A New Protest Reveals New Strengths

It has been a long time since India has observed any people’s movement on the streets of Delhi. It was a movement. It was a protest. It was also a kind of guerilla war. For the first time in the last two decades, we have seen such consternation in Delhi, the seat of the Government of India. After a long time, such courage and power has been shown by someone – enough to bring down the fortifications of the Government. But ultimately what is the actual sense of this 26 August movement?
Sanjay Singh is an associate of Anna Hazare and also an important member of India Against Corruption (IAC). It was on 26 August that the altercation between  members of India Against Corruption (along with the public) and the police took place  on the streets of Delhi.  After a few days, the police filed a case against Arvind Kejriwal and
his associates. A FIR has also been filed with serious allegations. But in between all these, Sanjay Singh was left out. No FIR was filed against him. Instead of being happy, Sanjay Singh requested the police to file a FIR against him. Actually, protesters get this kind of mental and moral strength from the support of the public which stands by them on every occasion. It is that public which on just a signal from Anna Hazare and his team, started to protest against corruption. And that public is the actual strength of this movement – a  strength that was seen in Delhi on 26 August.

Protesters gets  mental and moral strength from the support of the public which stands by them on every occasion. It is that public which on just a signal from Anna Hazare and his team, started to protest against corruption. And that public is the actual strength of this movement – a  strength that was seen in Delhi on 26 August.

In the morning, a five and a half feet tall lean and thin man, along with a few colleagues, stood in the most courageous manner in front of the house of the most powerful political woman in the country, with posters and banners on which the name of the Congress and the BJP were written with the black ink of the coal scam. He was arrested. But the story starts from here. For the first time in the absence of Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal has protested against the Coal Allotment Scam and has held an exhibition on the streets. Kejriwal started his protest movement on 26 August morning, first at Sonia Gandhi’s and then at Manmohan Singh’s residence. Soon after the news that Arvind Kejriwal has been arrested, the public started to gather at the Mandir Marg police station. It was only when the public started encircling the Mandir Marg police station that the police released Arvind Kejriwal.  After that everybody went to Jantar Mantar. In the mean time the streets of Delhi and more specifically the streets that were leading towards the residence of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh respectively were fortified by the police. But till noon the situation became such that wherever the public got some space they began to protest. Not only that, they also went to Janpath. With National Flags in their hands, they first broke the police resistance and they went on to bring down the fortifications of the Government.
Both the police and the Government were stunned by the fact that after even after such elaborate protective measures, the public was successful in their mission. In fact, this was the strength of the public, which the police and the Government didn’t understand. The police had to use tear gas, sticks and water sprayers to combat the protestors. The Government was fully prepared for this protest movement. Firstly it was announced that the Delhi Metro will not run on Sunday on certain routes. But on Sunday morning, when only a few people gathered, then the Government thought nothing would happen and so  it was announced that the Metro will run. And then came the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, the  reaction to which has proved that the strength of the public is still the main pillar of democracy. The most important aspect of this movement was that both the Congress and the BJP were targeted by the public. Arvind Kejriwal  said clearly that there is no Opposition party in the Parliament. Both the Congress and the BJP are involved in corruption. Therefore, the police are continuously writing the statements of the members of India Against Corruption in the Tughlaq Road police station. They have been ordered not to leave Delhi. Despite his, the spirit of the members is high and this movement on 26 August has given a clear indication of the change both in the mood of the people and the condition of the country.

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