Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
By Sumedha Bharpilania
The man who was responsible for materializing the unthinkable concept of a ‘model village’ is now sowing seeds of hope in the hearts and minds of the common Indian person – the hope of achieving a ‘model nation’, one that is sans the evils of corruption. 71 year old PadmaShri Anna Hazare- one of India’s most popular social activists, went on a hunger strike until death from the 5th of April 2011 in order to persuade the Indian Government to enforce the ‘Jan Lokpal Bill’ (Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill) that checks corruption by meting out punishments in the form of imprisonment to the guilty and seizing all wealth acquired by the wrong means.
The protest has drawn lakhs of supporters (if the power of the social network is to be taken into account)-students, home-makers, retired officials alike, also including famous faces like Dr Kiran Bedi, Mallika Sarabhai, Swami Agnivesh and Baba Ramdev to name a few. Hazare and his supporters marched from Rajghat to India Gate where he offered prayers and finally to Jantar Mantar where the main protests are being held. It has gained a lot of media attention- a positive proceeding and negative to some extent too, however last heard, people of extreme ‘repute’ like Uma Bharti and O.P Chautala were banned from getting through the venue gates to appease the man on fire. This hints at the all those good things that come out of a roused mob- that are in store for us in the near future (very near to be precise).
It was sad to learn that Hazare’s pleas were earlier rebuffed by the Prime Minister, but the way the protest has grown in number in order to compel the government to act is indeed commendable. It is also heartening to learn that this has been a means of bringing the country and its citizens together- an embodiment of the concept of ‘united we stand, divided we fall’. If Hazare’s noble deed bears fruit, the Government will then be forced to act in a responsible manner and the ‘aam aadmi/aurat’ can be assured of the fact that his/her hard-earned income will not be going to the dogs. Keeping in mind the recent overflow of scams in the country- the Commonwealth Games issue, 2G Spectrum Scam and the Adarsh Society scam being a drop in the ocean, we as responsible citizens, are not supposed stay mum anymore. There is an urgent need to bring the unaccountability and incapacity of the government into conspicuity. One way of doing this is by supporting the man behind the spark, it is only then that transgression and illicitness can be set alight.
As far as the big man is concerned, one can often wonder as to what he has inside of him that keeps him going despite old age- the answer, however is obvious considering the fact that the soldier he has been, the strength and vigour gained by virtue of it forces him to keep fighting till the end and never give up. We salute the Anna Hazare and his efforts and earnestly hope his actions bring this country into better shape- one that is an example of the nation that everyone desires to be a part of.
To quote Anna Hazare with his Gandhian beliefs: “There is no faith left in politicians and bureaucrat’s and its time that the people are allowed to decide what they want “. “The gap between the rich and the poor is increasing. Some are living to eat while others are struggling to eat enough to live.” All that he needs to bring this belief to reality is a bit of support from the people.
With parallels being drawn between the iconic Gandhi and Hazare, this nascent stirring of a citizen’s movement, not backed by a political party, is bound to shake the government. While it is too soon to call it a revolution, this movement certainly has got the makings of one.
Photo Credits : Subi Chaturvedi