Circa 2011 – 2012 will probably go down in History as the era of Protests and Changes. The 12-18 months time frame we talk about has been a witness to some ocean of changes inspired by public outcry and protests. One such protest, among many, has been the Anti-Corruption/LokPal Bill movement in India. Initiated and inspired by the unflinching energy of Anna Hazare, it went on to gain public attention and also led to the formation of, what we now know as, Team Anna.

Inspite of all the public support, countrywide protests and oceans of people gathering at various places in the country not much has been achieved not much has been changed. This is contrary to what we saw in the Arab Spring uprisings.Why has this movement only become a Team Anna movement? Why was it not a Indian Mass Movement? Why did it fail to meet it’s desired goal? Why did it have limited success leading to reduced response and lesser crowds as the protest progressed?

There are few basic facts that I think contributed to this:
– Discounting the fact that a majority of the politicians had won their elections fair and square
– Assuming that if they name their organization – India Against Corruption, that would automatically mean the whole country is with them
– Failing to understand that no single Org can ever claim to be the true representative of the entire Nation-state of India, if anybody does so it would remain just that, Claim and far from reality
– Not Defining Corruption – Corruption is a vague term, there are various types of corruption which includes Moral as well. So the scope of the protest was never announced
– Last but not the least is the utter dis-respect to the Constitution of Indian Union

Compare this with the Arab Spring, large scale success as the objective of the movement were very clear to the protestors and their supporters and the results for all of us to see.

If we treat IAC as a party then I could say that the people did accept Anna Hazare as the PM candidate from IAC but the same people could not give them the mandate as the party’s agenda wasn’t clear. I have never seen a leader who is as confused as Arvind Kejriwal. Most of the protests in India tend to be Socialist in their nature. This inspite of the fact that Nehru’s socialist dream failed to give the country what it was promised. Mr Kejriwal’s resignation from Civil Service, simple attire, sleeping on the floor all give an impression of a socialist movement, which is scary. Every statement that Mr Kerjiwal comes out with gives an impression that he would like to re-write the constitution of the country and start everything from scratch. Lot of people would like that, but the reality is that we need to start from wherever we are, whatever we are and move. While his intent may not be wrong but I am sorry to say the approach and the execution are rather childish.

It looks like finally Mr Kejriwal has understood that the battle has to be fought within the framework of the constitution. He announced formation of a political party on the 2nd October 2012 under his leadership (minus Anna) and indicates their prime aim would be to give the power back to the people. There is, as per me, lot of rhetoric but very less practical sense in the vision statement he put forward and the methodologies that he propose have tinge of extremism and importantly socialism written all over it. No matter what Mr Kejriwal want’s to call it, from economic point of view it looks like an attempt to go the Marxist way and politically it looks to be rather naive. Nonetheless only time will tell if he gains the trust and support of the people he believes he represents and can his party remain clean inspite of being inside the system