NEW YORK – Social unrest harms country popularity, which is currently being displayed in the case of India, that lost over 60 percent of positive opinions in its eventful past two weeks of August. The hunger strike campaign by 74-year-old Anna Hazare turned the attention of the world towards India and caused a jump from below 700 to over 8000 thousand negative opinions in a fortnight.
Hazare pledged not to eat for 10 days in order to force the government to take adequate action against the corruption which is crippling the countries policy making. The one man protest has quickly raised a critical mass of public interest. Millions of supporters for Hazare’s cause, who are equally tired of the corrupted government in India, have been gathering on the main square in New Delhi to show the officials in power the starving old man does not stand alone.
Apparently the Indian government has become so corrupted, bribes are a necessity for any kind of certification, including paperwork as basic as birth certificates and driving licenses. The majority of such financial burdens falls on the shoulders of the fast-growing Indian middle class, who is the one rapidly uniting all across the country.
This week, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh publicly appealed to Hazare to stop with the campaign, promising him that the questions he raised will be addressed in parliament. However, Hazare is at this point still continuing with his protest, during which he has already lost nearly 15 pounds.
His determination to stick to his guns has raised some critics about Hazare holding the government hostage but support across the country for his cause continues to grow steadily. The Indian parliament gathered on Wednesday, 24th of August, to discuss anti-corruption laws, but couldn’t reach a decision.
The political experts are warning the crisis could endanger the election for the Prime Minister in 2014 if he doesn’t fix it. Other predictions warn against national rioting if the situation doesn’t simmer down quickly or ends in Hazare’s death.
But with all the negative implications, it is still relieving to see, that when people unite, they hold power over government. It tends to be forgotten that government officials are supposed to work for their voters, not the other way around. And therefore it’s a good thing that ever so often an old man gets fed up with the exploitation and unfairness and tackles it peacefully, but efficiently.