On 16th August, 2011 Anna Hazare was detained by police when he was proceeding for indefinite fast demanding Jan Lokpal Bill. He was detained on the premise that his act of going on indefinite fast may create law-n-order problems. Good. Earlier baba Ramdev’s agitation against black-money was forcefully stopped by the government on the same notion. It was a success on part of the government. And that made the government authorities to use the same weapon for shutting down the shutters of the Anna’s agitation for the Jan Lokpal bill.
But by the evening, the government understood the difference between the Anna and the Baba. But it was too late. Sufficient ground, which was badly needed by the Team Anna for a strong and sustained protest, was provided by the government itself. Earlier also I have mentioned that ‘maturity’ was lacking at all level in the present government. Same was proved again. The managers deployed by the government to counter the Anna protest were found themselves badly trapped by the Team Anna by the next morning when Anna has refused to leave the Tihar Jail unless unconditional permission to carry out fast was given by the authorities. After two days’ of high-tension drama Anna was allowed to carry out his agitation for 15 days at Ramlila ground.
Well, what the government had done was needless to be detailed or discussed now. The important matter here is the managerial capacity of the Team Anna. They caught the government sleeping. Anna was arrested with the idea that once he and his close aides in jail, everything will be under controlled. All his supporters will be dispersed, like happened in case of Baba, and by evening all will be well enough to release the Anna and dispatch him to Ralegan-Siddhi, his work-place at Maharashtra. However, as happened frequently in the cases of terrorist attacks, here also the government intelligence failed to found that the team appears with Anna is just the tip of iceberg. There are many others, not appeared in public even once, behind the curtain handling the entire operation.
Instead of disappearing, the supporters started appearing at various parts of the country, after Anna’s arrest. At Tihar Jail, especially, unpredictable number of supporters gathered and peacefully waited for Anna’s release. Same thing happened at other places also where the protestors were detained by the police. Everything was happening peacefully and in a such manner that the as if the same was planned and rehearsed perfectly. There was no visible leader in any of the gathering of the protesters. But everything was going on so smoothly as if some powerful lead was being provided to the crowd.
And that was the difference between Team Anna and Team Govt.
Team Anna has predicted all possible situations and planned accordingly. There were plan A, plan B and plan – N. Each plan was being deployed according to the changing situation. Anna arrested, no problem. Instead of going home, protesters were guided to be gathered at Tihar jail and other places showing the strength of the agitation and forcing the government to release Anna. Anna released. OK. A plan was ready for further increasing pressure on the authorities for permission for the fast.
Even the most popular political leaders found it difficult to gather a good number people nowadays. Agents are required to be deployed to bring people in political meetings and rallies. But here, people gathered at number of parts in the country in support of the Anna. Rallies were organized (who organized, no body knows). And everything was going surprisingly peacefully. Nobody was found leading any rally or guiding any of the gatherings. Everyone was leader of oneself. Agreed that common man was tired of the corruption and inflation. But our history is that we have never moved out of home for any of these causes. Here, everyone was participating the in the protest. Most were not even aware about the difference of the two bills, viz. the one prepared by government and the Jan Lokpal bill of Anna. But still people coming out in the street supporting Anna. This can not be achieved without an exceptional people-management. And it was done by the invisible managers of Team Anna efficiently. Even today, i.e. after eight days of the protest, the political pandits breaking heads on the invisible-management of Team Anna.
Media management was also extraordinary. Documentaries about the team members were prepared and aired on popular news channels. Interviews of the core team members were arranged on news channels. No political entity was given even a small chance to appear on the stage/television as a part of the protest. An air was created that everything was happening automatically. People coming out in the street spontaneously. The fact is such a large number of people can not do anything, except riots, spontaneously. Some one was always there in each gathering or rally providing the necessary lead/guidance. But who was there, is still a mystery. And that was the real managerial success on part of Team Anna. Authorities were clueless about whom to stop to put an end to a procession or a meeting or a rally.
It can be really interesting for any good business school to study the mechanism deployed by the Team Anna in managing the agitation till this day.
Anna and company have won the first part of the battle. No one knows what can be happened tomorrow, because the Team Anna is not predictable and Team Government is clueless.
Anything can happen. Let us see.