Yes, we have read about it in history books. Yes, our grandparents and parents have told us all about it. We have read how “movements” brought about awakenings in the minds of the people of this country, and brought us the independence that we so enjoy now. That was then—1947.
This is now—2011.
That was the momentum initiated by the freedom fighters to overthrow the British rule. This is a fight to curb the cancer-like element called Corruption that has long bitten this country, that is penetrating deeply and spreading like wildfire..
But one more thing that spread like wildfire was the fast unto death that was being called by Shri. Anna Hazare- a bold and confrontational move by a renowned social activist. Shri. Hazare has not emerged out of nowhere. He’s very much a part of this country. He’s the man behind uplifting the village of Ralegaon Siddhi and making it an ideal, independent village. He’s a steadfast Gandhian who rose to the occasion when the country needed the most. And his genuine attempt paid off. After 5 days of relentless fast by him and his volunteers, the Govt seems to have given in to the demands of the protestors and has decided to take up the demanded Jan Lokpal Bill in the monsoon session of the parliament. As they say, the rest is history. But as Anna himself puts it, the fight has only just begun. The committee has been formed, with a good representation being given to Anna’s crusade. Now what should really follow is good implementation.
In our country, at the strategic level, things seem pretty smooth. Where roadblocks get really created is when implementation comes to play.
Those 5 days brought the common man out on the streets protesting for a cause. For a long time, we as a country have collectively and each one of us has individually experienced one or other level of corruption at every step in our day to day lives. In a way the common man of this nation has gotten kind of used to live with this cancer of corruption. It had as though become a part and parcel of the lives of the people here.
And then when one fine day, someone just got up to challenge this very cancer, it shook people from their deep sleep. The 5 day fast by Shri. Anna Hazare literally shook people hard. All the insult, all the anger, all the angst and all the emotions related to the word corruption that we the people had stored somewhere deep in our hearts and minds just came out in the form of the mass protests that were staged across the country. With candles in hand, people marched together and as if vowing that they would eradicate the venom of corruption from the roots of this country. They whole heartedly supported Shri. Anna Hazare and his movement.
All in all, the movement became a very big one. Anna himself mentioned after he broke the fast that he hadn’t expected the movement to take such a gigantic face.
The situation was like- Anna did and people listened. They followed him because they felt that what he was doing was indeed a cause that would lead to the ultimate aim of eliminating forces of corruption governing this country. As a movement, it was a complete success. On a macro level, one man and his brigade of followers showed us how civil society if working together in a democratic setting, can make a good difference. The bill would be tabled in the parliament. Everything will take its own course and time.
But on the micro level, the onus lies on you and me. We as the citizens of this country have to show utmost intolerance towards any incidents and experiences of bribery and corruption that we might henceforth face in our daily lives. If we knowingly or unknowingly fall victims to it, as we have been, time and again, all the efforts led by Shri. Anna Hazare will diminish and nullify. If we really want something concrete happening in terms of this pressing issue, we have to ourselves act now and act fast. Instead of falling prey to more and more incidents of corruption and bribes, we have to come forward and voice the concerns openly, bravely and unfailingly.
Only when this effort happens on micro level, will the movement really becomes a phenomenon by itself. It will become the turning point in the entire process that is started off so successfully by Shri. Anna Hazare.
So, rise up folks! There’s a lot to be done. The whole thing has just begun. Let’s keep the momentum alive and let’s fulfill the vow we have made to ourselves this week. Let’s weed out this cancer from the society. Let’s do it for ourselves and our future generations. It’s a wakeup call. Let’s not miss the bus now and convert it into a missed call.