Youth draw parallels with Egypt as Hazare's crusade continues

Youth draw parallels with Egypt as Hazare's crusade continues

As all eyes are fixed on the drama unfolding in the capital with Hazare's fast-unto-death for an effective Lokpal Bill entering into the fourth day here today, the country's youth in particular have been conspicuous with their vigorous campaigning on the streets and in the cyber space.

"We are here to keep the revolutionary spirit alive. If countries like Egypt and Tunisia could bring about change, why can't India with a population of over a million emulate the same? We don't want the tide of revolution to ebb, we want it to go on. We want change," said 20-year-old Ninan Varghis, a student of Delhi's St Stephen's college.

78-year-old Hazare's demand to set up a joint committee to draft an effective anti-corruption bill have drawn support from various quarters.

"I don't see why the government is so reluctant. We see in the introduction of the Lokpal bill an India that respects the political and cultural rights of its citizens," said 26-year-old Bhawna Jain, an HR consultant working in Gurgaon.

"The 'Anna mania' has caught on. Everyone wants to meet this man whose self-control and passion for a cause is something few of us could even dream of emulating. You may agree or disagree with him but you can't ignore him," she said, while wading her way through the crowd to catch a glimpse of the man.

Meanwhile, further thrust was given to Hazare's movement with several online activists flooding microblogging and social networking sites with messages supporting Hazare's crusade against corruption.

While discussions on social networking sites and Twitter for the proposed bill have helped garner support of the youth, SMSes like "Anna Hazare at 78 is fasting for YOUR FUTURE, will you sit at home and let him die?" and "Yes, you can" have piqued the curiosity of many.

"When I first received the message I dismissed it as publicity stunt, but then when I saw Hazare on TV and heard so many people talk highly about him I realised there was more to the movement. When I joined the rally I felt reinvigorated.. like I was finally doing something for my country," Harsh Chordia, a student of IIT Delhi, said.

Facebook and Twitter have seen around 45-50 updates per minute on Hazare. Users are constantly updating their views and urging others to join the cause.

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