The Power of People... Ramlila Maidan

Published: Saturday, Aug 11,2012, 15:04 IST
Power of People, Ramlila Maidan, dr rita pal, zee tv, ramdev agitation, patanjali yogpeeth, emergency in farmers, fdi

60,000 and Rising...

It is said that when one door closes, another door opens. This was certainly the case in India this week. Team Anna shut the lights off, shut up shop and took their cricket bats home. Despite commencing a hunger strike with great promise, Team Anna disbanded and never woke up. So began the search for a new hero.

IBTL Columns

When we thought all hope was lost, Yoga Supremo Baba Ramdev burst into scene, announced he was going to run a protest and provided 20,000 supporters almost immediately.

This dynamic charismatic Zee TV superstar of Yoga entered the forum and took over where Team Anna left off. His mission - to ensure a strong Lokpal [anti-corruption bill] and to bring back the black money taken unlawfully from India. The government has not taken this protest seriously and the mainstream media representations are fairly low-key leaving people to rely on social media for news. Nevertheless, as the days have gone by, this dynamic Yoga Supremo has attracted more and more supporters.

The last head count was approximately 60,000 people thanks to the brilliant citizen reporting by Mr Anupam Pandey whose photography live at Ramlila can be reviewed here. The predicted numbers for the weekend is approximately 100,000 people.

Black Money Implications : India has serious problems with its infrastructure not to mention its poor record in poverty, malnutrition and the uncontrolled mental health emergency in farmers - none of which have been tackled by the Congress government. In the meantime, the hard pressed tax payer has to fund the deficits caused by the huge amounts of money unlawfully exiting India. For those who are oblivious to this, it is important to outline what Black Money is:-
“Black money refers to funds earned on the black market, on which income and other taxes have not been paid. The money that is earned and hoarded by dishonest and unfair means and kept in secret to evade taxes is called black-money. Black money remains unaudited /accounted in the duration of country's tax assessment period. It causes big losses of tax revenues to the government. It becomes black because no taxes are paid on it.” [Reference – Black Money and Its Impact on Indian Economy ]

The total amount is unknown but estimated at 500 billion dollars [Feb 2012, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)].

The economic impact of black money is important for every member of the public to understand because it affects all lives. It us summarised here.

Black money in a financial system is likely to throttle the free circulation of a country's resources in the proper course. Additionally, it widens the income difference between sections of society. Salaried people, particularly individuals within the lower steps of the company hierarchy, tend to witness stagnant earnings in contrast to those in the higher ranks as it can be correctly believed that the last mentioned group has large sources of unaccounted income, the proof of which originates from media stories practically every day”
The 2006 Swiss Banking Association Reports cites the figure of $1,456 billion of Indian money in their banks. The government’s White Paper on Black Money can be read here for anyone believes them!

A shocking figure revealed in a Swiss magazine was the wealth of an Italian Waitress turned Congress mascot going by the name of Sonia Gandhi.

"According to the article, Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte, 11 November 1991 revealed that Sonia Gandhi, was the control of secret Swiss bank accounts worth $ 2.2 billion (Rs 10,000 crore)."
While millions of Indian citizens are dying, living in poverty or working hard to make ends meet, there are a select few who are living the diamond life. These selfish individuals live in decadent glitzy life while the common man suffers. The indirect and direct consequences of black money affects every single hard working person in India.

People Power : Every Indian has to pay their taxes whether it is direct or indirect. It is public expectation that the government should make good use of this money to build a strong economic foundation for the future. Of course, it is common knowledge that this has never happened. Indeed, the taxes harvested from the public can be seen to be misused every day. One such recent pointless move was to provide every single person below the poverty-line with a mobile phone. It might have been more beneficial for Congress to cancel the breakfasts and lunches between the media and Rahul Gandhi so that each person below the poverty-line had enough food to eat per day. Then of course there is the constant waste of funds due to the corruption scandals in India. It is therefore easy to demonstrate how the current government abuses and wastes public funds while  Indian people toil in their jobs daily.

