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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014
Be part of the party
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 16, 2012
First Published: 22:20 IST(16/8/2012)
Last Updated: 22:22 IST(16/8/2012)

How does one go about getting into the most popular group in school? Pose this question to any teenager and she will give you the answer in three steps. Step 1: Choose a group. Step 2: Be seen around with the group leader. Step 3: Study the group to look like those who are already part of it. Mission accomplished. Now, one has invites to exclusive nights out, study groups and sleepovers.

Something of this sort happened when Anna Hazare began his indefinite fast on April 5, 2011 at Jantar Mantar. More than 150 people, including social activists Medha Patkar, Arvind Kejriwal and former Indian Police Service officer Kiran Bedi jumped on the then apolitical bandwagon and shared media footage with Mr Hazare. But what happens when the most popular group starts losing its sheen? Step 1: Declare that you were never part of any group be it the geeks or the freaks. Step 2: Declare that you support what the group does (because you can't go against something that is popular) but you acted as an individual. Step 3: Declare you were just being yourself. This seems to be the case with many people who used to hang around with Mr Hazare before he announced that it's time for a political outing.

After former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hedge, Ms Bedi, too, has clearly dissociated herself from the yet-to-be-launched party. Mr Hazare, too, earlier declared he would fight from the "outside". Oh dear, a party without members or at least very few. But then the most enthusiastic of them all, Arvind Kejriwal could put his new-found fasting prowess to good use. He could issue a clarion call that he will fast until people turn up to sign on for his mint-fresh party. But then, people may think he is pulling a fast one here.


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