Hazare’s latest stir in the Capital fails to rouse attention unlike 2011.
Mumbai: Back in the last week on August 2011, the nation was stirred with the then agitation of senior social activist from Maharashtra, Anna Hazare at Ramlila Maidan. There were marches and protests taking place in every metro of India. Mr Hazare was released after his arrest. As negotiations between his India Against Corruption (IAC) and Union government under the leadership of the Congress were unending. Almost all members of Lok Sabha stood in the house and appealed to Mr Hazare to end his fast. Then opposition leader Sushama Swaraj herself requested Mr Hazare to end his fast. From the sunny days of 2011 of Delhi to the arid days of 2018, the Ramlila Maidan has remained the same. And yet much has been changed now.
Mr Hazare's then comrades, Mr Aravind Kejariwal, Ms Kiran Bedi, Mr Prashant Bhushan, Mr Shanti Bhushan, Mr Manish Sisodiya, Mr Kumar Vishwas have long left him to fight his battle alone. Excluding Mr Shanti Bhushan, every one of them has joined a political party. But Mr Hazare continued with his battle for the appointment of the Lokpal. It was expected by many that his recent fast would generate a similar momentum like 2011.
But people did not turn up at the Ramlila Maidan. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government too did not respond to him like the UPA.
In 2011, Mr Hazare was a new phenomenon for the country. Till then, he was active in Maharashtra mostly and was part of many protests that led to the making of laws like the Right to Information (RTE) among many others.
He was also active in his battle against corruption since early the nineties. He made the first set of serious allegations against then Chief Minister of Maharashtra Sharad Pawar in 1993.