Youth behind Anna Hazare's success
Gandhian Anna Hazare's success with his anti-corruption movement has been so amazing that, according to a news report, the movement may be included as a case study for management students at the famed XLRI School of Business and Human Resources.
I believe Hazare's movement has been successful because of the overwhelming support from the youth. Even as Hazare had launched a fast since August 16, school children and college youth could be seen wearing the "Gandhi cap" and lending support to Hazare's campaign. This was the scene in Pune, where I reside, and this was the scene elsewhere across the country which I got to witness on television news channels.
Probably Hazare's grooming as a soldier too had a bearing on the success of the movement. Hazare, who has not studied beyond the seventh grade, was a driver in the Army having enrolled in 1963 and served for 15 years. He had returned to his village of Ralegan-Siddhi and had devoted himself to social reforms in the village which included ridding the village of the addictions of alcohol and smoking. He focussed on watershed management programmes and transformed Ralegan-Siddhi into an ideal village. Yet, he remained quite unknown. It is only after 1991 that Hazare focussed attention on issues pertaining to corruption.
But the support that he received during the current movement has been unprecedented. Even Hazare is of the strong opinion that it is within the powers of the youth to change the destiny of the nation.
In sharp contrast, the agitation led by yoga guru Baba Ramdev in New Delhi did not achieve any success.
A woman has been on hunger strike in Manipur since November 2000 but has survived because of forceful nose feeding. Her name is Irom Sharmila, but many probably may not have heard of her name. Described as the Iron Lady of Manipur, Irom Sharmila is fasting to demand the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
Yet, it is Hazare's 12-day fast that had created a stir in the country and I sincerely think it is because of the support from the youth.