Following India…..Part 2
THE FIGHT FOR REAL DEMOCRACY AND TRANSPARENCY
On April 5th. a Gandhian activist known as Anna Hazare started a ‘fast unto death’ to exert pressure on the Indian government to enact a strong anti-corruption act as in the Jan Lokpal Bill..
As Indians rise in protest and rally around Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption, the swelling resolve to birth a movement that would usher in real democracy with transparency and accountability as hallmarks is slowly assuming unprecedented levels.
This is a tide of popular discontent against the venal politician-bureaucrat-corporate nexus that has not only fattened itself on public money but has also perpetuated a system that carefully looks after the interests of the privileged and the powerful, often denying just basic rights to the majority.
The civil movement is seeing unprecedented level of support by the Indians all over the world.
Support has been pouring from Indians across the globe in support of Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption started at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi April 5
I paste her some of the support pledges from the news from today( April 8, 2011):
• The Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala today extended its support to social activist Anna Hazare on his movement against growing corruption in the country.
• Indians in Los Angeles are organizing a day-long fast Saturday in support of Indian social activist Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption in India. 45 cities in the US, 40 cities in India and 8 other countries globally joined the movement.
• Film actor Aamir Khan’s letter in support of Hazare written to prime minister Manmohan Singh is being widely circulated on the Internet.
• Self-exiled artist MF Husain has drawn a cartoon extending support to Anna Hazare saying what the anti-corruption crusader is spearheading is “another revolution”.
“I am thrilled that the younger generation has taken up the cause to crush corruption in India and I wish them great success,” Husain, now a citizen of Qatar, said.
• While Madhur Bhandarkar, Vivek Agnihotri and Anupam Kher have already made efforts to meet Hazare personally at Jantar Mantar.
• Sonakshi Sinha: It’s usually ONE person that makes a difference. Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa. Kudos to Anna Hazare! We’re with you.
• Naseeruddin Shah : We have started accepting corruption as a way of life. We don’t think twice or feel bad about handing over Rs. 50 to a traffic cop or Rs. 50 crore to a neta . We don’t hitch as we think ‘ yeh toh chalta hai, yeh toh hota hai’ . But it happens because we let it happen and it will never stop till we don’t stop it.
“What Anna Hazare is doing will definitely bring about a positive change in the way the system works. The need of the hour is for the youth of this country to awaken and fight against corruption. Only that and nothing else can help India become a corruption free nation. “
• Hrithik Roshan: I support Anna Hazare. It’s TIME to make a CHANGE!
• Bipasha Basu: The biggest drawback of our country is the existence of corruption right from the grass root level right to the top!
• More than 50 employee unions from Pune and social organisations, along with citizens’ groups, extended their support to Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption agitation on Thursday.
• Sacked Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi on Friday urged fans to carry flags and placards to IPL matches to express support to fasting Gandhian Anna Hazare.
• Support for Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign is growing in Punjab and Haryana where hundreds of activists, students, doctors, lawyers and teachers have rallied behind him.( Panjab University, PGIMER.,People’s Party of Punjab). Two lawyers of Punjab and Haryana High Court, V.S. Makkar and Gaurav Goyal, are on an indefinite hunger strike in Chandigarh.
The microblogging site has people sharing their 140-characters on Hazare, where the hashtag #hazare not only lists a whole bunch of tweets, but also shows updates as comments and thoughts are tweeted. Twitter is also the forum of choice for celebrities and the intelligentsia to share their two cents.
Anna Hazare is the top trend of India in Twitter, and is followed by lokpal, Mera Neta Chor Hai, Corruption, and Jantar Mantar. Incidentally, IPL is also among the top trends of today.
A look at few tweets:
AzmiShabana: Anna Hazare embodies hope of a nation dat corruption can b rooted out Lokpal bill 1st drafted in 1972.arm yrself with information n join
Riteish Deshmukh: Am shooting in Hong Kong, the voice of Anna is heard all over the world- I support ANNA HAJARE – and his campaign – More power to him
Shashi Tharoor: Sorry, have been focused onKerala campaign. Huge respect for AnnaHazare. Unconditionally support consensual national action agnst corruption
Anand Mahindra: This is a movement whose heart&voice cannot be ignored “@sundarsez: If only industry captains can voice their support for Anna Hazare”
Lalit Modi: All fans attending IPL matches should carry flags and placards in support of the Jan Lokpal Bill. This will ensure the message reaches all.
There are several pages and communities on Hazare; with both the number of pages, and people who are getting involved increasing every hour. There are 146,855 members in the ‘India Against Corruption’ community. The number of likes has exceeded 100,000; and these are mostly people who have joined in over the last couple of days.
Every Wall on the Facebook is likely to have at least a few comments on Hazare. These wall posts are in turn fuelling debate and discussions. While the overall mood seems to be in support of Hazare, there are the skeptics and quite a few discussions seem polarized between the sheer idealist and the mere nasty. There are also events (both virtual and otherwise) scheduled and shared using Facebook, like ‘Light a Candle in support of Anna Hazare, get ready for Jail Bharo.’
A quick look at some random comments from Facebook Walls (names have been removed). These posts are often not in English, as you will see, but in local languages written using the English script.
User A: Whatever Anna Hazare is doing is utter bullshit. What is the point of doing so? Most of the folks who have been supporting Anna, will vote for the same old corrupt politicians against whom the old man is fighting. You can’t make much difference by supporting Anna except making some superficially-intellectual and style statement (wearing that cap)
User B: emon ‘purush’ haazar-e non, 120 koTite ‘ek’ !! (Hazare is not one in a thousand, but one in 120 crore)
User C: I am ready to support Sachin Tendulkar for Bharat Ratna if the “god” and the men in blue come out and support the demand for early enactment of the Jan Lokpal Bill…
User D: Unreal scenes in India — “Gali Gali mein shor hai, mera neta chor hai”. Chetan Bhagat’s blog is actually pretty good. (Apologies to my non-Indian friends here, but this is regarding a massive anti-corruption protest in India).
BOTTOM LINE: New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar venue has become the Tahrir Square and Tiananmen Square ready to shake the world again with another Revolution.
(Courtesy Biztech: Sudarshana Bannerjee).