Forward march against corruption
Gandhi hum sharminda hain, bhrashtachari zinda hain (Gandhi, we are ashamed, the corrupt are still thriving)
Responding to slogans like these, Brigadier (Retd) Vijay Raheja, Jyoti Ramachandran and Ram Pal joined thousands of citizens, civil society activists and intellectuals at the historic Ramlila ground on the day of Gandhiji's death anniversary.
Raheja, an ex-army man from Gurgaon, Jyoti, a housewife from Trilokpuri, Delhi's neighbourhood known for housing economically poor, and Pal, a labourer from Faridabad, may have nothing in common.
But on Sunday, they were at Ram Lila maidan for what the organisers described as "India's fight against corruption" — a movement initiated not just in Delhi but also across 55 cities in the country (see box).
Organised by the forum 'India Against Corruption', their main demand comprised enacting an effective Lokpal bill.
Speakers pointed out how the proposed Lokpal bill by the Centre is an eyewash and the government should pass the Jan Lokpal bill, prepared by citizens.
Among those who addressed the rally were former top cop Kiran Bedi, activist lawyers Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan, Archbishop of Delhi Rev Vincent M Concessao, Mehmood Madani, labour rights activist Swami Agnivesh and senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani.
Ram Jethmalani (87) said: "At this age too, I am here as I believe the time has come.”
Religious leader Mehmood Madani said: "We need to stand against corruption just like the way we have fought terrorism."
Activist Arvind Kejriwal said, "We wish people to vote against corruption and pressurize parties to enact the Jan Lokpal Bill."
Later, rallyists undertook a march from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar.