28 August 2011

the power of one

Change. 6 letters and such profound implications. Change is not easy for many of us and changing anything be it behaviour, thought process or a political system requires huge momentum. Today Anna Hazare broke his fast and the government has finally conceded to the Jan Lokpal Bill (People's Ombudsman Bill) . For a country struggling under a form of modern tyranny, this is the stuff of legends.

Indians for the most part are a passive lot and it can be argued that this is part of the reason why the country has survived its very long, and often bloody history. Like reeds along the river that bend when the water rises, the people of this great nation have always stooped to conquer. What Team Anna has shown us is that, sometimes we must stand up to fight.

In his defiance to accept less than what is deserved, he has awoken a listless nation to a full frenzy. Activists always talk about the power of the people when it comes to a social, political or environmental cause. However, we have forgotten what it entails. We have forgotten the passion it demands, the frustration it needs, the belief it creates and the revolution it can awaken.

Change is difficult for many reasons. As human beings we are set in our ways and rarely venture out of our comfort zone. However, throughout history we have witnessed that it often takes only one individual to stand up tall and firmly say, "Enough!" - and magically people follow. There is a saying in India, in fact it is inscribed on the national emblem which reads Satyameva Jayate which literally translates to 'Truth Alone Triumphs'. Ironically, it was adopted as the Indian national motto after Independence but since then it appears that we have forgotten what it means. It turns out that we needed a smiling old man from the time it was initially adopted to remind us.

And oh! what a reminder it was. Not only did Anna Hazare go out to achieve his aims but he has also reminded us all about the power of one. Like I said change is difficult; and memories are short but hope springs eternal. So let us hope that we remember that revolution is not dead and change will come when it is ardently wanted.