To every politician, social activist, Yogi (Sadhu) who has suddenly taken the Fasting mode….

Dear Ma’am/Sir

No, you do not amaze me…!!! Because I know fasting has always been used as an insidious way by many of your kind. Of course, you have termed it as fighting for the common people, fighting for democracy, bringing in pro-people policies, fighting against corruption etc. Whatever be the reason, you have done it and will continue to do so….!!!

The great Mahatma Gandhi, the man behind popularizing ‘Fasting’ as a political tool also could not help, but use it in a manipulative way. He used it as a means of Satyagraha, to have the demands of the Indian met against an oppressive British regime. He used it in a manipulative way when he took the erstwhile ‘fast unto death’ against the Dalits by protesting against the Poona Pact. And today we know that Ambedkar had to give in to the coercive protests of Gandhi’s followers.

index1Of course, fasting has been used a very effective political tool by many. To mention a few, Bhagat Singh used it to highlight the pathetic conditions of the British Indian Jails. All the attempts of the British to force feed him were futile. Nelson Mandela used it against a racist South-African government to fight apartheid. But you; the ‘neo-caretakers of democracy’ and ‘fighters for the rights of the people’ do not seem to get the same results out of the overtly popularized political tool. Here are a few examples of recent instances of political ‘fast’ done by the politicians of today.

The DMK patriarch Mr. Karunanidhi is one of the increasing popular politicians who have always used this tool. He is also termed as “The breakfast to Lunch Fast” by the media. His first fast ended in six hours-but it was supposed to be a whole day long fast. He sat for his second fast, he came only for two hours and left and he even allowed his party-workers to drink water. (The question is did they only drink water…???)

Recently, one was K Chandrasekhar Rao, when he took the ‘Fast unto Death’ demanding for Separate Telangana to be cut out from the state Andhra Pradesh. The UPA government had to perforce give in to the demands, asking for boundaries to be drawn. But he apparently also had dreams of forming a government in the newly carved out state, only to have his dreams shattered.

The grand old man of Maharashtra, ex-army man Anna Hazare made the whole of India come out on the streets when he took fast unto death against corruption. Many joined him as well, demanding for the Jan Lokpal Bill. Many social activists, intelligentsia, middle class Indian men and women and even the yogi Ramdev pledged support to him. But the fate of the Lokpal bill today is akin to a pendulum….!!!

The latest addition and perhaps one of the most hyped ones is Baba Ramdev. The Yogi who rose to fame through his yoga lessons in a television channel named Aastha, since then, has circumspectly learnt the art of constantly being in the limelight. He is now spearheading the movement against ‘Black money’ dumped in the Swiss banks. What lies ahead needs to be seen???

In such situations, the government will have no choice but to give in to your demands and appease you with high but empty promises. An immediate result being one sitting back contented that the task has been completed. We Indians have always been obsessed with laws and policies. But we fail to realise that the problem arises because of faulty implementation.

But, I know you shall achieve your demands like many others have. You will make the Indian government bow before you; because neither you belong to the North-east nor are you sitting for fast against Armed Forces special Powers act. The government runs to you because, you have maintained your fan following and PR and made it a point to keep the media in the loop. But neither the media, nor the other so called ‘caretakers of democracy’ are interested in removing the draconian act of AFSPA. In fact, you justify its presence in the name of ‘Security’ of the great nation called India.

“Menghaobi” Irom Sharmila Chanu has been on a hunger strike for more than ten years now, demanding the Government of India to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 (AFSPA) from Manipur and other areas of India’s North East. But all she and the North-East gets is a blind eye with deaf ears conveniently choosing to ignore the issue. She is arrested every year, released for a day and then re- arrested. She is termed as a person who is hell bent on ‘committing suicide’ and force-fed; while the likes of Anna Hazare and co and their fasting termed as ‘Fast unto death’ for corruption- a cause! What about the cause of the North East- the protection of women and children abused and justified by AFSPA.

Thus, you fail to raise any interest in me and I recommend you stick to ‘fasting’ to achieve as the yogi’s believe- PURIFICATION……………..!!!

Yours Sincerely
A ‘cynical’ Indian

6 Replies

  1. The fine art of negotiations

    It consists of :

     Give and Take / Compromise

    You win some – you lose some. Agreement cannot be entirely on your own terms.

     Face Saving Formula / A Win-Win Situation

    No party must feel having “ lost – out “

     Deal with Devil / Never walk-out

    You don’t decide who shall represent opposite party

     Red Herring

    Some demands get included in a “ Charter of Demands “, only to divert your attention. These always get dropped later.

     Negotiate / Negotiate / Negotiate

    You cannot adopt a “ Take it or Leave it “ attitude

     Don’t be in a hurry to settle

    If you exhibit a sense of extreme urgency, it will be treated as your weakness and taken advantage of.

     Never give an empty threat

    Opposite party may call your bluff !

     Never say “ Never “ !

    You may have to eat your words.

     Do not go public

    Never reveal what is shared with you in “ confidence “

    My request to Baba Ramdev / Anna Hazare and Kapil Sibal :

    Points listed above form the corner-stone of “ Negotiating in Good Faith “. Personal prestige has no place in it. Only the larger interest of your constituency counts.

    My question to Kapil Sibal :

    You can arrest Baba Ramdev. How will you arrest people’s anger? Even military dictators of middle-east could not !

    With regards

    Hemen Parekh

    Jobs for All = Peace on Earth

  2. isn’t it b’coz of the lack of knowledge and lack of awareness among people about the north-east…..leave alone the AFSPA….it’s sad because antics of varied people finds space in the media whereas Irom Sharmila and her cause has not yet found the due recognition i guess…

  3. Well, i agree on your points partially. This is because what i think,the people who are fasting either from north-east or other states of our country is doing something for a cause but what are you doing for it if it does not raise your interest?

    1. Well, I am at least writing about it in public space. Though its a virtual space. And I atleast got a few more like you thinking..:) Thanks for the suggestion and keep visiting the site.

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