This is one of the oldest ways of protest. To be precise, not eating food or taking water also. It is carried out by a person to press his or her demand, attracting the media and highlighting the issue to the concerned. Many great Indian political and trade union leaders have resorted
Mahatma, who after getting India the Independence, observed hunger strike in protest against partition of India and Pakistan. He had called it, “Fast unto death!” One may recall that in the recent days, Anna Hazare also staged protest by fasting, demanding the introduction of the Lok Pal Bill.
But does this hunger strike ever conquer in the recent decades? The answer is ‘none!’ Even if a person who took to streets on hunger strike died, it would hardly have any impact!
Why so? The reason behind it is a truth many do not know! Hunger strike of today is different from its yesteryears.
In those days, when a union leader goes on hunger strike, the company Chief Executive
Officer or Managing Director also fasted. It was an unspoken agreement everywhere, a sort of gentlemen’s agreement. Neither the union leader nor the CEO/MD considered the other as a foe. It was for a cause.
As time dragged by, the CEO/MD felt hungry the way the union leader also suffered. With this situation, a day or two, or even a week passed. Then when the stage came that the CEO/MD could no longer fast, he was bound to buckle to the pressure put by the fasting leader. This forced the bigwigs to meet the demand, giving the opponent a winning edge. Such was the nobility of this protest!
But hunger strikes of today became a mockery. When someone resorts to hunger strike, the opponent never cared it. They ate as per their schedule.
In politics, it is rather worse, especially in Tamil Nadu with the rival group camping across and deliberately eating continually, while the cone mike behind blaring ear piercing film songs! This is the culture here at present!