Beijing: Anna Hazare`s anti-corruption
movement, which caught the imagination of Indians, also found
its admirers in China where enthusiasts paid rich tributes to
him at the India Day meeting while the Chinese media
highlighted his success in using fast as a weapon.
The India Day celebration by the Indian community here
yesterday had its `Anna` moment when a participant sang
Rabindranath Tagore`s inspirational song `Go it alone`.
Chitralekha Basu, a Beijing-based Indian journalist who
sang the song told the gathering that she dedicated it to the
`man of the moment`, Anna Hazare, for his anti-corruption
She said she chose Tagore`s song as a tribute to Anna`s
`go it alone` struggles, which finally fetched him the much
needed public support because his convictions were right.
Some IT executives who attended the gala event said they
wanted to attend it wearing the `I am Anna` Gandhi caps but
gave up the idea after the Gandhian had called off his fast by
The Anna effect has not been confined to the Indian
community, but appears to have made a mark on the Chinese
media as well which gave ample coverage to the events related
to his campaign, surprising many observers here.
"Savouring Victory", read the headline in China Daily
which featured a photograph of him on the front page, drinking
honey laced coconut water offered by children.
"India celebrates Hazare`s win", read the headline in
another state-run newspaper Global Times which also carried a
cartoon of Anna with a stitched mouth, with the angel of
Mahatma Gandhi looking admiringly at him from behind.
The coverage extended to Anna`s protest moment both in
China`s English and Chinese language media surprised many
here. Only a few months ago the Chinese government had clamped
down hard on the coverage of the `Jasmine` revolutions in the
Arab world, fearing it may spur similar protests here as well.
Such was the clampdown that the word jasmine was blocked
by the famous Chinese software firewalls which removed even
the traces of it from the country`s emerging microblog media,
whose numbers have crossed 200 million, posing a major
challenge to the official media.
Anna`s movement appears to have made moderate impact among
micro bloggers who spoke of China`s own woes of corruption.
Many said China too has its share of concerns with
corruption, recalling President Hu Jintao`s pledge to make its
eradication the number one priority of his government during
his speech on the 90th year anniversary celebrations of the
ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).