A Subhashita Shloka reads:
ghaṭaṃ bhitvā paṭaṃ chitvā kṛtvā rāsābharohaṇam
yena kenāpyupāyena prasiddhaḥ purūṣo bhave
(Break pots, tear clothes, bray like a donkey (talk non-sense), do whatever it takes, but do become famous!’)
The seahorse of Indian politics is pregnant again, ready to deliver another misguided missile to India. More than a corruption-free India, it seems what Anna Hazare is bothered about is the low headcount at his protest.
Less than a thousand people turned up at Anna Hazare’s fresh round of protests in Ram Lila Maidan, most of them being farmers from Maharashtra and Rajasthan. A fuming Anna blamed prime minister Modi for the miniscule head count at his rally.
The anti-corruption crusader, who lost his credibility after giving birth to AAP in the name of fighting the Congress Party’s scams, is now sitting on an indefinite fast demanding the implementation of the Lokpal Bill and the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.
Anna Hazare is at the stage where you get impatient and start pressing the elevator button again and again. If it didn't come the first time, doing it four times won't change the outcome.
— Arnab Ray (@greatbong) March 23, 2018
The 80-year old protestor, who was expecting a 2011 like headcount, was left awestruck. The timing of the protest seems suspect, just one year ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections. He blamed the government for cancelling trains carrying protestors. This is the same government who had arranged a special train with security, food and water for farmers a few days back. Anna seems to be living in a complete delusion.
We are committed to the welfare of annadata. Special unreserved trains have been arranged for the travel of farmers from Mumbai. We have made elaborate security, water, jan ahaar khana/food arrangements also.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) March 12, 2018
In an attempt to catch the Modi government off guard, Anna threatened violence by stating, “You cancelled trains carrying protesters to Delhi, you want to push them to violence. Police force has been deployed for me as well. I wrote in many letters that I don’t need police protection. Your protection won’t save me. This sly attitude of the government is not done.”
The people of India have clearly decided to stay away from this rally, as nothing good came of it the last time. Aam Aadmi Party, the child of this movement, even collaborated with the Congress to form a government in Delhi. Anna was forced to dissolve his core team back then, abandon the protest against corruption, and distance himself from Arvind Kejriwal.
Anna Hazare had earlier declared his support for Mamata Banerjee after she accepted his 17-point agenda against corruption. It was seen as a win-win situation, as a receding Anna was back in the limelight and Mamata tried fulfilling her national ambitions. Anna was then seen chanting, ‘कहा सबने, करा दीदी ने!’ But as usual, it was all about headcount. Anna didn’t turn up at Mamata Banerjee’s rally, as not even four-thousand people had turned up, leaving Banerjee red-faced. He termed the low turnout as deceit, stating: “When I came to Delhi… I found out by 12 noon that there were only 2,000 to 2,500 people in the rally. Then I checked at 1 pm and then 2 pm. I thought that something is amiss. It is the same Ramlila Ground which teemed with people for 12 days (during his agitations earlier) but this time, there were not even 4000 people. I was then called (to the venue). This was the mistake. This was the dhokhadhadi (deceit).”
This is not the first time that Anna had to bite the dust of low public support. In 2011, one of his protests in Delhi saw the support of only a few hundred people. His team back then blamed the weather. This was followed by two failed protests in Mumbai (MMRDA and Parel), where the headcount was as low as five-hundred. Another failure of the self-proclaimed fakeer was during his ‘Jail Bharo’ call in Chennai, which saw less than six-thousand people.
This January, Anna Hazare openly tried to mislead the people of India by Tweeting an image of the Gavimutt Yatra of Koppal in Karnataka where around 3 lakh devotees participated, making it look as if this was a crowd he had attracted. Former journalist Nikhil Wagle too apologized on Twitter for referring to the devotees as the crowd drawn by Anna. He mentioned that the image was sent to him by Anna’s secretary.
Nikhil’s first Tweet:
Anna Hazare is drawing huge crowds in Karnataka. He will start his fast against the govt on 23rd March 2018. pic.twitter.com/SYsGfjQtwv
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) January 4, 2018
Nikhil’s second Tweet:
Thanks. My mistake. Sorry. This was sent to me by Anna Hazare’s secretary. I trusted him. My fault. Sorry again. https://t.co/o005vzTtys
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) January 5, 2018
Anna’s inconsistent fight against corruption even at this age is appreciable, but nobody is in the mood of buying into the dreams sold by these activists once again, or preparing the ground for another Aam Aadmi Party to take birth. The low headcount is probably the consequence of people realizing that some things are only done to attract eyeballs.
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