Of Games and Game Changers

2 very eminent individuals arrived on the scene at the cusp of the Anna Hazare breakthrough. While their virtues cannot surely be doubted, what was visible was their penchant for the platform that was till then occupied by Anna Hazare. At this defining moment arrived a man clad in white who could neither speak Oxford English nor dress for the camera crew. The very spectacle of a man leading the crusade against corruption who espouses a long forgotten Ideology (Gandhian) in a world obsessed with economic development would be enough to make anyone sit up and notice if not emulate.

In fact emulate is what the eager multitudes were seen to be doing, for many of them had sported those Gandhian Caps in a show of solidarity with the man himself. While Anna let out sound bytes in bits and pieces his team (also known as Team Anna) became his de-facto spokespersons to the media, the people and the government. Endless hours of heated debates on all channels would consume countless hours with Arvind Kejriwal, Prashanth Bhushan and sometimes even Kiran Bedi.

It goes without saying though that the trio did a tremendous job in putting forth their views to the media at large. Politicians across all parties, lawyers from the bar, civil activists and even independent observers were continuously clamoring the media to get a word in and there always seemed to be a shortage of face time for everyone. Then in the thick of the battle came the scion of the Congress party (the hopeful heir to the throne) “Let us make the Lokpal a Constitutional Body …  It is a game Changing Idea” .. “, he said. Shortly afterwards Rahul Gandhi addressed the Lok Sabha in no profound manner before disappearing into the background.

The first point about game changers is that they stay engaged in the entire game from the start to the finish. They do not make timely entries and exits from the scene on the guise of thinking. Rahul Gandhi had indeed gone a step ahead on the very notion of what he suggested but his ineptitude in following it up only led people to believe that he was more likely either queering the pitch or just wanting to be sounded off for the record.

Just a day before Anna’s fast ended, someone from Anna’s camp tried a rather unexpected gimmick:- The famous Kiran Bedi Ghoonghat Act at Ramlila Grounds. She would soon after be seen on Prime Time calling it a game changer. Well, Kiran Bedi had prevailed throughout the agitation and her presence to the movement could clearly not be downplayed. Her act did reverberate well with the millions of Indians who have been victims of a corrupt system at some point in their lives. It also did nonetheless evoke strong reactions from a section of the same class who thought that her lampooning was really uncalled for and degraded the seriousness of the movement.

Well the second and most important point to note about game-changers is that .. They rarely or in fact never, call themselves out!! The situation, whether it is a predicament, crisis or tragedy throws up opportunities for everyone. A few of them rise to the occassion and turn the game around, and are rightfully called game changers. If this episode has thrown up any game changer, that certainly has to be the Padma Bhushan winner from Ralegan Siddhi (look it up if you haven’t guessed it yet)

First posted on: http://indiapoliticalblog.com/2011/09/05/of-games-and-game-changers-who-are-they-and-can-anybody-call-themselves-a-game-changer/#more-1022