Wednesday, April 4, 2012

One year of the Janlokpal movement: What have we achieved?

On 5th of April 2011 for the first time I left the comfort of my home and participated in a demonstration. Strangely, I was not the only one. The day of 5th April 2011 is a major milestone in the history of anti-corruption movement in this country as it was the first time when the anger against graft actually spilled on to the streets.

A year has passed since that day and in this past year the people participating in this movement have gone through much and learnt many lessons. Few of them too tough to digest. But still, if today, I pause for a second and look back at the year that has gone by, I will still find many reasons to be happy and hopeful.

Happy, because now I know that there are not one or two, but millions of Indians like me who dream of a better India. Hopeful, because this movement has brought many of these onto the same platform.

Happy, because even if we have not achieved Janlokpal, this movement has brought attention to the issue of corruption. The same people who used to say that graft has penetrated the DNA of India and nothing is possible now say that may be, the movement is on the right path. Hopeful, because at least now, the youth of India has started to take interest in what is going on in our country. At least a chunk has moved from being unconcerned to being participants in this movement against corruption.

Happy, because few years down the line I would be able to tell my daughter or son that I was a part of the movement against corruption. Hopeful, because I know that if we keep trying like we have doing in the past one year, my children might be born in a better India.

However the last one year in this movement has also taught me that those in power will stoop to any level to silence the ones, who voice their discomfort over the current status of things. It has taught me that they will make promises and commitments only to backtrack later on. It has taught me that they will not leave any stone un-turned to defame the anti-corruption movement and it's faces.

Despite, of all these, I am hopeful. I believe that some day soon we will be able to achieve 'Swaraj' as envisioned by Anna and Arvind. This hope is not based merely on dreams, but also because I see the kind of effort these people put in and how firmly they believe in the decentralization of power that they talk about.

The coming year will be crucial for the future of this movement. It may very well shape the future of this country. All we need to do is have faith and work continuously towards what we had set to achieve a year ago.