Anna Hazare and General V. K. Singh addressed a big assembly of students at Varanasi. At a broad estimate, between 40 to 60 thousand students were present. The devotion and enthusiasm with which the students listened to General V. K. Singh and Anna Hazare opened a lot of doors to many possibilities. But first, why did students in such big numbers gather to listen to Anna Hazare and V. K. Singh : do the students take delight in listening to different viewpoints, do they take the speeches of leaders as entertainment, is there a ‘glamorous’ craze amongst the students to be seen with V. K. Singh and Anna Hazare or are the students on a new search? These questions arise in the mind because, after 1988-89, the students have neither seen such a big movement, nor have they participated in one. In the meantime, almost all political parties have tasted power in Delhi and are still in power today in some or the other State.
A crowd which had assembled for Lal Krishna Advani at the Kashi Vidyapith ground in Varanasi, numbered about 500 people at a rough estimate, and close to 1000 people in a more specific estimate. For Anna’s rally, the people of Varanasi are saying that it was after many years that students had gathered in this manner to listen to someone’s speech. Other citizens did not come to this assembly because promotion was done in the name of the Chatra-Yuva Sammelan (Student Youth Conference). But the entire broad road outside the Kashi Vidyapith was jam-packed with citizens and movement on the road had stopped. During the entire programme, there was a large number of girl students in the assembly, even though they do not usually come in large numbers to student programmes. General V. K. Singh and Anna Hazare enunciated their views and opinions on important issues in this assembly and the students displayed their support for these opinions by clapping and raising their hands. General V. K. Singh primarily gave stress on today’s situation, disappointment from the political parties and a new student-youth movement which would work for a change. Anna Hazare told the students about social discrepancies, political possibilities, ideology of Gandhi and about the experiences of his life.
Manish Tewari is seen working as an Information Minister who is less of a representative of the Government and more of an agent of his party. He has an abundant store of false arguments and confusion causing sentences. Manish Tewari can be considered as the canniest, cleverest and the slyest Information Minister of all the Information Ministers till date.
If students in such large numbers show the courage to fight on the primary issues and questions, then it should be believed that new winds of political change are going to flow in the country. This political change different from the political structure of today, can make a start in establishing a new political structure in which there would be literal participation of people and which would give the poor, the deprived, Dalits, backward classes and Muslims along with all the disappointed people of all classes justice, education, employment and a new future. In this new campaign, not only would there be the guidance of General V. K. Singh, but it would also have the leadership of the students and the youth. So when General V. K. Singh and Anna Hazare made an announcement that a resolution has to be taken to change the country by gathering at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna on the coming 30 January, students indicated their support by joyfully clapping their hands. A public meeting is going to take place on the forthcoming 30 January in Patna at the Gandhi Maidan, which will be addressed by Anna Hazare and General V. K. Singh and a programme will be built around reinstating the rights of the people. This rally will raise those questions of the public before the political system, which the political parties of today refuse to believe.
The eyes of all the political parties are focused on Anna Hazare’s appeal that people should go to Patna and raise a new voice, and the likely impact. Governments are working in their own way to foil Anna’s proposed rally. Till the time of writing this, the officials of the Bihar Government have not given permission for use of the Maidan for the assembly of Anna Hazare. Less coverage is given on television as well to Anna Hazare’s appeal that people from all places should gather at Patna. The speeches of Anna Hazare and General V. K. Singh are not telecast on television. It seems that the BJP and the Congress have failed in their efforts to make a connection with Anna Hazare and General V. K. Singh. So they are both working unitedly and Manish Tewari is seen working as an Information Minister who is less of a representative of the Government and more of an agent of his party. He has an abundant store of false arguments and confusion causing sentences. Manish Tewari can be considered as the canniest, cleverest and the slyest Information Minister of all the Information Ministers till date.
Now a lot of confusion will be spread among the public about Anna Hazare and General V. K. Singh, efforts will be made to detach them from students and the youth. Full preparations will be made to ensure that public does not stand with them. These conspiracies might well be successful, because Anna Hazare and General V. K. Singh have opinions only, no money at all. The political parties in which all parties are included have made it a habit among the youth and the common man that till arrangements of vehicles are made, arrangement of food is made and some hard cash is given, till then they do not come out anywhere. Should it then be believed that the rally of Anna will be a failure, because I have full faith that Anna Hazare and V. K. Singh cannot make these sort of arrangements? So if there is an examination, a test now, then it is the test of the public, it is a test of the students and youth on whether they will give support to Anna Hazare and General V. K. Singh who are fighting for their interests, or support those who have been making a fool of them since the last 60 years and will keep on making more of a fool of them in the next 60 years.