The Hisar Connection!
Anna Hazare, the great crusader against corruption in India, and his civil society members had campaigned heavily to get the candidate of Congress, main political party in the ruling coalition of India, defeated in the Hisar by-election for Indian Parliament held on October 13, 2011.
Hisar is situated in the Indian state of Haryana. What would have been a routine listless by-election on account of the death of the seating candidate has become a nationwide rage thanks to Anna Hazare and his team’s campaign as a part of the mass movement against corruption.
Team Anna had been asserting continuously their apolitical character and that they had no political ambitions. They said their only motive was to pressurize the government for the fast passage of a strong anti-corruption Bill in the winter session of Parliament starting November, 2011. But once you ask the people not to vote for a particular candidate you are indirectly supporting the rival candidates and by all accepted standards this means politicking. So, there had been ongoing mud-slinging and political banter.
The polling in Hisar was over seventy percent. Now all attention is focused on the outcome expected on October 17, 2011.
The Congress party is said to be resigned to defeat because it was the only seat the party lost in its sweeping victory in 2009 general elections in Haryana. So, only a worse than 2009 loss could mean some victory for Team Anna and if such a thing happens then Anna is most likely to claim it as the verdict of the masses against corruption.
But claiming any political victory amounts to a political victory only and by accepting it Team Anna’s avowed apolitical character is set to take a beating. In case of a surprise win for the Congress the scenario would be the worst for Team Anna. Apart from losing their apolitical character this would amount to a demoralizing political failure.
Whatever happens, the Hisar Connection is finally going to establish Team Anna’s political character beyond doubt.
Whether a civil society leading a mass movement against corruption should become a political body or not would be altogether a separate topic of intense debate set to continue indefinitely.