Thursday, August 18, 2011

Maitri fighting against corruption

Vande Mataram!!!

As Maitri interns, we had the incredible opportunity of attending the demonstrations at India Gate on Wednesday evening. On Monday, August 16, Anna Hazarre, an Indian politician, began an indefinite hunger strike after the anti-corruption Lokpal bill was not passed in the Indian government by his August 15 deadline. Anna Hazarre is considered a Ghandian and he has proclaimed intentions for a second war for independence (since the war for independence in 1947). He is currently in jail, arrested for not agreeing to a permit that was issued to him by the police, but the people are still taking a stand against corruption (check out an article here at India Live).

Jolley Sir, one of Maitri's bosses, took us to the Delhi gate at about 4:30 on Wednesday evening. What a site to see! There were thousands of people there. We came to find out that thousands more would arrive around 7:00 pm for the evening candle ceremony by the gate. We walked around Rajpath, just near the India gate, with the crowds of people chanting "Vande Mataram!" and "Long live Anna Hazarre!" Signs of anti-corruption and freedom were everywhere. We quickly soaked in the excitement of the people and shared our passion for the cause as we then began to chant "Vande Matarum!" Mr. Jolly arranged a few interviews for all of the interns. He stopped India Live and Channel 9, as well as a few other stations, to have a little chat with the interns about the role of these demonstrations in democratic change, our thoughts on Anna Hazarre, etc. We all spoke of the courage of this strong leader to stir so much excitement about an important cause. We spoke of the beauty of this event, in particular, because it came about by the will of the people, their desire for change - they did not attend the protests because they were being paid or bribed. It was their choice. 

And a special thanks to Jolley Sir for cramming us all into his car, feeding us snacks at the Bikaner House, and buying us water and lassi and then seeing us home safely! And to our beautiful friend, Anita for always looking out for us! What a splendid evening as we fight, as members of Maitri, against corruption here in India.

Intern, Elisabeth Jessop, interviewing with Channel 9

Intern, Marta Matynia interviewing with Live India!

Veronique, Sarah, Mr. Jolley, Marta, and Elisabeth

Random Indian girl; Sarah Patton (Intern, USA); Veronique Jorna (Intern, Netherlands); Anita Gupta (Maitri Office); Elisabeth Jessop (Intern, USA); Mr. Jolley Sir (Maitri Office); Mr. Jolley's wife

Mr. Jolley (left) and Elisabeth Jessop (middle) in another interview with a local Indian newspaper

Candlelight ceremonies


  1. I wish I had been a part of the same that day. You all were priviledged to be part of making history in India.

  2. What a great experience! I'm SO jealous I wasn't able to come!! Guess we'll have to make more memories so we can add to Maitri's blog!