Shouting slogans, holding banners and marching on victory rallies, Mumbai celebrated on Saturday as social activist Anna Hazare withdrew his fast on a winning note, with the Centre bowing down to his demands on the Lokpal Bill.
The atmosphere across the city was electric as students, filmmakers and senior citizens gathered at various marches and events organised by local groups to pledge their support to Hazare’s crusade.
Singer Kailash Kher performed at Azad Maidan, the venue of many of Hazare’s former fasts, to celebrate the win before spontaneous turnout of citizens. Kher had penned a song especially for the moment.
Many citizens who were celebrating Hazare’s win brought their children along to let them know who the Gandhian was and corruption meant.
Welcoming the Prime Minister’s decision to accept Anna Hazare’s demands on the Lokpal Bill, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of The Art of Living, said the job had just begun. He said the decision was a right step in the right direction and hoped that the Prime Minister would get rid of all the corrupt elements in high places.
People gathered at Freedom Park in large numbers as Hazare ended his fast. Four Bangaloreans, who were on fast, ended their protest.
Expressing solidarity with the movement, Infosys HRD head Mohandas Pai said the war against corruption should continue. “India has become most corrupt. Karnataka has become the most corrupt state,” he told reporters.
The region celebrated the “victory of people’s movement”. Sunil Sharma, who had started a ‘chain hunger strike’ with 50 students of Jammu University on Friday, said: “It is a great victory of democracy and great achievement.” The students ended their strike after Hazare called off his fast.
People who went on fast to support Hazare’s cause now feel that the war against corruption has just begun. “It is amazing to see that the power of satyagraha still works,” said social activist Mudar Pathereya.