This is my response to Ketaki and Ashok on Ashok’s blog.
Yes, I read about Anna Hazare’s strong conviction, fast until death. I hope he continues his conviction and self-sacrifice in fighting corruption without hunger strikes.
He or his supporters can start a general strike or even a grass root movement such as not ever paying bribe money for getting passports and driver license, and then they can move onto more areas of bribes.
This is a different problem, but for the stop smoking campaign in the US, it first offended many people not only the smokers, but now, not only the government offices, but also restaurants and other shops have followed. Today, most of the time, we don’t need to ask people not to smoke indoor. There have been many silent sufferers to quit smoking. I was one of them. And I didn’t think Japan could follow that because the culture was different. But now, I’m amazed about the progress although from the US perspective it is probably slow. Now, I look back at those times and realize that we just kept quiet in the smoke filled rooms without ever thinking that needed a change or could change. And babies and small children were in those smoke-filled rooms! I smoked and quit several times, so I’m so marveled about how it happened, how the public image of smoking has changed and many of us.
Also, it isn’t as clear cut as the stop smoking campaign, but the US is changing very slowly in fighting obesity. Everywhere I go, I see signs that people are more conscious of what they eat. It’s probably hard for Indians or Japanese to feel sympathy to this problem, but please imagine the pain many people are going through. So, beside the good taste, Indian foods have become very popular here—I love it, and just about all my American and Japanese friends recommend me Yoga.
So, I think we need to understand each other’s problem, but also we need to raise each other’s awareness. Like Yoga and Indian diet, I hope India leads a good movement other country would like to follow, but not by hunger strike, please.