A movement without a language
It seems obvious that the Anna Hazare led movement has petered out. What is far from obvious is why the movement, even at its peak, seemed destined to end in disarray. Its limitation as a movement sprang from its inability to articulate what it was fighting against. But it is important to acknowledge that it was indeed a movement, for only then can we appreciate the deeper significance of its failure. When, in April, Anna Hazare sat on his hunger strike, the government seemed disoriented, if not paralyzed. The pedantic and condescending Chidambaram, the posh and glib Sibal, seemed unsettled. Manmohan Singh seemed more weightless than ever. In fact, the government for a few days seemed deprived of legitimacy. I don't think we had ever witnessed anything like this. No one doubted that Anna Hazarewas instantly the voice of a movement. Not thathe was notknown, but precisely because he was known, the authority he now commanded seemed all the more surprising.After Hazare called off the fast, and the stage was taken over by the negotiators, not many would have believed he would be able to repeat the act again. But come August, his authority and leadership seemed enhanced, the movement stronger and wider, and the government seemed composed of card-board
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