It’s saffron time for anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare. While the government is exercising extreme caution in dealing with Mr Hazare and his demands, which range from videographing panel meeting proceedings to electoral laws, the saffron bandwagon, starting from the RSS to Mr Narendra Modi to Mr L.K. Advani, is all praise for Mr Hazare.
If Mr Modi prayed for his “supreme health and long life, so that many like me would benefit from his guidance”, Mr Advani stated that “Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare are widely perceived as upright persons who have no personal axe to grind”.
A section of political leaders, however, described Mr Hazare’s moves to mount consistent pressure on the government as an example of “soft saffron”. While the militant face of the saffron uses violent means to attain its goal, through the soft saffron approach, the strategists mount pressure on the government by adopting peaceful, non-violent means. With the anti-corruption crusader breathing down heavily on the government, the BJP is having a field day. The saffron leaders and functionaries have adopted a strategy to put the government in the dock by lending its open support to Mr Hazare.
Expanding the range to target the government, Mr Advani also slipped in his demand for an all-party meeting on the issue of black money and “curbing money power in elections”. Leaning on Mr Hazare’s shoulder, Mr Advani went on to justify the BJP’s move to disrupt the Winter Session of Parliament. “Opposition parties have ample justification to hold that it is their protest during the last Winter Session of Parliament against the series of scams that had surfaced that has triggered off a ‘jan andolan’ (people’s movement) against corruption.”
He also linked the formation of a joint parliamentary committee on the 2G scam with the Hazare movement. “I wish the government realises that in both cases — the Opposition’s success in getting a JPC and Anna’s success about a law for Lokpal — the principal contributory has been the UPA government itself which, by now, has earned the singular reputation of being the most corrupt government independent India has ever seen.”
It may be recalled when Mr Om Prakash Chautala and saffron sanyasin Uma Bharti were turned away by Anna’s supporters from the fasting venue, the crusader publicly apologised to Ms Bharti. Mr Advani wrote in his blog: “It is the index of Anna’s innate decency and his disinclination to believe that all politicians are corrupt that when he learnt about this (Mr Bharti being turned away), he publicly apologised to Uma.” Asian Age