Pledging support to social activist Anna Hazare’s demand for enactment of the Lokpal Bill, thousands of people participated in demonstrations and agitations on Tuesday.
In Mumbai, the main event took place at Azad Maidan, where thousands of people participated in the day-long hunger strike organised by India Against Corruption (IAC), a grassroots level apolitical people’s movement.
“People from all communities and classes have assembled here for one single demand, which shows how badly democracy needs this bill,” said Kunickaa Lall, actress and activist.
A few hundreds of college students and professionals who met online through social networking sites like Facebook also joined the protests.
“Our Facebook page, indiaagainstcorruptionmumbai is a common platform. I learned about the issue on the page itself and have taken an off today to support the cause for which Hazare is fighting,” said Priyadarshini Ohol, internet production manager from Thane.
The young protesters used text messages to involve others. “We sent out more than one crore SMSes informing people about the Lokpal Bill,” said Khushivi Gandhi, political science graduate from Vile Parle.
Residents of Ralegaon Siddhi, Anna Hazare's village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, observed fast on Tuesday to support the activist who began his hunger strike in New Delhi.
The villagers have been supporting Hazare in his agitations for the past two decades. About 500 residents including men, women and children sat in the Yadavbaba temple since morning and did not go for their routine farming chores.
Nearly 10,000 children in Meerut signed up in support of Anna Hazare. While three activists joined the campaign by undertaking a fast unto death, hundreds of people comprising academicians, lawyers, students and artists extended support by observing day-long demonstrations at various places in the city.
Varanasi and Gorakhpur also responded prodigiously to Hazare’s indefinite fast. From BHU students to social activists, people came out in the streets in support of Hazare.
In Allahabad, spiritual gropus like Art of Living, Patanjali Yoga Samiti and social associations like Lions Club, Azadi Bachao Andalon and Bharat Vikas Parishad came on to one platform for a day-long fast at the district collectorate.