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Anna blurs class-mass divide

On Day 1 some protested, most watched. On Day 2 more and more protested, and everyone watched. Disparate groups across the country were united on Wednesday by one common urge – to protest. HT reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2011 00:58 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Anna hazare,lokpal bill,corruption

On Day 1 some protested, most watched. On Day 2 more and more protested, and everyone watched. Disparate groups across the country were united on Wednesday by one common urge – to protest.

The number of students, lawyers, theatre artistes, government employees, NGOs, trade unions out on the streets continued to swell.

In Mumbai, authorities unofficially estimated 15,000 volunteers participated, but organisers, India Against Corruption, Mumbai, claimed 40,000 citizens took part in the protests.

More action on day 2

While the first day was dominated by students, the second day saw a lot of action from professionals – lawyers, doctors and diamond merchants. Even resident welfare associations joined the agitation.

The protesters wore black ribbons as a mark of protest.

In Lucknow, it was largely a students’ initiative. At least 80 girls of Loreto Convent took out a peace protest march. Nearly 200 students of Navyug Radiance Senior Secondary School formed a shape that read ‘ANNA’. They walked for some distance and shouted slogans against the government for not heeding to Hazare’s demands.

Postcards to Prez

Thirty children from Bhrawna village in Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh sent postcards to President Pratibha Patil.

The postcards are currently with Munna Lal Shukla, who is on an indefinite fast along with 17 others, at the Jhulelal Park. Nearly 3,000 people came out in support of Anna Hazare in Lucknow alone till late evening. At least 150 arrests were made across the state.

In Assam, students and teachers held protests in Guwahati University and Dibrugarh University. They also took part in the protest on Tuesday.

Not all the protesters, however, had a clear idea of the issue at hand. “We are here to protest…,” fumbled Shambhu Pandey, a student, who was part of the protest meet near Girish Park in north Kolkata.

While Tuesday’s demonstrations were spontaneous, on Wednesday, all protests in Bhubaneshwar were planned meticulously by NGO India Against Corruption.

Senior citizens, former judges, lawyers, and teachers were among those who protested. Hazare’s arrest also rocked the Orissa assembly’s Monsoon session on its first day.

In Chandigarh, protesters did not use electricity between 8 pm and 9 pm on Tuesday, in a gesture of solidarity.

Innovative protest

Protests and innovations go hand-in-hand. In Jammu, a group of local theatre artistes (all in the age group of 20-24 years) rechristened itself “Main Bhi Anna’. The group has been staging nukkad nataks (street plays) to extend its support to social activist.

TDP leader arrested

In Andhra Pradesh’s Secunderabad, Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu was arrested after he staged a dharna in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, defying prohibitory orders.

Lawyers in Nampally, Hyderabad, boycotted work, as also did their counterparts in Ranga Reddy, Karimnagar and Mahabubnagar districts.

In the pilgrim town of Tirupati, Sri Venkateshwara University students staged a dharna. Students and parents took out a rally in Anantapur district. Students also formed a human chain in Warangal and Khammam towns.

Rain didn’t stop them

Even 40 hours of incessant rain could not dampen the protest fervour in Uttara-khand. Former chief minister BC Khanduri organised a march in Dehradun. Several journalists from electronic and print media held a rally from Gandhi Park to Clock Tower in support of Hazare.

First Published: Aug 18, 2011 00:32 IST