Mood upbeat in Anna camp on ninth day of fast
A day after Anna Hazare's team members met the government, the mood in his camp was upbeat on Wednesday with an activist climbing on to the roof of the stage early in the morning and unfurling two fresh tri-colours.delhi Updated: Aug 24, 2011 20:05 IST
A day after Anna Hazare's team members met the government, the mood in his camp was upbeat on Wednesday with an activist climbing on to the roof of the stage early in the morning and unfurling two fresh tri-colours.
Since Hazare took the centre stage at Ramlila Maidan, there had been only one tri-colour atop the dais where the Gandhian sits.
As Hazare fast entered the ninth day, two people kept the media and the local crowd amused with their strange antics. While the crowd cheered a middle-aged man from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, dressed as the Hindu God 'Hanuman' with 'Anna Hanuman' painted on his body, media personnel were bewildered at the sight of an old man who had hung some moral teachings on his body.
Everytime media personnel tried to talk to him for a "byte", the old man simply started talking on his cellphone paying little heed to the surprised journalists.
The police personnel deployed near the VIP gate close to the dais went into a tizzy as two people carried a single bust combining Anna Hazare and Mahatama Gandhi to the venue.
The police personnel checked the bust from all angles before letting it in.
An array of film posters caught the fancy of many people. While Hazare's face was embossed on the portrait of actor Salman Khan's popular film 'Dabangg', jailed CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi featured on the poster of Aamir Khan starrer 'Ghajni'.
The spoofs also included the poster of the hit Sanjay Dutt film -- 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' with Hazare as Munnabhai, Arvind Kejriwal as 'circuit' and Kiran Bedi on the portrait of actor Vidya Balan.
11-year-old schoolgirl Maanvi read a patriotic poem from the stage prompting Hazare to take notice as he said children were the future of the country and complimented the little girl from Uttar Pradesh amid loud cheers from the crowd.
Announcement of children getting lost in the crowd were heard many times on the public address system. Parents, who had lost their kids, were seen frantically searching for them, asking the stage managers to make announcements to find them.
While 73-year-old Anna Hazare would be amongst the oldest at the Ramlila ground, an 82-year-old woman from Punjab had the crowd in raptures when she called upon them to protect the life of her 'bachcha' (child) in reference to the Gandhian who is fasting for the country.
A number of kids wearing white dhoti-kurta and sporting Gandhi cap gave some good pictures to the lensmen who jostled for space to capture child like innocence on a stage which is in the forefront of a serious agitation for a strong Lokpal Bill to rein in corruption.
A contingent of ex-servicemen also came to the Ramlila Maidan to vow their support to Hazare, himself an ex-Army man.
While talking about recent incidents in Uttar Pradesh's Bhatta Parsaul, activist Medha Patkar committed a faux pas saying, "Rajiv Gandhi had visited the site soon after the police action."
She immediately apologised for the inadvertant mistake saying she meant Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi and not his father and the former Prime Minister.
Adman Prahlad Kakkar announced from the stage that he had not witnessed such crowds even during 'Kumbh mela'.
First Published: Aug 24, 2011 20:04 IST