Youth draw parallels with Egypt as Hazare`s crusade continues

With the solidarity of the youth to Gandhian Anna Hazare`s crusade against corruption growing by the hour, for some, Jantar Mantar has come to symbolise what Tahrir square meant for protesters in Egypt.

Updated: Apr 08, 2011, 20:57 PM IST

New Delhi: With the solidarity of the youth to
Gandhian Anna Hazare`s crusade against corruption growing by
the hour, for some, Jantar Mantar has come to symbolise what
Tahrir square meant for protesters in Egypt.

As all eyes are fixed on the drama unfolding in the
capital with Hazare`s fast-unto-death for an effective Lokpal
Bill entering into the fourth day here today, the country`s
youth in particular have been conspicuous with their vigorous
campaigning on the streets and in the cyber space.

"We are here to keep the revolutionary spirit alive. If
countries like Egypt and Tunisia could bring about change, why
can`t India with a population of over a million emulate the
same? We don`t want the tide of revolution to ebb, we want it
to go on. We want change," said 20-year-old Ninan Varghis, a
student of Delhi`s St Stephen`s college.

78-year-old Hazare`s demand to set up a joint committee
to draft an effective anti-corruption bill have drawn support
from various quarters.

"I don`t see why the government is so reluctant. We see
in the introduction of the Lokpal bill an India that respects
the political and cultural rights of its citizens," said
26-year-old Bhawna Jain, an HR consultant working in Gurgaon.

"The `Anna mania` has caught on. Everyone wants to meet
this man whose self-control and passion for a cause is
something few of us could even dream of emulating. You may
agree or disagree with him but you can`t ignore him," she
said, while wading her way through the crowd to catch a
glimpse of the man.

Meanwhile, further thrust was given to Hazare`s movement
with several online activists flooding microblogging and
social networking sites with messages supporting Hazare`s
crusade against corruption.

While discussions on social networking sites and Twitter
for the proposed bill have helped garner support of the youth,
SMSes like "Anna Hazare at 78 is fasting for YOUR FUTURE, will
you sit at home and let him die?" and "Yes, you can" have
piqued the curiosity of many.

"When I first received the message I dismissed it as
publicity stunt, but then when I saw Hazare on TV and heard so
many people talk highly about him I realised there was more to
the movement. When I joined the rally I felt reinvigorated..
like I was finally doing something for my country," Harsh
Chordia, a student of IIT Delhi, said.

Facebook and Twitter have seen around 45-50 updates per
minute on Hazare. Users are constantly updating their views
and urging others to join the cause.

PTI