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Anna Hazare’s Fast: A Fresh Wave of Protests Begins

Posted on March 26, 2012 in Politics

By Namita Singh:

With Anna Hazare returning to his famous stomping ground for a New-and-Improved fast on March 25th, the restlessly-moving eyeballs of the media and public attention have been redirected to the Jan Lokpal Bill. And this time it has risen up not just as an important national event, but as a more sensitive issue with an increasing amount of people attaching themselves to his cause and expressing their views on their own struggles with fighting against Corruption.

Yesterday’s fast laid prime importance upon the protection of the people who raise their voices against corruption, or the Whistleblowers. Hazare’s fast on Sunday garnered support from the families of these advocates against corruption, including that of Narendra Kumar, who was allegedly murdered by the mining mafia while he was trying to stop illegal mining in a district in Madhya Pradesh.

It is very important to note the change in agendas that Anna Hazare’s movement has seen in the past few days. According to political pundits, the reason behind Hazare’s failed movement in Mumbai was for the fact that it addressed issues that were too far-removed from the public’s interests for it to gather popular support. The fresh wave of movement in Delhi stresses more on issues and problems that the public and the Common Man usually face in their struggles within the Indian System, and was thus able to gather greater popularity from the masses.

Also, Hazare’s movement’s amalgamation with that of Baba Ramdev’s is seen reflective of his growth in the field of politics. The idea of working together with Ramdev, who is apparently voicing his concern against the black money stashed abroad, is justified by the fact that Ramdev holds his roots in the common man and hence, is capable of attracting support.

The clout around Hazare combined with that of Ramdev — the signs appear to be foreboding of great dangers to the Congress. With the recent changes in state electoral politics, followed by an unpopular Rail Budget and the hugely-criticised Union Budget, Hazare’s fast appears to be salting the already-wounded UPA government. Though, the Congress is playing safe by holding its ministers back from giving any statement capable of breaking them into news, with Hazare’s hammer appearing to be hitting hard enough to nail out the chair from the Centre.

Team Anna’s movement, however, lacks the continuity and sustained, and because of the various fluctuations in the past few months, it has led to many people having detached themselves from the movement with the argument of One-man’s Supremacy over the Parliament. However, it is equally important to note that the time calls for a strong Jan Lokpal Bill along with the Whistleblower Protection act.  Sadly, the lack of consensus in the Parliament along with the poor role of the opposition has forced people to come out on road, proving once again that a democracy is ‘for the people, of the people and by the people’.

Let’s hope that this temple of democracy is not demolished like the Babri, because if that happens, the consequences would be much worse than before.