Biplob Ghosal & Shruti Saxena
New Delhi: “Aadmi aazad hai, Desh aaj swatantra hai, raja rani chale gaye, ab to prajatantra hai”. Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan was on Tuesday abuzz with patriotic songs like these.
As Anna Hazare, sometimes called the “modern Mahatma”, is sitting on a three-day fast demanding a strong Lokpal Bill, at MMRDA Ground in Mumbai, a good show was put up at Ramlila Maidan, which not long ago witnessed the ‘August Kranti’.
Though cold played a spoilsport and Team Anna’s protest here against a “weak” Lokpal Bill elicited a lukewarm response this time, but the highlight was the undying spirit of an awakened Indian fighting for his rights.
The crowd appeared to be in no mood to end the protest. Every single person was there to witness the battle for change... not who rules the country but how they rule it.
As Anna continues his fight against corruption and nepotism in public life, people of all ages showed their solidarity to the movement.
While talking to Zeenews.com, an ex-Army official Rohtash Gehlot said, “I have served this nation my entire life and now cannot see the country being engulfed by the menace of corruption.”
Thanking Hazare for leading the anti-corruption movement, he described the activist as “a guide”.
“As a leader is needed to begin an ‘andolan’, he has showed us the path just like our previous leaders Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose and many more,” added Gehlot.
Representing the rural India’s support, a farmer by profession Jagdish Yadav said, “I will court arrest if Anna gives a call. I don’t trust parliamentarians and I am sure they will not pass a strong bill.”
“Anna is Mahatma for me,” he added.
Determined to participate in “now-or-never fight against corruption”, Antima, a Delhi University student said, “This movement is very important for us because we feel that a change is needed. I would not say Jan Lokpal Bill will alone eradicate corruption, but there is an urgent need to take the first step which gradually will change the scenario.”
Ashish Randhwa, a CA by profession, believes the Lokpal Bill would serve the interest of the common man and for that “the politicians have to see beyond politics”.
Hitting out at the government, he said, “We have put the government under pressure and it is because of that they have extended the schedule of the Parliament and are working overtime.”
“I appeal to the government to pass an effective anti-corruption bill,” said one Fatima.
While making her contribution to the movement, a house wife from Delhi, Parminder said “Anna is a simple, straightforward and honest man and an inspiration.”
Another businessman Hari Om, who skipped his work today, wants his local MP Sandeep Dikshit to support Team Anna’s Jan Lokpal Bill.
He appealed to the government to lend their ears to the voice of the common man and not suppress the movement. “Anna’s is the voice of the common man,” Hari Om said.
The India Against Corruption (IAC) volunteers were seen distributing pamphlets describing the difference between Lokpal Bill and Jan Lokpal Bill, with an aim to educate the people more on the issue.
On being asked about the lukewarm response at Ramlila Ground, IAC volunteer Neeraj Kumar said that “it is the first day and we are expecting more head counts in the coming days”.
While there were people who supported the movement by being a part of it, another set of people lent their support to the movement in a noble way by serving food from “Anna ki Rasoi” and water to the people who visited the Ramlila Ground.