How dangerous is Anna Hazare? Going by the veritable attack dogs set on him, Anna seems like a cross between the Unabomber and Batman's arch-enemy The Joker with his mission being to destroy Parliament and all its life forms.
So who are gnashing their teeth against Hazare? I don't count the politicians who fall directly under Anna's scanner. But if you hear the rumpus from these anti-Hazare Omocs (Other Members of Civil Society) about the sheer danger that Anna poses to India and its 'political way of life', one would suspect that what they hate is simply Anna's self-righteousness, quite forgetting their own Freudian notion of treating Parliament as the Great Mother Goddess instead of as a legislative council (think last frame of an Asterix comic).
But is this chubby-cheeked weak-gummed man wagging his finger all the time our version of Guy Fawkes, ready to blow up the seat of parliamentary democracy just so that people can watch the fireworks and bring about proper anarchy in the world's largest working anarchy? Till the other day, Anna was the kind of guy who, along with APJ Abdul Kalam, you would have thought would make a great baby-sitter or a capable Ramcharitmanas reader. But now, he is the anarchist, the destroyer of order, the chaos-inducer, the stealer of your first born...
And yet, what is he up to really? He wants bureaucrats, all members of Parliament and the judiciary to be monitored and checked if they succumb to temptation. Does he want an insurrection? Nope. Does he want every corrupt official to hang from the nearest lamppost? I don't think so. Does he want Parliament House turned into a museum where kids can be brought so as to make their utterly boring civics classes a little more exciting field trip? Turns out not.
He just wants the worthies whose job is to take care of our things not to be crooked. It would have been lovely to get all of them to promise, with their hands on the Gita, Koran, Bible, Granth Sahib, the Communist Manifesto, that they are all honest hombres during their tenure. But things don't quite work that way now, do they, dahling?
If the loudest rejoinder from Omocs is: 'But the lokpal can be full of scoundrels too!' then I don't think that Anna H is the Darth V he's being made out to be. The problem is someone is messing with the Omocs' notion of the sacred. And idol worship, for them, has always made more sense over listening to the rage — constructive or not — of an iconoclast.