Hazare to ring NASDAQ bell, lead I-Day parade
With his movement running out of steam in India, which has slipped into election mode, Anna Hazare is seeking an international platform starting with a US visit this week.Updated: Aug 13, 2013 22:55 IST
With his movement running out of steam in India, which has slipped into election mode, Anna Hazare is seeking an international platform starting with a US visit this week.
He will ring the bell at Nasdaq, not a common honour, lead the traditional Indian Independence Day parade in New York, and have lunch with lawmakers in DC.
His 12-day multi-city visit starts in New York on Friday.
Hazare is visiting the US with "the sole purpose of spreading his message of peaceful, non-violent method of eradicating corruption", said Anna US Visit 2013, group hosting him, in a statement to Hindustan Times.
"This visit will prove as a stepping-stone for Anna to communicate with the international society," it added.
One of the organisers, who didn't want to be identified, said this visit will give Hazare an "international platform for his cause". He will be going to other countries subsequently.
Hazare has a sizable following among Indian Americans here, some of whom had even held demonstrations at the Indian embassy here in support of his movement.
Corruption in India, which Hazare had highlighted with Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi, is an emotive issue with most Indian Americans, cutting across political lines.
Some of his compatriots left to found a political party, Aam Aadmi Party, which will contest elections, as its leaders have announced, leaving Hazare to himself.
But Hazare continued to resonate with Indian Americans.
He will have plenty of opportunity during the visit to build on it through community-wide interactions, media interviews, college/University events and meetings with US politicians.
Hazare is meeting at least two governors -- South Carolina's Republican governor Nikki Haley, an Indian American; and Delaware's Jack Markell, a Democrat.
That's more than any out-of-power Indian politician has ever managed in one visit -- BJP chief Rajnath Singh was here last month, but he met no governors.
Hazare will also be speaking at Wharton, which, had cancelled a teleconference with Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in March under pressure from activists.
The organisers have lined up media interviews too -- CNN's Fareed Zakari, for one. And they are trying for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and TIME.
Expect Hazare 2.0, brought to you by Indian Americans.
First Published: Aug 13, 2013 21:38 IST