Why Team Anna’s political plunge deserves India’s vote

August 6, 2012

Members of Team Anna, the group whose anti-corruption mission last year became one of India’s biggest social movements, will form a political party to try to fix the system from the inside.

The move follows the group’s latest and perhaps least effective hunger strike in New Delhi to try to force the government into accepting their demand of creating an anti-corruption ombudsman post. Such a move looks unlikely at best.

With signs of agitation fatigue among the public and a government refusing to play ball, the movement led by Gandhian activist Anna Hazare has decided to provide a “political alternative”. Hazare on Monday officially disbanded the team to pave the way for the formation of this as yet unnamed party.

Panelists on TV debates accuse them of being naïve because Indian politics dictate that they will need huge sums of money (of which a substantial portion is “black money”) and vast political connections if they want to win elections.

Others say Team Anna has lost its moorings by changing course mid-way, with some volunteers quitting the movement and some even burning posters of Anna Hazare.

Eminent personalities who supported the movement, such as activist Medha Patkar and Justice Santosh Hegde, have misgivings about the move.

The risk of failure may be huge, but even the improbable vision of people voting en masse for someone running on an anti-corruption plank rather than on caste, community, subsidies and reservations is tempting.

If one election prompted Anna’s armchair supporters to get on their feet and march, electoral victory — however elusive — might not be the point.

Such a public showing could force other politicians to turn from populism to effective governance.

Even without a parliament seat, the political movement could inspire idealistic youths to join politics, according to political scientist Yogendra Yadav.

The real struggle will come in the minutiae of party organisation — raising funds that aren’t bribes, “donations” or other shady arts of persuasion, selecting the right candidates, keeping themselves free of corruption, and creating a manifesto on a host of other issues.

The group should not fear the unknown. If they play their cards right, they could change the political fabric of the country. After all, they did manage to inspire the notoriously indifferent middle class into coming out on the streets in 2011.

And what if Team Anna becomes just another well-meaning movement which failed to read the political pulse and eventually faded away? There would be no loss, no gain.

Team Anna has much to lose, but the country has more to gain.

Why (the erstwhile) Team Anna’s political plunge deserves India’s vote

Members of Team Anna, the group whose anti-corruption mission (LINK) last year became one of India’s biggest social movements, will form a political party to try to fix the system from the inside. (LINK)

The move follows the group’s latest and perhaps least effective hunger strike in New Delhi to try to force the government into accepting their demand of creating an anti-corruption ombudsman post. Such a move looks unlikely at best.

With signs of agitation fatigue among the public and a government refusing to play ball, the movement led by Gandhian activist Anna Hazare has decided to provide a “political alternative.” Hazare on Monday officially disbanded the team to pave the way for formation of the yet unnamed party. (LINK)

Panelists on TV debates accuse them of being naïve because Indian politics dictate that they will need huge sums of money (of which a substantial portion is “black money”) (LINK) and vast political connections if they want to win elections.

Others say Team Anna has lost its moorings by changing course mid-way, with some volunteers quitting the movement (LINK) and some even burning posters of Anna Hazare. (LINK)

Eminent personalities who supported the movement, such as activist Medha Patkar and Justice Santosh Hegde, have misgivings about the move. (LINK)

The risk of failure may be huge, but even the improbable vision of people voting en masse for someone running on an anti-corruption plank rather than on caste, community, subsidies and reservations is tempting.

If one election prompted Anna’s armchair supporters to get on their feet and march, electoral victory — however elusive — might not be the point.

Such a public showing could force other politicians to turn from populism to effective governance.

Even without a parliament seat, the political movement could inspire idealistic youths to join politics, according to political scientist Yogendra Yadav. (LINK)

The real struggle will come in the minutiae of party organisation — raising funds that aren’t bribes, “donations” or other shady arts of persuasion, selecting the right candidates, keeping themselves free of corruption, and creating a manifesto on a host of other issues.

The group should not fear the unknown. If they play their cards right, they could change the political fabric of the country. After all, they did manage to inspire the notoriously indifferent middle class into coming out on the streets in 2011.

And what if Team Anna becomes just another well-meaning movement which failed to read the political pulse and eventually faded away? There would be no loss, no gain.

Team Anna has much to lose, but the country has more to gain.

2 comments

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it is difficult to predict the future anna’s political party as of now, previous election stat shows every major party have has his own dedicated vote bank and victory is decided by the very few undecided voters who swings to one party. For example previous election in uttar Pradesh even Ms. Mayawati lost the election but her party vote bank is intact at 27% down 4% from previous election which she won with clear majority.And Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party won by securing 31% of votes. Basically these 4-6% undecided votes decide the winning party and Anna have a support of these voters who understand the issues well and cast their votes accordingly.Where team anna would bring those base votes who are traditionally linked to bigger parties like congress, BJP, SP, BSP etc.
But there is a hope for team anna as they have raised the corruption issue very effectively and and have made people realized that how these political parties functioning is dictated by few people of high command. Even many major parties are existing because of magic of one leader.Like Congress it came to the verge of an end in the period 1991-1999 when it was lead by non gandhi/nehru and revived only after sonia gandhi took care of it.
Even today congress men feeling like a orphan and requesting Rahul Gandhi to takeover.If the magic of Gandhies breaks with the people then it will be difficult to congress to exist and it will open the hope for team anna.
Many regional parties like BSP, TMC, AIADMK, are existing because of their leaders and what will be their future after these leaders.
This type of political structure make some hope for team anna political move. as on today team anna hold only undecided or swing voters who decide the outcome of any elections.

Posted by sanjay121266 | Report as abusive

The fury with which we observed the Anna’s (war against corruption) movement against Corruption has steamed down to a great extent. Once the hope that raised the hope the free the nation free of the worst cancer now seems the caner would spread throughout the national nerve center of existence none in the government can deny the fact.

Under such a circumstance cutting down the long story short we have to imagine the most pathetic end of this would be an Economical Super power of south east Asia.

We may not like it or believe it that the cancer that India has been attacked with is a well known caner of corruption that has no medicine for cure or retrieve the nation from the decease at this stage. The country would Exist but not in its original shape and size.

With the ever growing home grown terrorists and its secession low profile movement with the corruption cancer growing every day would soon take the major toll and India will disintegrate into bit and peaces.

This bold writing that India will disintegrate sooner that later on the walls of India’s future is undeniable, unmistakeable hard fact. Caner with home grown decease is the worst killer decease for any country. It can only be suppress by killing as China is controlling. China can within its system but a democratic country like India cannot.

Posted by KINGISKING | Report as abusive