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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Anna Hazare And Baba Ramdev Partner Joint Fast Company!


The anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has finally decided to sit together with Baba Ramdev on a one-day fast in Delhi today. There had been a lot speculation and anticipation on this for quite some time. Why Anna had to do this?

After taking India by a hurricane wave with his two huge bouts of fasting in April and in August of 2011 Anna Hazare started facing the music from within his Team Anna as his members became too powerful and ambitious. The cascading trouble ranged from corruption charges against the members themselves and election politics to basic differences of views and opinions. To make matters worse Anna fell sick quite frequently and his 'strong' Lokpal Bill (anti-corruption Ombudsman Bill ) failed to make any headway in Parliament. Anna had to do something to carry on the anti-corruption movement.

So he launched a fast in Mumbai in December, 2011 purportedly to pressurise the upcoming Parliamentary debate on the Lokpal Bill. The masses did not turn up in large numbers this time and with Anna getting unwell again the program was a terrible flop. As differences grew within and out Anna decided to remain 'silent' for nearly a month afterwards. He desperately needed a strong partner now.

Baba Ramdev, basically a yoga guru earning millions through his camps and medicine outlets worldwide, saw Anna Hazare become a national leader in an instant and so he too set about amassing some political clout. He launched a similar fast in Delhi against a related cause of black money and all right-wing elements and forces of the country started descending on his fasting grounds, Ramleela. A concerned goverment swooped on the gathering at midnight and ousted the Baba unceremoniously. Instead of showing true leadership qualities in controlling his startled supporters the 'brave' Baba decided to flee dressed up as a woman. The consequent confusion led to the death of a woman. Anna and his team naturally opposed the goverment's ruthless action though Anna always defended his 'distance' from right-wing fundamentalists. Today is the first anniversary of the Baba ouster.

And, hopelessly running out of options Anna Hazare sits together with Ramdev on a fast today in Delhi. Voices of dissent continue though on the newly framed charges against the Prime Minister and on that the reportedly 'fraud' Baba himself is facing serious corruption charges.

The anti-corruption mocktail looks set to mock the very evil it is trying to erradicate.

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