Tuesday, August 16, 2011

History Repeats Itself

Not much has changed in 64 years of India's independence from the British empire. 

Year: 1927-28
Lala Lajpat Rai moved a resolution against the Simon Commission, a commission formed by the British government "to look into the state of Indian constitutional affairs", because no Indian is made part of the commission. The resolution was adopted in the Central Legislative Assembly but the government continued with its own proposal of the commission. People all over the country held peaceful demonstrations to protest against the Simon Commission.

The British government imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in retaliation, according to which not more than four people could assemble at one place to protest. Despite the law, when the commission reached Lahore, it was greeted with a sea of black flags where Rai lead the protest. The government resorted to violence and ordered a lathi-charge on unarmed demonstrators.

Year: 2011
Anna Hazare and team move a resolution at the Centre to introduce a Jan Lokpal Bill to keep Indian constitutional affairs free of corruption. The government agrees to hold discussions but drafts a relatively weaker version of the same and continues with its own proposal of the bill. People all over the country hold peaceful demonstrations in support of the Jan Lokpal bill and Hazare calls for a second indefinite fast to protest against the government's draft of the bill

The Indian government imposes Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in retaliation, according to which, not more than four people could assemble at one place to protest. Despite the law, Anna announces he will observe the fast as earlier planned. The government orders detention of Anna Hazare and fellow supporters to an undisclosed location.

It was a fast. Not blackmail.

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