Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Quiet Revolution

Masses thronged Jantar Mantar over the past few days as Anna Hazare continued his fast unto death, asking for the enactment of an effective anti-corruption bill.  It was a peaceful protest, one that did not disrupt the machinery of any state, yet turned out to be more powerful that any form of verbal or physical violence that people (including politicians) resort to these days.  I think this is why it appealed to so many, of all classes.  The cause was worthy- a simple pledge to reduce corruption, with a clear method (and a deadline for implementation).  It appealed to many of us, as there are very few who are not at the receiving end of corruption in this country.

No man is an island, and this was a remarkable demonstration of the power of a dignified and gentle yet unrelenting plea.  Several of my friends and family were involved in this movement, in one form or another.  They were in different states yet they sent messages or personally stood amongst the quiet demonstrators.  The interesting thing is that the people I knew were not angst ridden youth or tempestuous teenagers.  They were all retired people who were involved because the principle and the method appealed to them and they wanted to do their bit for a country in which corruption has snowballed over the decades and now comes in the way of real progress in any direction.  

Will this really help? Is it perhaps too simplistic?  How will it be implemented?  We don't know, but this is a small spark which holds the promise of something brighter and better and the only way to find out is to help keep it alight.  That's one of the bonuses of being in a democracy, so let's make use of it (if we wish to).

At the time of writing this, the fast has been called off, the government (on the brink of assembly elections) has acceeded to all the demands.  This has brought a wave of encouragement, a breath of fresh air to the nation.  Let's see how things evolve in this ever-changing, chaotic country of ours!

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