Team Anna’s split and its aftermath
The movement that captured the imagination of the nation has now officially broken into two factions. One led by Arvind Kejriwal firmly believes the there is no option to achieving Lokpal but to fight electoral battles. The other faction led by Anna himself wants to continue and remain an independent anti-corruption, civil society movement.
A political party backed by Anna would have posed a formidable challenge to many of the existing parties. But Anna clearly lacked the motivation or the wherewithal to take the plunge. So after months of dilly-dallying and flip-flopping, to the utter dismay of many youngsters, he decided that he does not want to be a part of any political outfit whatsoever. Clearly, he is uncomfortable with electoral politics, and when it came down to it, he chose to follow his heart which lies firmly in social activism.
There is no question that civil society pressure groups with no political leanings or affiliations are a critical asset to any vibrant democracy. But what sort of an un-affiliated pressure group can Anna claim to have with the likes of saffron-clad Baba Ramdev, Kiran Bedi who is eager to work with the “less corrupt” and General V.K. Singh who has plenty of personal scores to settle with the current government, on his new team?
Social activism is a commitment to one or more causes that can often span several years and sometimes an entire lifetime. In the world of social activism, unlike in electoral politics, there are no immediate wins and definitely no losses. There are scores of activists who have shown commitment to several causes but have never been able to achieve their goals.