It is much bigger than Lokpal Bill, say protesters

Jantar Mantar -- the Hyde Park of Delhi -- has now become the nerve centre of a movement against corruption with thousands of people from across the country flocking here to express solidarity with activist Anna Hazare.

Last Updated: Apr 08, 2011, 19:29 PM IST

New Delhi: Jantar Mantar -- the Hyde Park
of Delhi -- has now become the nerve centre of a movement
against corruption with thousands of people from across the
country flocking here to express solidarity with activist Anna
Hazare.
As Hazare`s fast-unto-death on the Lokpal Bill issue
enters the fourth day today, support for his movement is
gaining momentum with people from all walks of life, including
scientists, film stars and lawyers saying they have turned up
here to send across a "bigger message".

For the majority of the people, the movement is not
just about drafting of an "effective" Lokpal Bill, but it is
about cautioning the government against "ever increasing
corruption" and scams as a result of which India`s imgae has
taken a "serious beating".

"This movement is against corruption. It is a movement
to cleanse India`s image as a graft-ridden country" said
Gurpreet Singh, a 45-year-old social activist from Chandigarh
who has come here to participate in the protest.

Echoing similar views, Ram Dulari Yadav of National
Blind Youth Association said although Hazare has started his
agitation for a joint committee of civil society members and
government representatives to draft a strong anti-graft bill,
the movement has a bigger meaning for the country.
"This is a country-wide movement against corruption.
It has a larger message and it will continue," Yadav, who has
come here along with 25 other blind people from the city,
said, expressing solidarity to the movement led by Hazare.

Another group of 50 blind people under the banner of
Indian Joint Organisation of Blind are also participating in
the protest to "fight corruption"

"Corruption is becoming synonymous with our way of
life. The irony is that all our leaders have accepted
corruption as very normal. It pains me as an Indian, it pains
me as a follower of Gandhiji," said 72-year-old septuagenarian
Radha Vinod Gupta of Rohini area of the city.

Gupta, who was a Delhi Government employee, said he
has decided to come to the protest "listening to his inner
voice."

"There has been an anger inside me against what is
happening in the country. This is very disturbing. We have
started to acknowledge that corruption is part of the system,"
Gupta, who came with his wife, said.

For Abhijit Sarkar, a 21-year-old Delhi University
student, Jantar Mantar has become India`s Tahrir Square where
a "mega movement is taking its shape".

"I have been coming here for last three days. We are
really proud of being part of this great movement," he said,
holding a placard that said "We are not corrupt. Follow us."

PTI