Gandhian Brainwave – A Chapter Revised

Now, I have not seen Mahatma Gandhi nor lived during his times to realize the effect he had on the masses. I also confess that at times I have had questions about his ideologies and principles in the neo-liberal mind of mine. And many a times, I have debated over the significance of his non-violence movement towards Indian freedom and revolution in South Africa, with my friends and peer groups.

Notwithstanding, what we witnessed during last one week in India has totally erased any doubts that I had about the man famously known as the “Father of the Nation”. A man – Anna Hazare – with a similar personality to that of Gandhi, emerged from the masses to fight for the rights of the 1.2 billion people. While we were just wondering in complete amazement thinking why was he risking his life alone for the whole nation, he was fasting unto death with strong conviction to take the scamsters head on.

This movement was truly one of its kind across the globe. While, all the other movements happening widely are against anti-democratic rulers, ours was a fight against corruption in a democratic set up. We have witnessed movements in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia which got violent during the course, with even the NATO forces attacking the regime in Libya. At this time, no one could imagine a non-violent mass movement to fight for the rights of the common man and against corruption.

For the new hero, starving till death to fight against corruption ain’t a marketing gimmick, a political move or power tactics and yet he check mated all the politicos and his critics in a one man show. At the same time, he taught our generation a huge lesson – the power of the common man! A long forgotten lesson that the politicians are still struggling to deal with.

My genre, the Generation – Y has been majorly looked upon as a bunch of highly career focused individuals who like moving around in flashy cars and are only concerned about their take home salaries. And rightly so!! Politics, parliament and national issues have been the last thing that we care to bother about.

Corruption, scandals, scams are like synonyms for “News” in Modern India. For the last few months, there has been an expose or scam every week in the headlines. Government agencies and politicians have made a mess in the country while all wonder how to tackle the situation. Everyone has grievances but don’t know how to take things in control. At this point Anna Hazare’s movement is like a magnetic compass showing direction to a rudderless ship.

We have heard since long that it takes just one voice to bring about a change but we also had doubts. If it only takes one person to change the world for the better, why hasn’t it happened yet? The answer I guess is, because no one ever tried.

Well, I am going to do what once Michael Jackson said. “I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror, I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways”.

Also Read: Anna Hazare: India’s pioneering social activist – BBC

“I am very encouraged by what’s happened in India” – Julian Assange

 


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Dem-O-Crazy

I couldn’t think of any other title for this and that too, on the eve of Republic day of India. Anytime that I have switched on the television to catch some news since past so many months, all that has been making headlines are protest marches, angry mobs, people unhappy with their governments and political leaders. A phenomena that has become universal due to sky-rocketing inflation and high unemployment rates. Seriously, looks like the principal of democracy which boasts about fundamental rights and power to general public, has taken a beating. And, under the present circumstances it is driving people CRAZY!!

Has democracy as a principle of governance failed? Because aren’t the top bosses, whom we are castigating today, been voted to power by us at some point of time. Anyways, I’m no political science expert to reach a conclusion on the failure of democratic establishment globally or make educated judgments and pass remarks.

However, I have come across an interesting observation amongst all the outrage against established and democratic rule in different parts of the globe apart from spiraling inflation and soaring unemployment rates. That is the underlying feeling of hatred and disgust for all the national leaders in different countries undergoing crisis. And ironically, all these leaders had been topping the popularity charts at one point of time.

Closer home, Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, now in his second term, has been recently voted by the Time Magazine as one of the most influential global leaders and most respected among his peers. Currently, he is facing a crisis situation due to various corruption charges against his government and losing support and faith among general public. American head of state Barack Obama took charge amongst so much of pomp and show, but has not been able to prove himself substantial, so far. French PM Zarkozy is as unpopular in his country as his other counter parts, globally. Tunisia which is currently making news for civil unrest (and also the fact that many people have been trying to locate it on maps!!), has similar story; as the masses are going mad at the Prime Minister and President (already fled the country) for price rise. And probably for Italian President Berlusconi, popularity was never his forte’ as he has always found himself under crisis and been named in numerous scams. I think that explains why these leaders can’t stop praising each other whenever they get a chance in different global meets, because that is the only way they get any form of appreciation. Pun Intended!

With so much of animosity for these leaders and masses becoming hostile against their governments due to underlying corruption, no wonder an institution and idea like Wikileaks is an instant hit among general public. No surprises why New York Times wants to imitate its business model. People want to understand the reality and watch their corrupt leader’s pride being torn apart. Apparently, it takes revolutionary minds and absolute courage like Julian Assange of Wikileaks, to take on the crookedness behind democracy, head on.

Perhaps, Chruchill made the following statement out of sheer clairvoyance.

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” – Winston Churchill

Photo Courtesy: www.fark.com

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