Anna Hazare Rekindles Gandhi’s Fire To Purify India
A man, who once contemplated suicide and even scribbled a two-page note on why he wanted to end his life, is the new Gandhi of India. Indian government, led by foreign educated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had jailed the aging Hazare when he threatened with fast-until-death protesting India’s corruption.
Kuldip Nayar, one of India’s most respected political analyst commented on the action of Indian government, “It is bungling, mishandling. They do not know at all how wide and how deep the resentment is.” And of course the mercurial Nayar was right. The jailing of Hazare sparked nationwide protests, and forced Singh's government on the defensive. Singh criticized Hazare as out of touch, and dismissed his fast as "totally misconceived" and claimed that Hazare’s action was undermining the parliamentary democracy. At the end it was found Singh himself was out of touch and had no idea what Indians want today.
Students, lawyers, teachers, business executives, IT workers and civil servants, people from all walks of life took to the streets in New Delhi, and other major cities, and also remote villages stretching from north to south and east to west—the breadth of India. Outside the jail that once held Hazare, a 21 year-old Sweta Dua said, “We are India's youth. We are with Anna. I've already seen corruption at this age. In my college people got admitted despite being unable to clear the required cut-off scores, simply by paying money.”
Sujeet, a young software engineer from the IT city of Gurgaon said, “We don't have faith in our government. We are living in a democracy but only in letter, not in spirit.” The editor of the weekly Outlook magazine, Vinod Mehta said, “The movement has meant politicians realize that they cannot fudge these issues or ignore public opinion any longer. It has succeeded in concentrating the minds of politicians across the political spectrum on one issue for the first time”
Continued on the next page
The crowds on the streets are mix of young and old, rich and poor, educated and uneducated. Some youths had rucksacks on their backs, painted face, olders were decked in outfits as worn by the Hazare himself, complete with white cap and kurta.