Fast unto death.
Ever wondered about the intensity of action conveyed by these simple words?The power bestowed upon these words?Empires could crumble,moncarchs could step down probably a hierarchy could end.Probably the elementary form of dissent.So a simple Gandhian stands up for what he thinks has been in the wait for all eternity.Anna Hazare.A representative for all the hero deprived commoners.Circumstances call for a change,change in turn calls for a revolution,revolution calls for a representative.But what if the representative stands for a cause that gives hope for a succeeding change which will probably(to the best possible application of the word) bring about a revolution in the general framework of things?Lokpal Bill.Maybe an answer or maybe just a means.But to quote a few newspaper editorials,in the present stage it is just a hope.Like the one’s offered by political parties before elections.Not taking away any credit from that man,he stood for a hope.Which could be a benchmark against which all further government implementations could be judged.But most importantly the man was ready to sacrifice a basic need probably for the greater good.A dissent which got national appeal thanks to the media frenzy and thanks to every television anchor trying to dramatize the situation by pointing his finger repeatedly pointing his finger at the camera and shouting for all his money’s worth “Jaago India,Jaago”.Yes the Government had to bow down.Yes the Government put up a joint panel to draft the Lokpal bill.Not criticizing Anna Hazare or deglorifying his intentions and actions but doesn’t that make you wonder about the actions which lead to this?Is that what it takes to wake up one and a half billion people from their slumber?Rebellion by foregoing food?Is that what it takes to make the PM stand up and personally make statements on your demands?
Then I ask what about the millions of Indians forced to forego the very basic need of life?Starvation deaths are not something which are unheard of in India.What about those silent protesters?There are many among us who try to conjure up one decent meal a day,only to realize that a superior conjurer promises such an ‘illusion’ every 5 years uncannily the promises come right before the democratic elections.What about those protesters whose voice have never reached the ‘selective-hearing’ ears of the Government.Even if the obvious came into the sight of the omnipresent eyes of the Government,the brain(here in,the clusterfuck of top notch ministers) would ‘TRY’ to conjure up a solution.Not denying the fact that there are schemes like Rs 2 per kg rice,but the implementation of such schemes?That is altogether a different story.
In Calcutta(I prefer the older name) in the years following 1947,Monday was declared as ‘miss-a-meal’ day.Eateries were forced to serve either lunch or dinner,not both.That gives you a rough idea about the shortage of food then.We were against neo-colonialism offered by the US.Things have changed since then but a few stinging facts remain.For a country having the fourth largest economy by purchasing power parity standards,41.6% of our population falls below the international poverty line that is,41.6% of our population live on less than Rs21.6 a day in urban areas and less than Rs14.3 in rural areas.81.6% of Bihar’s population(which is about 95 million) is poor.
The Father of our nation said that development of India lies in the development of her villages.Self-sufficient villages,that is.Probably he was true considering the fact that 60% of our population lives in villages.I am stating this because it helps support a forthcoming point.There are people suffering out there if not dying from the lack of food.Feeding every citizen might not be the top priority of government’s agenda nor is it our biggest problem but it definitely does make one wonder about the current situation.As of now I am not trying to offer any solution through this post but just presenting you with a situation to ponder upon.I am just another guy amused by the irony that prevails in national headlines these days which is the Lokpal bill.Before this post could give you a point of view I would like to clarify a thing,I am an optimist for this country’s future,I believe greater things lie ahead for us to savour but then I ask again ‘What about those silent protesters for whom one bowl of rice translates to a days meal?’.Probably their voices have been lost in echoes of our government’s socio-economic policies which involve satisfying the corporate hunger,the advent of a new technology influenced dawn and better foreign realtions.Which in short implies neglection of a few for the greater good.Greater good they say.Sadly a few ever present facts will haunt us,the fact stated earlier regarding the major part(about 60%) of population living in villages.We are still an agriculture based economy.We are still an economy dependent on annual rainfall.We are a country living in our villages.We are India.