Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare loves to surprise us. While many thought that he had a political roadmap of sorts up his crisp khadi kurta sleeve for the people of the country, it now seems that the man in the Gandhi topi is actually fumbling around for one. In Ralegan Siddhi, his little empire in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Mr Hazare has formed an "advisory team" which will have 35-40 eminent people from across the country to advise him on the future course of action. But surprise of surprises: two of his comrades of Jantar Mantar, Ramlila Maidan and Azad Maidan fame — Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi — are not on that panel. His new team, we have been told, will be a part of the Hazare Brashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan (HBVJA), an outfit based in Ralegan Siddhi. Apparently, Mr Hazare, who almost led a "revolution" of sorts from Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, wants to keep the new platform apolitical and has decided that it would only support independent candidates during elections.
Along with surprising people with decisions like these, Mr Hazare also seems to be bit confused about his future beyond Ralegan Siddhi. On one hand, the leader says that it is an apolitical body, while on the other, he talks about supporting candidates in elections. Now in our lexicon, taking part in an election is itself a political process. If he wants to change the political structure of India, he will not be able to do it by only making people aware that of the many politicians in the country, some are indeed corrupt.
By forming this apolitical unit, is Mr Hazare trying to stay afloat as our consciousness-keeper? A good try Mr Hazare, but there are too many claimants for the post at present. Better luck next time!