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Exclusive India National Opinion Politics

Why India needs Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev ?

The reason is that these dudes are showing us how to do business out of fighting corruption but only their management guys are more into theory than practice. A retired police officer, ex tax man-judicial activist (don’t ask what it means) have to brush up books on political management or take classes from Nitin Gadakari!

Yogi Baba Ramdev is the most apt person to drive out corruption since only a man who has no need for money can be the best person to lead the rebellion. After all he is asking for an independent CBI, strong Lok Pal and bring back all the black money lying in the banks abroad since it has to be just picked up.
Congress should give in. A strong CBI can definitely probe the deal by which Yogi owns an island and millions owned by the Yoga ashram without the Congress getting blamed for it. It can probe the ex IPS officer’s bank account for money got from travelling on economy class and pocketing the difference. The source of funds for the NGOs too will come under a strong Lok Pal so why is the Congress dismissing off Hazare and Baba Ramdev? The old saying is that to fight temptation is to yield to it.

Rahul Gandhi who is expected to take an active role (???) should not have said he does not have the time to discuss Ramdev’s fast. It’s a blunder that once led to the formation of the Congress. Winston Churchill dismissed Gandhiji as half-naked fakir and a TTE in South Africa threw out this non white man and his box. Both had severe repercussions on British and India. Rahul should have given lime juice to the Yogi and taken him to his mother for a lesson on how to weed out black money and collect it from banks abroad. This can be handed over to the old wine in new bottle P Chidambaram who in turn will pass it on to his son Karthi who has mastered such topics that his father did not learn in Harvard.

If we go into the business of fighting corruption started by what is known in media as Team Anna (it has many similarities to Team India / Men in blue since both show qualities of inconsistency and being often red-faced) we find that there has been many mistakes that a business professional should not have done especially when it’s an entertainment business.

Hazare and his yelling-ranting group should have had a talk with the Bollywood/ Kollywood and many more wood’s corporate bosses on the technique to convert every film into a hit (even if it running to empty theatres) and what to promise and what not to the public.

Look at the Yogi. He does not have a PR management but his outbursts, flip flops and rantings are all hits with the media. His yoga institutes have sprung up in remote areas.

In contrast, Team Anna launched fast with great fanfare. It looked like the opening week of a Rajnikanth’s film. Music playing, crowds with painted faces and waving tricolor at the TV cameras. Cute elderly man smiling into the camera and trim bob haired lady waving the tricolor and getting the crowd to yell whenever camera focused on them. On the sidelines, a self-styled Sadhu Maharaj caught describing the whole operation in unprintable words (audio tracks are permitted on channels). Thus a new masala film was launched with a potential to get a box office hit all over India.

This show saw the Govt red-faced as it did not know how to handle this new phenomenon of fasting. Delhi cops used to quelling political parties’ violent mobs had nothing in the police manual on handling sensitive issues like fasting and public yoga classes. Teeny boppers turned up with mobile cameras and handycams. Team Anna showed that rebellion sells.

Once the film has been launched, then till its release you have to keep it in the public glare and for that you need a strategy which the managers of Hazare did not have. The first day launch was only a ruse or a tactic to get public attention but in coming days one has to have a plan as to how to sell it.

Marketing gurus always say that don’t promise too much that the product does not offer because at one point after the initial euphoria, the public will know your bluff and you have to wind up. The fasting prolonged and crowds thinned out and it became a weekend affair. Finally it turned out that all it needed was a promise from the Govt to end the fast. It did come and Hazare went back to where he came from. The modern-day middle class (those who have jobs or business) went back to seeing movies in the week-end. Every one except Team Anna knows that Congress like any other party would not keep to its promise.

More threats to fast and media too started looking at more interesting cases of rape-adultery by politicians. Hazare could not make up his mind on many issues and people. His supporters blamed the media not knowing that news channels are in the red and are desperate for TRPs and Anna is not garnering the eyeballs. Finally Team Anna decided to rework the script and re-launch as a political party.

The urban population is far away from the ground reality. Just outside the borders of the city is a grim population facing starvation, no income and exploitation. Where do they go ? Chidambaram proudly announced that one- third of the country is controlled by Maoists. Taking this into account, the Govt should tolerate Anna who is non-violent and to a certain extent had a youth following who are fed up of bribe taking cops and who did not fine them for traffic violations instead.

Somebody had said the person who overthrows a tyrant turns out to be a bigger tyrant. We have seen this before in Tamil Nadu and more recently in West Bengal. We have seen such traits in Team Anna. All said and done, these anti-corruption heroes (now out of TV screens) seem to be a better bet than the Maoists and the political parties which has no scruples.

Let’s hope the re-launch of Team Anna is well managed.