Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Badri Raina: Anna Hazare versus the Idea of India

“India is Anna, Anna is India.” This slogan, reeking of the memory of Indira-imposed Emergency — “India is Indira, Indira is India” — tells you how much of what is now on display is about democracy

Badri Raina – Delhi. Hard News, August 2011

Bliss is it in this dawn to be alive,
But to be old is to be doubting.
(With apology to William Wordsworth)

Maha Kumbh

These are heady days in India. An orgy is underway in many parts, as angels of virtue shriek holy imprecations, ostensibly, to exorcise the demon ‘Corruption’, a word that has a nice Biblical-postlapsarian ring to it. This inventively constituted Ravana of our times, embodied, we are told, chiefly in the conjoint body of the politicians of the day, especially of the ruling Congress party, is now faced with the equally inventively constituted Ram in the person of Anna Hazare. Suitably, this crusader, although he wears the pristine white, topped with a Gandhi cap, opposes the demon in hues which are increasingly more and more saffron as the hours go by (see ‘Is Anna’s Crusade Changing Colour?’HindustanTimes, August 19). No wonder that some electronic channels seem to have nothing better to do than to pour incandescent ablutions of fuel into the corruption-Kumbh, in the full knowledge of the politics they seek to advance.

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