When a 73 year old man refused to eat, a 63 year old democracy found its appetite for expression.
What Anna Hazare did in 5 days is already part of social folklore- it connected with an underlying sense of frustration and helplessness that we citizens feel about the system. But what distinguished this revolution is the solidarity and support that was extended within a matter of hours.
People power woke up in India. People power has toppled governments, as seen with the Jasmine Revolution in the Middle East. India is not new to this phenomenon: the Hazare Revolution proved that the Jessica Lal uprising was not a flash in the pan. People do care. The ‘chaltha hai’ attitude that we are so (in)famously associated with just that- an association, and not our distinction. And now we’ve proved that we can and will take matters in our hands.
Once upon a time, democracy was by the people, of the people and for the people. Today, Indian democracy is largely by the politician, of the politician and for the politician. Can you believe a bunch of states are going to elections this week and we still don’t know who the chief minister designates are for many of the parties - the parties assume that once they are in power, they’ll decide who’s best for us. Is this really democracy?
But the Indian citizen is now shining. I’ve seen people who went out of their comfort zones to be part of the Hazare movement. People do care; all they needed was a platform to unite and channel their support. Hazare was the trigger and we, the common man, have made our move. People expressed support to the movement in various ways. Social media was buzzing with support. Networking sites actively shored up and galvanized support from across the nation and the Media connected more people to this cause. So potent was this new found force of the people that the government agreed to Hazare’s demands in a matter of days. People power triumphed, the common man woke up and democracy scored.
This is only the beginning.