'This is a great step taken by the people'

'This is a great step taken by the people'


'This is a great step taken by the people'

The Anna Hazare movement, that has taken the country by storm, has struck a chord with everyone, including the many expatriates living in the City.

Having made the City their home, albeit for a short period of time, they say that they have never felt the power of the common man in such strength. A few are even enthusiastic about the support social activist Anna Hazare is getting across the country.
Talking to Metrolife, many of the expats expressed the importance of a movement like this to root out corruption but are still trying to understand the practicality of fasting for the cause.

Jenny, an expat from the United States, who has been working in Bangalore for the past three years, is keeping abreast with the movement through the Net and her colleagues everyday.

“Corruption is a vicious thing that must be rooted out. But I’m not too sure if observing a fast to death is a solution. Though Anna and his supporters seem to be clear about what needs to be achieved, the way the protest is going seems as if it’s being done to seek media attention,” she says.

Agreeing with Jenny is Luba, who hails from Russia. While Luba does feel strongly about the issue, she does not know how far fasting will help.  “Having said that, I am very impressed with the power of the people in the country. We are actually getting to see the expression of democracy in its true sense. If something like this were to happen back home in Russia, the government would have immediately put a stop to it. I am glad the people in India at least get a platform to really voice their opinion,” she expresses. 

For Toby, another expat from the USA, the movement reminded him of the people powered movements he has seen in all the places he has lived in.  “From the movements that fight for the right of the homosexuals in the USA to those fighting for the rights of garment workers and other oppressed people in Bangladesh, I have seen them all. I feel these movements are vital in a democracy, but they are only a step, not the end solution.

Here in India, where the vast majority of population lives at or near the poverty level, corruption is a terrible tool of oppression and if Mr Hazare’s movement draws attention to the problem, it’s not a bad thing. But the real action has to come from the people who are affected,” he adds.  

The movement has not only caught the attention of the professionals but even the expat students who have come to the City to study.  Mansoor, who has come from the Middle East, says that the protests in the City have created a stir. “Having lived here for so long, I have experienced incidents when I had to give a bribe or pay extra to the auto guys. This is a great step taken by the people,” he adds.

Ask him if he too is lending his support to the cause? “I would really like to take part but I don’t know if I am eligible for it,” he says, like the many others who were asked the same question.  But one thing they do agree on is that eliminating corruption altogether is easier said than done.

“The corrupt members of society don’t have any conscience and this movement alone isn’t likely to change their actions as they rely on that complacent attitude from the public. If the public stands up and stops paying bribes, the situation will improve. But there is hope if they are willing to sacrifice their immediate personal well-being for the future,” adds Toby.