The recent circumstances associated with the Anna Hazare arrest and his release are reminiscent of the wave of people’s unrest which took place in Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and other Middle-East countries. While Hosni Mubarak was ousted, Saleh of Yemen was forced into exile! The murmurs of the so called Jasmine Revolution were heard world wide! There has been a world wide rumbling of unrest caused by the dissatisfaction of the common man with the corruption in the society at large, and the way the the government was being run! In Egypt, people were fed up with the decades long rule of Hosni Mubarak, and in Yemen the people were fed up of the dictatorship of Saleh. In some countries of the Middle-East, governments ruthlessly crushed the so called popular uprisings of the common man.
Today, Anna Hazare has become an icon for the common man. He has become the modern day equivalent of Mahatma Gandhi and he symbolises the Gandhian way of life. We know very well that he played a very important role in promoting the Right to Information Act in India, a radical and revolutionary movement which promoted the Right to Information, an act which empowers the common man. Today, Anna Hazare is agitating for the passing of the Lokpal Bill, a bill which has wide sweeping implications for a society riddled with nepotism and corruption. What is yet to be seen is whether the bill is passed in its original form, or it is diluted to accommodate the existing structure! We need to see that this much hyped campaign doesn’t fizzle out! There are so many parties and personalities trying to jump into the bandwagon of Anna Hazare, and we need to see what their motives are! Is it that they want to enter the limelight of popularity to launch a political party of their own, or is it that they really want to fight for reforms in the true sense!
when I visited Delhi recently, I could see the signs of change in the air. There were people returning from rallies in support of Anna Hazare’s movement. People riding motorcycles were waving the tri-colour with zest! I could see them from Delhi to Karnal in Haryana. It seemed as if the entire region was united in its goal of supporting the movement launched by Anna Hazare! There were a large number of people who were wearing the Gandhian cap, an affirmation it seemed of support for Gandhian ideals for peaceful agitation. The entire Nation seems to be united in its support for reforms! United by the ideals for which Hazare is agitating!
One however wonders whether the common man really knows the contents of the Lokpal bill, and the process required to pass a bill! What is clear however is that the common man is fed up of the nepotism and corruption which is hampering the growth of the Nation! The signs are there for the government to see, that we need social reforms, and these reforms need immediate implementation! To make the reforms a reality, we need to bring about a sea-change in the attitudes of everyone, both the common man and the bureaucrat as a whole! Whatever may be the outcome, it is clear that the Anna Hazare movement for reforms is the common man’s expression of disillusionment, dissatisfaction, and disgust with the corruption and nepotism that exists in the Nation today. It is an expression of “enough is enough!” It is an expression of patriotism, and pride in a Nation which is, after all the world’s largest Democracy! It is an expression of pride, an expression of oneness, and and acceptance that the common man is no longer going to take everything lying down!