It’s almost as if we are seeing history. Now, after seeing the support that Anna Hazare is getting, it’s no longer hard to imagine how Mahatama Gandhi was able to inspire millions into channeling their collective energies towards one single goal.
The people are just spilling out on the streets, raising slogans and cries for second freedom. Freedom from an evil that has looted our motherland with just as much ruthlessness as the British did. The only difference is that we ourselves created and strengthened this enemy. And now, the battle of freedom from it must start from within our own hearts.
I don’t know if the multitude spilling out on the streets is really ready to go anti-corruption in the long run. In a country where corruption has become a way of life and source of livelihood for people from all walks of life, thinking that just a bill would magically cure all ills is just ridiculous. ‘Where there is will, there’s a way’ applies for cheats too. So, the battle against corruption can only be won if people give it up voluntarily, religiously. I hope and pray that with the rising fervour that’s visible on the streets now, this battle will truly be won.
It’s wonderful to see the show of unity that has come up to sparkle on the roads all over the country. People joining their voices to Anna’s call don’t belong to one caste or class. They are all only Indians today, rising together against corruption, as they once did against slavery. It’s heartening to see that the great Indian unity in diversity is still alive. It may not be visible all the time. But thankfully, it revives and gets charged up every time there is need. Also wonderful to see the youth being concerned enough for their country to even pull themselves away from their laptops and mobiles to really come up on the streets. That, in itself, is a great achievement, if you ask the parents of these youngsters.
But while it’s thrilling and uplifting to see the mass movement, it’s also troubling. It’s like a gunpowder being let loose. A small spark and it can explode. Though the people in Team Anna are all sensible and judicious people. I trust them to act in the best interest of the country. But people can get swayed in the heat of the moment. Things can get out of control. And people may jump in to gain selfish profits. Besides, the Government is clearly panicky now. And with the sort of foolhardy actions they have been taking, there’s no knowing what they might do next, and what that might lead to.
Another troubling thing is that the movement is shifting from being anti-corruption to being anti-government. And I lay the blame of it on Government’s mishandling of the situation too. They have created a crisis for themselves and tied their own hands and feet. They have become more of a hostage now. And maybe I’m entirely alone in feeling this, but I don’t like it. I don’t like seeing Government of India being made a hostage to a civilian’s demands. But again, it’s their own fault. They turned the situation sore. And the opposition was always there to draw blood and scratch the wound deeper and deeper. Very sorry to see the government being so helpless. Had they only behaved more judiciously and kept their tongues in control, they could have actually gained from the movement.
And then, there’s an uglier colour staining this entire movement. I understand public’s anger against the politicians. But I can’t understand and accept the sort of attacks that are being targeted at Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. They may not have been able to deliver what was expected of them. But what right does anyone have to call for their blood? Today, on facebook, I saw someone wishing that they be killed just as Indira Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi were. Horrible! Shameful! I can understand just criticism. We have every right to indulge in it. But what right do we have to indulge in this sort of hatred? It’s plain ugly.
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