At a time when Anna Hazare has almost single-handedly brought the entire working machinery of the government to its knees, I think this video goes a lot to explain that at the end of it all, a single person’s dedication and commitment is enough to get things going!
But I must confess that I am more bewildered than buoyant at this sheer outpouring of patriotic fervour that is spilling out into the streets around the country.
I mean, Anna Hazare has gone on a fast demanding certain things. How many of us are aware what his demands are? I researched the net and here is what I found.
1. Feb 25
Veteran social activist Kisan Baburao alias Anna Hazare is going on fast unto death at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi from March 5 to press for Parliament to enact the ‘Jan Lokpal bill’ drafted by former Supreme Court Judge Santosh Hegde to effectively tackle corruption in the government.
So, here was a news item that said Anna Hazare was going to fast until death to compel Parliament to enact the Jan Lokpal Bill. Worthy cause and a worthy means, I mused. Though it smelt of blackmail, I was on Anna’s side here for a bill that had hung in limbo for 41 years, a bit of blackmail was probably just what it needed to get it passed.
And then on 5th April, 2011, Anna Hazare started his fast at the iconic Jantar Mantar. And the setting could not have been more appropriate. What better than the time keeping monument to proclaim that the time had come to end the lethargy of inaction!
On April 8, at the latest round of talk that M/s Arvind Kejriwal, Swami Agnivesh and Kiran Bedi had with Kapil Sibal, the government announced that it had accepted every demand of the fasting Anna.
For some moments, not only was I absolutely astounded, I was downright sceptical too.
Yes, a deteriorating Anna would have put immense pressure on the government to act. But, I had seen Anna Hazare on TV. He looked hearty enough to last another couple of days without solid intake. Yes, looks could be deceptive, but I wondered if the government actually knew THAT or CARED!
At around 10:45 pm that same evening, Anna announced that he would end his fast the next morning at 10 am. His fast had achieved the following:
1. The government agreed to the setting up of a committee with five representatives of civil society, including Mr Hazare, and five ministers. At the head will be two chairmen – a minister and an unelected representative.
2. Govt agreed that committee should prepare draft law to present by monsoon session.
3. The government agreed for a notification which specifies constitution of committee, names of members, chairperson, timelines and terms.
So from the lofty ideals of ensuring that his fast would actually enact the Jan Lokpal bill, it had seriously watered down to ensuring that the committee to draft the Jan Lokpal bill would have 50% representation of civil society.
Well, as I always say, something is always better than nothing!! And to think that THIS was what I went on a one-day fast for! Sigh.