The conclusion even before we start is straight and simple – Kisan Baburao Hazare AKA Anna Hazare has replaced Baba Ramdev’s epic struggle against corruption all of a sudden. Anna Hazare is now called the modern Gandhi and his movement called the second Freedom Struggle of India! But does Anna and his claim really deserve the hype it claims?
Why Baba Ramdev’s anti-corruption campaign needed to be stopped?
When Baba Ramdev began his explosive campaign against corruption with his Bharat Swabhimaan Yatra, he spoke vigorously against the Congress party at the center, alleging that the party was the root of all corruption in India and needs to be tamed. It was he who brought in ferociously the issue of huge black money hidden by corrupt Indians in Swiss Banks. It was he and the efforts of Dr. Subramanian Swami which had brought several scams into the picture.
Further, Baba Ramdev’s movement involved all section of the people, especially the poor and the needy who form the majority. His movement also aimed at eradicating poverty and establishing a strong local economy was gaining immense momentum throughout the country as he toured across three hundred cities. His Ayurvedic medicine promotion and Yoga campaigns had helped develop a very strong basis of economic development that challenged to wipe out multinational drug companies. His stand for the poor, completely anti-capitalistic approach and his huge fan following was a big threat to capitalists and the Congress party that rules the country. Most importantly, in spite of wearing saffron attire, he was completely secular in approach, and lakhs of Muslims and other religion followers joined him to form a three crore strong member base of his group.
The biggest threat came to Congress when he declared to form a party to compete for next national elections, a threat that could potentially wipe out Congress with Baba Ramdev’s daily increasing fan base with his fight against corruption at all layers. For Congress and the capitalist class, it was high time to stop Baba Ramdev’s invasion of their territory.
How Anna replaced Baba Ramdev and who helped him?
Most sections of the Indian Media, specially, the English New Channels and Press have often been called the puppets of the Congress and the Government and with Baba Ramdev’s case, the same thing was proved. Baba Ramdev’s explosive beginning of his campaign against corruption at Ram Lila ground in Delhi was attended by over two lakh people, which was a record in itself. However, this was hardly covered by any section of the Media. In fact, most major newspapers or TV News channels ignored it completely and continued doing so in each of the huge gatherings across India in three hundred cities.
On the other hand, when Anna Hazare appeared out of nowhere and declared to Fast-unto-death till the Jan Lokpal Bill was implemented, – a symbolic movement against corruption, the hype created by Indian Media was unbelievable. The media created the hype as if it was Indian’s world cup once again and a nation who had still not woken up from the patriotism created by Indian Cricket Team’s world cup victory a few days earlier just grew wild with this hype. TV News channels showed round the clock footages of the urban corporate youth, even kids with balloons in the lap of their parents to have extended the support to Anna Hazare! Movements were started in Facebook and Twitter and the youth started commenting on anti-corruption statuses and putting up wordings like India against corruption in their profile picture. By the time Anna ended his fast to death in about 97 hours; the Indian Media had made a hero out of him and created a new Gandhi.
The task was done. Anna Hazare replaced Baba Ramdev, just like Gandhi had replaced Maharishi Aravinda. The people applauded the Government for agreeing to the Jan Lokpal in just three days and helped create a soft corner to Sonia Gandhi, who wrote to Anna during his fast and to Rahul Gandhi, who has been given the responsibility for attracting the youth to Congress. Though not an issue, it should also be mentioned that Anna Hazare had ended his fast by drinking Nimbooz, a soft drink product of a multinational company, against which Baba Ramdev had revolted and called it a toilet cleaner!
Back in Assam, a similar observation was made when Akhil Gogoi, a loyal follower of Anna Hazare protested severely against the Congress (I) Government of the state. The only effect was that the people only questioned the role and laughed at the inability of the opposition to do what Akhil Gogoi was doing. This led the opposition in Assam to the only cripple and lose further seats to the Congress!
Anna Hazare, are you free from corruption yourself?
A few questions and points
· Why have media and sudden followers of Anna Hazare, who erupted like mushrooms ignored the PIL filed by the NGO, National Anti-corruption Public Power? In fact, former Supreme Court Judge Justice P B Sawant had held Hazare responsible for misappropriation of funds from the Hind Swaraj trust run by him and the commission in its report to the case had concluded that Hazare was guilty of corrupt practices.
· What about the same Commission Report which stated that some of the workers of Hazare’s Bhrastachar Virodhi Janandolan Trust were using their power in anti-social activities such as extortion of money and blackmailing by threatening to expose corruption through use of RTI? One can imagine what would happen if Jan Lokpal is enacted and members of the Lokpal committee too resort to blackmailing and corruption!
· There are several accuse that Hind Swaraj Trust of Anna Hazare is un-registered but he has shown it to be as registered. There are also allegations that Anna has been receiving money illegally through this trust.
The struggle of Baba Ramdev, not Anna deserves to be called the second freedom fight of India
Anna Hazare’s stand against corruption is symbolic and demands a Jan Lokpal, a committee which he would be involved and lead. The Jan Lokpal would have immense powers to control all judiciary, police, and public and Anna would be enjoying the sole powers along with his team. However, he has not been able to be specific at all as to what elements of corruption he would handle or what would be the ways. For example, he has asked the common men to abstain from bribery, but how long would an old person who depends on his pension to live stand away from giving a bribe to get his pension amount? Would people like Anna Hazare or Akhil Gogoi have the right to punish the corrupted then and there, take up or amend the law to do this?
On the other hand, Baba Ramdev has been clear enough with his mission against corruption. His revolutionary six-point agenda has been
· Withdrawal of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes so as to avoid misuse of unaccounted money and facilitate the quick arrest of the entire locally circulated black money and bribing.
· India should agree to and accept the U.N. Convention against Corruption.
· Death penalty provision for the corrupt persons in the Indian Penal Code.
· Access, monitor and disrupt payment gateway servers enabling corrupt people to manage money in tax heavens.
· Scrutinizing accounts of people having credit/debit cards of foreign banks without any foreign work/relation.
· Disabling operations of any bank from a tax heaven country.
In addition to the war against corruption, Baba Ramdev’s campaign involves the aim of ensuring 100% voting, complete nationalism, a complete boycott of foreign companies adopting Swadeshi, unification of the people of India and ensuring complete healthy nation through yoga.
We do need any more reason to call Anna Hazare’s sudden claim to fame as a contemporary wave and Baba Ramdev’s mission as the true second freedom movement of India if it continues in the same way, – true and from the grass root without support from the Media puppets and the capitalists. Just because Baba Ramdev wears a saffron dress does not mean he is a radical Hindu chauvinist just as someone should not be called Gandhi just because he wears a Gandhi cap and tried the method of protesting by starving.