'Annalogy' of protest turns new chapter
The week-long spontaneous uprising against corruption shepherded by a fasting 74-year-old self-styled Gandhian has spawned a new vocabulary of protest and bred a popular mythology that is seductive but may not survive a reality check.
Since India's 64th Independence Day, Anna Hazare has morphed into a contemporary icon thanks to a direction-challenged government and an angry, disillusioned, ignored middle class that flocked around him over the mantra of the anti-corruption crusade.
Anna's mantra-like formulation, "India's second independence movement", regardless of the accuracy of this self-deluding label, has struck a powerful chord with middle India who have been swelling in numbers with every passing day, making a former soldier and a grassroots campaigner, pushing his version of anti-graft legislation, a national hero.
Poll of the day
Is Manmohan legacy of growth stunted by price rise and corruption?
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- 81 %Yes. He failed to push forward reforms, control corruption and inflation
- No. It was factors beyond him and coalition compulsion tied his hands
- Growth alone is not an enabler enough to end hunger and ensure inclusion