I must admit I didn’t give much of a thought back in 2011 when my co-workers and friends of Indian origin told me about Anna Hazare and his activism against corruption in New Delhi. I tried to read few articles here and there about his activism and came to know that he does not want to take a political platform and do his activism in a ‘non-political’ and ‘non-partisan’ fashion. As an avid follower of news, history and politics I know that activism without political platform and partisanship is recipe for failure specially in Indian subcontinental political eco-system. So, as long as Mr Anna Hazare were to be the face of the activism, this movement was going no where other than passing a law or two about anti-corruption. Laws are made in Indian subcontinent usually for not to be implemented.
Having said so, a few of my Indian friends were very hopeful about an IIT-trained mechanical engineer turned tax department bureaucrat named Mr Arvind Kejriwal who was with Anna Hazare and took part in the political activism against corruption. I must admit that I did not give it a much of a thought either back then.
In the past 2000 years of the history of Indian Subcontinent political power is always ‘handed down’ from one generation to other. The only way to change the political power was by destroying the dynasties. As the subcontinent was sub-divided into 100s of small and big independent or semi/pseudo-independent states for 1000s of years the tradition is such as a state always belongs to its king. Once the East India Company started taking over the subcontinental landscape back in mid 1700s they had to figure out an effective way to by-pass the rules of the kingdoms and thus British-India-bureaucracy was born. And so was the corruption.
Two weeks ago Delhi’s election made a splash on the global news as Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party defeated other two political powerhouses in the provincial election. And now, skeptics like me had to take notice! Mr Kejriwal is not the first one in recent history to take up such initiative of taking the task to clean corruption from the a sub-continental country bogged into a 200 years old bureaucracy and, at-least, 100 year old political dynasty altogether. Politicians have come as fighters against corruption and gone as corrupt ones themselves in a few years. I think I had the valid reason to be skeptic.
If Mr Kejriwal is true to his conviction he has a long long way to go no doubt. How will he win this battle against corruption and install good governance? I believe the answer is simple ~ by the help of the people who are tired of these all-powerful all-have political power-houses. I believe those are the people who voted for him. As Mr Kejriwal knows very well, politics is a high-stake game where politicians usually always win. This is the ‘business of people’.
Will Mr Kejriwal become ‘the’ politician to make tough decisions and win a political battle against corruption? It will be a new experiment and a new experience for the world to watch (and learn may be). Anna Hazare movement now has a political platform and a human face as a leader. The stage is set. Sounds are checked. Lights are on and focused on Mr Kejriwal ~ to perform. Aam Admis (regular people) are hoping nobody-else will steal the show this time. Much is on stake.