Many Mumbaiites who have taken a break from their work and are turning up at Azad Maidan, walking in rallies and holding candlelight protest marches are doing so because they have had a tough time dealing with corruption and want out.
On Friday, the fourth day of Anna Hazare’s agitation against corruption and fight for a stronger Jan Lokpal Bill, there was thinner crowd at Azad Maidan, but many of the citizens who went
there are desperate for change and are willing to go that extra mile.
Most of Hazare’s supporters blame politicians for the high level of corruption in the country.
Jayesh Maru, a Kandivli-based civil contractor, is tired of being forced to bribe government officials.
Speaking about one of the incidents where he had to pay bribe, he said: “On the basis of a police complaint of theft in a Jain temple, my labourers were arrested for no fault of theirs,” said Maru.
“Even after proving they were innocent, the police asked me for money,” he said.
“They asked me to pay a food bill of Rs 15,000, which was then negotiated to Rs 2,000,” he added.
“The worst part was that the trustee who lodged the complaint had to bribe Kandivli police officials to withdraw the complaint,” he added.
Maru hopes the anti-corruption movement will bring the much-needed change.
With A Suresh, the bribe of Rs 5,000 had to be handed out to a local government body engineer in Mysore to get the completion report for the construction of his home.
He needed the document to procure a bank loan.
“I paid the bribe after waiting for six months. Ultimately, I had to pay or I would have been charged a penalty by the bank,” said Suresh.
“When I asked the engineer why he charged money for official work, he said he was recovering the Rs10 lakh he had paid to a minister to get the job. This is unacceptable. We need to fix the loopholes in the system,” said Suresh. “Politicians in power are the root cause of corruption.”