Revolution in India?

It’s an exciting time to live in India. My (and I believe most folks’) favorite political activist, Anna Hazare, was put in jail for planning a protest against the Lokpal bill the governement agreed to. It would exclude the prime misister and judges from corruption scrutiny by an independent board. Hazare didn’t think this was fair, neither do I, nor do most Indians to whom I speak. He then wouldn’t leave jail until is fast was sanctioned. There were huge protests in support of Hazare in Delhi, and even in Pune. People are walking around with traditional caps (sorry I don’t know the name) that say in both English and Hindi, I am Anna Hazare. I think folks are sick of it. The problem with corruption is that it’s so embedded into the culture, so much so, that a government official proposed to make it legal. As someone who’s been at the bad end of the stick of two bribes, I just think it’s so ridiculous. Everyone does it, mostly police officers in my situations. It’s part of the day-to-day here and everyone knows it. People respond with a casual, “and I paid X amount to the guy.” I’m very excited to see what’s going to happen in the next few months here. I hop that Anna Hazare not only succeeds in his efforts to have everyone under the jurisdiction of the bill, but that people finally start to change the culture of corruption. There are the skeptics and the non-motivated (frustrated and passive) ones. One friend of mine is not eating up any of the hype. He says that every few years there are big uprisings like this for maybe a month or two, people get tired, and they go back to their day to day. None of this will do any good. Then there are the non-motivated ones who don’t really care what’s going on (maybe they’re just disenchanted) and the ones who are frustrated that streets are blocked, that they get text messages about protests, asking why microphones announcing are so loud, etc. I want to shake them and say they should care, this is great, join, but I can’t, and I don’t. This isn’t my fight.
For more information, I found this article from reuters pretty informative for the basic information on what’s going on: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/18/us-india-protest-idUSTRE77G0PF20110818
My very good friend came to visit me this weekend. It’s the first time I’ve had a planned visitor from Mumbai come to see me. Instead of sleeping in this morning I had to clean my neat but messy room. I was excited to show someone around. She got along great with my Pune friends. It was just very special and nice.
Last night was Dahi-Handi. This is a festival in celebration of Krishna. The story goes that he used to steal his mother’s curd from wherever she used to hide it. Teams of people get together to build human pyramids that try to reach a clay pot of curd. They have to not only reach it but break it open. Sometimes water pours down on them. The pot hangs from a crane that must be at least 40 feet into the air. Many teams attempt. The team that wins, wins a lump sum of money. There are some places that can win up to 12 lakhs which, is 26,000 dollars. Crazy huh?

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: