Echoes of `Rang de basanti` at Azad Maidan

Mumbai: A huge crowd, including singer-composer Vishal Dadlani, sang `Yeh desh hai veer jawaano ka` and `Rang de basanti`, while others shouted slogans like `Vande Mataram` and `Inquilab zindabad` at the Azad Maidan here Tuesday afternoon in protest against Anna Hazare`s arrest.

The massive ground was full of people voicing their anger against Hazare`s detention in New Delhi`s Tihar Jail. The gathering also saw participation from the Hindi film industry, as Vishal, actor Purab Kohli and producer-actor Raghu Ram turned up to show their support to the native of Maharashtra.

"I am proud of India, and that is why I have come here," said Purab, who sported a black t-shirt with Hazare`s picture on it. The t-shirt read: "I Am Hazare" - a feeling that almost all people present at the venue shared.

Vishal, who wore a black ribbon, like many protesters, said: "Till Hazare is not let free, and till he doesn`t win the movement, I will keep this band on my wrist."

Condemning Hazare`s arrest, Vishal told reporters: "Why would the government stop this protest? If they are stopping this movement against corruption, it just shows who they are. It is a non-violent way of protest and everyone can do it.

"I am not here as a representative of Bollywood. It is my individual expression in support of Hazare`s movement."

Vishal set the mood going at the grounds by singing songs. Many people went for voluntary arrest to support Hazare`s `jail bharo` (fill the jail) campaign and walked around holding aloft the Indian flag.

Many wore tricolour t-shirts that read: "We are fighting for our second freedom". Some ever wore blazers with a paper posted on their back. A hand-written note on the paper read: "I want to be arrested".

Anna Hazare`s supporters made sure the protest was peaceful as they kept stressing that there should be complete cooperation with the police.