Roar India, Roar!


The day started ordinarily enough. I traveled to Noida this morning to our partner's office. Come afternoon, my colleague and I went to YMCA near Connaught Place to check out their conference facilities. On the way, we passed Jantar Mantar, the epicenter of a people's movement that India has not seen in a very long time. The lure was irresistable. Weaving through traffic carrying busloads of supporters, we walked towards Jantar Mantar.

The scene we saw was amazing.

Hoardes of people had gathered to express support for this 73 year old Gandhian who has vowed to carry out a fast-until-death unless the Jan Lokpal Bill is passed. Men and women of all ages were gathered together, carrying placards, banners, effigies and shouting slogans against corruption. Cries of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and 'Vande Mataram' rend the air.

The diversity among supporters was amazing. Elders were a-plenty. Old men walking slowly, aided by sticks. Women from rural areas and the urban elite from Delhi. Drum beats boomed out, breaking the inertia of apathy. Standing together, supporting a cause.

As I write this note, the news flashes that the govt. has agreed to constitute a joint committee to draft a bill by 30th June and that Anna Hazare will break his fast at 10 tomorrow. I do not know if this movement will end corruption. Most would question if a law can end this deep rooted malady. Many others would just rather watch the IPL. To them I would say - Better an an optimistic fool than a jaded cynic.

I am very glad I got an opportunity to observe and express solidarity with what some are terming as the largest movement of civil society after Independence. I feel almost afraid to say it - but maybe we can believe in Belief again?

This entry was posted in ,. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Roar India, Roar!

  1. With the government agreeing to issue the formal order for the formation of the committee,Anna Hazare's fast has yielded the result.Apart from creating a widespread awarness on this malady of coruuption and the need to eliminate it, this fast has set in motion at last the setting up of the machinery of a Lokpal.
    Let us all salute Anna for his timely intervention.

  2. We definitely need a Jan LokPal bill to give people the power to put corrupt public servants behind bars.

    I am sure the politicians will try some damage control and try to blunt out some of the clauses in the Bill. It is up to Hazare and the civil society members of the joint committee to ensure this does not happen.

    Angry Ganu

  3. Rachna says:

    Wow, it must be an amazing feeling for you to have witnessed the starting place of people's movement first hand. Very happy that you expressed your solidarity. We are in Hyderabad currently. Now, this is the first step. Let's hope this bill passes into law soon and then we would want an anti-bribery law :).

  4. Yeah, it is amazing the way, the ordinary citizen has been expressing themselves. We were to have a march at Chennai too but with Anna ending his fast it has been called off. Certainly the power of democracy is showing itself!

  5. Sandhya says:

    'People power', still works! You are lucky to have witnessed this in person, Deepa!

    I think every citizen is missing a proper leader now to lead them for seating a good government in the centre. We don't see any proper leader who has got guts to govern our country without compromising for anything, whether it is for Karunanidhi or Mamta. Every leader is thinking about his vote bank for the next electrion. This is the main reason for the overwhelming support for Shri Anna Hazaare! He should be honoured with Bharat Ratna!

  6. Quizzerix says:

    'tis just not cricket by insinuating that fans watching IPL when this is happening are cynics...that's too general a blanketed damnation..though i watched the match live in chennai, i was keeping track of the developments in new delhi..and i am not alone in this..

  7. sibi says:

    Conrats and Thanks to you. For giving your time for a worthy cause

  8. Deepa says:

    Thanks All. I did the very least I could. I think people like Rachna have shown greater solidarity in observing fasts etc.

    Quizzerix: Watching IPL while the national capital was on fire? Isn't that like Nero fiddling while Rome burned?

  9. Arti says:

    I could imagine what the atmosphere must have been like.. To watch it on TV and to see it personally makes such a huge difference! Glad that you could be a part of it in person so that we could get a glimpse of it too!

  10. sudeshna says:

    the movement has rolled out...the challenge is to sustain it...awareness about the same is needed amongst the masses

  11. Rachna says:

    I have an award for you. Please pick it up from my blog :).

  12. sudeshna says:

    the movement has rolled out...the challenge is to sustain it...awareness about the same is needed amongst the masses

  13. Sandhya says:

    'People power', still works! You are lucky to have witnessed this in person, Deepa!

    I think every citizen is missing a proper leader now to lead them for seating a good government in the centre. We don't see any proper leader who has got guts to govern our country without compromising for anything, whether it is for Karunanidhi or Mamta. Every leader is thinking about his vote bank for the next electrion. This is the main reason for the overwhelming support for Shri Anna Hazaare! He should be honoured with Bharat Ratna!

  14. We definitely need a Jan LokPal bill to give people the power to put corrupt public servants behind bars.

    I am sure the politicians will try some damage control and try to blunt out some of the clauses in the Bill. It is up to Hazare and the civil society members of the joint committee to ensure this does not happen.

    Angry Ganu