Monday, June 13, 2011

Political Death of a Non-Political Leader

The post was written long back - 13-Jun-2011 (Published 27-Jul-2011) but somehow I forgot to publish it then and for the same reason, some of the facts and logic may sound uninformed as lots of developments happened post this article.

Disclaimer: I have tried to be neutral on the below topic and not take any sides but otherwise I support Baba Ramdev/Anna Hazare on the case of corruption and black money laundering

Before anything else, let me congratulate Anna Hazare (& civil society) and Baba Ramdev (& his supporters) on believing in Gandhian ideology in 21st century and expecting culprits to take actions against themselves just because someone is on a hunger strike. I don't know if they will be successful or not but I respect them for that and totally support the cause.

While Government's reaction to Anna's anshan was a complete sham, what they did with Baba Ramdev seems worse. Baba's protest started very strong and had put Government in trouble. The impact was likely to be stronger than Anna's protest considering that Anna was a lesser known figure in masses till a few months back while Baba could easily be nominated amongst most influential people in India.
With the public support that Baba had, he probably could have brought a revolution in real sense, which would have atleast impacted the political strength of Congress and their autocratic government. Congress realised it and took a calculated risk to weaken Baba's strength (and popularity.. and following.. and credibility) amongst the masses - first by Lathicharge in Ramlila ground and then by framing him into various tax evasion charges. The Government did a great job at managing the press (most probably by buying them!!) diverting all the attention from multi crores stashed by its ministers in Swiss banks to the number of companies running under the name of Baba's trust - The letter Baba had written to PM and the background searches on Baba's aides.
Didn't the Government knew about the companies of Baba before this incident? Dint they knew the history of Baba's men? Why dint they object to it before? What prompted Lathicharge on peaceful protest in Ramlila ground at midnight? Who takes responsibility of thousands (including women and children) stranded on Delhi roads at 1 o'clock in the night?
All know the answer. All know the reason. But is anybody doing anything about it?

Amidst all this chaos, Government executed their plan well killing Baba's protest efficiently and sending a message to Anna of similar actions against his protests. In the process, what was also killed was Baba's reputation and trust amongst the people.

To put it short-

The start was terrific. Public response was fantastic but then this aint no 1947. Expecting somebody to take action against himself just because someone's gone on a hunger strike sounds a bit outdated. Government probably tried to buy him out - did not work - Baba had to save his reputation. Eventually lost the money, the trust of the followers and the reputation.
Political Death of a Non-Political Leader!

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