The bastardization of the Anna Hazare movement has now been accomplished. Political parties were always weary of it, now intellectuals and commentators on both sides of the divide are discovering their love towards constitutional propriety & parliamentary supremacy. This is a stupendously successful mass movement that has unsettled everyone.

Left liberals who always took up cudgels in support of Maoists, NAC type NGOs and at times even the “azaadi” proponents of Kashmir are today arguing vociferously in favor of the parliamentary apparatus! The left liberals’ happy coexistence has been jolted and they are now trying to somehow find a “RSS/Hindu right-wing” connection to this agitation so that they can discredit the entire movement & continue to live happily.

Ironically on the other side of the divide the right leaning commentators are deeply suspicious of all the NGOs and are worried that this movement might eventually be co-opted by the ruling UPA. Thus a simple peoples movement has not only been disowned but thrashed by everyone at the left, right & center.

This is not the decay of democracy, this movement is a reaction to the “delay” in democracy, for every decision in the last 7 years has been delayed. The reform process is delayed, anti-corruption laws are delayed, announcing a JPC is delayed, the process of bringing back wealth stashed abroad is delayed, health bulletins on Mrs Sonia Gandhi are not only delayed but are denied. This is not the time to make eloquent speeches in parliament. This is not the time to provide homilies on Ambedkarite constitution. This is not the time to assert parliamentary supremacy. This is our one chance to act, and act decisively against this corrupt Delhi Sultanate. Please let us not be fooled by the intellectual arguments or the so called “personal integrity” of our Prime Minister.

Dr. Manmohan Singh is the weakest leader to lead India since Bahadur Shah Zafar. Dr. Singh is also unconditionally amoral. Not only are the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s intentions questionable but also is his personal integrity compromised… it has remained compromised for so long that one hardly remembers if he ever had any integrity to begin with. So let us stop this pretense of a belief in the unquestionable moral fabric of our Prime Minister.

Now that we have stopped pretending, we have a clear primer so the rest of the jigsaw falls into place, everything in the last 7 years is now self explanatory… the cash for votes, 26/11, Naveen Chawla, K.G. Balakrishnan, 2G, CWG, CVC etc. In order to understand the UPA better, the next myth that we have to bust is that of exalted technocracy. Dr. Singh is not only capable of taking political decisions but is also a petty politician himself.

The stupid theory that all the political decisions are taken by the party & Mrs G, while Dr. Singh is simply an economist Prime Minister should be thrown into the dustbin. Team Manmohan has been taking many political decisions from day one and has hitherto applied the “engage & either co-opt or destroy” political strategy very successfully till it started back-firing with the anti-corruption crusade of Anna Hazare & Baba Ramdev. It was a political decision by team Manmohan to engage Baba Ramdev at first and try to create a wedge in the civil society. It was also a political decision by team Manmohan to arrest Anna Hazare and kill the movement. It was also a political decision by team Manmohan to bring in Mr. Amar singh to save UPA 1 in 2009.

Let us not even for a moment question the politics of Dr. Manmohan Singh by attributing pure technocracy to him. Despite all of this, stay assured that Dr. Singh will not go anywhere. For all those who suspect that our PM is expendable I have this much to say; Dr. Singh is not a changeable commodity as the left liberal intelligentsia has invested a lot in him. Dr. Singh is irreplaceable for the UPA as of now.

Let us hope & pray that better sense prevails in the BJP and they will “seize” the moment rather than providing only “lip service”. Let the BJP take the lead from RSS and forget all the political calculations, for this is a moment that is bigger than the politics of India. The other Gandhi, Varun; who is not the darling of media unlike his dimpled cousin; seems to have seized the moment once again by taking the lead and hopefully this time he calibrates his response unlike the last time.

P.S: For all the right-wing commentators I only have one piece of advice; Do not take umbrage in constituionalism & parliamentary procedures beacuse this is not just a JLPB andolan but India’s protest against UPA & it’s flawed politics. Do not fear the Kejriwals & Kiran Bedis no matter what agendas they might have, they won’t be able to steer this movement against corruption because it has traversed so far away from the Congress & UPA that there would be no Kodak moment involving the princeling.

( This post first appeared as a comment in CRI mentor Offstumped’s blog http://blog.offstumped.in/ )

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Praveen Patil

Praveen Patil

Analyst of Indian electoral politics and associated economics with a right-of-centre perspective.