Monday, August 22, 2011

Govt. in a Catch 22 situation - Report from Ramlila Maidaan

I am so awed and over-whelmed. But I am not falling short of words. In fact, a plethora of emotions and thoughts cloud my mind and heart so much so that I find it impossible to classify them. I don't know if its patriotism, emotion, angst or all of them together.

After supporting the first 3 days of Anna's anshan from home, I was out there on the battle ground on Day 4. The Ramlila maidaan. Quite iconic because it’s the same place where Bhagwaan Ram kills the Bad Man Raavan, every year. This year Anna is playing God, literally, and battling it out against the new Bad Guys (read Govt.).
Team ANNA (L to R: Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi)
The country has broken out into hitherto unseen patriotic fervor. The whole country is united with Anna in a cause that has brought out even the middle and upper sections of the society in full force. Everyone is so fed up of the prevalent corruption and scams. People in the maidaan keep chanting slogans supporting Anna and the likes of Bharat Mata ki Jai and Vande Mataram. The atmosphere is so electric with the spirit of the youth that it is impossible to contain yourself. I joined in too, chanting slogans, "Anna tum aage badho, hum tumhaare saath hai". The people go berserk and crazy when Anna ji addresses the crowd. Kiran Bedi mam is such an influential and charismatic personality. Yesterday she led a procession of a lakh plus people from India Gate to the Ramlila maidaan. One lakh people on the roads, all carrying the Indian flag and chanting slogans was a sight to behold and feel. It truly felt like being in the middle of a revolution.

The same scene awaited us at India Gate, albeit with a little less number of people. We participated in the candlelight procession there. It’s great to see an informed youth who knows what it is fighting for and not just a mob who is out there and blindly following a party with vested interests. Team Anna is mobilizing people to question both the Lokpal Bill and the Jan Lokpal Bill and cast its opinion in favor of what they think is right. Facebook pages and YouTube videos have been created with vivid descriptions of the differences in the two drafts of the bill, on a clause by clause basis. 

 Day 2 at Ramlila was the same. Only the number of people were more. And the count is still increasing. But more than anything, I am betrayed by the Govt's almost alien demeanor towards Anna's fast. But then, I should have expected that. Given the level of corruption these guys are into, we should not be surprised by any of their misgivings. They are just trying to save their a**.
Me n my 5-yr old nephew at Ramlila grounds
 But I totally believe that Anna has God on his side. A 74 year old man, on the 5th day of his fast, addressed the crowd and if you didn't know, you could never guess. His voice and conduct did not give him away for a minute, that this man had not had food for 6 days. I could only so much as carry on my fast for 30 hours.

By now, everyone realizes that the Jan Lokpal bill will have to be passed given the kind of common man backing it has got. But the only question that looms large over everyone's head is when? Anna ji is already well into his 7th day of fasting. And now, every passing minute and hour is going to be pressing on his body. I just pray to God to give Anna ji strength and some good sense to our so called "leaders".

@All: Guys, please support Anna ji's crusade against corruption in any and every way you can. It's not everyday that you find yourself amidst such a life changing revolution. And you surely don't want to be left behind...right?

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