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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anna Hazare Victory Makes August Kranti A Historic Moment

The Social activist Anna Hazare finally agreed to end his fast today at 10am after the govt agreed to his three demands in the parliament through a resolution. Anna Hazare had been on a hunger strike for 12 days and the doctors had begun to get worried about his health. The parliament was in session yesterday wherein all the party members were present and they debated on the issue of corruption and the demands of Anna Hazare (representative of the civil society)that was shown live on TV. But the climax came when Pranab Mukherji ended his speech and immediately adjourned the Lok Sabha without having the voice vote that was agreed upon. This created a sort of confusion in the minds of the people and the media alike as to whether the govt was again trying to flip flop, as it had been doing so all this while. But, a few minutes later it was clarified by the speaker that the thumping of the desks was taken as a unanimous resolution. This brought a huge relief to the Anna Hazare supporters who were worried about his health and wanted him to end his fast soon. 

Anna Hazare Breaks Fast Today at Jantar Mantar

In the end, the day ended on a victorious note for the Anna Hazare camp as the govt was forced to pass the resolution in parliament. The Lok Pal bill will now be sent to the standing committee and the process will be initiated to have it passed, hopefully as soon as possible. “I thank and congratulate the Parliament. But this win is only half … half is still left. This is a victory for all Indians, and for all our activists. This is a victory for the media. I will break my fast tomorrow at 10 am in everyone’s presence,” said Anna Hazare, amidst huge cheers from the crowd at Ramlila Maidan.

He conveyed this message to all the people gathered at the Ram Lila grounds soon after Vilasrao Deshmukh and MP Sandeep Dikshit handed him a letter from the Prime Minister. Key member of Team Anna, Arvind Kejriwal said, “The whole country would be watching every step taken by the Parliament.” For the last 12 days Anna Hazare has been a picture of determination."

"Terming it as a “win-win” situation for both sides, another Team Anna member Medha Patkar said while there was no surrender of Parliament supremacy, there was also victory of people’s power. However, she still termed the development as “part betrayal” as this was not something which was agreed during a meeting between Team Anna and law minister Salman Khurshid. “But I will not like to say (these things) now at this historic time when people’s power is at its peak,” she said." DNA News

Anna Hazare ended the hunger strike finally at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi today. “This victory is a result of your sacrifice,” he told his supporters at Jantar Mantar, adding that “this is only the beginning. Our real fight begins now. If the government does not pass Lokpal Bill, I will come back to fight again.”

Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said on Friday, “This sets a precedent – it shows how civil society and government can work together. We are happy that we are now ending these days of uncertainty through a resolution in which both sides had confidence in each other.” 24by7info

So in the end, the revolutionary protest that was started by one man, Anna Hazare, got the support of all the people of India to end corruption will probably be a movement of historic significance in the years to come, and will be termed very aptly as the "August Kranti". We, the citizens of India, have shown the true power of the people in a democracy and the power of a democratic nation. We have reminded the govt the true meaning of democracy, that they seemed to have forgotten during these 65 years of independence, somewhere down the line. Let the world also see the largest democratic nation in its true glory and force. The people cannot be fooled for ever. Let's hope that this movement continues to chase the cause to fruition as this is just the beginning and a lot needs to be done to make the govt accountable to its people. 

Reading Cafe congratulates team Anna Hazare for this victory. Jai Ho!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where Team Anna Went Wrong!

It was good going for Team Anna. Anna Hazare, that is. What started out as the battle for elimination of corruption seems to be taking another direction already. It's still early days and the protest or the movement is only in it's second day today but there are certain issues which force me to foresee a loss for team Anna. And the reasons are not far to look. They are calling it a war, a war against corruption. Then it makes sense to follow the principles of war. Team Anna seems to have overlooked the principles of war totally, though I would have expected them to take care of these just because of Kiran Bedi who is an ex-IPS officer and must have certainly heard of Clauswitz and/or Sun Tzu. Let us explore these principles and see where the Team Anna went/is going wrong.

Selection and Maintenance of Aim: This is regarded as the master principle of war. Clearly the aim of Team Anna was to start a protest against corruption. Somehow during the first day itself the protest has changed into a battle for freedom of expression or the right to protest. A smart move on the part of the government. Right now everyone is saying that they are with Anna and not that they are against corruption.

