In my previous article, I had a doubt about how the public will react to Anna’s second fast unto death. I was more skeptical about the response to his Jail Bharo call. But I am glad all my skepticism has been proved wrong. The public has responded, and how. Tens of thousands of people have come out on the streets in support of Anna Hazare. People have courted arrests in hundreds and in Delhi, police has to convert a stadium into a jail to keep those arrested. There were around 100,000 people marching to India Gate in Delhi and around Azad Maidan in Mumbai. Now can the government arrest them all?
I am really glad that the public has risen to the call given by Anna Hazare. But what is special about Anna Hazare that he has galvanized the whole nation when most of us didn’t know him at all a few months ago. How is one man able to dictate terms to the government? How has he cut across the social and economic divides of the populace which is so deeply entrenched in our society?
History of Work Done
He is an ex-army man who fought in the 1965 Indo-Pak war and later build his village into a model village, self sustained and free of all social ills. People from all over the world have come to see the amazing work he has done. He has not married and devoted his entire life to his village, and later in his fight against corruption. After that he has fought corruption in Maharashtra and he was one of the active crusader behind forcing the Maharashtra government to bring in the Maharashtra RTI act, one of the first in the country. He has given his life for the service of the nation since the last 35-40 years..
He has devoted his life to social activism, mostly in Maharashtra. He developed his village Ralegan Sidhi into a model village which people from all over the world come to see. It is considered a model of self sustainable living and of environmental conservation. The World Bank Group has concluded that the village was transformed from a degraded village in extreme poverty to one of the richest in the country.
No Personal Assets or Motives
Anna Hazare lives in a small room attached to a temple in his village since 1975. He has no assets and has a bank balance of Rs 67,000. Whatever land he has is being used for development purposes for his village. His only source of income is the pension which he gets from the Army. He has devoted his life for the betterment of his village, and after that fighting against corruption. He has never done anything for his personal motives.
What is most heartening is to see Anna Hazare following Gandhian principles and using the same methods of fasting and Satyagraha for his cause. In a generation which has come to doubt Gandhi and the relevance of his principles in modern times, this was ample proof of the relevance of his methods irrespective of time and generations. He has called to our souls in the same peaceful manner that Gandhiji did.
Given Hope to Millions of Frustrated Indians
More than anything else, the one reason why Anna has resonated with the masses is because he has given hope to millions of frustrated Indians. Everybody knows there is corruption in every nook and corner of the country. But the BIGGEST problem is that nobody can do anything about it. Everybody is helpless in the regard that there is nobody to complaint, and even if they complaint, they end up being harassed by the same people. Anna has given people hope and shown them a way which might lead to a corruption free India. That is why he caught the government totally unaware!!
It won’t be wrong to say that Anna Hazare has come as the Messenger of Hope in the current state of our country. He has managed to turn all the cynicism and pessimism into an enthusiastic and optimistic revolution by the people of India.