So finally Team Anna has split. There is nothing unusual in this. At the end of the day, Anna Hazareis a pragmatic person, notwithstanding the outlandish ideas that he harbours. After a lifetime of fighting corruption, the former soldier knows very well that reformist politics cannot be waged solely on the support of the middle class. Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters are under that illusion.
It will be interesting to see what programmatic ideals Kejriwal and his friends offer, if and when they form a political party. To begin with, they face two major constraints: money to contest elections, and extending their reach to rural India. The combination of money and caste choices—there is no escaping them in India’s political firmament—will be deeply compromising and corrosive. Staying the course that Anna prescribes and success in politics will be nothing short of squaring a circle.