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Differential calculus

So what if Prashant B hates oranges and Anna H loves them? Don’t wait for Team Anna to implode.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2011 22:42 IST
Hindustan Times

One standard trick in journalism is to shove a tangential question and demand a response from a public personality. On most occasions, it delivers useful headlines from innocuous respondents. The latest ‘bakhra’ has been Anna Hazare who, on being asked by our fraternity, what his position on plebiscite in Kashmir is, replied that he didn’t agree with fellow Jan Lokpal Bill campaigner Prashant Bhushan’s views on Kashmir and that he (Hazare) believes Kashmir to be a “part of India”. This has, of course, become proof that there is yet again fissures in Team Anna. Next, a journo could ask Hazare what his views on women with short hair are. Editors could cross their fingers that his answer wouldn’t make campaigner Kiran Bedi happy.

So how wide are the differences in Team Anna? Frankly, it matters as much to the issue that holds the bunch together — fighting corruption and the creation of a strong Lokpal Bill — as the opinions of individual members on, say, nudity in films. True, Team Anna has broadened its plank from the core issue of corruption to matters such as land acquisition, the right to recall MPs and the right to reject voting. But surely, it’s this group that gets to choose the issues it wants to push for after coming to an agreement that the members are actually on the same page?

Mr Bhushan, like other members of Team Anna, has an identity of his own, separate from the avatar of an anti-corruption crusader. One can hardly say that just because a Congressman such as Digvijaya Singh doesn’t always agree with the ‘neo-liberal’ policies of, say, the prime minister, the Congress house is in disarray. So why see the fall of the House of Team Anna in a difference of opinion among ‘family members’ about what kind of potted plant should be set in the balcony?