Erom Sharmila of Manipur is on fasting since almost ten years. The authorities are keeping her alive by nasal-feeding. She is protesting against the actions of Indian army in the state.
Swami Nirgamanand was fasting, demanding the cleansing of the holy river Ganga. He died in mid June-2011.
Baba Ramdev went on fast in June-11 with certain demands about the black money.
Most people were unaware about the fasting of Sharmila, who has not been taking any food from mouth for years. It was only recently came into light when a small news-item published in some of the news papers, after the fasting of Anna was ended.
But still Sharmila was lucky that her fasting has been noticed when she is alive. Swami Nirgamanand’s fast was not even noticed, leave alone bothered, by anyone, including media, until he died of the hunger.
Baba Ramdev and supporters were evicted forcefully from the Ramleela ground, at the fourth night of the fast.
Whereas in the case of Anna’s fast, within a week’s from the fasting started, all concerned have started breaking heads about how to end the fast. On 12th day the government accepted (not necessary it will keep the promise !) the demands of Anna. In the history of the independent India, first time the parliament requested an ordinary citizen to end his fast. The fast was ended.
Why Sharmila and Nirgamanand were totally neglected, Ramdev was manhandled but Anna was taken seriously from very second day of the fast? The reason is YOU. You, the common man (and of course, woman).
Yes, it was the visible support from the people that made the authority to think seriously about the consequences of Anna’s fast. There were supporters present in the Ramleela ground in case of Baba Ramdev, but the government was damn sure that the Baba has no active support from common people. Whereas in case of Anna, authority had found that the number of supporters present in the Ramleela ground were just tip of the iceberg. Many more numbers were ready to crowd the streets, if required. And that was the strength of the common people.
It is immaterial how the support was commanded by team Anna and why people in general had supported Anna. It could be the corruption at all level or the rising prices or some other reason. The important thing is that it was the all around active support extended to Anna by the public in general, has made the authority nervous. Had such support was not there, the team-Anna would have met with the same fate as was met by Baba Ramdev.
So, it is the people who decide the fate of any leader or any movement. Remember this at the time of next election, may it be election of local councilor or MLA or MP. If you decide, you can make them responsive to your feelings and demands.
Come out and show the leaders, political or otherwise, that they are dependent on you for their future.