On Independence Day, I caught snatches of Attenborough's evergreen 'Gandhi'.
Gandhiji is fasting for communal harmony. Uncontrollable riots have broken out in partitioned Punjab and Bengal.
Nehru and Sardar Patel have come to meet him, to call off the fast. Instead, Bapu tells Sardar Patel,"You join me in fasting."
Sardar replied, only half in jest," Bapu, if I fast, I will die. But if you fast, people will listen. They care about whether you live or die."
On the morning of 16th August I thought to myself, "Do people really care whether Anna lives or dies?"
After all, he is a Gandhian but he is not Gandhi.
Events of the day which followed answered that question loud and clear.
We care. Enough to move our butts and join protests on the ground. In numbers that look large enough on TV to excite the rest of us.
Ki haan, kuch ho saklta hai. Aam aadmi ki awaaz duniya ko hila sakti hai.
Democracy, which existed only as a word in textbooks, has suddenly become gloriously and vibrantly alive.
In a way that you and me never felt, when we cast our vote for some unknown, unseen, undeserving political candidate.
Yes, the purists among you are ready to jump on me now and proclaim there has to be *some* method or there will be madness. But isn't what is happening in the name of democracy another form of madness.
Where power is seen not as responsibility, but privilege. Where the elected representative of the citizens becomes a 'supercitizen'.
He has right of way on roads., can breeze into the airport without ID proof (I saw Renuka Chowdhury do this with my own eyes at Delhi's T3 last month).
Has no 5 year plan to improve the welfare of citizens, but 25 year plans on improving own welfare. Stashed away in lockers, mattresses, benami plots and houses.
As if one man or woman *needs* that much for one lifetime.
As if the next seven generations will benefit.
More likely, they will come to ruin.
Not to mention generations of Indians who are being ruined.
Will getting out on the streets change anything? Who knows. But sitting quietly in our homes certainly will not.
Join the movement, wherever you are.
Check for events on www.indiaagainstcorruption.org, or create your own on the site.
Follow on twitter:
Believe that one man - Everyman - can make a difference.
This is the sunrise of Hope.
After such a long and moonless night.
Do not draw the curtain of cynicism.
Awaken, fellow citizens, awaken!
(All pucs taken at rally in support of Anna held this evening at Shivaji chowk in Vashi, Navi Mumbai)