So why is India Rallying behind Anna? As Ramlila Maidan fills up with supporters of Anna Hazare and the Anti-corruption movement it is important we ask this question. But at the same time we ask tis question we should also investigate what this means to us as a country and how is it that we do the needful to not deflect from the goal or a robust system. Today I read that a three year old woke up on Friday with only one wish and that was to meet and support Anna Hazare.
I think that Anna Hazare represents the common man and in Anna Hazare every Indian sees themselves, either their present or their foreseeable future. The young, middle aged and old can connect with him on a personal level. Also three significant groups should find this movement most interesting. The benefactors of India’s economic Growth, The benevolent lot who are giving back to India and The bystanders of today who will build tomorrow’s India.
The Benefactor’s support
India is experiencing tremendous growth in various sectors and as opportunities open up, more and more people are becoming entrepreneurs, building companies, freelancing and experiencing the changing lifestyle. When they try to work with the system, drive through the roads, visit a government office and see the political antics televised every day they realize that the only thorn that is painfully stuck in the butt of progress is corruption. When they look at the political bandwagon, they still see it be filled with nepotism, greed, crime and incapability. They don’t want to lose a fine India when it is so near and within reach.
The Benevolence Challenge
The recent increase in educated and career powered Indians entering the nonprofit sector is also making significant contributions in India. When the country is racing to success in various segments they find that there are still many areas that go unnoticed and as a mission they bring their collective knowledge and skills and have embarked on various programs from education to sanitation to job creation to self sufficiency and they find corruption as one of the biggest hurdle.
The Bystander’s Crisis
The upcoming generation is passionate and do not want to be a bystander as their future is being written. They do not want to be in the line till their turn comes. They want a part in building a talented and promising India that addresses their expectations and aspirations for the future. Though media sometimes term them lost, they are not really lost, they are just more sure about what they want and ready to work to build it their way. They look at the system and those who run it and they do not see any role models who selflessly work for the nation. They see either conspirators or powerless office bearers or crooks. They feel that corruption is a cause and that it can change, and that there is hope in life even without taking a bribe. For this to happen they should first do the needful to have a world where you don’t have to give bribe to live.
Anna is not Gandhi and It should remain that way
When you say that every Indian connects with Anna it also means that there is a striking difference between Anna Hazare and Gandhi. In Gandhi India saw a father figure and the person who could unite and liberate India from the clutches of the British. Though Anna has been able to unite a large section of India in my opinion the bigger factor is that an Indian finds his or her own face in Anna. The connection is also a personal thing for those who are supporting him.
This also means that Anna Hazare should be considered as a medium and the true heroes are the common Indians who supports him. We as Indians (in my opinion) have a trait to rally behind individuals and somewhere in the process loose the differentiation between an Individual and a nation. If this was not the case we would not have lived a life supporting people who while in power have misused it and oiled the wheels of a corrupt engine. We live in a country where popular film stars, kids born to a political family (the term political family by itself is a farce) and other celebrities all get a party ticket and get to power. India rallies behind them too, though divided in large numbers
Moving Anna Hazare to the level of Gandhi is rather unnecessary. The problem with this is that the common Indian and the whole cause might get lost in the absence of the Anna factor. You can see that people have started wearing caps and Anna Hazare look alikes adorn the streets. It seems shops have ran out of Anna caps and they are ordering for more. The enthusiasm is very understandable, but wearing a cap does not solve the issue and people should know that even if the bill is passed and we take the first step towards a corrupt free India, there is a tremendous responsibility on the individual shoulder of each and every Indian to make this a reality. This reality would mean a change in lifestyle and thinking for a good majority of Indians in and out of the country. We all need to adapt to a new India where we do not rely on individual charisma and heroics to decide our fate and future
Helping the perplexed
The movement is also leaving perplexed a majority of people in India who have been supporting the ruling congress party. While many connect positively with the cause but sits mum because of their political allegiance there are also a few like the Kerala youth congress who burned Anna’s effigy in Kerala proving their monumental stupidity and delusion. The movement should not at anytime turn political and in my opinion majority of Indians want this to be devoid of political agendas. It should be understood that if the bill is passed and it is exercised heads will roll in all political parties in the country. I am sure that if congress was in the opposition they would have joined the movement with the same vigor that others do now. Being a supporter of the ruling party does not in any way deny you the right to fight for a better India and so Join the movement.
Is the movement anti democratic?
Over so many years people feel that any Government that comes to power is not going to take an action unless pressured. Especially in the case of corruption, it would be absurd to think that corruption was uncovered and publicized only when Anna Hazare and his team decided to go on a strike. If you can consider the democracy as a living being, the protests are its internal control mechanisms from preventing it from being sick and eventually dying. Every political party that came to power in India in the democratic way has had a chance to take steps to reduce corruption, but everyone kept political agenda before a national agenda. How many in opposition have woken up the day after election and said “yes this is my prime minister and this is the Government that has been elected by my countrymen, let me support them for the next 5 years to build this nation”. Why is it so difficult for us to accept defeat in a democratic system and move on to build the nation for which the whole system of democracy exists.
Before we cry out that Democracy is in perils, let us be ready to clear our definition and responsibilities in a democratic system. Many could argue that the Governing team is corrupt and then it becomes a vicious circle in which every good intending Indian, political worker and generations ahead fall and get lost. We need change and change it will be, this could be the movement for creating a democratic environment for social workers to work for the nation and not get involved in petty party politics and worry over loses and victories. We should consider ourselves as being part of building an India that will stand true to the value that we uphold when we say “I am Proud to be an Indian