To each his own

The contradictions of the erstwhile Team Anna have finally been laid to rest

Written by The Indian Express | Published: June 4, 2013 2:28:10 am

The contradictions of the erstwhile Team Anna have finally been laid to rest

As 2014 approaches,the Congress is busy dousing fires within the UPA and without,the BJP must wade through its leadership tug-of-wars,and old whispers of a Third Front are once again rising to the surface. The plot thickens. But one puzzle,at least,has all but reached its final resolution. Anna Hazare may soon be back in Ramlila Maidan,he has announced in a letter to the prime minister,fasting for the Jan Lokpal Bill. And Arvind Kejriwal will be taking on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,the “symbol of corruption” in her constituency,while also juggling his party manifestos,71 at last count,for the Delhi polls. To each,as they say,his own. This is also refreshing clarity.

When the civil society movement burst on the scene in 2011,it was greeted with much zeal,and also some confusion. Team Anna was made of many parts that didn’t all add up — part self-styled Gandhian,part whistleblower,part champion of lost causes,it also posited people against Parliament as it sought to fight and slay corruption. It claimed to be above the political fray,but at the same time it sought to take on the task of the elected legislature as it tried to armtwist the government into passing the Jan Lokpal Bill. It marched to Lok Sabha constituencies and held referendums. It was deeply involved in political give and take,but refused to contest polls. As members of the team began to speak in different voices,the Anna-Kejriwal divergence became increasingly apparent — a political to be or not to be.

Eventually,Hazare retired to Ralegan Siddhi,occasionally threatening fasts,and Kejriwal formed the Aam Aadmi Party in November last year. Now,as Kejriwal prepares to test out his ideas in the electoral fray and Anna readies to continue with his protests in the maidan,the contradictions of Team Anna have been put to rest.

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