Purging at the alter of Anna

As Heidi Klum puts it… “either you’re in or you’re out”.

While some throng the refuse laden waters of the Ganges or the Sangam at Allahabad and others sit in confessionals before tainted priests in an attempt to cleanse their souls, a new breed of Indians have found another mode of dry-cleaning their conscience and it costs… nothing. It doesn’t matter what your sin…. come one, come all…for one week only, or at least till our Chantilli soaked brains can sustain it… Jump on to the bandwagon, the circus is in town.

Don’t get me wrong and it doesn’t matter even if you do but I like Anna Hazare and I’m all for people’s movements just as I’m okay with vigilantism at times if that’s what it takes to make a difference, even though we try and sanitise it by calling it citizen justice…. Boo hah! Which brings me to intent and I ask myself whether it’s okay today to cheat, defraud, defame someone we don’t like, squirrel away all that cash we tried so hard to hide from the IT department and ask for favours from this ‘Uncle’ or that, as long as after we’re done, we can sit back, knock down a few, glue together our Gandhi caps made from today’s edition of the Times, and haul our beery or wine soaked butts on to the street to rabble rouse. Newsprint has suddenly got a new purpose…the rad-rag, if you must….we want to read it and wear it, but only the glossy pages please… I just conditioned my hair. And since Bollywood just jumped on the bandwagon, albeit after the main show was over, we’ll soon see Manish Malhotra’s line of newsprinted pretty boys hit the runway… Remember… You got it from here dude! So out we go, distributing the tricolour to bemused urchins who dump it in the gutter, because they’d rather have a tenner, lustily belt out anti-corruption slogans and songs and suddenly we’re in.

A friend showed me photographs over the weekend, posted on someone’s facebook page of one of those slogan ranting, newsprint topi wearing rallies. Regular pictures taken on one of those little Kodak digital cameras, of a motley bunch, mostly friends of the organisers I guess, all tagged just in case you couldn’t recognise them in their conscientious avatars, and among them a picture of two women standing on the sidelines, passers-by, watching the procession. One of them taking a picture on her cellphone while the other looked on confused… but hey what the heck, it’s her face and her prerogative and I thought we were a democracy… and the photo was captioned… “Politicians! These ladies stood by and took photos on their mobile fones (sic)”.

Which brings me right back to Heidi….”Auf Wiedersehen!”

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