For children, Hazare the second Gandhi
They have only read about Mahatma Gandhi and his leadership of India's freedom struggle. For a number of Delhi's schoolchildren, who visited Jantar Mantar in the last few days, Anna Hazare was the real and "second Gandhi".delhi Updated: Apr 11, 2011 00:12 IST
They have only read about Mahatma Gandhi and his leadership of India's freedom struggle. For a number of Delhi's schoolchildren, who visited Jantar Mantar in the last few days, Anna Hazare was the real and "second Gandhi".
The children, who witnessed Hazare ending his 97-hour-long fast, later said the Jantar Mantar-experience was an unforgettable one.
As the 73-year-old Gandhian took a few sips of the fruit juice offered to him by a little girl, the school kids danced with joy along with their teachers and parents.
All of them have been completely overawed by the scenes uncannily similar to the ones they had read about in their history books.
"I have read that Gandhi was great, but I never saw him. I didn't know who Anna Hazare was earlier, but now he is my Gandhi," Subah Saluja, a Class 11 student from St. Michael's School, said.
"I've learnt that if you have the courage and determination, you can take on anything in this world. Anna will be an inspiration for many," Saluja added. It was her parents who had brought her to Jantar Mantar.
In the past four days, children from around half-a-dozen schools across the city had converged at Jantar Mantar with posters, banners and tricolours supporting Hazare's cause. They had paraded around in groups, raised slogans and danced to drum beats.
Renu Jain, from Blue Bells Public School in Gurgaon, praised Anna's Gandhian way of protesting and pledged to be a better citizen. "If he can fast for us at this age, can't we become better citizens of our country?" said an emotional Jain, a class 9 student.
"He is of my grandfather's age. I am proud that people as selfless and strong as him are still there in our country. I have pledged to be a more responsible and aware citizen from now," she said.
Hazare's success has instilled confidence in many of these students. Most of them agreed that in a country like ours, raising one's voice was the only way of getting things done and that one cannot be critical yet complacent.
"It's not about sitting back, but doing something to change things around you," summed up Aakanksha Aggarwal, a Class 6 student from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya.