This interview in the Times with Beppe Grillo took me back to my visit to Italy in the late 1980s and the late 1990s when I was struck by the many similarities between Italy and India. Notably the ordinary people’s reaction to existential problems.
A lot of water has flown down the rivers of both countries since then, but another remarkable similarity has been thrown up by events that overtook both the countries in the late first decade of the new century.
These two gentlemen Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal were also called clowns by the establishment, but the movement that they started has gathered quite a bit of movement and people power like what has motivated the government to take notice of the atrocities against women are just the beginning of what may well turn out to be the harbinger for change in the coming elections to our parliament in 2014. Just like Beppe Grillo’s party has now become a king maker, the Aam Aadmi Party of Arvind Kejriwal may well turn out to be the king maker in a what I predict to be a very hung parliament.
What is striking however, is the very similar situations prevailing in both Italy and India and the situations are generating similar responses and throwing up unlikely saviours.
Lest this post gets carried away into a major political discussion, just to lighten up or to change the mood, depending on how you look at it, here is one of my old favourite songs on clowns. How apt in a different context!