i say ‘it’ instead of him cause he is not a man anymore- any person or thing that catches the fancy of a county like India has to be more than a man. So is he a creation of media that magnified his opinions or is he the epitome of Gandhian thought, I am not sure if I should even know answers to these questions but one thing is for sure, he sure has a lot of airtime. To be sure of what I am saying I tried to find if there was any reference of him before 2011 and News.google.com has articles on a Russian spy named Anna instead. So how does a man we have forgotten about suddenly appear and charm the nation into believing that his version of a certain bill is better and more ‘nation friendly’ than government’s version. Again I am not saying which version is better, I did read the difference but I think both can be manipulated and hence the implementation is more important that the bill draft.
His draft might be the best tool to beat corruption, but how did he convince the county about it? At a time when MNCs, celebrities and even government hires specialised teams for appropriate public relations and media coverage how he is getting so much coverage. I am not questioning his integrity, his past, his method of protest (or whatever u may chose to term it) or his popularity -I am simply trying to understand it. I need to understand why all the TV channels and newspapers are so engrossed with Anna that on the 65th independence day they happily follow around him as he ‘meditates’ at Rajghat and send us a live feed of his chest rising and falling and rising and falling and rising again. It is unlikely that the TV channels had no programme prepared for the evening, there is a easy availability of numerous intellectuals and of course there is Rahul Bose, Shobha de, Mahesh Bhatt and the spokes person of congress and BJP (who probably car pool to the TV studio thrice every week). Also there are enough Bollywood songs and movies to make a quick montage and of course there are the anchors who love the sound of their voice so much that they would say anything to cover the 7-10 pm slot and ensure that there is something to ensure that the advertisements can be telecasted on time.
The opposition party is very sure and loud that it is the failure of the present government that has led to this unrest and they support everything ‘anti government’ even if no one probably except Jailty can tell u what the Lokpal bill is. Meanwhile the ruling party and the humble…oh so humble….head of the government is sure that it is not patriotic, democratic etc….why…not sure but it is not- ask Jayanthi Natarajan. So is it that the country is in shambles and the politicians are all corrupt and the governance is ineffective and law is weak ….and hence the public is agreeing to the sound of a man dressed in a Gandhi cap? Or maybe the sceptics are right; he is created by the media and if they get a sizzling Bollywood wedding or a triple murder they will abandon the Anna coverage- that means if Saif asks and Kareena says yes we would be listening to the menu of their wedding dinner instead of Lokpal bill.
Before we ask how did it get this big and for how long will it stay this big, we need to ask what it is? Is he a reincarnation of Gandhi’s soul, is it a second national freedom struggle, is it a protest against a bad version of a bill, is it a lame attempt of a government to save its reputation or is it just easy news for lazy journalists. Firstly comparisons to the national freedom struggle or Gandhi are an insult to their memory, as a citizen who was born in Free India I was taught to respect the martyrs and the role of Gandhi’s non-violent philosophy and unless this coverage of ‘Anshan’ proves its worth as more than a media created and telecasted event we should not get into comparisons. Team Anna –as they are called- are unsure whether they are protesting or meditating or negotiating or drafting bills but until they state their aim, not their next step…their realistic aim every thinking soul will ask them what they intend to do. Also there is a question if the government is scared of an uprising by the sheer strength of his motivation and worry that if the public realises its collective might. Sadly after sending their ministers to receive him at the airport the government can never claim that it’s scared of Anna. Also the brazen attack on sleeping people at a protest organised by Anna’s Robin- Baba Ram Dev took away most of the credibility brownies they had saved up.
Lastly – lazy journo, yes it is an exciting profession but journalists are not all Clark Kent and saving the world comes way down the list after paying bills, keeping the job and meeting a decent guy/girl and getting a good home loan. SO when a grandiloquent man wearing a Gandhi cap talks of a utopian law whose merger creation can solve all corruption from India and lead us to the glorious future we deserve….journalist jump on the wagon to telecast each word.
So as I hear the anchor tell me that Anna will address a conference, no he won’t no he will may be he might, I write wonder if he is media created or are we as a nation this starved for leaders, this thirsty to follow ideals that to feel like we are doing something about the problem as long as we are in motion Or is it that I have seen Erin Brocowitch once too much.