Coming close on the heels of the uprising in Arab countries, noted social activist Anna Hazare’s fast unto death at the famous Gandhian-way-protest-site, Jantar Mantar in New Delhi united the nation like never before. The aim: to convince, and force, the government of the day to make crucial changes in the all important Lokpal Bill, which has been hanging for the past 42 years.
What came as a surprise was the way ordinary Indians, the youth, the children, the celebrities, the corporate honchos and just about everybody in this country joined Anna’s crusade in their own unique way. Whether by way of joining him in the fast at Jantar Mantar or at hundreds of other designated sites across the country, holding candle-light marches, or by just wearing a badge reading ‘Say No To Corruption’.
But what made the common man join the fight in an unprecedented manner? Remember the common refrain: <i>Iss desh ka toh kuch nahin ho sakta!</i> Well, after what Anna’s crusade has achieved, no one will dare say this again in this country.
To try and find out the reasons behind the common man joining the fight against corruption is not difficult. Whether it is from paying the peons and ward boys at government hospitals to ensuring that near and dear ones get the required medicine and care, to filling up the clerk’s pocket at the water supply department’s office to get a legal connection, India has seen it all.
In a country where laws are in abundance but implementation diseased, it’s certainly easy to go the illegal way. But for the honest, life has become difficult in this country. Remember hearing this: <i>Iss desh mein imandaar aadmin nahin jee sakta!</i>
While it has become a way of life for Delhiites, for instance, to pay up the traffic policeman and escape the hefty fine (<i>challan</i>), honest citizens of the capital can tell you what this has done to the traffic discipline on the roads. As one TV commercial puts it aptly, “the roads are full of idiots”!
Or consider the television programme “Office Office” which highlighted how deep rooted and shameless corruption is in this country. Ask anyone in this country and you would get an answer: “A file cannot move in any government office unless bribe is paid.”
In this era of massive scams like 2G, CWG, ISRO-Devas deal, Anna’s fight and the support it received has come as a breath of fresh air. The suffocated nation, which had probably started believing its days were numbered in the hands of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and just about anyone in power, has come back to life again. The end result of the anti-corruption crusade is still not known, but at least we now know, that India is alive! God bless India!