Anna Hazare, the famous Gandhian activist and once the face of anti-corruption movements in India is back to the fore. After hunger strikes against issues like Corruption, One Rank One Pension- Anna Hazare has decided to raise the Hindutva flag to stay relevant in his eighties.
Commenting on the neo-Shiv Sena led Uddhav Thackeray’s Government decision on not reopening temples in the wake of COVID-19, Anna Hazare compared and contrasted the queues outside temple and liquor shops. He was speaking after a delegation demanding the reopening of temples had met him. According to him, he assured the delegation of all kinds of support and told them that he will be with them if they stage an agitation for the reopening of temples. “Why the state government is not opening temples? What danger the state government sees in opening temples for people? If COVID-19 is the reason, then there are big queues outside liquor shops,” he said.
Congress-backed Uddhav Thackeray government is reopening Maharashtra after the second wave of COVID-19 and has allowed people to travel in local trains if they are vaccinated. The reopening has been so much anti-Hindu that social evil like liquor shops are open but the Temples are closed. Opposition BJP has been demanding for opening up of Temples. BJP party’s state chief Chandrakant Patil held a ‘shankhanad andolan’ in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Solapur and Nagpur, and several other places asking to open up the shrines for the public. ‘’The shankhanad is necessary to wake up the MahaVikasAghadi government which is in deep slumber. Plea demanding the reopening of temples have gone unheard for the past 15 months,” Patil said. Party men walked to temples to blow Conch Shells. Patil himself led a protest in Pune where party men walked into Kasbapeth Ganesh Temple demanding that it be reopened.
The protest and possible Hunger strike for the reopening of the temple seem to be the last attempt by Anna Hazare to do some atonement for a suicidal move like promoting Kejriwal. It was Anna who led the protest for Lokpal Bill in 2011, unfortunately, it gave birth to Arvind Kejriwal’s political journey. Confrontational and sometimes anarchist Kejriwal has had the dubious distinction of presiding over the high-security number plate scam, ration card scam, received huge sums of donation from suspect donors water tanker scam, CNG sticker allocation scam.
There was a time when Anna was set to protest against Kejriwal’s corruption. Later, Anna tried to raise many issues, but due to lack of proper research and PM Modi’s successful efforts to wipe out the corruption meant that there was very little acceptance of Anna in the public domain.
After many failures, Anna Hazare is the least trustworthy man for the movements related to the reopening of temples. But his acceptance in the villages of Maharashtra may turn out to be handy in the reopening of temples and create more troubles for the already tainted Uddhav Thackeray Government.