Annaji, please localise

The thing about building organisational impetus is that you have to get the rank and file involved. This becomes more important when the goal is for the common good. Non-profit ideas need people to get involved. The more the people participate, the more the idea is on its way to being a reality. For ideas that aim to influence national policy, it becomes more critical that people involvement is on an exponential trajectory. And even more important, that this collective goodness is organised, managed properly and uses the same principles that billion dollar companies use. Global ideas but local execution. This was something I wanted to share with Annaji, the man who has become the face of an anti-corrupt India.

I got an opportunity to share this last week. After a journey of 8 hrs by road from Mumbai, I along with a few friends reached Ralegan Siddhi – Annaji’s home town. And yes we used the ipad to map our route. That’s another post.

It was late in the evening and we did not think we would get to speak with him let alone meet him. But, Annaji met us. Regrettably, he had ‘maun vrat’ (day of silence). So our conversation with him was one sided. That was ok with me. I just wanted to share my thoughts with him. Show my support.

As I spoke, he listened, and reacted with ‘hmm, hmm’. I shared my view that for India Against Corruption (IAC) to be truly successful, the fight had to get localised. We needed to create local faces that communities could relate to and connect with. IAC would not succeed if there was only one Anna Hazare who fought national issues. We needed one in every district, town and city. So that local issues could be dealt with. Things which hamper our everyday lives – bad roads, no road lights, no place to walk on the road as they are used for parking, rude auto rickshaw drivers, people hawking, begging all over, shitting, difficulty in commuting etc. Annaji went ‘hmm, hmm’ again albeit the pitch was higher, in agreement with me. I was told by few people around him that this was his plan going forward. That was good to hear. For now, the about us page only showcases the core committee members. It needs to showcase state, city, district leads as well.

IAC cannot be only 1 single pyramid. It has to be multiple pyramids. With accountability at the very top. And a system, that motivates the people below to in turn build their own pyramids and drive action. This strategy will create a continuous flow of energy that IAC needs to sustain it.


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