All caps on heads of both men and women announce in bold letters "I am Anna"A small child went up the big stage of the Ramlila Maidan to meet Anna Hazare. When he was asked by the septuagenarian fasting Gandhian what his name was, the child answered without batting an eyelid "My name is Anna". The old man in the seventh day of fasting protest was amused and smiled. The people around said that many new born babes have been named Anna.
FEELING OF PRIDE
When a man wears a cap with words written on it in bold letters, I am Anna Hazare , he feels a sense of pride in himself and in his country, Bharat. The Annas in thousands raise the soul stirring slogan, Bharat Mata Ki Jai. They chant the patriotic lines of Bankim Babu's song from his novel, Anand Math, VANDE MATARAM, VANDE MATARAM. Is there a man so dead that his soul is not aroused with a superb feeling of patriotism? None, my friend, none.
Meet Shazia Ilmi, a former TV anchor and presenter, who proudly wears the Anna Cap and boldly chants VANDE MATARAM. Does her religion, Islam come in the way of being patriotic and chanting VANDE MATARAM? Obviously NO. She is not a conscript for the cause of uprooting bhrashtachar-corruption- and has volunteered for the patriotic task. Inspired by her, some fellows came over to the Ramlila Maidan to break their fast of the day and have Iftar. They are as patriotic as anyone else and they chant with emotion VANDE MATARAM and raise slogan BHARAT MATA KI JAI.
Did the Imam in the nearby Jama Masjid hear what patriotic Muslims are saying and doing in the Ramlila Maidan? Of course, yes. Indeed the patriotic Muslims in the Ramlila Maidan are not the bonded labour of the Imam, nor do they stand beholden to the oldest political party of India that has now stepped into the shoes of the erstwhile British rulers to Divide the people on religious and sectarian lines to continue their corrupt rule.
It would be a good idea for the myopic ministers to walk into the kitchen of the Satyagrahis and see for themselves that the volunteer cooks profess different faiths prevalent in this country. It would be a good idea for meek Manmohan Singh to be bold for a change, remove his blinkers and lead his flock on the right path. Let the politicians of yesteryears still serving A.O Hume founded political party go on the ground and feel the vibrations of mother Earth at the Ramlila Grounds. They will be wiser and be strong enough to defy the selfish and corrupt political masters and take an oath to work for the good of the people of India. Please keep the country united and do not divide the people for your selfish ends. The message is loud and clear and the corrupt-cum-deaf ministers, bureaucrats, police and the mafia must pay undivided attention to this call of the people. The PEOPLE are supreme, so says our Constitution of India.
The policemen in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Mofussil towns are amazed at the sense of discipline that the crowds have been displaying. The meaning of Ahimsa is that one should not cause pain to others without any provocation. In the Bhrashtachar Mitao-Kala Dhan wapas Lao Andolan, the crowds are large to the tune of one hundred thousand men and women in the metropolitan cities and yet there is perfect peace. No violence, no provocation to others, not even to those who are opposed to the Anna Hazare form of mass protest and making professional politicians eat the humble pie. Nevertheless, there is a share in the pie for everyone. Never mind if a protest marcher is friend or foe, the overriding spirit of the crowd is -treat everyone as if they were your kith and kin.
Anna Hazare, the moving spirit behind the movement to eradicate corruption from the country follows a self-purifying routine that includes meditation and writing his thoughts in Marathi language. Since Anna Hazare is in the seventh day of fast, he has skipped the Yoga exercises that are vigorous. Meditation and complete resignation to the Will of Ishwar fortifies the will power of the leader of the masses and the masses are from across the country. Anna's magic may be working even beyond borders. Some well-intentioned people in the neighbouring Pakistan have taken a pledge to go on protest fast like Anna Hazare to open the eyes of corrupt politicians there.
Women in India form the bedrock of support to this apolitical movement. The working women of different hi-tech offices formed a procession and marched through Gurgaon, a satellite city of New Delhi. Their banners announced that they all are AMMA HAZARE and are making this peaceful protest to awaken the corrupt politicians and administrators to give up the Bhrashtachar and work for the people of India. The power vests in the people of India and not in the corrupt politicians.
Now it is with more determination that the Common Man is on the street to beat the drum so that the deaf listen. It is heartening to note that the Media, both print and electronic, have taken note of the new phenomenon called Anna Hazare and their lead articles and reportage are favorable to our peaceful protesters. The common impression across the seven seas is that the People of India have woken up and the day is not far off when they, under the leadership of Anna, will come out with flying colours. The political commentators have their fingers on the pulse of the Indian nation. The well considered and impartial opinion is in favour of the common man who has tasted victory and seen the government in disarray. The cabinet ministers of govt of India are a house divided against itself. Just one more push by the people is needed and the government will collapse like a house of cards.
In India the prayer on our lips is: MAY ANNA WIN.
BY CHITRANJAN SAWANT
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