12th March, 2011 - NRIs have launched Dandi March II - A 240 Mile Walk Against Corruption. These sons and daughters of India, living in the USA, are walking 240 miles through San Diego - Orange County, Los Angeles - Bay Area, San Francisco in California, USA, from March 12 to 26.
Unfortunately most of us do not live in California, nor can we afford to travel and join the march. How can we support the walk? Well, Indians residing in different US cities USA have decided to support the Dandi March II in their own way. On 26th of March, Indians from New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Seattle are conducting similar marches in their cities. Even outside of the USA, our Indian brothers and sisters living in Dubai, London, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore and Malaysia are also planning marches on 26th March.
Indian residents not wanting to be left behind, are organising parallel marches across several cities including Chennai, Hyderabad, Kakinada, Mumbai, Banglore and Ahmedabad.
I strongly urge the readers of this popular magazine to join this march. Walk for 1 Mile, 2 Miles, 5 Miles, whatever is possible for you. Spare an hour for the country we so dearly call ours. Tomorrow, when a better India is built, we will have stories to tell to our grandchildren.
Just like the salt satyagraha, this march is symbolic. People walking from one city to another cannot and will not make any difference, let alone solve the problem of endemic corruption in India. Do you think this march generates even the slightest concern to the corrupt traffic policewala, or the corrupt minister sleeping in his comfortable chair?
We have a long way to go in ending corruption in India once and for all. But let’s start the ball rolling now. We desperately need political and social reforms in India. But, how do we bring these reforms? India needs its people more than ever. Join politics. Join the civil service. Come back to India (it's not that bad a place to live!) and use your knowledge for the empowerment of your people. Join an NGO that is making a difference in the nation. Be the change you want to see.
On a more personal note, I applaud one man actively working to reform the political landscape of India - Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, who is among the organizers of the Dandi March II. I recommend you watch this speech by him on You Tube (part 1, 2, 3). It answers many questions I have often asked myself in moments of despair.
I support the Dandi March II. But at the same time, let me be very clear in stating that this march is for me and you and no one else. If we feel more connected to the nation after this march, I will call the march a success. This march should be a catalyst for each one of us in building the better nation we dream for our children. This march should be the prologue, and not the conclusion.