Freedom fighters back Anna | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Freedom fighters back Anna

As the anti-corruption movement entered its eight day on Tuesday, it received the support of freedom fighters, who joined the rally at Azad Maidan.

mumbai Updated: Aug 24, 2011 00:52 IST
Prajakta Chavan

As the anti-corruption movement entered its eight day on Tuesday, it received the support of freedom fighters, who joined the rally at Azad Maidan. However, the veterans expressed that the current protests against corruption should not be compared to the freedom struggle, as the canvas for the fight for Independence was much bigger.

The freedom fighters, however, agreed that the method adopted – that of peace and non-violence – was common across both struggles.

Seven freedom fighters addressed the public and the media at Azad Maidan. “The freedom struggle cannot be compared to this movement. Freedom means the fight for self respect, existence and complete independence. Corruption is just a part of this.” Said Dr Shanti Patel, 90, a freedom fighter and former mayor of Mumbai.

“This campaign is moving in the right direction. Corruption is a huge concern, which needs to be addressed. I wish the government responds positively to the issues raised by Anna Hazare,” Patel added.

The freedom fighters further said that Hazare and Mahatma Gandhi too should not be compared. “Gandhi was exceptional, he should not be compared to anyone else,” said Dr Ranjit Shah, another freedom fighter.

Shah added: “Our country got independence in 1947, but the freedom has not reached the grassroots. The benefit of freedom should be enjoyed by all.”

Several associations also visited Azad Maidan, in support of the movement. The chief metropolitan magistrate court bar association and the All India Seamen Union were amongst the visitors. Private ambulance owners also joined the protests.

Advocates extending their support agreed that the judiciary should be brought under the ambit of the Lokpal. “The parliament and judiciary are all under the constitution of India, which is supreme.”

A street play on corruption was staged at the protest venue, by around 40 students of Shri Shri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir, Dharavi. “We try to teach students to oppose that which is wrong, as the principles inculcated in childhood remain with us through life,” said Shubangi Karve, a teacher.