Anna wave sweeps rural India

The support for Anna Hazare`s "India Against Corruption" campaign has made deep inroads into the rural hinterland of Madhya Pradesh with people turning out in large numbers to express their solidarity towards the Gandhian.

Bhopal: The support for Anna Hazare`s
"India Against Corruption" campaign has made deep inroads into
the rural hinterland of Madhya Pradesh with people turning out
in large numbers to express their solidarity towards the
Gandhian`s agitation for a strong Lokpal.

"There is a widespread support for Hazare`s campaign in
rural areas which is being witnessed for the first time.
People from villages are coming to towns for taking part in
protests and marches," Neemuch District Panchayat Chairman,
Ishwar Singh Chouhan told agency today.

"The best part is that people are coming out of their
villages on their own in such large numbers for the first
time to participate in protests being organised at smaller
towns like Shujalpur and Kalapipal. There is a positive
atmosphere in villages on the issue of Anna`s campaign,"
Shajapur District Panchayat Chairman, Leela Devi Parmar`s
husband said.
In big villages like Jamner and Raipur, locals have also
taken out rallies in support of Anna`s movement, he said
adding rural folks are of the opinion that the government
should have listened to the activist`s demands.

In tribal Dindori district, some of the protestors
dressed-up like Anna on August 15, to awaken people on the
issues raised by him, specially corruption, Dindori District
Panchayat President, Omprakash Dhurve said.

Similar sentiments were at display in Damoh district
where nearly 200 people staged a protest in support of Anna,
Damoh District Panchayat Chairperson, Anita Thakur said.

Today, villagers have organised a protest in support of
the campaign at Tendukheda, where a large turnout is expected,
she said.

However, Guna District Panchayat Chairman, Sumer Singh
Garha said that during his day-long tour in the district he
had not noticed any support for Anna`s campaign except for a
few children. Elders are not much involved.

Garha also said that everybody knows that even after a
strong Lokpal comes into existence, corruption is not going to
wipe out from the society.

"There is a need to further improve the present system
of governance in the country instead of creating an all new
body," he said adding that even in fully literate countries
when corruption is not totally eliminated from the society
then how it is possible in India in the present circumstances.
Hazare attracts young, old across Uttar Pradesh

The very name of activist Anna Hazare appears to energise both the young and the old who once again took to streets in different cities of Uttar Pradesh for the third consecutive day Thursday in support of the Gandhian`s fast for a strong anti-graft law.

While activists of India Against Corruption (IAC) continued their fast in expression of their solidarity with the Gandhian activist, self-motivated supporters of Hazare emerged in big and small groups in different localities.

Holding the national flag and raising pro-Anna Hazare and anti-corruption slogans, they swore to strengthen the war that their icon had waged against corruption.

Slogans like "Anna tum sangharsh karo, hum tumhare saath hain" (Anna you lead the movement, we are behind you) and "Anna ji aaye hain, nayi roshni laye hain"(Anna has come with a new light) rent the air on all major thoroughfares in Lucknow where batches of youth marched in processions.
Most of the processions converged at Mahatma Gandhi`s statue at crossroad at Hazratganj - that remained the key destination of all protestors. By the evening, the area turned into a candle-light protest venue.

Reports of similar candle-light processions were received from Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Kanpur and some other cities.

The spontaneity of the protest marches was visible as there were none to lead or guide anyone. The marchers looked completely self-motivated.

"Why do we need anyone to motivate, Anna Hazare has not only awakened us but shown us the path to combat corruption," said Nikhil, a 22-year-old university student, who has been skipping classes over the past three days to remain actively involved with the campaign.

The Lucknow University Teachers Association (LUTA), along with their counterparts from the affiliated colleges, took out a march in support of Hazare on the campus.

"We are with Anna in this war against corruption and we fully endorse his demand for a strong Lokpal bill," asserted LUTA general secretary R.B. Singh.

With PTI & IANS inputs

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