Lakshya Sharma is alarmed at how corruption gnaws at his daily existence — his family had to pay Rs 30,000 as donation to get his six-year-old twin-sisters, Riddhi and Siddhi, admitted into a private school in east Delhi.
On Sunday morning, accompanied by his father, the 11-year-old arrived at Ramlila Maidan to join the “war on corruption”, according to him. For hours, Sharma had stood in serpentine queues, shouting anti-corruption slogans and waiting to reach the main podium where his “idol”, Hazare, sat.
Around 4.45pm, Sharma finally got his chance when he was pulled up on the podium and introduced as among the youngest of Anna’s band of “baaghis (rebel)” who have undertaken a “fast” in his support. Clad in a red-checkered kurta and cream coloured pyjamas, a Gandhi cap — on which was scribbled ‘I am Anna’— perched uneasily on his head, the kid looked the part.
Allowed by Team Anna’s volunteers, who were conducting the activities at the podium, Sharma recited a Hindi poem on the lack of wisdom among the “power-obsessed politicians” in the country. It helped him connect instantly with thousands of Anna’s supporters who were at the venue braving heat and humidity.
Titled, ‘A chair appeared in my dream yesterday’, Sharma read, “The chair (of power) is the most beautiful dowry of politics…while the educated wander around with their degrees, the unwise hold the reins of the country’s political power.” The kid’s recitation ended within four minutes and met with a ringing applause.
“Corruption is the country’s biggest problem, Anna ji will end it with our support,” Sharma told HT. The kid was “inspired by his great grandfather, who went to jail in Uttar Pradesh during the freedom struggle,” according to his father Sanjiv, an Indian Railways employee.