India is expected to be the fastest growing large economy in the world and the GDP growth expected to be 7.4 percent overtaking that of China that is expected to be 6.8 percent in 2018. The people of India have consistently reposed their faith in the leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as is evidenced by the victory of the BJP in election after election. While the economy is doing well, the Prime Minister’s personal appeal remains undiminished. In a recent report by the US-based Pew Research Center 88 percent of those surveyed backed Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the annual survey carried out by Gallup International, the Indian Prime Minister was ranked among the top three leaders of the world. This is in January 2018.
Now, contrast this with April 2011. 3 days after the Indian Cricket team had won the ICC Cricket World Cup in Mumbai, social activist Anna Hazare had started a fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in response to the massive scams and cases of corruption during the Manmohan Singh-led UPA Government. The people of Delhi (and the nation) were witness to the Commonwealth Games scam, 2G scam, followed by the coal block allocation scam under the UPA. The UPA Government had become synonymous with rampant corruption, massive loot and several scams with skeletons tumbling out of the closet regularly. The public conscience then was firmly against the corruption of the UPA Government and those who presided over it and did nothing to it. Anna Hazare and his associates such as Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal were demanding the enactment of the Jan Lokpal (ombudsman) Bill and members of the Civil Society be included in the committee constituted to draft it.
It was the same public that voted for Prime Minister in 2014 Narendra Modi to lead the country and prevent the loot of natural resources and the nation’s wealth. Narendra Modi before and after becoming the Prime Minister of India had time and again reiterated that he does not want to be the Prime Minister but a Pradhan Sewak. It is his strong leadership and incorruptibility that has ensured that not a single case of corruption in the Government has come to light during his tenure as the Prime Minister so far. Corruption and inefficiency had become a norm during the previous regime. There cannot be a better ombudsman than a strong, effective and incorruptible Prime Minister of the country such as Narendra Modi.
It is because of these reasons that social activist Anna Hazare has gradually become irrelevant since 2014. The entre anti-corruption movement in 2011-12 led by Anna Hazare had culminated in the formation of Aam Admi Party headed by his then sidekick Arvind Kejriwal. AAP, after being elected in 2015 to run Delhi, has had the dubious distinction of presiding over the high security number plate scam, ration card scam, received huge sums of donation from suspect donors water tanker scam, CNG sticker allocation scam etc. After all the hullabaloo of a movement against corruption, Anna Hazare ended up becoming the political godfather of Arvind Kejriwal whose murky dealings and confrontational style of politics have been questioned by senior members of his own party such as former Minister Kapil Mishra, Kumar Vishwas and Lok Sabha MP Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi. It came as no surprise when Prime Minister Modi undertook the tough step of demonetization to curb black money, Anna Hazare’s protégé Arvind Kejriwal was one of its most vocal critics. With the Pradhan Sewak Modi tightening the noose, Kejriwal and his corrupt dealings were hit hard. This is the gift Anna Hazare gave to the nation.
Now when the nation under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi is confidently taking strides to achieve the vision of New India by 2022, Anna Hazare who has become politically irrelevant now with the stellar record on corruption of the present Government has made a ridiculous claims against PM Modi. Upset at the Prime Minister not brooking any sort of interference or pressure from him, Anna called PM Modi as someone with an “ego of his Prime Ministership”.
What does this even mean? Nothing more but the rants of a has-been who is hell-bent on denying himself a graceful retirement.
Anna Hazare has declared that he would be launching agitation against the Centre from 23rd March this year. Anna has asked all the volunteers joining his new agitation to submit affidavits that they will not join politics in future. It is a case of once bitten, twice shy. After bringing a man like Kejriwal to the national politics, it is the people of India who must now be shy after having been bitten by Anna Hazare’s earlier agitation.
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