What do Kushal’s girl friend and Mayur’s girl friend have in common? They are remembered for their one time boyfriend, and they can’t stop it. They can’t create an alternate identity. Whenever they are remembered, it will be by their association with something else, and usually only one of it. Its not so bad if you are an athlete or a dancer, because then of course you should be remembered primarily for your art if that is what you set out to do. Unless your Tiger Woods.... But the case is much the same with one-hit-wonders or journalists who get stuck in a particular beat- they can't shake it off.
We are currently in a public process of linking up and hand cuffing and indeed it is getting a little violent. This is a mass project of ‘tagging’ people. Arvind Kejriwal’s Wiki page could have been tagged under ‘RTI,’ but due to his association with the Lokpal, he will now always be tagged under ‘anna’ as well if not more often and only.
But Hazare gained recent prominence due to his views on corruption... not Kasmir..
The guys who beat up Bhushan dont really care about that detail. For them, by the tagging system, Bhushan=Hazare, and now Bhushan/Hazare said something about Kashmir, so if A=B and B=C then A=C!
So they want Hazare to make clear his colleague's remarks on Kashmir and comments going around are hoping for Hazare to give some indication of his own view on the issue as well.
This is a dangerous line for Hazare to walk. Soon, all kinds of people are going to ask him all kinds of questions and their support for the anti-corruption movement will take a back seat to their communal agendas- Just like the Egyptian blogger M on a hunger strike (coincidence!) for being censored. Support for him has broken down after he made public his views on Israel. Hazare should have anticipated that his opinion is going to be sought on everything now that he has propped himself as the moral guardian of the nation. Since he cares for India so much, the hope is that he will always have an opinion, or better still, can pull a ‘fast-one.’
To add, Hazare recently released a video asking people not to vote for the UPA. This, along with his previous comments on Modi and link ups with the BJP, Ramdev and Agnivesh, got him tagged with the ‘Hindu right’ and he was alleged to be a tool by the ‘Opposition’ against the Congress.
News reports however say that the Hazare’s supporters who were beaten up, were shouting anti-BJP AND anti-Congress slogans yesterday.
Then this beat-up happened... True that no one beat up Hazare, but associations are going to be made by the press and the public, and Hazare is soon going to be untagged from ‘BJP’ because BHUSHAN was beaten up.
So now suddenly, Hazare’s political stance is back at being apolitical and/or neutral, and we can once again re-tag him under ‘civil society’ by his own creation of the politician-civil society binary.
In one of the more unlikely link ups, Bhushan’s remarks on Kashmir, have provided fodder for small talk between Arundhati Roy and himself, should they ever meet! She said similar things about Kashmir, only then there was this big furore about sedition.. Bhushan hasnt met that response. I dont know, but I’m guessing its the Anna aura/ tag that helped.
Except that this link up is quite fragile- they both differ terribly in their views on Hazare. Some tags are just bigger than others. This couple wont last and this link up wont go very far.