Tag Archives: Anna Hazare

Movie Review: Satyagraha – It’s Just Okay!

By Shankar Venkatraman

13aug_Satyagraha-MusicReview

Satyagraha – reminder of the “Lokpal” Andolan!!! Some good insights in “what could have transpired behind the scenes of Anna Hazare hunger strike”, great use of technology with focus on Social Media Marketing, minimal ‘gyaanbaazi’ though Jha had the platform to rake in ‘n’ number of issues and the brilliance of Bachchan…

Corruption, politics and revolution huh…a poignant and helpless B speaks the angst in the climax “where is the nation headed as there is no one to hear us out…”True indeed as ‘aam junta‘ continues to suffer for there is nobody to listen to them. It is better to forget the civic lessons we’ve had on the freedom and rights fundas!!! The movie takes a dig on almost all aspects – youth to take up a cause with the advent of technology, the games played by the political parties, conscientious citizens who sacrifice their “current” in lieu of a “future” which looks still bleak. A moralistic media (for a change) who speaks on the “need for a change” without unscroupulous means…the tirade against justice continues.

The movie has come at a time when the country is perhaps undergoing the worst economic and social turmoil ever. There has been a complete breakdown of every possible fabric that binds the nation together. The movie limits itself to a small town while addressing that “this is the state of affairs” across the nation. But how far can a common man go to make life better is still unclear! We pay all our taxes right?

Income tax with onions and oil prices going up…30% of our earnings and efforts…are donated to the national and state exchequers for these goons to keep looting us in every plausible way!!!

Road tax with no proper roads…an aam junta is so burdened with his own troubles…where has he got time for such idealist movements??

Devgan is in his usual space (as always in a Prakash Jha movie), Rampal gets wasted, Kareena is poise personified and Amrita is just about okay…Manoj is cheesy and awesome. BiG B-wallah re wallah…check out his eyes, his gait, his downburst…too much!

Go watch it and if possible grab a copy of “Main Azaad Hun” movie – nothing has changed in the last 25 years though.

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An Open Letter To Mr. Milind Deora

milind deora

Dear Mr. Deora,

Thanks for a great article in TOI of August 14, 2013. It was enlightening to hear the views of one of our elected representatives on a topic that’s close to the hearts of many a youngster in this country. However, some points you raised are worthy of a debate, the benefits of which you’ve extolled in your article, and hence a response was warranted. I will try to summarize your main points so as to keep the response closely tied to the article.

Point #1: Social media platforms do not allow for healthy debate, while our Parliament does.

This point of view is expected and unsurprising within the small minority amongst us who’re on the other side of the “Great Divide of Government of India”, but isn’t substantiated by facts. I call it the Divide because our governance system, from the Parliament at the top right down to the beat constable and peon in a sarkari office, is extremely hard to approach and get service from for a common citizen, which is the very reason for its existence. For the vast majority of the population of this country, it’s almost like a government for itself, by itself, and of itself.

Therefore, we do not hold the Parliament’s ability to hold healthy debates in any high esteem when we read reports that the number of hours that our Lok Sabha sits during its five-year term has been falling steadily, and reached the worst ever record in the 15th Lok Sabha (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-04-29/india/38902758_1_lok-sabha-budget-session-sittings). Not only that, this Lok Sabha is also on its way to achieving the dubious distinction of having passed the fewest bills in independent India’s history.

So where does the common citizen go to express their anguish about a non-functioning government? Social media. For the first time, there is a platform that allows every individual the opportunity to be heard by millions of other people, and we’re going out there in hordes to talk about the pain we all on this side of the Divide experience every single day. For the average person, Twitter and Facebook are less about popularity and approval ratings like you mentioned, and more about spreading the word about their experiences and finding common cause with others.

Point #2: Changes that result due to outbursts enabled by social media are not well thought-through

You reference the Arab Spring and Iranian Awakening and the Brazilian protest, but miss the protests on the streets of New Delhi during Anna Hazare’s campaign and after the 2012 brutal gangrape incident. But you make a valid point. Protests by people are usually looked upon as a threat by established governments, and the point being made is missed for the noise, and slowly the protest transforms into an us-vs-them battle. However, did our government react any differently during the protests staged in India? Did we ever get closer to getting a Lokpal bill enacted or a corruption-free government? Did we ever get closer to having the streets of this country safe for our sisters and daughters? Unfortunately no. And this lack of solution-building is not attributable to the use of social media, but to the absence of a sensitive, humble, and engaged leadership within our government.

Point #3: Social media encourages pretence, showmanship, and shallow posturing

Assume social media doesn’t exist in our country. Walk out on the streets like a common man and watch how politicians, top bureaucrats, and the rich and powerful of this country move. You will see beacons, blaring sirens, police and personal security pushing everyone else aside, or stopping them altogether. From the posh NDMC areas, try walking towards other parts of Delhi where the top government officials of our country do not live. You will notice that broad, tree-lined, spotlessly clean boulevards give way to congested, filthy, broken roads that have people, vehicles, animals all crammed into every inch of space possible. If this isn’t pretence, showmanship, and posturing, what is? It’s not about the tools we use, but who we are and how we think that creates the vices that you ascribe to social media.

You are a young and well-educated leader of this country, and we are looking to you to bring a change in our country. What we need is very simple – equal access to basic amenities like clean water, air, food, and adequate housing, and equal opportunity to fulfill one’s dreams, for every single citizen of this country. We hope you care enough for your country and its people to work towards this goal, and will not get lost in the distractions that power in our country carries with it in heavy doses.

