It all started on the fateful night of 16th Dec 2012 when #Amanat was brutally raped & beaten up along with a male friend in a moving bus by Six men on Delhi streets. #Amanat eventually died fighting her deep wounds on 29th Dec 2012 at a Singapore Hospital but not before lighting whole of India on fire. The Gruesome Tale of "India's Daughter" galvanized people around the nation with Delhi becoming the epicentre of protests by people from all walks of life especially the student community. Delhi Police brutally tried to ring fence the protests arresting many men & women & even assulting them but then, there were few who stood guard even when most were gone. Three of such determined brave men were Arvind Gaur, Babu Singh & Rajesh Gangwar. (in the below pic in the same order)
While Babu Singh & Rajesh Gangwar had to be persuaded to stop their hunger strike which had almost become life threatning to them, Arvind Gaur was instrumental in staging many open theatres across Delhi region through Asmita Theatre Group (http://asmitatheatregroup.com/) on the social issue of treating Women with Equal Dignity & spreading the message of "Stopping Rapes" at once. We need more like them.
Source: Friends @ Twitter
Irom Chanu Sharmilla, is not how she is known to many, rather as "Iron Lady". Irom, a Civil rights activist, started her hunger strike for repealing the "Armed forces Special Powers Act" (AFSPA), in Manipur, which many feel is the reason for the bloody menace in the state. She has been on hunger strike for the last 12 years & has constantly attracted people from across the globe to take up her cause except for any takers in the Indian Government. AFSPA is an act of Indian Govt which provides sweeping powers to the Indian Armed Forces to act in a troubled area. Manipur is a state where the local people suffer at the hands of both the militants as well as the paramilitary forces without any prosecution. Her cause is supported by many Indian political parties including the left. Only those who have been deprieved can understand the meaning of "Freedom". http://manipurfreedom.org/
Jan Satyagrah, a protest by thousands of farmers from across India led by Ekta Parishad leader PV Rajagopal, was launched on 3rd of Oct 2012 from Gwalior to New Delhi demanding Land Equity for landless farmers. Although it was a 200 miles protest march planned originally, however after due intervention & promise of time bound Land Reforms by Rural Development minister Jairam Ramesh, the protest was called off at Agra, around 110 miles from New Delhi. Six months time has been provided to the Government to come up with a policy failing which Ekta Parishad plans to resume the Protest march. The protesters were joined from around 26 states of India.
PV Rajagopal, born in 1948 in Kerala, is a Gandhian & has also helped several Chambal dacoits of Madhya Pradesh re-habilitate. He had led a similar farmer protest, Janadesh, in Oct 2007 involving around 25,000 people from across 6-7 Indian states. He currently resides at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. http://www.ektaparishad.com/
Later part of 2012 saw this daring protest by farmers from 30 villages at Khandva village in Madhya Pradesh, putting themself in neck deep waters, demanding from the government to roll back the increase of water levels at Omkareshwar Dam on Narmada river. It was increase of the water level that led to sub-merging of around 400 hectares of agricultural land along with the standing crops on it. The farmers were demanding compensation for the crop loss & also asking the government to create a rehabilitation plan for those owning the submerged land, in general, by demanding land against land rather than monetary compensation. The Government relented on the 17th day of the Jal Satyagraha protest. At least 51 villagers from across 30 villages are said to have participated in this protest, including elderly women.
Similar protests were seen against local Government's decision to increase the water level of Indira Sagar Dam where the height was increased from 260 meters to 262 meters.
Although the whole nation has been plagued with Corrupt practices all around since ages, it was sheer courage of few people who came forward to stage one of the biggest protests recorded in the history of India against graft. "India Against Corruption" was born as a movement in 2011 by the collaborative effort of some Civil society members & activists led by Anna Hazare (Ref: "RTI & Whistleblower" section for more info). The core team of five besides Anna Hazare comprised of Former Law minister Shanti Bhushan, his Lawyer son Prashant Bhushan, Justice Santosh Hegde, Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi & Former IRS officer Arvind Kejriwal who played a pivotal role in managing the overall protest (Pic below in the same order). Other key members included Manish Sisodia, Mayank Gandhi, Shazia Ilmi & Kumar Vishwas besides other Core Committee members from various walks of life. Huge Protests were carried out across India & Abroad under the banner of "India Against Corruption" leading to the team being invited by the Government of India for discussions with a group of ministers led by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (Current President) including Home minister P Chidambaram & HRD minister Kapil Sibal. While the "Anna led team" was pressing for the Government to pass the #Janlokpal bill as is whereas the Government, NAC along with few other Civil society groups incl NCPRI had reservations about various proposals contained therein (Ref: "Document" section containing various proposals). Anna Hazare had sat on a hunger strike which was eventually broken with a Government promise that the standing committee will look into the bill & it shall be passed soon. While the bill has been passed by Loksabha (Loksabha) with many amendments, it got stalled in the Rajyasabha (Upper house) & is still to see the light of the day. http://www.annacard.indiaagainstcorruption.org/
During the Second time, the protests were not as successful due to internal bickerings within the IAC team. Arvind Kejriwal including Manish Sisodia, Kumar Vishwas & few others decided to launch their own political party, now known as Aam Admi Party, which led Anna Hazare to leave the camp with Justice hegde, Kiran Bedi along with few others who wanted this movement to remain apolitical.