Monday, March 2, 2009

AOL anti-corruption march

Yesterday I had been to Delhi to attend an anti-corruption march organized by Art of Living, which was held from Parliament Street to India Gate. Initially I had dropped the idea of going, thinking it to be tedious & not worthwhile, but a call from a friend on Saturday afternoon convinced me that tagging along may not be a bad idea after all. So off I was on Sunday noon, after an early lunch to designated location to board the AOL bus which would take us to Delhi

The AOL bus, organized free of cost by a volunteer for all those participating from Gurgaon, consisted of mostly youngsters, including students & young professionals like me. The journey to Central Delhi, in which I befriended another guy who was a CA with GE, was fun with all of us singing & having a good time. Moreover being a Sunday, roads were thankfully free & empty.

We arrived at the venue, the road behind LIC building near Jantar Mantar in Parliament Street, as per scheduled time. Crowd had just begun to gather with buses arriving from different locations from in & around Delhi & nearby areas including Chandigarh. I could spot a few senior teachers from AOL including Bawa & Dinesh around & also another few from Delhi. The start of the program got delayed a bit, but began with all fanfare when it finally got underway. A host of celebrities from all walks including Prahlad Kakkar, M S Bitta, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi gave their take on corruption & how it impacts us today. Kiran Bedi especially was very fiery in her discourse & stressed on accountability of police. Arvind Kejriwal, though very softspoken, threw a lot of light on RTI reforms & transparency in state functioning. It was not difficult to see why he was awarded the Magsaysay after all.

However what stole the show was a poem written by a survivor from Taj attack. The poet here happened to be a young lady, a VP with Citibank, who had survived that ghastly night holed up inside Taj for more than 13 hours, along with her husband. The poem was dedicated to the terrorist & began with comparing the initial life of terrorist & herself. Both played with toys in childhood, had a set of parents, enjoyed with friends etc. but when wounded one picked up gun while the other took to spirituality. Finally he took a mission to kill one & all including our poet, while the spiritual follower escaped all bullets from the wronged terrorist. The gunman is no more, for that is what he chose, while the spiritual follower is alive & stronger by the ordeal……really heart touching

Finally the march began, & we all, an estimated 10,000, walked in a single file on streets of Central Delhi, assisted by Delhi Police vans who helped block traffic on the way for our convenience, until we reached India Gate. A peaceful demonstration later the march was declared over & we all trekked back to our buses. The journey back to Gurgaon in late evening was also marked with the same enthusiasm as in the morning, with everybody chirpy & eating the free snacks & fruits served, before we reached our houses by dinner time

To my surprise I did not feel any fatigue or exhaustion after reaching back.


  1. Thats sounds like a wonderful experience... hope there is some learning dine here for all :)

    take care mate... cheers...

  2. ah now that sounds like a good day spent and with a cause :)

  3. sometimes the experiences that surprise us are the ones that are most worth it. Like the woman who was holed up in the Taj, the poet, you are stronger for being there in that march. kudos