The recent crusade of Gandhian Anna Hazare against corruption and demanding the rightful implementation of Lokpal Bill has grabbed the attention of many. Awareness regarding the cause has grown over the last couple of days. The civil society has come forward in its support for the man who is now widely seen as beacon of light in times when the country seems to have been relegated to gory days of corruption. His fasting at Jantar Mantar is being seen as a revolution akin to one that occurred at Tahrir square a few weeks ago.
But will Jantar Mantar be our Tahrir square? The answer would be both Yes and No.
Yes because the movement has stirred up the passion among people for a fight against corruption. Thanks to the age of internet and social networking (the hero of Tahrir square you would remember was a Google employee) protests, let me not name it a revolution yet, have taken a different shape. They are now difficult to be contained. Support pages, information passing, fact representation has all become possible at the click of a button. If not anything else the ruling government would be worried about the discontentment of large masses of people.
Yes because major sections of society has come forward in support of it. When an Aamir Khan pledges support, when an army chief pledges support, when a Sri Sri Ravishankar pledges support, (though I wonder why a Tendulkar or Dhoni have not come forth given their present iconic status) it seems to represent the right cause for people. In times of despair people look forward to leaders who would steer them through, and this movement has brought to the fore a few people capable of doing it.
Jantar Mantar will not be our Tahrir square because the country is too diverse. There are so many social, economic and political forces at play and at so many levels that nullifying all the factors and unifying everyone in a classless, ageless and genderless fashion is a near impossible task. Geographical vastness of the country dilutes the effect that a gathering of mere two hundred fifty thousand people at Tahrir could do. The media still obsessed with cricket (now IPL) lacks in providing a spirited helping hand to the movement.
Jantar Mantar will not be our Tahrir square because even though awareness about the movement is high, it is still miniscule. The power to any movement given by the youth participation is lacking. The ones who could take to streets on a world cup win would even not bother to read up what Lokpal Bill is all about. They are not to be blamed entirely though. Acceptance of corruption is in our psyche thanks to the political class.
Though there might be doubts whether a single Bill would help eradicate corruption in our country, what is for sure is that it is a welcome step for fight against it. Even though a lone movement cannot wake up everyone who is in a slumber sedated by corruption it sure can help wake a few. Even though the government might find a way of dilly dallying the issue what it for sure cannot put on hold is the fervour against it. A revolution against corruption is in the making albeit in strong small steps.