After much deliberation, I decided it was no harm writing about the Indian political system – or more clearly, the tale of hunger strikes. It was a somewhat late realization that my writing here does not affect me, you, or the Indian political system in anyway 😛
We Indians are not strangers to fasting. In fact, if we accept the Vedic civilization to be one of the oldest civilizations that existed on the face of earth, it would automatically follow that upavaas (fasting) is an in-born tendency amongst us. Be it for health or for wealth (read as Indian corruption money in Swiss Banks), hunger strikes have proven to be quite effective throughout history.
Personally, my hunger strikes have not lasted for more than a few hours. They have been on the grounds of displaying anger, albeit, the stomach wins all the time. 😛
From Bhagat Singh and Gandhi to Anna Hazare and Anna Hazare (yeah, twice because he went on two hunger strikes to save the nation), Mister Hunger Strike has really struck well.
But as is the usual case in my country, the red-tape on implementation of laws and rules and bills is the only thing that works perfectly – any rule you want to bring in will take so long that you’d probably be six feet underground by the time it gets implemented!!
This is why, even though Bhagat went on hunger strikes for better treatment of political prisoners a long time back, it is only today that we know of prisoners being given access to cellphones, televisions and sometimes even the keys to the cells they are supposed to dwell in.
Democracy can escape wars of the worlds, but to escape from a hunger strike in modern times – now that’s what we call impossible. Of course, the credit does not reside with one person, one organization or one nation (no, you should not treat this as a case of US intervention) – it’s with an entire team, where media plays a very pivotal role – not just in creating beautifully crafted breaking news items, but also making sure the public is bombarded with the hottest of the hot news on the wire. After all, we are still a republican democracy and at least on paper, the public is the ruler of the land. 😀
Now, as we wait to see how things turn out after Team Anna’s calculated and surgical strike, it becomes a proven fact that hunger strikes can make a hell out of governments in power. 😀 Something many nations can actually take a lot of inspiration from.
By the way, I hear some noise emanating from the lower end of my torso.. apparently from the stomach. May be it thinks I am on a hunger strike too and the grumbles are nothing but the disapprovals of the stomach. Let me go feed it for now 😛
(photo credits – Quicktake)