Be your own Anna

While returning home from work, for the third night in a row I encountered a rally in support of Anna Hazare. This time, it was a bunch of children proudly holding candles and banners as they marched, chanting slogans to end corruption. While it was heartening to see children being involved in social issues, I could not help but chuckle at the flair for dramatics shown by our country. Yet again, the nation has opened its floodgates of emotions and has become hell bent on bringing the government to task over the atrocity carried out against Mr. Anna Hazare. We live in an era where information moves with a lighting speed. With a hyperactive media and the all encompassing social network, it is easier than ever to mobilize public support for any issue these days. While I revere Anna’s simplicity and resolve, there is no denying to the fact that he has kept with the times in connecting with the people and used these tools to his fullest disposal. Although this platform has been (and will be used) by many, there is something different to what Anna has to say. He touches an age old nerve of the Indians and offers them a gateway to escape. News channels have been incessantly flashing videos of the widespread uproar across India. Thousands have flocked Delhi to protest with the man himself. Scores of protestors have been camping outside Tihar to express their solidarity with Anna. Citizens in other cities have been doing whatever they can to be a part of the protest. But I wonder if they know the cause Anna is rooting for. Agreed, he is fighting against corruption, but how many of us know about the Jan Lokpal Bill he is adamant on being passed and how is this going to help them. I doubt whether most of us have asked this question. But in my opinion, this is secondary to the other question we need to ask ourselves, how on earth can we have the cheek to undertake a movement directed at ending corruption!

The dirty C word is something which has tormented the country ever since it’s very inception. Bribing a government official, stealing electricity from neighbors is something which has already made a place in the Indian way of life. Just last night I saw a popular public figure urge India to come to Delhi to support Anna. His exact words were, “Travel without a ticket if you can’t get one.” This is the classic paradox we live in. We want our country to be a better place but we don’t try to make it one. I see many youngsters everyday who blame the system for their plight. These same people are supporting Anna wholeheartedly thinking that he is the answer to his prayers. But how many of them can proudly say that they have never buttered their professors to get better marks, never bought a leaked exam paper or never ever driven past a red traffic signal. If we are not mature enough to control ourselves from committing such small acts, how can we even dream of bringing down the government for doing the same, just on a larger scale. Come to think about it, is it the government we really need to fight against. Will punishing a certain Raja or Kalmadi will really make our personal lives better. I can bet that there will be another Raja and Kalmadi, because these people come from among us. They just have more power than we do.

I am not sure if the Jan Lokpal Bill will see the light of the day. Frankly, the bill commands a bit too much power than it should. But I find it hilarious to see everyone around me thinking that it is the solution to all their problems. Yes, Anna can help us be better people. But that will not happen if we just chant and march on the roads. We have to be our own Anna, cultivate his honesty and ideals within us and always do the right thing. We should not be fighting the government but ourselves. All we have to do is say no to dishonesty and only then we can proudly proclaim that we have done our bit.

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One thought on “Be your own Anna

  1. I agree that the first step in fighting corruption lies with the individual. And that first step needn't be independent of the Anna-movement. The most important thing that Anna Hazare has taught us is that an individual CAN make a difference. So we must never think "What difference will it do if I do/dont do this, others will anyway, so whats the point." You can, indeed, make a difference!

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