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A year of hype sans substance

It would be quite apt to say that Anna Hazare has only flattered to deceive the common masses of the country. Just about a year ago when he catapulted on the national stage as the shining white knight who promised to rescue the masses from the devil of all-pervading corruption Hazare generated a lot of hope and hype. Now a year after the hope has withered and the hype has all but dissipated. The movement too has lost its lustre. Its leading lights do not shine as brightly as they did at the start.
Even the leadership does not belong to Hazare. On the contrary,


Criticism must be constructive

My book 'Straight Thoughts' attempts to review contemporary issues, problems and also personalities and I have put up my views without any fear or favour in articles carried in the book. I know the importance of adopting a firm stand and I have done it on several occasions even though it resulted into attacks on my newspaper’s offices and copies of my newspaper being burnt. These incidents only added to my zeal and even after being a politician, the  journalist in me was never overshadowed. In fact my resolve to write fearlessly became more firm with each such incident.
Whenever we talk of relationship between media and politicians, it does not necessarily mean that we talk about the hostility or acrimony


Now it ’s time to say three cheers for Anna

I am tempted to call it the biggest victory for our democracy. But then one should be cautious while using superlatives in the context of history. Yet, I feel confident in asserting that both the Gandhian crusader Anna Hazare and Parliament demonstrated extraordinary courage and understanding to bring a historic celebratory end to an agitation, that at times ran the risk of becoming rather corrosive for the health of our constitutional democracy. The people ’s desire as expressed strongly through the agitation has been endorsed, and the sanctity of the constitutional process has not been violated.
This is what we call a win-win solution. Within five months of launching his fast from Jantar Mantar, the 74-year-old former army truck driver


My cup of joy is half full!

As I write this, information is streaming in that the 23-year old physiotherapy student who was brutally gang-raped by half a dozen men in a moving bus and then dumped on the road has been airlifted to Singapore for treatment. She is a brave-heart. She has demonstrated extraordinary tenacity and will to live after such a murderous attack.
I am writing this piece after a pretty long time. I thought I would take a sabbatical. But then this incident which shook the nation did not allow me to rest. And this restlessness has resulted in expressing my innermost feelings.


Two cheers for Anna


A man from a village in Maharashtra--Ralegaon Siddhi-- has captured the imagination of the entire nation, like no one has done in recent times. Indeed, right now his name Anna --reverberates even across the borders. Even in countries like Pakistan and China that have remained otherwise hostile to us, he is seen as the symbol of people ’s power. He has surely touched a chord, and struck a raw nerve with the people. In him, they see hope.