Neel, aged 15

From your point of view, who embodies action for peace and how? Inspire yourself with a personality or someone from your entourage. 

I heard a journalist a few meters away quote Michale Nauman from the ARD news channel, ”In Germany, people put pressure on government by assembling in large numbers but they don’t go for hunger strikes.”

Oh, I thought to myself sardonically, because we enjoy starving ourselves since we have such a compliant government. ”This is a protest against corruption in the system of Indian governance. It’s effective, and it’s progressive. Why the criticism?”, I muttered to nobody in particular. Anita, shielding her eyes from the sun, retorted, ”You know, there’s always going to be controversy. Now if you got rid of that sarcastic attitude it might make 24 hours under the Indian sun a lot more agreeable. In addition, you don’t yet know it’s effective.” She threw a sideways glance at me; I didn’t care to grace her with a response. My stomach rumbled and I could’ve sworn I had rats running havoc in there.

The throng of people camped outside Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi consisted of a mixture of foreign and national reporters, coupled with a giant, enthusiastic group of protesting students, some of whom were on hunger strikes, of which Anita and I were but two. People pushed and shoved and students continued to pour into an area where space was absent for as much as a needle. For the first time since independence in 1947, India was coming together to support Anna Hazare in an anti-corruption movement inspired by adopting the ideology of the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Keeping the peace was the key to achieving the aim: the establishment of the Public Accountability Bill. This would include the integration of the Indian Prime Minister, his cabinet, the bureaucrats, and the introduction of a stronger ombudsman policy which has the right to prosecute and punish the highest and the lowest of social classes alike, would be implemented.

Essentially, justice needs to be imparted in a swift, efficient manner. Anna Hazare stood to see that happen in an India that did not discriminate. And he stood to see the transition occur in peace.

That was the idea that propelled an Anna Hazare-screaming crowd onto the streets of India.

Anita fanned herself furiously with an old edition of Time, and let out a frustrated sigh when she saw my sour expression and pursed lips. ”If you want to eat something, please can you?”

”I’m not about to eat anything until you do. This is just as important to me as it is to you. Besides, trying to leave this place? It’s a battle I’m not even going to contemplate fighting.” Behind us, a small tiff broke out as two men shoved each other in disgust whilst trying to jostle their ways in opposite directions. It accented my comment perfectly.

It’s the twelfth day of the indefinite fast that Anna Hazare had announced to aid the implementation of the Bill. This is a man pacing quickly in the direction of a greater, better India, and commemorating peace by adopting it as his manner of resistance against a government that favored the wealthy, and is in need of reformation. Critics and reporters nationally and internationally argued that it would take a far bigger step, some were throwing the term revolution back and forth, to wipe the term corrupt clean off of the Indian slate.

”Want my opinion, Zareen?”


About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
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