Maintenance of Morale: The Government did well to try to break the morale of the opposition by arresting the leaders or those spearheading the movement. Morale is just a positive state of mind derived from the leadership. The leadership gone into jail, there was no one outside to take charge and keep the morale of people high. The others like Kejriwal and Bedi were only trying to keep the morale of the public high by giving them news about Anna and that he was fine and still fighting.

Offensive Action: Sometime down the line, one has to resort to offensive action. It does not mean that you have to take to arms and start killing people, just that you have to adopt an aggressive stance and seize the initiative. In this case the only aggression shown was that they stuck to their demands, while it would have been a trite prudent to confuse or throw the government off-guard by maybe asking for permission to protest in other cities and thereby giving a larger face to the protest.

Security: Provision and maintenance of the secure environment required for achieving the objective was not catered for at all. It seemed like Team Anna had presumed that they were not free to protest against the government of the day and had premeditated the happenings and their response. It was their undoing. Maybe Anna should have arrived at the venue before the Delhi Police asked him about his intentions and started his fast. A red-handed arrest would surely have won much more points for the protest than a preventive arrest, which also gave the Government an opportunity to salvage the situation.

Surprise: The Government made the right guess that no protest against corruption will start in the absence of Anna, the leader. After he was arrested, all the others in the movement including the supporters of Anna started protesting against the arrest rather than the main objective of corruption. Team Anna would have done much better if they had a succession plan as a back up and it would have been great to see the protest start in the absence of Anna. The Government would really have been in a jam then.

Concentration of effort: Even though Team Anna had warned of a protest almost two months in advance, somehow they did not coordinate the effort in the other cities. Whatever we are seeing in some of the other cities are just individual efforts totally without any guidance or co-ordination from the core team.

Economy of Effort: Again an outcome of the lack of planning, we see people gathering at multiple locations to protest against Anna's arrest. Some are at Tihar jail, some at the India Gate and others at what they are now calling the Anna Hazare stadium. If there was some direction and control, it could have been lakhs of supporters at one place rather than a few thousands each in multiple locations. Numbers do make a difference when the government and the media, at the behest of the government, are trying to make the efforts look futile.

Flexibility: Totally lacking in the present campaign, the team is trying to follow a written script. They lost the initiative when Anna was arrested by not providing a leadership and then they lost it again by insisting on a permission for a longer term of protest. If they were flexible enough to start the protest and had garnered sufficient support by the end of the permissible period, no government in the world would have been able to make them walk out after seven days.

Cooperation: Sharing of burdens, risks, opportunities and threats is something which is totally lacking from this team. The only thing that others besides Anna are sharing is being a spokesperson or a negotiator. It seems like no one else is ready to share the burden or the risk of fasting, They are willing to work behind the scenes but do not want to be in the center of the action. Hardly something you can call cooperation.

Sustainability: Even the businesses are following it now. Once started the movement has to be sustained. Team Anna does not seem to have a plan to sustain the movement and it seems that they are hoping for the public to somehow in some manner take up and sustain the movement. What happens if the Government does give the permission to Anna to continue his fast for thirty days and he succumbs to it or is forced to break his fast? Who will continue the movement... Have we even thought about it.

If it is indeed a war, a war against corruption, it would augur well for the proponents of this war to get serious and prepare for it as if it was war and no war can be won without following these principles of war. A Battle, maybe, but War, No.. Never. I wish that someone thinks about the above issues and takes corrective action to put the movement or the protest on the right track and lead it to its logical conclusion. I wish all the citizens of India who are lending their support to this movement "all the very best" and pray to God to give courage and inspiration to all the citizens to thwart all the attempts of the politicians and the bureaucrats to curb this movement against corruption.

Anna Hazare Brings August Kranti to Fight Against Corruption

Anna Hazare has been trying to get the government to pass the Lok Pal bill with the intention to fight the rampant corruption in the country. He decided to go on a fast on 16th August, one day after the independence day in Delhi at JP park. Well, what do you know, before he could even step out of his house, he was picked up by the police officials and taken straight to jail. Great! What an ingenious way to try and put an end to a threat. Arrest the person responsible for causing an agitation and lock him up in jail. He was taken straight to Tihar jail.

