From Poonam Pandey to World Cup to ANNA HAZARE to the Indian YOUTH....A night with ANNA
India is a country of miracles. I am not talking about our democracy that miraculously lasted for over 60yrs. What I am talking about is real miracles, miracles like saints floating in air (surprisingly always in front of a black background) or doing a Jesus by walking on water. It is a country where children are born not by sex but by pouring water (milk even better) over the head of God Shiva…eer…not over his head it is his ‘linga’ (lucky god). It is not the performance of the 11 in the field that won India the World Cup but the miracles, also called ‘desi totkas’, performed by the billion Indians (as if our own miracle boy Rajni’s gracious presence was not enough). One of our office colleague claims to have taken 4 Sri Lankan wickets just by going to toilet! He had to endure the pain of drinking excess water throughout the Sri Lankan innings. Another one sat for two hours on the uncomfortable edge of his comfortable sofa even as his legs became uncomfortably numb. That is just two out of the billion Indians doing their own little miracles for the cup… Sri Lanka had no chance.
Days later a 72 year old man went on hunger strike – a miracle cure for corruption, his name is Anna Hazare. That old man has become more popular than Poonam Pandey! Indian men preferring an old man over a young girl wanting to do a Full Monty is in itself a miracle. Now that Poonam’s fame is fading, here is an idea for her to reclaim her fame…Bare in-front of the ministers if they pass the strong anti-corruption Jan Lokpal bill. She can call the cricketers and ministers together in Paris if she wants, after all the cricketers and ministers have become good friends since the IPL started. Stripping for a cause is also a non-violent protest that will work faster than hunger strike.
Now coming back to the 72 year old Gandhian, this is not the first time he is going on hunger strike to end corruption. Isn’t it a miracle that both he and corruption is still alive in India? At first I thought that fasting would be too much for me and hence I made up excuses to justify my stand. Most of the individuals in India are corrupt, from ‘babus’ to business man, from the driver tampering with meter to us downloading pirated songs. A bill would not stop corruption. To stop corruption we have to educate the mass and generate a general awareness. If we can do that, it will be the miracle India needs, not a hunger strike. But then when I saw my favourites stars Amir and Big B supporting the old man I changed my mind. I finally decided to support Anna. So I gathered few friends and our YOUNG GROUP decided to go to Delhi and join the protest. We decided to fast between lunch and dinner (drinking & smoking is definitely not considered eating unless you are a Bengali). From office we went straight to our house to bring our cameras. We needed to take some snaps as a proof that we were part of the protest that was making history. And we definitely needed to upload them in facebook to impress our friends with a caption “I am Anna Hazare and am part of a great miracle”.
Taking some snaps with Anna and catching free glimpse of some Hollywood stars was not our only motivation. It was our chance to meet the bold and beautiful Delhi girls! It was that bit of miracle that our lonely hearts were desperately seeking. After taking our cameras, with a heart full of new hopes, we took out our car and rushed towards Delhi – DILLI CHALO. But our journey took a mid way halt as a stupid policeman stopped us for over-speeding. But being in Delhi for five years meant that it was an easy problem for us to handle. We slid a 500 rupee note in his pocket and took off to fight corruption – ‘Corrupt political netas…here comes the power of YOUTH!’
We reached Jantar Mantar at 8pm. After parking our car we went in making our way through the reporters and the crowds. The entire protest area divided into 4 zones. The centre was taken by Anna Hazare and his men, then surrounding them was the normal citizens, behind them were the enthusiastic reporters competing with each other to take the best snap, and finally there were the hawkers who were having the best business in years. People were singing patriotic songs, clapping and dancing is support of Anna. They were using plates as drums and were carrying every thing to attract the attention of the media. They carried candles, to roses, to placards to even children. One of the placards advertised in bold letters “THE ART OF LIVING SUPPORTS INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION”. So after taking some photographs for facebook and dancing with the patriotic numbers from “hum honge kaamiyaab” to “suno gaur se duniya walo” to the theme song “Lokpal…lokpal…pass karo jan Lokpal”, we looked around for TV reporters. Soon I found a beautiful young girl from some media channel. Wow! I can be on TV, and she can be that miracle I was hoping for. I went towards her hoping to catch her attention so that she can interview me. I waited for the miracle and then the miracle happened!
In the middle of the crowd a woman collapsed. Within an instant a group of people put her in a “khatia” and with amazing efficiency took her to the medical counter through the huge crowd. I looked around and saw a different Delhi. Thousands or people of all class, creed, caste and religion were together for a cause. For once IPL took a back seat. The young girls were surrounded by so many unknown guys and they had nothing to fear. Who said Delhi was unsafe for girls? A country shattered by scams once again became an optimist. When no body had hope, the old man performed the miracle. His voice spread across the vast country like a deadly virus. People had enough of the Kalmadis and Rajas. From five year old kids to 80 year old, everybody had a hope of a better future. From the beggars to the media, from Bollywood to Baba Ramdev, a billion citizens all across India wants to demolish corruption. Then comes the announcement that the government has agreed to Anna’s terms and the crowd erupted with joy. I felt like I was teleported back in time to the midnight of 14th August 1947. I felt like I was free. The final decision will be taken in Saturday morning but people have already started celebrating. Jan Lokpal bill might not help majority of Indians, but the hope that the old man has raised in the hearts of a billion definitely will. Once again can an Indian feel proud and think of India as a place “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high” – JAI HIND.