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Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal – final split ?




Ever since Anna Hazare and the people around him, which included Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi hit the headlines in 2011 during the entire agitation for Jan Lokpal, they have been one of the most discussed people on TV. When you look at politicians who get airtime (even if it is to report stuff against them), Kejriwal is probably one of the people who gets the most airtime, next to Modi (Modi is after in a league of his own, with his own party promoting him and the opposition only talking about him).
After the Jan Lokpal movement hit a dead end, and the political class conspired to ensure that there is no quick movement by sending the proposal to a parliamentary committee where Abhishek Manu Singhvi gave it a decent burial, it would seem that things hit a dead end. The next fast by Anna Hazare in December did not get much public reaction and the lack of planning by India against corruption could be seen, and it became a non-event. This meant that the crusade against corruption was finally broken, to the pleasure of the Congress and the other members of the political class. It would seem that this was a time when the movement could either die down totally, or do what the political class was taunting them to do – get into politics. After all, it was the common refrain of all politicians:
– Laws are made by politicians who are the representatives of people
– These anti-corruption crusaders don’t know what society is like and represent a fringe element
– If you are so clear, why don’t you join politics and clean it up yourself
– Any other reason

However, the movement of parts of the anti-corruption crusade into politics was not smooth. Anna himself, and others such as Kiran Bedi were not happy with the decision, but there was another vocal group who was also clear that getting into politics with the avowed aim of cleaning it up was essential. And keep in mind, even though Anna was the moral force behind the who agitation, it was not just Anna only. To some of the people tracking this movement, Anna was somebody who was convinced to join the whole agitation in order to lend a leading moral face, but it was the pre-IAC organization (that had Kejriwal as one of the drivers) that was the actual organization behind the entire movement. So, the split happened, and it looks like there was some amount of bitterness, since Anna gave a number of statement to the effect that he does not support this group, that he would remain above politics, that he should not be represented in the political movement, and so on. And Kiran Bedi and a few others also stayed out, to follow their own aspirations (in the case of Bedi, it has been said that this would be the BJP, but so far there has been nothing obvious in this regard).
From all the public comments that seem to come out, there seems to be very little communication between Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal ongoing, and the media, hungry for chinks in the armor of these people who claim that they are above the traditional dirty politics, laps up all these, and any sign of more conflict becomes breaking news. And there has been reported tension about the usage of Anna’s name for getting funds, for checking about the funds that were generated during the Jan Lokpal agitation and even about whether Arvind can actually get such a bill passed in Delhi (the answers for all of these has been provided by Arvind, and ever since Uttarakhand under the BJP rule did manage to pass a state level Jan Lokpal Bill, there should be no problems in the BJP doing so).
However, this apparent lack of communication does indicate that there is little chance of reconciliation between Anna and Arvind, and maybe, the Anna brand of movement has hit a dead end. So, if one has to make a selection, and if one can play some amount of trust in somebody who is also in politics, then one will root for Arvind Kejriwal, and see whether his party can indeed get enough public support and turn out to be one of those who are dedicated to cleaning the country of overt signs of corruption.




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