The four-day hunger strike, agitations and protests transformed into a high-spirited celebratory mood in the city on Saturday as the government formed a joint committee to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare broke his fast at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
Shouting slogans, holding banners and marching at victory rallies, the city celebrated people’s power. At Azad Maidan, where more than 40 volunteers had fasted in support of Hazare, singer Kailash Kher and a few other city music bands performed before an enthusiastic turnout.
‘Mera Neta Chindi Chor Hain’ by Vineet Tikoo was a hit with the crowds. Kailash Kher sang ‘Amber tak yahi naad goonjega’ specially composed for the occasion.
The atmosphere amongst the people was electric. Students, film-makers and senior citizens, irrespective of age and social background, gathered together to pledge their support.
After the music festival, the crowd moved to the Gateway of India, where a candlelight march had been held on Friday.
“This is the victory lap of our candlelight march and other protest rallies. Besides, people will be given guidance for the struggle ahead through speeches given at these meetings,” said Darsh Doshi, a chartered accountancy student and volunteer.
In the suburbs, citizens sporting white ribbons and holding banners walked a victory march from Juhu 10th lane to Mithibai College. Film-maker Sudhir Mishra, was among the hundreds who took to the streets.
“This is the moment of our times. The exuberant movement has given new hope to the common man to fight against corruption. It should continue with the same zeal,” said Mishra.
Many of the citizens brought their children along so that they got to know about Anna Hazare. “I believe this victory is for my child’s future. We want to teach our children that the country is not corrupt, but some politicians are,” said Sahila Chaddha, a resident of Versova, who had come with her nine-year-old daughter.
Most of the people participated in the victory lap up to the Gateway of India to show their support.
“We participated in Friday’s candlelight march and came here on Saturday to celebrate the victory of our efforts. Besides, we also want to know how this agitation will shape up,” said Firoze Kermanian, a cashier who lives in Colaba.
Not all were well-versed with the proposed Jan Lokpal bill draft and many did not expect it to root out corruption but all thought it was a victory of sorts by the people against the system.
Sharing the same views, Manisha Joshi, a housewife came with her entire family.
“We have decided to be part of this agitation till the end. We will support the campaign and others against corruption. We will see to it that this bill is passed and then implemented in full faith,’’ said Joshi, a Kharghar resident.