Team Anna’s priorities don’t just include educating people about the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill and “conveying the nation’s feelings to Parliament”, they also include trying to create a world record of voluntarily courted arrest as a form of peaceful protest.
The Mumbai unit of India Against Corruption (IAC) approached the Guinness Book of World Records on Friday, informing them about the three-day Jail Bharo Andolan scheduled across the country between December 30 and January 1.
The IAC is looking at the paperwork required to register the record and the guidelines that have to be fulfilled to enter the book.
Not everyone thinks IAC’s focus should be on making world records. “Anna and his team are creating political gimmicks and dramatising the whole issue,” said Mangleshwar Tripathi, president of Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad.
“I am going to file a writ petition against Team Anna on Monday to stop Anna from protesting in Mumbai. I will also fast against Team Anna and have already applied for permission at the Azad Maidan police station.”
Sunil Kadam, conveyor of the National Campaign for Equal Opportunity, shares the same opinion. “Through Jail Bharo, they are misleading and exploiting the citizens,” he said. “This whole agitation is pure stunt, and even the high court has slammed their act. When the Bill is presented in Parliament and even the Opposition has assured them that they will pass only a strong Bill, then where is the need for agitation?”
Quizzed about the purpose of trying to create a world record, Mayank Gandhi, IAC’s Mumbai coordinator, said: “We are trying to show the world the anger suppressed among Indians is such that for a national cause so many of them are ready to go to prison. This is what we want to register in the world book.”
On Friday. IAC registered more than 31,900 registrations across the country for its andolan, of which more than 2,500 are in Mumbai.