It’s between me and Gandhi ji, I think one of the most revered man of not only India but all over the world. Because of some reasons, I was not very fond of Gandhi ji. (I won’t discuss the reasons as I don’t want to give my blog in a political tone. Also my reasons for disliking him are absolutely not the reason for which I am writing this blog). But in the past week something happened which made me admire and revere the man or the Mahatma called Gandhi.
It all started when last week India saw an awakening against Corruption, led by Social Activist Anna Hazare. On April 5 2011, Hazare started a ‘fast unto death’ to exert pressure on the Government of India to enact a strong anti-corruption act as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal Bill, a law that will establish a Lokpal (ombudsman) that will have the power to deal with corruption in public offices.
Corruption is one disease plaguing India, and if the things will go the same way, I feel, the rising of India will soon be doomed. The wave created by Anna Hazare was supported by the Media hype and was spreading rapidly to the people of India from Metro cities to small town. He was even termed to the Gandhi of our Era.
I and my husband also decided to do something and join the movement started by him. We wanted to remain apolitical and not linked to any group or organisation and do a people’s march, of the people, by the people and for the people. We sent sms to our circle of friends to collect at a predefined place with candles for a march in support of Anna Hazare. My Husband even managed to get some news channel people to cover it, so that the govt can get a feel that the fight against corruption is spreading to smaller towns also. We had asked our friends to spread the message further to their friends so that they can also participate. In all around 60-70 people gathered.
But we were all amateur for such gatherings as we found that we were running short of the slogans. We realised that we should have carried some musical instruments too, to attract more crowd. Infact, initially there were only 20-30 people, but later as the young college going students saw their friends, they just parked their vehicles and joined in more for fun rather than anything else.
Young kids were really enthusiastic to participate, shout slogans and reinvent slogans (as they were used by the martyrs in India’s Struggle for Independence) such as
“ Jiska Khoon Abhi na Khaula , Uska Khoon Pani Hai !” (The ones whose blood is still not boiling, his blood is nothing but water!)
“Jiska Khoon Abhi na Khaula, Woh bekaar Jawani Hai!” (The ones whose blood is still not boiling, his youth is wasted!)
Since I had gone directly from office, I was in a Saree (An Indian Formal Outfit), the kids were calling me ma’am or Aunty. The teenagers were the most enthusiastic of the lot. But people actually surprised us as they were keener to join than what we had expected. There was one person who even said, “For tomorrow’s march I will get mike and other sound system!”
I asked the boys there if anyone had a guitar, so that for next day he could bring along and we can have a Patriotic songs rendition to attract more crowds. Some students said “Ma’am, we have a Dhol (Indian form of Drums found in state of Punjab) we will get that!”
It ended with the placing of Candles at the Base of statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Company Gardens and singing of the National Anthem! And every one parted ways to meet again the next day with more Josh (Zeal) and resources such as Mikes, Dhols and Banners etc.
While we were coming back I and my Husband realised how difficult was it to motivate the people there, as there were more than 200-300 people there at the gardens, with absolute no empathy leave aside participation, also so many passer bys who just saw the march and left. This is despite the fact that news Channel people were there (as an attraction for people to join) and with so much awareness as well as hype which the Indian media had generated for the protests calling them Jasmine revolution of India. And this was the thought which made us respect the man, the Mahatma, as to how in those time, without any communication method (SMS or Face book), with out and Media Coverage (Spreading the news to people) he managed to get thousands and lakhs (millions) of people following him in Asahayog Aandolan( Non Cooperation Movement ) or the Dandi March (to break the law of making Salt).
Though we have never seen the man in flesh and blood, nor have witnessed the time of independence movement, but this small effort of ours to organise a march made us realise the greatness of the man, the Mahatma. It took the clean image of Anna Hazare to move thousands of the otherwise unshakable and unaffected population of India, what image would Gandhi ji will have to have shaken an entire country’s conscience, an entire generation, an entire mindset.
He must be great only!
And here I pay a tribute from the non believers to the Mahatma !