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Gong sounded here, Indians abroad hear

india Updated: Aug 25, 2011 00:04 IST
Zia Haq
Zia Haq
Hindustan Times
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Thousands squatting on Delhi’s Ramlila Ground, calling for a tough law to check corruption, are being joined by Indians in major American and European cities.

The itinerary goes like this: August 23, Illinois and San Diego. August 20-26, London. August 27, Munich and August 28, Brussels.

Whether on the East Coast or the West Coast, Indians in America have been holding demonstrations in the hope that their show of solidarity would be felt thousands of miles away.

“The Jan Lokpal Bill may be draconian but it is needed. No law is perfect," 30-something Abhishek Pradhan, a computer professional at SFX Corporation, Minneapolis, told HT over phone.

Pradhan is working up Minneapolis's city intranet page to galvanise a demonstration on August 28, the same day Indians in Brussels are holding theirs.

The Brussels group, led by Kedar, who goes by one name, are readying banners saying: "Carry on Anna Hazare". Hazare's fast for a tougher anti-corruption law than envisioned in a current bill has entered the second straight week in Delhi. On August 19, Ishita Sangra was among a small crowd of Indians who walked through the pebbled streets of downtown Dublin, cheering the anti-corruption campaign here. A few days earlier on August 16, Indians held a demonstration at Times Square, NY.

NGO India Against Corruption has taken its campaign global via social media. Its seeds were sown on October 2, 2010 when Kiran Bedi, a prominent member of "Team Anna", or the group of activists behind the movement, held a meeting at Ramlila Ground. Among those who attended was Anu Peshawaria, a US immigration legal advisor.

This led to the birth of Non-Resident Indians Against Corruption, the platform to spread the movement overseas. On June 18 this year, Bedi held a teleconference with various NRIs, kicking off a string off global protests. On August 6, Bedi teleconferenced again with Indians in London, asking them to publicise the iconic protest. “The recent riots delayed us,” said Ayesha Faridi said from Birmingham.