India's growing corruption has finally forced the country's social activist Anna Hazare to go on indefinite fast from Tuesday but politicial parties are quick to cash in on or to blame each other for the sad turn of events. With support coming from all over the country, political leaders who tried to encash the event by visiting him in New Delhi were seen sent back packing.
The 72-year-old activist is seeking an end to country's chronic corruption that has become synonymous with the government's functioning whether it was the ruling Congress Party or the opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
India was ranked 87 among 178 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index for 2010, mainly owing to growing series scandals related to corruption in holding Commonwealth
Games and in the distribution of 2G spectrum involving the top minister.
The ruling party was, however, quick to defame the crusader calling him an erstwhile member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS), an outfit with close ties with BJP. It questioned the need for his solo agitation describing it as premature, instead of pondering over his demands which bore the element of a common man's wish list against corruption in the country.
Hazare, whose real name was Kisan Baburao Hazare, was aware that the country's corruption is too big to fight alone but was apt to make it clear that citizens should be part of an ombudsman which should be empowered to probe corruption charges against the political leadership and even the judges.
What prompted the two major political parties of the country either to extend support or to distance from him?
“They (BJP) are a political party and are free to do as they wish. In the past too, when I agitated against corruption in the BJP government, the Congress party supported me. Now, it’s the other way around”, says Hazare, who led similar protests in the past for Right to Information Act.
Unlike in the past, Hazare is now getting support online too, whether it was the Bollywood or the country's top media faces. Actor Rahul Bose writes on Twitter that it takes an Anna Hazare fasting unto death to effect systemic change is comment enough. Corruption is part of our DNA. Another actor Siddharth queried saying, What can we do? while extending support to the man.
Rajdeep Sardesai, a well-known media personality and editor of IBN-CNN news channel, urged in a Twitter message: Join Anna Hazare and our citizen against corruption campaign from different parts of the country.
The rage against corruption in the country is finally taking shape.