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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Anna Hazare and beyond

Anna Hazare is literally rocking the country and how! It is amazing to see how something that started as a small campaign has turned into a revolution of sorts and has engulfed the entire nation in a matter of time. Despite many differences, the Anna revolution can be counted as one amongst the many uprisings happening all across the globe, especially in the Arab countries. Everywhere the common man has found a collective voice. The methodology used is however different. The one in India is soaked in the Gandhian philosophy of non-violence.
Ramlila ground is the new Kurukshetra, all sorts of people have been converging here . some truly understand the cause they are supporting, some have a vague idea, some only interested in the word 'corruption' and many I am sure joining in just to be a part of the so called second freedom fight, but still they are there.
India has not seen such a mass movement since the original August Kranti. Indians are an unbelievably tolerant class of people but that tag comes with conditions applies warning. The tolerant part holds true only for issues, which concerns the nation or your next-door neighbour. For larger issues we continue to suffer until we reach the high point and then surprisingly we cool off again. The vicious cycle continues. When it comes to corruption, the tipping point was breached a long time back. We were just waiting for someone else to fire the shots.
Thankfully, for us it was the dedicated Team Anna, which did that and awoke the sleeping population
Suddenly all questions had the same answer, 'you need to start somewhere'. Moreover, this has become the latest mantra
And why not!! Every major turn begins with a small step. Corruption has eaten into the very fabric of society and it is this frustrated mass that has been populating the streets for days now. Somehow, this very fact seems a bit ironical.
Anna supporters call themselves responsible citizens who are fighting for their country, for a just cause. However, is their cause so selfish that they are only affected by the "scams", taxes and how the corrupt Government takes their hard-earned money away.
This is the time to step aside and look around. There is more to the country than just corruption; issues that need just as much attention, issues that may or may not fall under the purview of the Lokpal Bill, issues that may not be personal but are of great significance to our fellow citizens.
Countrymen, who are fighting for their basic rights, rights like:
- Rights to better livelihood for the troubled youth of Kashmir and Telangana and for the farmers in the Vidharba region
- Right to proper compensation for Bhopal gas victims and many others like them
- Right to protest against forceful land acquisition for the many uneducated villagers and adivasis
- Right to basic education and health care for the poor
Remember while there is one Anna fasting under media glare with full public support there is one Irom Sharmila fasting for more than a decade in Manipur protesting against the Indian Army's draconian Armed forces special protection act. How many really know about her? How many really care? It's in times like these that she is remembered the most time and again
The Anna movement has proved that if there is a will there is a way. This movement should encourage us to think and do something about the deeper malaises plaguing our society, it should encourage us to stand up for our brothers and sisters who are living in the same country but are living differently. if the Anna movement was possible than anything else can be as well. Nobody would have imagined its mammoth success when the seeds of 'revolution' were just sown. Moreover our politicians can do very well with such surprises time and again
As I am writing this, there is news that PM Manmohan Singh has made an appeal to Anna Hazare. Things may change soon. The Jan Lokpal Bill may be tabled in its current form, Anna may call off his fast, the Ramlila ground may look deserted again and everyone may go back to doing what they did before or just this time, maybe not!
Tirupti Rane

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