Monday, April 11, 2011

A Week of Victory and Hope

The last 7 days or so have been unprecedented. Never before in my life have I seen two different reasons for people to come out on the streets within a week. Last Saturday, the world witnessed the long-awaited world cup victory for Indian cricket team, which India celebrated with unseen fervour. If I believe hearsay (I missed it myself), about 50,000 persons gathered at the India Gate on the same night itself to celebrate the resurgence of India in the world of cricket. Right after, when everyone expected a week full of lull and boredom (IPL4 was still a week away), something happened which touched the Indian people from within. An almost unknown Anna Hazare pledged a fast unto death to demand a joint-committee to draft an almost forgotten Lokpal Bill. As all the euphoria that followed, some very remarkable and unparalleled things happened.

Firstly, Anna Hazare represented a beacon of hope in an otherwise helpless society who had given up in front of the rotten system and had accepted corruption as a way of life. Government’s acceptance of all demands of Anna gives people hope that a strongly determined will of the people can ring bells in ears of the deafest of regimes. A well-inspired movement can enforce participation in even the most insensitive of representative democracies. I am filled with optimism that it is still too early to give up on the Indian system. Indians are seeking a worthy leader and as and when they would find one, the support would be voluntary and overwhelming.

Secondly, this crusade was driven by the eagerness of the common man, even the silent middle class, to leave their comfort zones, to sacrifice their petty interests and come out in support of something they believe in. Being present at Jantar Mantar on both days when the fast began and the fast ended, I observed around me united support to fight the common cause of resentment, coming from across societal, geographic, economic and generational lines. Before this, the cynic in me thought that the only motive that connects every Indian is cricket and no other reason would be important enough to strike the chord in all of them. But, the cynicism had to make way for positivity.

With the official notification of a joint committee to draft a strong anti-corruption law, the struggle towards a better future has just begun. I hope with a bit of apprehension that the enthusiasm and oneness that people displayed during a short protest doesn’t get diffused in the long run, and the faith in power of united effort to change and improve the system is not lost. 

हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी पिघलनी चाहिए,
इस हिमालय से कोई गंगा निकलनी चाहिए।

आज यह दीवार, परदों की तरह हिलने लगी,
शर्त लेकिन थी कि ये बुनियाद हिलनी चाहिए।

सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं,
मेरी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए।

मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही,
हो कहीं भी आग, लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए।
 (by Dushyant Kumar)

1 comment:

  1. m sure dis is nt a lone voice inside you....dis is smthng tht hs been resonating among millions thruout d nation! thx 4 providing us all with a voice


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