Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Master Stroke by Anna!

As the ANNA WAVE sweeps across the Nation, a high-risk gamble by the Govt. to arrest Anna early yesterday morning turned out to be an ill-fated move! Government cronies must have thought that their Knee-jerk reaction would nip the movement in the bud; but they failed to foresee both the extent of support for Anna as well as the intensity of the backlash that such an action would generate!!

As Anna Hazare was being whisked away in a SUV, it was the day for GANDHIGIRI as a Rajouri Garden trader turned to the cops wrestling with the crowd to ensure smooth passage for the activist's vehicle, and said with folded hands "Thank you so much sir". Red-faced, the cops had no option but to look away!

As a fresh truckload of cops came in, a young man crying "Bharat Mata Ki" joked with them "Bhai Jai to bol de". There were attempts to fraternize with the force deployed to control them and aggression was only towards the government. High on Anna's message of Non-Violence, protesters have shun the stone to embrace peaceful SATYAGRAHA. Delhi University students cajoled the Policewallahs to revolt "Delhi Police bagawat karo, hum tumhare saaath hain" (Delhi Police rebel now we are there with you)!!

A strike of auto-rickshaws has been called in Delhi on Wednesday as a mark of support for Hazare: a sure sign that his camp has now spread beyond the middle class. At Civil Lines, a young couple braved the rain to shout slogans for "Mother India". As policemen started hustling them into the waiting buses, the woman looked at the man uncertainly. "Get in, they are taking everybody," the man said with a reassuring pat!!

In the northern region, protests were held in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Jammu and Uttar Pradesh. Punjab Chief Minister Badal condemned the police action against Hazare and termed it a “Murder of democracy.”

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Jharkhand counterpart Arjun Munda said one cannot snatch one’s right to protest peacefully. The police crackdown is “Rehearsal of Emergency and murder of democracy which people will never tolerate,” Kumar said, while Munda described the incident as “Dangerous for democracy.” The mood seemed to be reflected throughout the length and breadth of the Nation!

Anna’s village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra witnessed protests with people coming out on the roads along with their cattle and blocking the traffic. “The entire village is observing a bandh today,” 73-year-old Hazare’s associate Datta Awari said, adding that villagers have decided to observe a fast to express solidarity with him.

In Pune, supporters of Hazare gathered at a square in the city to condemn the police action and his detention, while in Nashik, a rally was taken out. In Nagpur, a large number of people courted arrest. Donning ‘Gandhi’ caps with slogans ‘I am Anna’ supporters gathered at the Reserve Bank of India Square in Civil Lines on busy Nagpur-Jabalpur national highway.


In Assam, rights activists sat on a dharna in Guwahati demanding Hazare and other leaders be released immediately. Demonstrations and dharnas were also held in several places of Orissa. In the south, protests were staged in several parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

In Hyderabad, Chandrababu Naidu called the police action “Undemocratic and Unconstitutional", asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apologise to the nation for action against Hazare and other social activists. In Bangalore, a counter was set up at Freedom Park, where 87,000 of 100,000 IT employees signed up to join the India Against Corruption movement, took a break from work for an hour and gathered at the Electronic City as a mark of support for the veteran activist.

There were salaried people who had taken a day off from work, DU students who had skipped classes and traders - many of whom were obviously uncomfortable with the rough and tumble of street protests. This protest has united the diverse sections of Indian Society everywhere, with supporters waving the national flag lending the movement a real patriotic flavour.


And while all this was happening in the nation, there was backdoor diplomacy taking place in Tihar jail with Rahul Gandhi meeting the PM and Home Minister to find a way to diffuse the situation. They decided to relase Anna and here came the Master Stroke by the venerable veteran!!

Anna rejected his release, saying he would leave Tihar Jail ONLY IF the Govt. ALLOWED THE PROTEST by Indian Citizens TO GO ON Unconditionally! 

Hats off to Anna who managed to turn the situation on its head and forced the Govt. to let the protest continue! Supporters of Hazare said they would sit on a hunger strike outside the jail gates if Anna was forcibly evicted from prison. Delhi police officials confirmed that Hazare and his associates were to be set free and some 1,500 persons detained through the day were also let off.

After having sought to nip the protest in the bud to prevent a repeat of the April surrender to the Gandhian, UPA has definitely compounded its woes. Hope they have the sense to let democracy bloom and deal with protests in a democratic fashion.

Jai Hind!


Deepu Prakash said...

Read your article Vinnie. I strongly support the cause. Only wondering what next? How will this be taken forward? What sort of precedent will be set ( either way).

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal said...

Hey Deeps.. That will depend on how the Govt chooses to react! Whether they use common sense in how to handle the situation correctly or choose to be pig-headed and deal with it in an autocratic way!

Vaibhav Vermani said...

bhai is this ur blog?? m there wid u..... bas ho gaya yeh sab

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal said...

Yeah bro!! Hv been writing on this since almost 3 yrs now.. trying to spread the Fire in Youth.. thr r rallies all over Mumbai today from all major stations arnd 6 pm.. M gonna b attending d one from Andheri to Juhu Beach.. come join me if u can or find out d one closest to u!

Vaibhav Vermani said...

wow Fate was ur initiative thats amazin! bro my full sypport wid u.... even i wanna join ur group

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal said...

Thanx!!! I was incharge of the online activities so hv kept my end of d deal running even though the execution has not happened at d desired level!

Uday K Sriramula said...

Nice posts Vineet

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal said...

Thanx buddy! Thr r allies planned all over d country today.. whichever city u r in join d movement guys!

Vaibhav Vermani said...

definitely bt how do i get to know where all r d rallies from?

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal said...

@Vaibhav, U can get updates by registering with India Against Corruption or Avaaz.org

http://www.facebook.com/IndiACor u can get d updates here as well.. or just check d net daily for events on Google.. m sure u'll find d major events mentioned..

Jigar said...

India will rise upp again.. We wont drawbck.. Im wid you anna.. Thankss fr d blog vineet... Bharat mata ki... Jai..

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal said...

The pleasure is all mine Jigar!! Join d revolution bro.. Vande Mataram!!

Deepu Prakash said...

I am against corruption, and though I am not sure whether the Jan Lokpal is the answer, I believe that all support to the cause sends a message that there is a rising public sentiment against corruption.

Wish though that every person who.supports Anna makes a firm resolve not to condone corruption from here on. Refuse to give bribes, refuse to take bribes. This itself will be a significant change.

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal said...

I agree Deeps! But we need to reflect this change in our Governance as well!! People lk u n me who work in d private sector r not inherently inclined towards bribing n corruption!! I believe its d case of one rotten apple spoiling d rest and as long as such systems as r existing in our current govt. setup do not change, u can not see d difference in our daily lives.