Proving wrong the talk of activist Anna Hazare's fight against corruption losing steam, Mumbai turned up in droves on Sunday to support India Against Corruption's vehicle rally from Andheri (W) to Azad Maidan.
While most of the participants in the rally were long-time supporters of the campaign, there were plenty of new faces in the protest, held to mark solidarity for anti-corruption activist Hazare's movement for a strong Lokpal bill.
Hazare started his indefinite fast for the legislation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday, with several of his close associates. In Mumbai, protesters shouted slogans, waved the tri-colour, sang patriotic songs, and even danced at road junctions, disrupting traffic to some extent. They even asked pedestrians to join the rally.
The rally started from Andheri (W) station and went through SV Road, the Santacruz-Khar-Bandra Linking Road, to Opera House and Churchgate before ending at Azad Maidan.
"We are requesting people to join us because this movement is against corruption and will benefit all of us. Some of the people are still not aware of the movement and its goal," said Komal Shah, 20, a Tardeo resident and IAC volunteer studying commerce.
For some participants, Sunday's rally marked the first time they had participated in a major event, despite being long associated with the movement. "Generally, I participate in local protest rallies, but this is the first time I have participated in a major rally. Our politicians are behaving recklessly as if they are not answerable to anybody," said Bhupendra Shringi, 50, a chief instrumentation engineer and Khargar resident.
There were quite a few new entrants at Sunday's rally.
"We are requesting people to join us because this movement is against corruption and will benefit all of us. Some are still not aware about the movement and its goal while some are not aware about the growing scams in the country," said Shah.
People joined the rally in all sorts of vehicles. Supporters denied the movement had lost support. "It is not necessary to take to the streets every time one fights corruption," said Jayshree Patil, 57, Kandivli resident and homemaker.