The preceding week has witnessed two remarkable events that moved million hearts in India and abroad. Godman Puttaparthy Satya Sai Baba took ill and was hospitalized; the hospital the Baba had built – a Super Specialty one, at the request of his mother for the treatment of all, specially the poor. It is said Baba used to visit the hospital to bless the patients. People from far and near come over to Puttaparthy for treatment, often free that include even the expensive heart surgery. What a noble gesture!
Little wonder then when the 85-year holy man took ill about 10 days back, millions converged to Puttaparthy to say their prayers for the recovery of their god, and those who couldn’t take the journey were panicked and prayed at every nook and corner of India and many across the seven seas.
Love, goodwill and service to mankind travel like wild wind across the globe, over the mountains and across the oceans. The earnest prayers of the anxious devotees are heard, and the Baba is on the way to recovery.
In another corner of India, the other event was equally startling. A modest call by a frail septuagenarian Anna Hazare against the eradication of corruption from public life struck the chord of millions. When Anna undertook the fast-on-to-death five days back at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the men in power pooh-poohed it as a gimmick back staged by the frustrated opponents of the government. This statement added fuel to the fire, and the ire of an honest Gandhian like Anna spiraled high to engulf the bastion of the politicians. Anna’s noble stand was upheld by million Indians across the nation and by an equal number world over. The rulers had no respite and found no safe haven to maneuver. When the heat built up by this non-violent and peaceful movement threatened to melt the wax house of the politicians, often accustomed to arm twist the poor citizen by utter misuse of power, they could hardly stand on the clay ground of corruption. Before the collapse of their empire the points raised by Anna Hazare to reformulate Lok Pal Bill were accepted signaling the victory of good over evil!
It is a wake up call to all corrupt politicians and bureaucrats not to burn their fingers again. To gather support of the voters politicians in the country have distributed money, colour TV, waived the bank loans, promised to give free electricity, rice at Rs. 2 per kilo, cheap saris to women and liquor sachets to men. What a degradation of human values to occupy positions of power!
These politicians were confident that Anna has no means to appease the citizens, little knowing that people can not always be fooled, and there are no substitutes for honesty, goodwill and selfless service. Anna did not bring truck-load of paid supporters to Jantar Mantar. People flooded the venue inspired by a different ‘Mantra’, a mantra that thrilled the nation, a mantra that ignited the minds of young and old to root out corruption from the ancient sacred land. Not only in Delhi, people in every village and city in India had given full support to Anna in his crusade against corruption. Young people took out candle light march. E-mails in support of Anna’s move poured in every newspaper centres and to those who initiated this noble move.
It was ‘a come back’ week of Mahatma Gandhi who took years to mobilize support against the British Raj for freedom. Thanks to electronic age, in contrast, Anna got the eager support in hours and days that shook the pillars of the forts of the corrupt. It was like a mega earthquake to damage the manipulations that has taken India to the brink of disaster, and today our nation is branded as the most corrupt in the world. Indian money instead of feeding the poor, opening schools and making roads has made inroads to foreign countries depleting our resources. Large tracts of coastal lands are being sold away; illegal mining continues to siphon out strategic minerals.
We fondly hope that the corrupt practices in public life, administration, and army and even in judiciary come to an end, and our countrymen enjoy freedom from poverty, illiteracy and misrule. Hats off to our countrymen who rose to the occasion and supported the noble cause of Anna Hazare. Let us take the sacred pledge to fight against the corruption and the corrupt and contribute out mite for the growth of our nation.