Anna: Nation's New Munna Bhai?

August 29, 2011

With the ongoing revolution and uprising against corruption for the Lokpal Bill, led by ANNA Hazare against the UPA Government, covered extensively by the media that gave him the epithet The New Gandhi, there is no question that the retired army soldier with a frail physique is doing a commendable job in the awakening the nation since Independence.

Every media is vying for headlines on ANNA Hazare who is digging up the issue of a corrupt nation, looking forward for a bright future from a hazy past. He has suddenly become a beacon of light for the unguided, a ray of hope for the disillusioned, a flicker of a lamp at the end of the tunnel for the misled, a leader for a better future for the young, an icon to follow and an idol to be revered for the whole of India which has been drowned to its nadir by the corrupt rulers.

The main support today flocking behind ANNA has been the youth from urban and rural India alike. They are the future of India, the generation which is going to lead the nation forward after cleansing its gut from the decay culminated from greed and selfishness of political parties. The same youth which was without an ideology and ambition to raise or rise for their rights.

Then there came a revelation turning into a revolution which was till then subdued by years of negligence and intolerance by all the despotic governments which ruled India.

The fast by Anna was termed as the second freedom struggle, which awakened the nation from its slumber.

Now how did a sleeping nation wake up to the old man’s call for starvation and protest? Does it mean starvation could wake up a sleeping tiger?

If yes, what about the starvation and protest carried out by Medha Pathkar, Swami Nigamananda (who unceremoniously died in the same hospital where celebrity Ramdev was, before the drying up of Ganges) and the continuity of Irom Sharmila Chanu and many others.

Did the youth force who hardly remembered, knew or read about Mahatma Gandhi in school, who may have observed October 2 as another national holiday (or as a dry day for tipsy ones), who may not have heard or watched Attenborough’s “GANDHI”,  the self-immolation of the youth Rajiv Goswami on the Anti-reservation Bill, really take the plunge into the protest led by ANNA Hazare (who incidentally started long back unknown in Ahmednagar and rose to regional protests in Maharasthra to the present national one as the Lone Crusader.)

I presume it has something to do with Indian Films which have mass coverage and reach throughout India. They have made some influence on the present generation relying on electronic and digital media which could make or mar, mould or break the psyche of an Indian. Let’s rewind the scene some years back.

The film Rang De Basanti created a stir among the Indian Youth (the candlelight protest being one for sure!). Then came MUNNA BHAI, who spoke and professed “Gandhigiri” to the public, which suddenly caught the imagination of the whole country and the youth, who were fascinated and swept off their feet by the simplicity and effective results of non-violence. Gandhigiri seemed workable but how, was very vague and obscure. This in turn stirred the lava inside the Indian soul which was dormant or almost dead. The Indian who was dumb and deaf to his corrupt and scum surroundings started taking notice with the unfolding of events and scandals doing the daily rounds, which were quite difficult to assimilate due to the magnitude or scores of zeroes involved.

The youth of India started to see the ideals of Gandhigiri (till now seen on screen with Munna Bhai), come true with real and life-size ANNA, with whom one could relate oneself (They found similarities with the retired old man in the film seeking pension while offering his clothes and belongings in return as bribe. They identified ANNA.)
The spirit of Gandhigiri stirred the unknown imagination of the ordinary Indian which was boiling up to a certain point and waiting to erupt. The first protest by Anna around April started the rumbling of the lava inside the whole of Indian youth. It took another eventful Independence day in the Indian history for the lava to erupt and overflow with the arrest of ANNA on August 16, with the hot lava flowing and increasing.

ANNA nurtured the seeds sown by MUNNA at the right time, to open the buds of ignorance to a full bloomed fruit called awareness by right. At the end of it all Indians would hope to see THE BAPU in front of us, not as a CHEMICAL LOCHA as in the film, but someone within us.

Whether the Bill is through or not as desired, the whole thing is between ANNA and MM Singh, two sides of a coin put out for a toss.

So finally as we wait,

Lage Raho Munna Bhai

Khadhe Raho Anna Bhai

Saath Khadha Hai Nanhe Bhai

In the mean time,

Munna bhai take a bow,

And don’t forget Singh (sorry guys not MM Singh but Lucky Singh - first person to get the get well soon card)

Post Script:

The undivided South Kanara refers the term ANNA as an elder brother in genera, to each and everyone. Recenty Overheard in a snack and juice center near Car Street, Mangalore

Shop Keeper : Anna, erage dada korudo ?

Customer : Anna Delhi de upavasa malthondu uleru, Yenk bonda korle.

Shop Keeper : (Embarrased ) Auo ANNA.

By Preet Sharan
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Comment on this article

  • Sankappanna M, Sankalakariya Bahrain

    Wed, May 23 2012

    I really do not think Anna is a Gandhian. However who among is a Gandhian? None of us are.