If the congress govt thought that they had the situation under control, and had nipped the problem in the bud, they were absolutely wrong. The people of India showed their support for the cause and for Anna Hazare by turning up in huge numbers and marching towards the India Gate. Throughout the whole day, more and more people are joining the march and collecting on roads waving the Indian flag and shouting slogans asking the police and the govt to release Anna Hazare from jail. Of course, they have no intention of doing so, so soon as they probably have realized the power of Anna Hazare and his movement. 

Anna Hazare with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Tihar Jail
For the last 64 years now we have seen how the government have been slowly and surely looting the country and it's people and abusing power. Their governance has been no different from the very British who we strove to drive out of our country. Till today, they are still using the same old ways and methods that were set in the constitution by the British Raj. Adopting the divide and rule policy has given the govt the upper hand, making all the states as their respective "kingdoms" where they can dictate terms to the people by using strong arm tactics and terrorising the poor people into submission so that they get the desired number of votes. Is that true "democracy"? 

We have seen the govt officials and members of the parliament involved in shameless scams after scams of all kinds and the justice system never seems to get anywhere with them. These people are still sitting snugly in their "cozy" luxury apartments and flats built out of this loot and smiling away smugly at us when caught on camera. Corruption is rampant now and become a way of life for not only the govt but anyone who wants to become rich and famous. Why only rich and famous? Even the common man is now forced into being corrupt when he wants to get a simple job done. Want to buy a flat? Pay some amount in cash, that is black money. That is corruption. Move a file? Pay some bribe and get the file where you want in a jiffy. 

Recently, a lot of scams came into the limelight, involving big names from the govt, corporations and the big businessmen, the 2G scam and the Adarsh scam involved crores of rupees, just to name a few. This is shameful. Anna Hazare is trying to fight this corruption and bring about a change in the constitution to make a new law so that nobody can get away with corruption, even if it is the Prime Minister himself.

Anna Hazare is being called the "August Kranti" for raising this issue and getting the support of millions of Indians to fight for this cause. He has used the social media to his advantage, by taking his cause to face book, twitter and you tube. I do support this cause, and even if I am unable to physically be present at the march or protest that's taking place at the India gate today, I will do my bit to further the cause by writing this blog. If you too want to support this cause just click on this link and paste it as your profile picture on facebook:

I think Anna Hazare has used the Gandhian way of protesting by going on a fast, taking out a walk, asking people to fill the jails "jail bharo" andolan and the non co-operation movement. I think its a clever move on his part, after all it was this very congress party who got into power by using Gandhi's same tactics to drive the Britishers out of India and get freedom. These same people are now calling this method "unconstitutional". 

The govt has not handled this matter in the right way by arresting Anna Hazare and putting him in jail. This is undemocratic. The people are angry and will revolt even more now. Do they think they can fool us with all this mindless talk? The way the parliamentarians discussed the issue in the house today showed that they were scared to lose their power over the people and a way to make easy money. The statements made by Kapil Sibal were shameless and showed their true colors.

I urge the people who are in this protest to stay focused on the subject at hand, that is fight to end corruption, and not to get waylaid by the talks that are being held by the police and govt officials who are just trying to get things under control once again, and are hoping to sidetrack the basic issue. They will do anything to wriggle out of passing an "anti-corruption" bill in parliament. The other parties are equally guilty of this charge and are no different from the ruling party, so their show of support to this cause is purely political. They probably just want to use this cause to overthrow the present govt and force another elections on the people.

Let's hope that this August Kranti will make a difference to the civil society. This may be the revolution that we have all been waiting for. So if you feel strongly about the way you have been fooled by the govt all these years, then its time to show your support and join the cause in any way that you can. Let's teach these arrogant politicians a lesson for life. Let's remind them that "democracy" means - Of the people, By the people and For the people........Jai Hind!

Anna Hazara, who styles himself on India's independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, refused to leave jail on Wednesday after the government u-turned over his detention and ordered his release.

Read the latest news updates as this story unfolds:

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