable to do anything it tries to brand whoever it wants to, as a terrorist. And if the parties which are masquerading as the Opposition join in this charade, then it can be said that democracy is heading towards its saturation point.
Anna Hazare and his associates are facing serious charges. Kiran Bedi flew economy class while drawing charges for business class and deposited the difference in an institution. There are many charges against Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, along with Prashant Bhushan. Baba Ramdev’s close associate, Acharya Balkrishna, was sent to jail by the CBI. But the Treasury benches and the Opposition do not seem to be under any suspicion or charges. This means that if voices will be raised even slightly against corruption or black money, the government and its B-Team, the Opposition, will brand it as treason and the Constitution has laid down punishment for treason. Earlier corruption was deemed to be treason but in the last 20 years, there has been a major shift. Now, raising your voice against corruption has become treason.
If Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev can understand this simple thing, then they would be saving themselves from hardships, and the government and the Opposition politicians in Delhi who are into the play of hide and seek will also save themselves from hardship. Along with them, capitalists and wealthy people living in Nariman Point in Mumbai will also sleep peacefully.
There is one fear that is disturbing such people and making them anxious. The fear : if Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare are able to ignite and awaken amongst the people new hopes and aspirations which they are not able to fulfill, then the consequent disappointment among the people will push them towards anarchy and Naxalism. If the likes of Anna and Ramdev are able to learn some civility and quieten down, the fears of the moneyed classes can be allayed.
What kind of tussle will take place between political parties is also being decided by a few big business houses; they easily influence and change political decisions. There was a time when capitalists used to be apprehensive about visiting political leaders lest they be seen by others. Today, political leaders feel proud in registering their presence with big capitalists.
Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have a very simplistic understanding of politics. Why can’t they fathom who they are standing against ? If goondaism is set aside, they are standing against such battle scarred leaders like Mulayam Singh, Lalu Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan. The Congress and the BJP had to bite the dust against Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, and now Anna and Ramdev are being taken on by the line-up of battle scarred leaders, on ‘behalf’ of the Congress and the BJP. The above-mentioned leaders have made their mark in and through movements; they are known as the ‘disciples’ of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia and Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan. Both Dr. Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan led anti-Congress and anti-communalism movements. But ironically these very leaders have got down to saving the Congress and the BJP supported systems. Not only will Anna Hazare and Ramdev lose the fight due to their own political ineptitude, they will also make those people in the country who are suffering hardships and pain lose the fight. The reason behind this is not a very big one : the reason is that they have not made those very people for whom the Indian democratic system has become a problem a part of their fight.
It is a different matter that if the government and the Opposition, which has become a part of the government, do not change their attitude and take care of the suffering of the masses, their hunger, their illnesses and their dignity, then Naxalism and anarchy will come knocking at their doors. Even now, there are states where the writ of the state extends only in the capital and a few big cities till seven in the evening; after seven and at the rest of the places, there is control of Naxals and anarchist elements. The psychological storm raging through the minds of the poor and marginalised in India is being ignored not just by the central and state governments but by the corporate world also. The corporate world is not even fulfilling its general social responsibilities. The corporate world too has been torn into factions; one faction wants to make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister while the other has rallied behind Rahul Gandhi. Some of the corporate houses have even budgeted funds for Rahul and Narendra in the ratio of 100: 60. What kind of tussle will take place between political parties is also being decided by a few big business houses; they easily influence and change political decisions. There was a time when capitalists used to be apprehensive about visiting political leaders lest they be seen by others. Today, political leaders feel proud in registering their presence with big capitalists.
When Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister, D.P. Chattopadhyay was the Commerce Minister. One day he went to Indira Gandhi with Rs. 3 lakhs in a briefcase. Indira Gandhi severely reprimanded him and ordered Dhawan to turn him out of her home; he was told to go to Sitaram Kesri, the party’s Treasurer. Today one who does not give the leaders money is sidelined. Until they comprehend these realities, Anna Hazare and Ramdev should be ready to remain troubled. They are charging 14 or 15 Ministers with corruption but the government has said their allegations are incorrect. Then, Anna Hazare and Ramdev are talking about changing the very system like Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan. But those people who claim to be the ‘successors’ of Jayaprakash Narayan no more believe in movements. People get disappointed easily and this becomes a very important prop for the government. Everything can be bought. The people who think that everything can be bought are also trying to buy people’s happiness, dreams and future but those who want to buy the future do not know that today or tomorrow when the third eye of the public will open, a lot of things will turn to ashes. Anna Hazare and Ramdev want the public to stand with them; they do not want to stand with the public. And this perhaps is their irony.