The recent wake of events following the protests from the likes of Anna Hazare has at least given this country some food for thought. We were so used to the "yeh India hai...yahan kaam aise hi hota hai" attitude before an old man decided to unleash the sword against a mighty Government of the mighty Democracy called India.
As I say all these, I am not fully convinced as to whether such protests will rock the men in power, whether ‘hunger strike’ is a warranted means of protest and if it will serve its purpose whatsoever. We might, as has always been the case, find another 16 or 20 days of fast followed by severe degradation in Anna’s health. This fast will eventually, most likely, end with promises on part of the Government to "consider" his proposal and persuasions from the influential lot. While the men in power would dismiss his actions as a septuagenarian’s whims, oppositions, taking this as an opportunity as good as a wild card entry to power, would fuel the protest by all possible means.
People are taking to the streets in support of the old man who reaffirmed my faith in Gandhi, to say the least. I always had the idea that it was because of Gandhi that our independence got delayed- that his ‘cowardly’ stance gave the English an edge over the violent protesters like Netaji and Bhagat Singh. Of course, I haven’t seen Gandhi and all my negative notions about the revered man in khadi developed from the movies I watched and the stories I heard from people who hadn’t seen Gandhi either.
As I sit in my room writing “just for time-pass" and you reading this for no better reason, there are men and women of all ages shouting for their favorite Anna to emerge victorious. Of course, as an Indian, I am fully dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in the country and want a break from having to feed them under the table.
Recently, I got my driving license done without taking the driving test- no wonder the count of road accidents in India is soaring like mercury in Delhi in the month of May! As an "educated" individual of a developing country, how do you feel I should have acted?-
I should have gone on leave from my office to see the long queue at the RTO office, then gotten shoved by ten more powerful men out of the queue, begged for a place in the same line behind 20 'intruders' to find that it was time for 'lunch' when my turn came- although the watch showed 3 PM because the ‘breakfast’ break was taken at 12 noon, again because the lackadaisical officials came in at 11 in the morning- and all this pain just to submit the form. Similar stories follow for-no-reason rounds for which I fight with my manager to earn few more leaves and his wrath!
Instead, I chose the easier way- pay a handsome amount to an "insider" who in turn got my license done without me taking the test, simply in exchange of a few phone calls for which the company I work for pays.
Exaggerated, isn’t it? But you know for sure, to what extent.
Still, I am happy that things are changing- I had to pay more because the "agent" said it was now extremely difficult to get the driving license done in the wrong way! (They’ve started following road rules)
After saying all this, all I will do is peek out of my balcony to see people chanting in support of Anna and return to Facebooking, read the "ten facts you didn’t know about Anna Hazare and Jan Lokpal Bill" without "like"-ing it, post status messages on my wall that would attract a few likes and least possibly arouse patriotic sentiments for a few seconds.
As we have been enjoying the fruit of independence since 1947 without caring to step up to do anything at all for the country except for blaming the same people we elect, I once again hope to enjoy the fruit of the rebellion that is taking shape, if it at all succeeds. This country might change, thanks to Anna et al- but how will people like me ever change?