My tryst with destiny makers

The whole nation watched with bated breath while Anna Hazare, a rank outsider in Lutyen’s Delhi, a person who had neither the political backing or the political lineage came to Jantar Mantar to fast for the Jan Lokpal bill, something that politicians lacked the will to see through.  At first there was just Anna and few supporters.  The cynics sniggered.

But something about this man captured the imagination of middle and upper middle class.  The people who know that they would have to shell out 5 lakhs and above to get a job, even though they had qualifications.  The people who know that even to claim their PF or insurance, even to get some licences which they deserve, they will have to pay a bribe.  These are the people who want a corruption free India, because they are directly affected.  And the crowd grew.

I was cynical about it.  Until I saw that this man and his followers did not allow politicians to hijack the movement.  Until some politicians were shooed away, so that they did not tarnish the citizen movement.  I wanted to witness this, imbibe the atmosphere of the place.  Last night, Anna and the Government reached an agreement.  But that did not deter me.  I went today to Jantar Mantar.  I am so glad I did.

The energy of the place was unbelievable.  I echo Wordsworth here

Bliss it was that day to be alive

But to be young was very heaven

Who is this young mother and her children?


She is just a person like you and me.  She wants a better country where she won’t pay exhorbitant bribes to get what is rightfully hers and her family’s.

When I reached there, Anna Hazare had already broken his fast.  I did not get to see him.  I saw Swami Agnivesh and Kiran Bedi.  And I saw people who were celebrating.  Someone came and put a chandan tilak on me.  Then another person came and gave me a tiny piece of laddu.  A third handed me a glass of water.  Some one came and put a lal tilak on me.  There was joy all around.  Near the stage people were dancing the bhangra to the Lokpal song LOL!

Even though it is tough to dance the bhangra to Lokpal, Lokpal, Pass Karo Yeh Lokpal!

I went further and was made to sign a whole lot of signature campaigns and given a lot of paper, still have to read those things.

This is one of the banners I signed.  If you look closely, you will see pen marks on it.

Brand Indian Protest Clothes ,,,,,,,,  Young people were wearing the flag and protest banners.  They were getting flags signed by people.

And of course the havan mandap in which Brashtachar was being symbolically burnt

And an artist was soaking in the atmosphere and painting his impressions of the event

and this one looks like Sharad Pawar but I don’t know what the artist wanted to do … he was still painting

At any given time, you see beggars and eve teasers in CP.  I did not see any at Jantar Mantar.  What I witnessed was throngs of people coming, congratulating each other, walking around happily and then leaving.  Some people came from far off, folk were there from Jammu even, they were organizing a bus to go back.  And of course little kids wearing “I am Anna” caps.  They looked adorable but could not take a pic, they would not stay still.

Then in the evening we organized a candle match in our town

It was fun.  I felt as though we were doing something worthwhile

Do I think the Lokpal Bill will make a difference?

Well, frankly it has.  It has given a platform for fighting corruption.  But more than that, what it has done is this … It got the middle class out on the street, it gave the youth a voice.  If something captures the imagination of the youth, it brings about change.  They are uncompromising and they are idealistic.  And they are impatient.

J. P. Narayan woke them up once, but the nation failed to capitalize it … happened a long time ago.

Abhi picture baaki hai, mere dost!


23 thoughts on “My tryst with destiny makers

  1. Super awesome!!! A candle-light-vigil had been planned here as well, but got cancelled, since Anna had called off his fast!! I was looking forward to being a part of it. Anyway, there must be other worthy ways of contributing to a better India 🙂

  2. Lovely pics Ritu!
    The impact of Anna Hazare has been very strong, people, I believe.
    The congress government buckled under the pressure, I really think they got scared, they got scared that Anna Hazare would mobilize the entire country at the rate he was going. They got scared of the middle class, which has been sleeping till now. And they got scared of the Jail Bharo andolan.
    I don’t know how much of a difference it will make, but, what I can see today is that if we stand united as a country, we can change a lot.
    Thanks for the lovely pics.

  3. We do love India, politicians we hate,
    And 9th of April is a significant date.
    Its indeed a rare pleasure
    Politicians under pressure
    Real power to the people, at this rate.

  4. Wow beautiful pic. I dont know if this will have any effect but but one thing is clear people power is coming up and this shows that people when we get together we can do anything. Yes we can.
    We will get there maybe not in my life but we will all we need to do is not get this wave slow down. Now is the time to go one more step lets not rest.
    Well done ritu bhen hats off to you for being there I wish I could.
    Good one .

  5. I have tears in my eyes reading this, and seeing the photos Ritu. Thank you so so so very much for sharing! I am so missing being in India, being a part of this right now. I cannot even explain it in words. But my thoughts and spirit is there, cheering for Anna. Not only for him fighting the government, but for filling me and millions of other Indians with hope, not letting us believe that there is nothing we can do, to change the country. Long live our great nation, long live its beautiful spirit, long live the belief in good!!!!!! I lived the moment through this post Ritu, cannot thank you enough for it! 😀

  6. (delurking!)
    love your blog, love your style! 🙂
    it mustve been so inspiring and a stirring moment, being able to be a part of the ‘revolution’, even if it was a passive role. good you could make it there, many might have missed the chance of experiencing the strong feeling, which has to prevail.

  7. i googled and found out what was happening in Navi Mumbai as a upport for Anna ( i stay in vashi in navi mumbai which is light years away from Azad Maidan in town where all the action was happeneing !)
    so anyway, i googled the contact, spoke to him and found out that a Candle Light vigil was to be organised that eve at Vashi Rly Station (friday-Apr 8th)..i sent the information to all my colleagues at work and asked them to join me (our office is not too far from there)…
    Unfortunately, none of my educated , well read, well travelled armchair philospher colleagues joined 😦

    disheartened but not disillusioned, i went alone and boy, am i glad i did !
    the atmosphere was electrifying..strangers, from all walks of life, old and young, literate & illiterate, shy or open, were all there…we lit candles, shouted slogans, sang anti corruption songs and vowed, with hundred other fellow citizens to make India a better place to live…

    Ritu ji, in my 27 years of life, i have never felt more INDIAN before 🙂

  8. Its so wonderful to be part of that Campaign and feel the pulse of the people – the energy is too great to miss. Am glad u went there….. 🙂 Thnx for sharing. 🙂

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