There are of course similarities between the Congress government and the notorious East India Company. Its reckless misuse and theft of Indian wealth was infamous. Moreover, its draconian rule caused the revolution of 1857. This revolution is characterised by an uprising against the injustice meted out to the Indian people.

Throughout history all revolutions and rebellions have sought to bring about change. In 1789, France faced a similar economic crisis to India today.  The nobility were decadent, greedy and oblivious to the needs of the common man. This was characterised by the storming of the Bastille. More famously,  “upon being informed that the citizens of France had no bread to eat, Marie Antoinette , Queen-consort of Louis XVI of France, exclaimed "let them eat cake", or "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche". There are of course similarities in the lack of insight in Marie Antoinette and India’s Premier Italian Waitress turned Billionaire Sonia Gandhi.

We are currently witnessing the legacy of system inherited from the British Raj, a destruction of India’s infrastructure by a government whose sole motive is self interest and sheer greed. If we look back at history, the only solution to this is people power through Team India. As Congress has repeatedly demonstrated, they are both selectively deaf and conveniently blind if important questions are asked of them. This is the same trait shown by the East India Company many years before the rebellion of 1857.

Of course, Congress has never made a song and dance about the bravest woman in Indian history for reason. It is because she epitomised the identity of India. Her name was the Rani of Jhansi. The Rani of Jhansi was fearlessly brave, never compromised on her principles, worked tirelessly to be the best, was kind, had amazing stamina and always fought for what she believed to be right and inspired many others to do so. Congress rule has destroyed her memory and also the meaning of real Indian identity. With it, it appears to have destroyed the real brave-hearts of India. It is this identity of India epitomised by the bravest in history that should be preserved. While each person in India searches for someone else save them from injustice, they forget that there is a hero in each person. Each small change made in a person’s life extends to a larger change elsewhere. If each person stood by their friends to fight injustice or oppression, the government would be powerless.

People like Team Anna and Baba Ramdev are merely catalysts, people who have tried to make others more independent. If each person decides to believe in all the principles taught by the Rani of Jhansi then India would not be in such a fractured country. Cosmopolitan India has become more selfish, tending to their own nuclear family needs rather than the genuine concern for their country, their friends and their colleagues. This is not the India envisaged by the Rani of Jhansi or Mahatma Gandhi.

It should be noted that many people gave their lives for India to be a better place – Mangal Pandey, Bhagat Singh, Rani of Jhansi, M K Gandhi and numerous nameless faceless individuals who died throughout Indian history because they dared to make a stand against oppression. We should not forget the numerous massacres committed by the British Empire that have remained unaccountable. These people did not die because they wanted us to lie supine while India was being looted by the rich and powerful. They died because they believed that the India in the future would be a successful and democratic country that believed in civil liberties.

I am always told that the Indian identity is all about learning Hindi, wearing a sari, reading Sanskrit, having an arranged marriage amongst other cultural issues. From my reading of history, Indian identity is nothing of the sort – the aspect that differentiates the Indian from the rest of the world is their resilience, their toughness, their stamina, their ability to fight against injustice, their fairness, their kindness, their ability to work hard, their faith and their ability never to give up no matter what sacrifices have to be made.

This week, increasing daily numbers from 20,000 to 40,000 to 60,000 attended the Ramlila Maidan grounds in New Delhi in support of a protest led by Baba Ramdev. Miracles can happen but they only happen with maximum people power. If an Indian cares for his country, he will offer his hand of support in whatever little way he can. Team India is all about supporting each other in a common cause and believing in a better India. If we all stand together in this common cause, Team India will have a better chance of succeeding. This chance is better than no chance at all.

Those of you who can attend Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi India, please go this weekend. Those who cannot attend, come and help us all with social networking and raising the important issues that affect India.

If everyone helps, we will have created people power – the only anti-dote to oppression and tyranny in the 21st Century. Those in government may suppress our free speech, they may arrest us, they may try and destroy us, they may attempt to threaten us but they will never destroy what is the resilient Indian spirit. Even if we do not win this time, there will always be a next time because an Indian never gives up.

Baba Ramdev Protest - Tumblr

Comments (Leave a Reply)

DigitalOcean Referral Badge