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If Cervantes, the Spanish author who created Don Quixote four hundred years ago visits India today, he would be amused to see the ruckus being created by Anna Hazare. However, he will be aghast how his character could go out of control and create the current mass hysteria sweeping the Indian continent, unless he digs up why Adolph Hitler could whip up something similar in the pre war Germany.

Like Don Quixote, Anna Hazare has been inspired only in his ripe old age to attain glory and a place in history. Till the recent up surge against “corruption” no one, at least outside India, has heard of him.

It took him seventy four years to see that there is an enemy “corruption” in the Indian society and it is his call to eradicate it and thereby achieve eternal glory as his role model Mahatma Gandhi.

There are a lot of interesting parallels in the saga of Anna Hazare with that of  Don Quixote. One can see Don’s stupid horse "Rocinante" in the bizzaare group of spiritual and materialistic swamis, police officers and business men supporting his shows. India’s nouveau rich techie and urban community is “Sancho Panza”, his equally daft squire, who is promised the utopia of corruption free India. The rural India which constitutes ninety percent of the Indian population is his lady love, “Dulcinea del Toboso”, who he tries to save from a corrupt government but she knows nothing about this.

Most striking comparison though is in their adventures. Like Don, who saw in a wind mill a giant monster he needs to defeat, Anna has identified and is relentlessly attacking the “corrupt” Indian administration as his arch rival he must bring down.

The reality is, the current government, politically guided by Sonia Gandhi with her Christian social values and headed by Dr Man Mohan Singh, respected by the entire world for his integrity and honesty and assisted by a group of honest congress party stalwarts and Harvard educated ministers, is the best democratic government India ever had.

The problem is, Anna Hazare or his supporters have no idea about the real causes. The recent and massive inflows of foreign capital and outsourcing revenues have created a serious imbalance in the Indian urban society between the private sector employed techies with disproportionate income, who directly benefit from the foreign inflows and the public sector workers who do not. This unprecedented buying power percolates down through the route of petty corruption, including in the education system, which has created a large part of the techie population, ending as a major cause for inflation

The changes being demanded by Anna will turn Indian democracy, soundly footed on the principles of independent elected parliament, judiciary and executive in to an autocratic and anarchist system where the elected body will become redundant, something no one has tried before which is probably worse than the autocratic governments other nations are trying to bring down.

Despite the hysteria which is sweeping every rung of the Indian urban society it seems there is hope though the only consolation is that Indian Intelligentsia has not completely lost their marbles.

Article first published as Anna Hazare – An Indian Hitler Or Don Quixote? on Technorati.

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