On June 3rd, the second round of the new war of independence – this time from Internal Corruption – started as Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare, two self-less contributors to Indian society came together. In the last couple of decades as India’s economy was shinning, the corrupt and the unscrupulous politicians have come together to loot, nay plunder, the country. Some say probably more wealth has been looted from India by its own politicians than during the British rule.
During the Indian freedom struggle against the British, Indian effort was strongly influenced by freedom fighters living in the US. People like Kartar Singh Sarabha of the Ghadar Party, were an important impact on Bhagat Singh and his generation of freedom fighters. Indian community in the US, has from that time in 19th century been strongly and positively involved in the events of their origin country.
As the new struggle for independence has started – from corrupt rule, this time – Indians in the US have come together in different cities to show their solidarity and support for the two brave men in India.
Houston witnessed Indians from all walks of life come together in the local Arya Samaj Temple to take a stock of the situation in India and ways to fight against the disease of corruption.
Shri Bhishma Agnihotri , an eminent lawyer, Chairman of Bharat Swabhiman Overseas Trust and ex-Ambassador-at-large in US, discussed how credible and available legal options have been circumvented or by-passed by the present Government in order to shield the culprits and their money.
“The movement by Babaji will not let the people in power in India sweep the mega monster of corruption under the carpet in a hurry. The people in power did not ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption until May of last year. Earlier, most of the countries of the world had ratified it as early as 2004.
India did not care to do it unless they heard the thunder of Movement of Baba Ramdev. India could not get the benefits of the Convention or other Initiatives, like STAR-The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative of the United Nations as well.”
It is sad that despite the available international treaties and laws, the Indian government has chosen to turn a blind eye to the issue of bringing the black money back.
Why is fighting corruption and the monster of black money important? Acharya Nandaji of Arya Samaj explained the curse of corruption to the Houston group. He said:
India is a country blessed by god and nature. It has a bounty of minerals, fertile lands, and even talented and laborious people. Yet we are a poor country. More than half of the population goes hungry everyday.
40 percent of population is illiterate, while so many don’t get proper medical facilities as millions live in penury and poverty. On the other hand, a few enjoy all the all the wealth and privileges. This is because of corruption, political-criminal nexus, and black money.
These are not just words. Behind the poverty and hunger that we talk about are actual people who have not seen progress since decades. Their pains and struggles are hard to understand. Houston is lucky to have someone in Dr. Sen Pathak, Professor at the renowned MD Anderson Hospital in Cellular Genetics who comes from a small village in India.
Dr. Pathak expressed his anguish at the state of people in his native village. He eyes teared up when he talked about how even after 65 years of independence, his village doesn’t have a proper school and how he and his friends have come together to build a school for the kids there.
He made an emotional appeal to all the NRIs to come together to make a difference in the lives of people in India by taking up this righteous fight for wealth which really belonged to the poorest of the poor of India.
As Mr. Agnihotri explained the importance of Swami Ramdev’s work – “India needed a Yug-Purush, Baba Ramdev, with a divine vision, commitment, diligence, perseverance, and determination to pursue these issues to a logical conclusion.” – in a country beset with apathy and “chal-ta hai” attitude.
This message was finally reinforced by Mr. Shekhar Agrawal, a prominent local business leader and a social leader of the Indian American community, when he emphasized the role that Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare are playing to fight the menace of corruption. He further reiterated that such initiatives require a movement and coming together of the entire population.
To do a big task, many people need to join a movement. Seeing Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare coming together for the common objectives of saving India from the deep rooted problems of Black-money and corruption, I hope that the common man of India will now join their movements and will force the government to make changes for the betterment of Indian people.
Indeed, all people of Indian origin and India’s well wishers need to join hands with the two self-less fighters against corruption in India so that we all can see India rise to its real potential.