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On April 6 1930, a 70 year old man, jibed as half naked fakir, squats on the soil of a remote hamlet of Gujarat, Dandi, shoves his hand into the ground, stands up with fist raised holding white crystals and making it clear to the British that the collective Indian conscience stands awakened against unjust rule of Britishers.
Mahatma Gandhi had launched the Civil Disobedience Movement by breaking the salt act, the most inhuman tax the British had imposed on Indians thereby exposing heartless face of their governance.
Dandi March became a precursor to India’s Independence as it was for the first time that millions of Indians got involved in defying the law of the land – foundation of an Independent India was laid.
Now almost eight decades later in the first week of April 2011, again a 70 year old man squats sat the heart of the India’s Capital to shake the conscience of people and rally against the single biggest malice of corruption afflicting the process of nationhood, demanding enactment of a stringent Lokpal Bill to punish all those corrupt people and permanent fixtures of the political system through the formidable Gandhian tool of Satyagraha… fast unto “DEATH”…
India wakes and rakes into the clarion call of a Gandhian fakir , who has nothing but an image of humble Indian determined to take on the high and the mighty by the sheer dent of conviction that plebeian Indians will rise and stand by him in his cause of National Awakening. And, so did the common man. The support poured from every nook and corner of the country for Anna Hazare’s cause (rather the common man’s cause) forcing government to start negotiations within two days of his fast.
Just as in Salt Satyagraha, the government remained indecisive in their act to confront Satyagrahi’s and inadvertently helped it become popular; the present government too is red faced in dealing with a humble Indian who has neither post nor a position to show off but has an impeccable image and formidable conviction in his beliefs which put him on such a high moral ground that it dwarfs the stature of entire political system plagued with gigantic corruption scandals.
Ina day or two, Government will acquiesce to the demands of Anna and his compatriots and put the process of Jan Lokpal Bill in process and as desired by a billion Indians, it will help in weeding out the corrupt elements of the political system. Also we will see the entire political class joining the chorus of effecting the Jan Lokpal Bill knowing well that “damned they are if they do and damned they are if they don’t”…
The Jan Lokpal bill may not usher Utopia in India, but it will definitely give a potent tool to both well meaning activists and politicians to check abuse of the political system for personal gains. It will also force established political parties promote and cultivate clean political representatives who practice and profess some values in public life. This in itself can check malice of corruption in a substantial way.
It is heartening to see unorganised Indians from divergent walks of life get organised for a cause and achieve it too.
“Main akela hi chala tha jan- i-be manzil magar,
Log milte gaye karvaan banta gaya”
To add to it:
“Dikh rahee hain manzilen,
Dikh rahee ab dagar,
ho raha hai fir ujala,
dikh rahee nayee sehar”
Now I can say it from heart:
“Proud to be an INDIAN”