Tag Archives: Gandhian

Anna Hazare leads People’s Uprising in India

After sweeping the Arab World, the wave of People’s Uprising has reached India. As the Uprising in the Arab World was against dictatorial rule and for bringing democracy, no one would have believed that such an Uprising could ever happen in India – the biggest democracy in the world.

Democracy alone is not a guarantee for good governance. Politicians in India have exploited the weakness of the democracy and indulged in large scale corruption. Public anger against corrupt politicians has been accumulating for last several decades and reached the tipping point after recent mega scams specially 2 G and CWG. What was needed was an outlet for people to vent their anger. Problem was that almost all political parties have been marred in corruption at some point of time and therefore the general public perception is that all politicians are corrupt. While the opposition parties were hoping to cash in on people’s anger against corruption, people were in no mood to support any particular political party.

Against this backdrop, when respected social activist Anna Hazare started his movement against corruption, it immediately touched a chord with the people across the entire country. Anna Hazare was a perfect flag bearer for the moment against corruption as he has never associated with any political party and at the same time has been working for people’s cause. The present generation of India may not have seen Gandhi but they have been recently primed in favour of the Gandhian Philosophy by the Munna Bhai series of bollywod films. Anna Hazare’s Gandhian way of protest by fasti-unto-death has invoked the Munna Bhai inspired fascinations of Indian masses.

The movement is growing manifolds with every passing hour since last two days. It has perplexed not only the Government but also the opposition parties.  On one hand the Government has been forced to sit up and take notice while on the other hand opposition parties have been unsuccessfully trying to piggy back on the movement and convert the same into votes against the ruling coalition. Thankfully, the organizers of the movement have managed to keep the politicians at bay and have not allowed them to exploit the situation. Political leaders like Chautala and Uma Bharti were stopped by the public from sharing the dais with Anna Hazare and hopefully this would have given a clear signal to other politicians also.

The government on the other hand is confused. It doesn’t know how to handle this situation. If it was a protest organized by an opposition party, it would have been so easy to rubbish it by launching a counter offensive and by pointing out the corruption cases of the concerned political party. But how to deal with a 72 year old Gandhian who owns nothing, lives in a 10ft x 10ft room, has no family, is ready to risk his life by embarking on fast-unto-death and above all has suddenly become the darling of the masses. Government can not counter attack, they are forced to be respectful, they must give the impression of not rubbishing the protest and demands of Anna Hazare and yet thwart his attempt to form an independent Anti Corruption Authority called the LokPal. The Government is already having enough troubles with the existing independent authorities such as the CAG, the Supreme Court and the goof up with CVC appointment. In that sense, the ruling parties would probably get a tactical support of even the opposition parties as no political party would like to have an independent anti-corruption authority who could investigate against any minister (including the prime minister) or bureaucrat without having to seek permission.

Anna Hazare’s Movement against Corruption is fast galvanizing all social activists under one banner. Within two days the movement has spread to nearly 440 cities and towns. TV coverage of the moment looks more like a dream movie than being real news.

Soon after the World Cup victory, once again the people are out on the streets; once again the people are on a high but this time for an entirely different cause, for an entirely different purpose.