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Anti-corruption movement gains momentum on Day II

The second day of Team Anna’s anti-corruption campaign saw tens of thousands gather across the capital city in support of the anti corruption crusader.

delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2011 00:21 IST
Aaron Pereira
Aaron Pereira
Hindustan Times

The second day of Team Anna’s anti-corruption campaign saw tens of thousands gather across the capital city in support of the anti corruption crusader.

From outside the walls of Tihar Jail to the heritage monument Jantar Mantar, people from all walks of life were seen waving the national flag, holding up anti-corruption posters, dancing to the tune of tambourines and self composed anti-corruption songs as well as shouting slogans against the government and in support of Anna Hazare.

At Sansad Marg, prominent social activist, Medha Patkar and Swami Agnivesh addressed the protestors asking them to keep the movement going. Patkar asked the youth to keep the fire burning and carry on the anti-corruption crusade that Anna has ignited.

While flags of various political parties were seen along street posts and politicians attempted to gain mileage from the movement by circulating pamphlets, the people seemed to have paid no heed towards them. The mood was different.

Abhijit Malhotra, a businessman said that the movement is not about any political party, it’s about the system. “We are not here to campaign for the BJP against the Congress, this is targeted towards all of them. They are all equally responsible for the prevailing corruption in our country,” he said.

The crowd saw a mix of all generations. There were housewives with their young children, as well as a large number of senior citizens walking in support of Anna Hazare’s movement.

“This campaign has taken a different turn, it’s no longer about the upper middle class and political activists, this campaign is about the aam aadmi, period.” Anisha Patil, a student of Delhi University said.

Interestingly there were youth who marched at the end of the rally, picking up litter that campaigners had dropped along the way, sending across a message that they were socially aware too.

Among the crowd there were also those who had no clue about Anna Hazare’s demands or what the jan lokpal bill seeks to do. There were also those who did not agree with Anna Hazare’s version of the bill, but they took to the streets in support of the larger cause.

Anita Das, a social activist from Indore said she disagreed with Anna’s version of the lokpal. “I do not agree entirely with what Anna has to say, but I’m here because this is a large cause, the bigger picture is anti-corruption,” she said.

Simply put, this movement has sent out one clear message, the people of the country want an end to corruption and they want it now.

Earlier in the day, the government bowed to public pressure and provided Anna Hazare with a new venue, Ramlila Maidan, to hold his fast.

This however, was not without a rider of seven days. Anna Hazare has refused to accept this offer of the government stating that he wants permission to fast for no less than 30 days.

First Published: Aug 18, 2011 00:19 IST