Revolutions must seize power!

By Dr Oscar Rebello
06 June 2011 12:27 IST

Very evidently, the brightest rainbow on our gloomy skies, for millions of us Indians is the Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev phenomenon, gripping us all like nothing has ever done before.

I know of a huge army of people fervently praying that Anna Baba succeed in their mission. That somehow our corrupt system  will get completely uprooted from the ground.

But then, have only prayers ever won a revolution? Or have prayers succeeded in changing the rules of the  game? I think not.

The one and only weapon that man has in his armamentarium to bring about a change as radical and as humongous as this is in one word: Power!

All great revolutionaries have done precisely that over the ages. The French during their revolution; George Washington and company, who  had a farewell tea party for the British; Gandhiji who took the Congress to new heights, in all his ideal vision ( now of course a rogue gallery); Nelson Mandela and his ANC in South Africa; Jinnah and the Muslim league; JP Narayan  and the unsuccessful Janata party experiment. Even the RSS could float its poisonous  ideology like wild pollen once they got the BJP to power.

Power, therefore, is not just the ultimate   aphrodisiac. It is the most potent agent for change.  And power, at the end of the day, is always about politics, fortunately or unfortunately.

Because, even if we have an effective anti-corruption bill and all the laws in the world, it  would still require our politicians to implement these rules and crack the whip.  It would need our institutions like the cops and the judiciary to discharge their duties effectively and speedily. It would need society to be constantly on the prowl and at vigil.

So, it would really help us if the whip could be in the hands of the good guys, no? Most analysts are of the opinion that seasoned politicians, accustomed to protecting their turf and wealth will run circles around activists, smear them, divide them and then, slowly destroy the people’s will. One thing politicians have in abundance is resources and cunning, two deadly qualities but sincere activists, working for a better society, sorely lack.

The other formidable problem for Anna or Baba to keep the momentum going and snatch a few victories for us will be on how to reconcile the Right and the Left, all eager participants in this mother of all battles.

The deep ideological chasm between the two is so yawning, that though both the RSS and the Maoists have expressed unstinted support to the fast, it is inconceivable how eventually these two virulently opposing force can ever sit together and have an amicable dialogue, leave alone seek solutions. This is one issue that will continue to hound the movement . Trust me.

And the advantage of that divide goes to the gleeful Congress rats, parroting their platitudes on secularism and romping home at the hustings. And this is one weakness our current set of politicians will ruthlessly exploit to their advantage, without doubt.

It is therefore nice to see for now, that activists of all colours and hues are focusing on just their one point agenda: corruption and how to mobilize and tackle it together, burying all other differences. For that, our support to them must be unequivocal, never mind the cynics and critics.

During the  tumultuous decade of ours, where corruption and the cocky smugness of all our beloved netas is all so invincible, we can be forgiven if we  believe that this anti- corruption crusade will somehow bring all the cooks to book someday and punish them severely.

I don’t believe that will happen anytime soon, however. What gives me real hope that our Augean stables in Goa could be cleaned, is the emphatic people’s  verdict against Karunanidi and family in Tamil Nadu in May, booting out pathetic patriarch and his brood on the one issue of corruption.

Maybe just maybe, the good people of Goa will teach a similar lesson to this government, headed by a chief minister, who for the last five years has pirouetted like a clumsy ballet dancer around Goa’s myriad problems, instead of tackling them head on. Mangesh Gaonkar and Dilip Velip are first of the victims of his legendary dillydallying and blatant skullduggery.

A disaster like him has not struck Goa since the great plaque that wiped out Old Goa in the 18th century.

But then, who knows?? He may just return back next time round as the CM, because he has got two of Goa’s most powerful forces backing him fully.  God Almighty himself and the legal and illegal mining lobby at whose feet he regularly prostrates.

So, what is it that will solve our woes tomorrow? Or the same petty and treacherous government, which we will elect again in 2012.

Time to think about that and grab ourselves something to eat. And to decide after the fast whether a revolution is about power or just another moral science outrage.     

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Dr Oscar Rebello

Dr Oscar Rebello is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

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