What started off as an apolitical public movement against corruption was split before it could achieve its end goal of a corruption-free India. In what could have been undisputedly the most high-profile events of Indian Diaspora during recent times, Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal locked horns over their separate ideas for achieving India Against Corruption’s (IAC) dream, ‘Jan Lokpal’, going forward.
So what prompted such an extreme step from seasoned social activists like Anna Hazare and Magsaysay award winner Arvind Kejriwal. As Anna Hazare is known to be devout Gandhian preferring to stay apolitical to get his demands approved, Arvind was exasperated at their failure to strike a deal with government on Lokpal and wanted to take up politics and gain the legitimate authority required to get the bill approved which they certainly did not had at that time.
So what is after all the IAC’s version of Jan Lokpal?
It is an autonomous body independent of public officials and authorities that is empowered to investigate and prosecute.
Also, IAC was pushing for electoral reforms, demanding, the right to reject candidates during elections and right to recall a candidate which does not match people’s expectations.
“Those who favour party have been saying that if Anna says, then they will not form a party. But despite that, they have decided to go ahead with the plan against my decision. Sometimes, it is also said they were forming the party because Anna has decided so. This is not right,” said Hazare, post split.
“We feel until the politics of the country is changed, nothing is going to change. Now, it’s up to the people to judge me, said Kejriwal responding to allegations of political aspirations.
As Kejriwal formed his political party, Aam Aadmi Party, Hazare was prompt in asking the newly formed Team Arvind to restrain from using his name or picture during campaigning of their political party.
People are watching!
Both ruling (UPA) and opposition (NDA) political parties too got embroiled in the controversy over their unwillingness to pass the legislation in parliament. Also, non-violent protesters were baton charged and water cannoned by police citing emergency provisions u/s 144 CrPC at several instances. This proved lack of judgment on the part of those (Congress and BJP) in power, threatening their goodwill and mandate in the upcoming 2014 general elections.
Image Source: Indian Express