India is mismanaging the Hazare crisis
Mirroring the misfortunes of its once-intouchable cricket team, India’s government this week managed to score a massive own goal. Just one day after he pledged to crack down on the epidemic of graft crippling India’s political or business circles, Premier Manmohan Singh found nothing better than putting its most prominent anti-corruption activist in jail. The government explained that the alleged trouble-maker, Anna Hazare, was ‘threatening democracy’ by challenging the government’s authority and extending his hunger strike over its legal limit (3 days).
Yet playing hard ball soon backfired, as protests rapidly linked up the issue of rampant corruption with that of their nations’ poor governance and made their own mind up about who the real threat to democracy really was. Forced to back-pedal, the authorities granted the Gandhi-inspired crusader the right to stage his hunger strike, in the middle of New-Delhi, for 15 days - painful extra-time for Mr Singh.