Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anna Hazare - Our strength or shield?

Scams and scandals do not surprise us anymore. They have become mundane just like the potholes on our roads and the sky rocketing inflation. But why blame the politicians and the government workers alone? The whole country is plagued with the attitude of “chalta hai” or so we could say few months earlier.

Our entire nation is currently gripped with fever of Anna Hazare. He is the hottest flavor of our trend following hysteric junta who never miss an opportunity to put someone at the helm of their hearts and minds. There is of course no doubt about the intentions and efforts of Anna who is fighting the crusade for putting the corrupt and callous public servants under scrutiny. The unanimous support shown to his cause is totally unprecedented in the history of free India. Right from panwallas to movie stars, socialites and other celebrities - everybody has joined hands with the aam junta to form solidarity which has unnerved not only the ruling party but also the oppositions and other allies in India.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that even the common man is surprised at his own power and tasted its addiction for the first time. Earlier considered a toothless tiger the common man has now sharpened his claws and teeth with Anna tool and managed to create fear psychosis in the hearts of political coterie pan India. But the real question still remains ulterior – will this zest and power exhibited by the citizens of India now continue to be in style or will it lose its steam? The anger and frustrations against corruption have always dwelled in our hearts but this is the first time when we have found a channel to vent it out in a mammoth proportion.

We, as a nation, are known for our ability to exhibit herd mentality and this protest was no exception. It would not be wrong to say that many of us echoed Anna’s name even without having a clear understanding of why was he fasting or what “Jan Lokpal” was. However that is not the sad part. We rose to the occasion coalesced our determinations and roared loud enough to vibrate the ear drums of our otherwise deaf eared politicians – but only when we were sure of being cajoled and represented by a father figure – That’s the sad part of our happy story. The real victory will come when we will learn to stand for our rights without any hand holding.

Earlier it was Gandhi who led us on the path of freedom and today it is Anna who is bearing the torch towards more civilized India, more honest India. But amidst all these what must not be forgotten is the fact that it took us 64 years to move from free India to honest India. What if no Gandhi or Anna appears on the horizon next time? What if there is no larger than life inspiration or leadership to help us fight our battle? Are we ready to bury our souls in the oppression from those in the power? Make these questions your food for thoughts next time when you think of Anna Hazare. Don’t just stop at idolizing him; go a step further and answer these questions by being honest to yourself.