‘Shut the phuck up’: Why Team Anna must engage with critics
Being deaf to criticism prevents Team Anna from understanding what their critics and supporters feel.
“boss please shut the phuck up . Anna deserves a lot more respect that a two bit FP journalist making a statement of him doing a dis-service to us. At 75 let me see if you have the balls to carry on an agitation like the one he has…”
So reads a comment on an article published in Firstpost this morning criticizing Anna’s hint that he might launch a political party.
The backbone for the piece was an interview that CNN-IBN’s Karan Thapar conducted with Dipankar Gupta, sociologist. “They (Team Anna) have done the nation a great disservice by diversifying the way they did. If they stuck to the one point programme there would have been much greater contribution to our political system,” Gupta said to CNN-IBN.
Every time an opinion piece criticizes Anna Hazare, Team Anna or the leading personalities who make up Team Anna, comments such as the one reproduced above abound.
It doesn't matter if the opinion piece is one that criticizes constructively or destructively, the brickbats fly thick and fast.
In the current instance, Junaid (the writer of the comment) does not even see that all that Dipankar Gupta is doing is to urge Anna Hazare to stay on the path that brought him and the anti-corruption movement, attention, momentum and limited success.
Gupta clearly wants the movement to go back to their heightened focus on a single point, that of eradicating corruption, rather than embark on multiple movements at the same time, diffusing both the effort and the support base. Gupta wants the movement to succeed, not fail. He’s a supporter of Anna Hazare, not a detractor.
And, sadly, Junaid wants Gupta to ‘shut the phuck up’.
Junaid personifies the current thinking in Team Anna. There is no room for any kind of criticism, constructive or otherwise. It’s this kind of paranoia that is preventing Team Anna from seeing the truth: that the movement is losing steam. Being deaf to criticism prevents them from understanding what their critics and supporters feel.
Being open to criticism – especially of the constructive kind – will help them make course corrections that are in sync with what their supporters want.
Rather than tell Gupta to shut up, Team Anna should engage with him and understand, deeply, why he is saying what he is saying.
BJP today said it is not surprised at Anna Hazare's decision to disband his team, saying this was waiting to happen.
Having reached a dead-end with futile fasting, Team Anna may finally be on the right track to changing things around by launching a political party