Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Indians in Dubai express solidarity to Anna Hazare

anna-hazare-solidarity-dubai-epathram

Dubai : A group of expatriate Indians observed a candlelight vigil in support of the Gandhian social activist Anna Hazare, who has undertaken a hunger fast unto death, demanding tough anti corruption laws to be implemented in the country.

Jumeirah open beach witnessed a rare display of patriotism on Friday when hundreds of Indians from various walks of life came together to extend their support to the hunger strike that has been widely supported by Indians all over the country and the non resident Indians around the world.

The event was conceived and discussed on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. Having spread the message online and through Blackberry Messenger, on short notice hundreds of Indians representing a complete cross sections of the diaspora assembled at the Jumeirah open beach at 6 pm. After sitting down in a circular formation on the beach, the group started off with a silent prayer for the good health of the 71 year old social activist, who was fasting for the past three days, representing the aspirations of over a billion Indians for a corruption free society and polity.

It was a compelling moment of patriotism and unity when people from different states, speaking different languages, the manifestation of the classical Indian diversity, came together with one motive and a singular emotion.

As the crowd grew in numbers, candles were lit and the group stood silently, holding the lit candles . Curious onlookers gathered around the group having never witnessed a similar event in the country before. The spectacular sight of the candlelight vigil also drew the attention of the law enforcement officers which caused moments of anxiety. However, learning that the group was observing a silent vigil and in support of a peaceful cause, the officers departed, leaving the group to continue with their activities.

The group expressed their gratitude to the administration and discussed about the stark comparison of the corruption-free and smooth functioning of the administration in the U.A.E., their land of residence against the level of corruption prevalent in the Indian context.

The participants shared various experiences when they had to bribe the respective officers be it for obtaining a passport or for a marklist from the University. Even the representative office of India, the Consulate of India and the welfare organization under the auspices of the Indian Consulate, the ICWC – Indian Community Welfare Committee, was not free from such vices, the participants observed. Often only the upper echelons of the society derived the benefits of these organizations, a number of incidents in the past testified. The group expressed hope that once the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill was in place, which enforces tough anti – corruption measures, the situation in these offices would also improve, something that affects the Non Resident Indian population directly.

John Mc Nicholas, a Canadian citizen who took part in the event with his son told ePathram that having lived in the U.A.E. for the past seventeen years, he had never witnessed such a display of solidarity before. His wife Mona who is of an Indian origin was the person who started the Facebook page India Against Corruption – Dubai Solidarity Forum, which brought together a majority of the participants. Mona had flown the day before to Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to join Anna Hazare in his Hunger Strike.

indian-girl-patriotic-tatoo-epathram

A girl with a patriotic tatoo

Swati Randev Varma, clad in a tricolor dress, reminiscent of the national flag of India, said that the hunger strike of Anna Hazare has rekindled hopes that corruption can be brought to an end from the society through peaceful means. Swati also sports a tatoo on her back bearing the famous Indian patriotic slogan “Saare Jahaan Se Acha” and the Ashoka Chakra, a symbol found in the middle of the Indian National Flag, which represents truth or virtue. The Chakra incidently also symbolises dynamism of a peaceful change, which by the way, is the very essence of Anna Hazare’s Satyagraha.

anna-hazare-solidarity-dubai-epathram
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- കറസ്പോണ്ടന്റ്

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