Massive crowds support Team Anna across India, Join in protests


Srinivas Nyapathy Writes                                                                 August 24, 2011

We are seeing unprecedented crowds assembling at Anna Hazare initiated protests against corruption right across the nation, agitated crowds shouting against the government and in support of the movement.

Given that the issue is complex, the supporters still expect a quick implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Everyone of us, probably without exception, have been forced to bribe sometime during our lifetime. People i met at the protests mentioned their woes about the  bribes they were forced to pay for everything from  ration cards to  passports to school admissions to…..the list goes on..

Some felt that we have got accustomed to giving bribes. Most officials, have injected into themselves, that they get extra monthly income through bribes in government jobs. If you have  a government job ..”… bun gaya”, is the popular thinking.

Its not just these guys who are at fault..even we , the people, are equally at fault, because we encourage the practice. In a way, giving them a license to demand the next person, a bribe.

A youngster in the crowd vented out his anger saying
” I paid a month’s salary as bribe, for a job i got through my merit  ” another said  ” why should i pay thousands as bribe to get a patta -transfer when i have already registered the property paying lakhs as stamp duty. The government gets 30-40 rupees, when we apply for  a patta-transfer, but the bribe to get the name transfer is about 10K…But, we have become immune to this. we take it as normal practice.”

We feel its normal, that politicians, who hardly had  any major assets before coming to power, will make money, enough to suffice a neighbouring country’s yearly budget. We take it as a given when the local MLA, who came to you to beg for your votes, with folded hands, today demands a bribe from you to give you a NOC, folding the same hands in a different direction. We don’t stop him , for the fear that our work will not complete. What else can we do, say NO ? We conclude, by just one person saying NO , the system is not gonna change, So give it…get the job done and forget about it.

Even though, we don’t like to give the bribe, we fall prey to this devil called corruption..It has spread like cancer….People are fed up ..enraged inside but don’t they feel its of no use.

But looking at the sea of humanity that has come out today to raise their voice against corruption…
wearing “I AM ANNA” caps..punching air, shouting..Vande Mataram..I think…why are they here in such huge numbers..Do they even know the difference between Lokpal and Jan Lokpal, Do they really know, what Anna’s actual demands are and why UPA is not budging..Do they really know how this can really change India..Do they know the constitutional and parliamentary procedures that could delay the placing of this bill in parliament , beyond the deadline of August 30th set by Team Anna..?

After checking out with a few..not so surprisingly, I realized,…..most of them don’t!

But then why are they here in this indefinite protest, braving the rain, going without food for hours and days…people from all walks of life cutting across party lines, religions, gender..with a sense of anger..
what has moved them so much that they are here showing solidarity with this Team Anna like never before..Is it because they are so fed up with the system thats allowing Corruption to foster?

As i mingle with the crowds and talk with more protestors I get the answers..

Its a sense of relief among the people, that at last there is someone , to lead them in their fight with the corrupt. This hope is what is bringing them in droves. Anna , a man from the masses has risen at the right hour. A glimmer of what is keeping them with Anna right through these days of his Fasting.

Even though people knew there is corruption at high places …they never imagined such huge amounts,  as associated through the 2G spectrum controversy, which followed, shocking revelations of grave irregularities in the conduct of the Common Wealth Games, in Delhi. Though the ensuing  Supreme Court findings and judgements sent MPs to Tihar for involvement in the above left the populace shocked…The dependency of the UPA on alliance partners made it hard for it to take effective decisions and bring the guilty to book immediately, leaving the public enraged..waiting for a Robinhood, if not a Superman they can trust and depend on, to kill this devil called corruption …and they found him in Anna Hazare.

ANNA, is a frail, 74 yr old ex-army man..standing hardly a few inches over 5 feet, with no Red Cape, as does a Superhero, ..but just White khaki clothing..,and a heart that echoes the sentiments of u, me and everyone at the mass protests…a simple man who sleeps in a temple and eats nothing more than a handful to survive. India found him dependable, trustworthy. A man they can look up to as a savior..they realize he’s there for their betterment and not his own, they know he’s there to give them a better future, not to selfishly use them for his own benefit.

They know ANNA is the answer to all their questions..While he fasts on the dias at Ramlila, the whole nation and not just the lakhs who assembled at the protests,  wait with bated breath for the good news….as UPA govt is getting weak in the knees, by the minute…not just because of Team Anna’s constant pressure and single minded focus but also because of the immense power of “India United” being put forth by the populace.

The UPA feels this Power it did never before..! I AM ANNA !


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