    Anna's agitation has perhaps served its purpose, but He and his team should keep up the pressure. Lokpal will never be able to wipe out corruption, simply because human mind is corrupt and no one...even perhaps God has no control over human mind.Having said that some vigilance is a must that corruption is under a tight leash, and it does not devour our culture itself. But refrain from glorifying Anna and his team...they are just doing what every Indian should do as a honorable citizen. Similarly do not demonize any particular party or the political system. It is a well known fact that democracy is a worst kind of governance but that is best one we have. To preserve that kind of governance needs not just knowledge and strict laws, but more importantly it needs to have Wisdom and tolerance of every opinion. And I dont think Anna and his team are tolerant..!

    So just dont glorify them just as yet.
    I see a bit of sarcasm in your article regarding MMSingh...If you know Gandhiji...only Man Mohan Singh has some resemblance of Gandhiji in the current political scene...Yes, he is termed as weak prime minister..but so was Gandhi termed by Hindu nationalists and killed him. Singh does not speak much, because he can not contract a lie nor can he stretch a truth, as politicians do...Only thing that bothers me about MMSingh is that in his simplicity he may be duped by western powers.

  • Syed Mohiddin Saheb, Sastan / Muscat

    Sun, Sep 04 2011

    is required to stop Bhaigiri, Goondagiri,Dadagiri....etc etc.
    Ghandhi,Munna & Anna .. U R Great. Changes required to build clean INDIA
    Keep it up

  • R Mallar, Kasaragod/ Dubai

    Wed, Aug 31 2011

    I didn't understand the point made by Mr. MK Damodaran. Yes Anna is not Gandhi nor JP. Anna's fast may not achieve the purpose. At least he made some impact on our politicians. That by itself is an achivement.
    What it has to do with India, democracy etc. Are you trying to tell that whatever we have now is courtesy our great government - they left something to common people after gobbling up thousands of crores and we should be thank ful for that?

  • VGShetty, Mangalore

    Tue, Aug 30 2011

    good one Preet! History students are much scared now that they may get to study abt one more person. My first que is why we need the influence of someone to stop corruption.

  • Preetham Noronha, Fajir_Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 29 2011

    Really an Nice article Preet sir...


    Mon, Aug 29 2011

    Vidhu Vinod Chopra very soon will produce a movie on Anna......, starring A'amir Khan or Sanjay Dutt. Bomman Irani will do a negative role of Swami Agnivesh.
    Jai Ho.....Anna!

  • MK DAMODARAN,numerologist, kannur

    Mon, Aug 29 2011

    Numerologically,astrologically,socially and culturally JayaprakashNarayanan was a great Gandhian.
    But he never claimed that he was a Gandhi.
    There is difference between salt and salt-mixed!
    JP’s “total revolution” movement in the 70s was supported by a
    heterogeneous combination of divergent idealists(from the die-hard
    socialists to the hard-core RSS.
    Emergency Rule from June 1975 was its after-effect.
    In the Lok Sabha election conducted in 1977,the ruling Indian National
    Congress was completely wiped out from north India.
    Even Indira Gandhi was defeated
    The Janata party came to power.
    But the new political experiment was subsequently proved to be a flop.
    JP was totally disillusioned and died in 1979.
    In the new election conducted in 1980 Indira Gandhi returned to power
    with a thumping majority.
    What did JP achieve?
    He achieved nothing by his “total revolution”.
    The Anna hazare phenomenon may be watched against this background.
    When compared to JP Anna Hazare is nothing.
    Similarly most of Hazare’s supporters are rootless ones.
    Hazare is a good person.
    But he is severely suffering from an“incarnation complex”.
    He believes that he can wipe out corruption.
    Whatever may be the shortcomings,Indian democracy is the largest one
    in the world.
    Our thousand-tongued intellectuals who support hazare may kindly
    remember that they enjoy the freedom for doing so only because of the
    fact that it is India!

  • neeth sharan, mangalore

    Mon, Aug 29 2011

    Good one Anna,truly films may have inspired the youth of the nation.& also the recent scam involving huge sums may have caused ripples within everyone which created a tsunami of awakening with a new found crusader in ANNA ,HOPE THIS SPIRIT LIVES ON

  • geoffrey, hathill

    Mon, Aug 29 2011

    If Munna was played by Anna, who's the equivalent of V V Chopra, the maker of Munna? There are more than two candidates who fit the bill and if the conspiracy theory to be believed, involvement of ubiquitous 'foreign hand' can't be ruled out.
    Any way, in Munna, the results were instantaneous, in Anna's case, Mr. Hegde has already cautioned the public not to expect miracles as enacting the legislation would take it's own sweet time.

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