Monday, August 22, 2011

Annaleela: hazarding a guess about its immediate outcome

The country is in the midst of a huge suspense, with Team Anna hardening its demands to end Anna Hazare's fast. When he was released (or rather released himself) from Tihar Jail, the Team Anna clarified that it secured permission to hold the protest for 15 days (with an option to review), and that Anna's fast is not fast-unto-death, but an indefinite fast, that is, he would fast as long as his health permitted. Implicit in this statement was the assumption that when his doctors say he is no longer fit to continue the fast, he would give it up. But statements, made subsequently by Anna and his team members belie that assumption.

It now appears that he is determined to continue the fast till the Government accepts the core demand to withdraw the Government's Lokpal Bill and introduce and pass the Jan Lokpal Bill in this session which ends on Sep.8. No one expected that Anna would refuse to leave Tihar Jail when freed, and instead insist on unconditional permission to hold his protest as a precondition to leave the jail. But can anyone predict what is likely to happen in the next 7 days or beyond?

Media has so far refrained from predicting the sequence of events in the immediate future, even while explaining what went wrong with the Government's response. They have also refrained from suggesting how the Government should specifically respond, given Team Anna's intransigence.

One of the curious paradoxes of this crisis is the much perceived dichotomy between political and legal options before the Government.  This distinction is interesting because the Central Government was accused of  adopting a purely legal option, rather than pursuing a political one, which could have helped to stem the crisis from acquiring the huge proportions that it has managed to subsequently.  Are the political and legal options inconsistent with each other?

 I welcome our readers and contributors to reflect on the political and legal options before the Government in the next few days, and advice specifically the steps that could prove to be effective in resolving the crisis.  Not that the Government would act upon our advice here, but it could be, at least, of academic value.

(The News and Article Alerts and Interview pages have some links to interesting opinion pieces on the various dimensions of this crisis while the Primary Sources page has some useful links to original materials, relevant to the discussion.).

1 comment:

work_in_progress said...

I liked your term "Annaleela", it captures the theatrical side of the campaign.