Anna Hazare has shown us what one man can do. Our government finally agreed to all his demands. I feel jubilant that a group of activists forced the government to pass the bill that was pending for 42 years.
What happened in the past four days is nothing short of amazing. People, especially youth, from all parts of the country jumped in to support Mr. Anna Hazare. What motivated the young generation to participate in a campaign led by 72 year old man? Our current young generation is truly motivated by Mr. Abdul Kalam. When I read discussions in our forums, I see many young people idolize Mr. Kalam. Many youths have sense of pride about the country. There are many factors to it, I can write a separate blog for that. Many of us have burning desire to change the country, eradicate the corruption, destroy the caste system and to knock off religious differences. Anna Hazare gave us the spark; then it spread like a wildfire all over the country.
People came united after 26/11 attack in Mumbai. Unity we have seen in the past few days is lot stronger than that. SMS, Facebook and Twitter contributed to a large extent to spread the word. When young people watch other young people participating to support the anti-corruption campaign, they just jumped on it. It was a spontaneous response. I am sure it jolted a lot of corrupt politicians who always assumed that our young generation bothers only about Cricket and Cinema. Many people dubbed Anna Hazare’s struggle as “second freedom movement” and view him as another Mahatma Gandhi. It’s an extraordinary moment to see people wearing “I am Anna Hazare” hats and celebrating the campaign’s victory.
The victory of Anna Hazare and his team is a victory for all of us. I am not sure whether we are able to keep up the same momentum after a week. I bet many corrupt politicians are banking on “short-term-memory” of Indians. I sincerely hope that every Indian that participated in the campaign in the last few days would exercise his/her vote to elect right people when the next election comes.
There were hundreds of people fought corruptions in this country and got killed for it. Satyendra Dubey was brutally murdered. Company secretary of Malabar cements was killed with his family. There were so many incidents like that. What made the difference in Anna Hazare’s campaign is his leadership and his high-profile team. Many people can relate to a man that fights corruption, but few people have guts to come out and joins hands with that man. Internet and SMS helped to spread the word and to attract the youth. The rest is history. In the future, April 9, 2011 will be remembered as a day Indians took decisive approach to fight corruption.
You may not agree with this – I think Indian government agreed to Anna Hazare’s demands mainly because of what happened in Egypt and Tunisia recently. If Anna Hazare adopted the same approach — hunger strike until death, few months ago he might have failed. What happened now is nothing short of a revolution. It’s not only Anna Hazare that was on hunger strike, many other people joined with him. Some people went on hunger strike with their families. If the government let the protesters die, that would have triggered a serious uprising which could have led to ugly consequences. Somebody has to bell the cat. Anna Hazare did just that.
What will happen after the Lokpal bill is passed? Some corrupt politicians may try to buy the Lokpal members. There could be internal politics in Lokpal. If the Lokpal is not performing as expected, all these euphoria will die down. Real victory for Indians will come only when the legislation is properly executed and corruption is eradicated to some extent. I don’t think corruption will completely go away in India. In many instances, business people use the bribe as competitive weapon and lure the politicians and officers to get favors. Corrupt politicians will always find some way to circumvent the system. Anti-corruption movement should be an ongoing movement for several decades. Even in developed countries, corruption is there in the name of campaign contribution. However, if India’s corruption level is decreased even by 50%, that itself is huge victory for the country.
Here is one really troubling question. Why it takes 42 years to pass the anti-corruption bill? Shanti Bhushan, co-chairman of the Lokpal bill drafting committee, was the law minister in Morarji Desai government. Why didn’t he take efforts to pass the bill when he had power?
Lokpal bill is not a wonder medicine to cure corruption in India. It’s only the start. I salute Anna Hazare for taking initiative and changing India’s fate.
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