Regards,

Sarvesh

India Needs More Anna Hazares to Control Corruption

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By Pinaki Pratihar

‘62% Indians had first-hand practice of paying bribes ’

I saw the figure for the first time during Anna Hazare’s anti corruption movement. The Indian youth and the corporates had made an effective online campaign for the world’s most successful event of recent times. Huge number of people, who were active online and offline, raised their voice. Yes! It was a too much of an incident for the ‘world’s largest democratic country’.

We did it!

Mass active people, less important political impacts!

India did it! ……

A large number of Indians were a part of the campaign, and it was unfortunately delayed; nevertheless, it turned out to be an inspiring event for India.

Corruption probably has always been a part of the human society (as a whole) and has definitely been nurtured many a times over by corrupt people in history. We were conscious about the facts and the bad impact of corruption. May be the repetition of same crime again and again in the timeline of our country, forced us to believe that just like poverty and illiteracy corruption is also a part of our social life. An Indian grows up experiencing a corrupt traffic police at a check-point, and visiting only doctor who practice privately since the government medical professionals would be too lackadaisical!

All of us know the dealer of ration, sells one third of the allotted grains to a local shop, and the shopkeeper who purchases and resells it.

It has been discussed and concluded that awareness should be in everyone across the country against corruption. FMCG companies are proved successful to reach any rural part of An estimated 18-20% among villagers (Where 55% people use at least one HUL product regularly) knows about Anna and 10% can initiate a discussion about Anna Hazare and ‘the anti-corruption movement’.  This campaign was unable to reach them by TV-News channels, Reality shows, and Internet media. Word of Mouth! This traditional and most effective medium also unable to reach these villagers! How this issue can be solved by this type of poor reach? So, don’t think, these media are the only way to reach rural India. Maximum young people in India don’t mind to get corrupted or to bribe someone at a small level. How such a large nation can control corruption?

Few Ways I’d like to focus on,

Two-front model: There will be only two political parties, Like USA. It will always reduce the political corruption level. When there is a third party, the society normally gets corrupted.

Constitutional modification: So the constitution should be modified in a way. May be it is changing day by day, or we are changing the interpretation. But the process should be fast, we Indians are adopted with our frequently changing buying behavior. We had adjusted with changes of petrol price. We can adjust with few political changes. Politics! It can reach you easily!

Whistle Blower: Provide us an effective set of channels to blow the whistle on time. Online is not the solution.

Law should be changed! Protesters will be encouraged, when they can feel Govt. is taking prompt action regarding their demand!

Media: I can remember a line of my childhood. I read on a wall of our Panchayet office, “Dadu-nati bhai bhai/ Eksathe pathsala jai” (Enjoying school days with my grandson), a symbol of an old Govt. initiative ‘mission literacy’. The line was successfully placed and reached the root of our society. If postman can reach these people, if HUL can do it, Media definitely can. Govt. should be open to face the music of mass. Theatres and local movies, please shout in the name of a corruption free India.

I feel ashamed, when I find many rural people least bothered about the country, in fact, they don’t have a clear idea, about the map of India. Gram-Panchayat , Govt. Servants and political parties are their Government. What more you expect from just one Anna?

India needs more Anna Hazare, just to educate people about corruption, in a proper way.

The only and only way to stop this corruption today is to de-root the issue by psychological, mental & spiritual growth of people. Make the life meaningful for them as there is no such corruption measures and solution for this problem.

Another day will come, when a new group of people will claim for justice against some old social and constitutional drawbacks. Today’s school goers are affected internally by this Anna Hazare movement as they have seen the naked facts of corruption. They will come-up with a strong base like us. Next movement will be a bigger success. This is the only way to get recovered from such traditional negative practices. The more we will know, the more we can control corruption.

5 Reasons Why Aam Aadmi Party’s Civil Disobedience Is Justified

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Allegations against Arvind Kejriwal and his party that his entire fast was a drama for political gains are gaining stead. Here are five reasons why even if the entire thing was for gains still the movement is justified.

  1. Firstly on sheer numbers, AAP claimed they got 9.6 lakh people to sign the letter of protest. The population of the national capital is approximately 20 million and 1 million is 5 percent of it. Not by any standards a small number in a democratic set-up. This simply means that the people of the day are being harassed in the name of electricity and water bills. Even if half of what AAP claims have signed the protest, it’s too large a number to be ignored and hence a movement is completely correct on accord.
  2. If this Deccan Herald report is to be believed, more than Rs. 60 million is pending from the account of MP’s (some even dead now) as far as non-payment of electricity and water bills are concerned. For them non-payment is convenient, for us it becomes illegal even if the bill looks more like ransom.
  3. A few said Kejriwal is doing all this to garner a few seats in the Delhi elections. To me, thankfully he is fasting, talking to the common man about his problems and taking up the issue in a manner that will hurt the nation the least. At least he is not promising free ration, free laptops, free TV’s as our so called politicians have made a habit pre-elections.
  4.  Finally, someone is getting into politics of development in this country. We have someone who talks social equality, real causes for the citizenry and has a real agenda for growth of the nation as a whole and not only the corporate world.
  5. And lastly, for all those who say Arvind Kejriwal is ambitious, they have no right because at some point, we all are ambitious. The good things about AK’s ambitions are that he is striving for a greater role through his ambitions. At least, from the looks of it, he looks to deliver a much better Delhi (and then India) through the plans he has.

We have trusted enough cheats and crooks in the name of democracy for 66 long years now. We have been exploited long enough and for me even experimenting on the name of Arvind Kejriwal once does not sound bad. Even if it fails, we could think we at least tried. 

Restoring Connection