The Anna hazard
Hazards are all allegedly incidental, but here is one that is manufactured and marketed with malice towards all.
Anna Hazare is undoubtedly a hero (not just in the making, but already-made). I do not subscribe to the short sighted congress allegation on his credibility regarding corrupt practices, but, I do have serious doubts about his septuagenarian zeal to set the country right.
He may even rightly be righteously indignant but is he ‘the man’ and are his concepts ‘the formula’?
Where the government is adamantly aggressive about a nuke deal and astute enough to buy the opposition to ‘not oppose’, where a government usurps farmers’ lands for an industrialist’s benefit and beats up its own people who dare to oppose the move, where tribals are thrown out of hillocks that are sold for private mining, where water resources are given away almost free for multinational manufacturers, into that country is delivered the media-made savior. Into this country is imposed a righteousness that ends with a candle lit (not exactly) party.
And where the country has people who unflinchingly push currency into the greasy hands of a traffic cop, where time dictates that they pay to get what actually is ought to be done, where education is bought by the rich and where paying extra is a social flamboyance, into that country does a hero descend from up above through satellites. People need an excuse to be angry about dishonesty!
Anna Hazare therefore, is the need of the hour –for the media!
What has happened to India? Corruption prevails rampantly and at all levels. Gandhi is a name to be uttered irreverently and a picture to be collected assiduously. Public interest is the last item in politicians’ agenda, and no one cares. But these are not sudden tsunamis; they have been slowly cancerous for decades if not generations. Globalized industrialization and its natural element, aggressive marketing have always been clandestinely corrupt in their wooing of the newspaper-reading common folk. Licenses and favors, sponsorships and ‘sops’ are all elementary words in the current socio-political dictionary. Things have to be done, and have to be done fast. Profits cannot wait. Purses cannot be empty for the powerful and full for the public. If anyone murmurs a protest he becomes a cartoon, the cynic’s cynosure. The common man, wants things done quickly, his market manufactured dreams are racing against time. In this scenario there is always a need for mass entertainment that does not eat one’s own time and fortune. When there is no cricket telecast, histrionic anchors need to hit non-existent balls for sixers in the air. And here comes the need for a ‘anna hazare’!
I see the likes of ramdev and sirisiri flocking to flaunt themselves alongside this caricature for photo-ops, but then marketing is always a must for the money-motivated- self styled spiritualists; this is not my primary worry. I worry about the middle class who chose not to cocoon themselves in their couches and dare to spend some of their spare time in social activism.
The ‘middle-class’ always aspires to become the upper class. This is an inherent trait. When they see their erstwhile fellowmen who spiral to dizzying financial heights just by joining politics, they become angry. They want to vent their anger. They have to camouflage their anger born out of jealousy and envy. They have to when time permits voice their indignation at social evils. They find media-generated heroes easy to accept, for after all have not millions read about the exaggerated valor of these ‘discovered’ saviors!
What is wrong if people do wake up? Is it not time for the common man to voice his displeasure over disreputable governance? Do the public not need a focal person to rally around to raise slogans? And why not, if not, if why not… go on shrill TV anchors and aptly made-up opinionators on their ‘elite’ panels. The nation is fighting for its second independence shout headlines. Independence? From what? Who are the corrupt? Who gives the corrupt politicians the moral arrogance other than the uncaring public? Who does care in voting the right person? How many care to pause after reading the screaming headlines? who cares how much for honesty anyway?
The middle class is an inevitable and a considerably large part of the society. For any true revolution they need to unite and rise. If their angst is exhausted on publicity oriented, media orchestrated causes; they will not even bother to blink when there is a larger urgent need to revolt.
Anna Hazare may even be a good man, but right now he is bad for the country -simply because he is wasting the middle class angst and youth’s natural flair to fight for the right, because he is posing sufficiently for the media to hail him as a hero, because he hobnobs with malignant spiritual-merchants, because he is short sighted, because he is adamant and because he is not the projected image.
God save my country.
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