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Hazare`s protest site not free from VIP culture

Last Updated: Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 22:00

New Delhi: Anna Hazare`s movement might have
been branded as that of corruption versus the common man, but
even his protest site has not been free from the VIP culture.

The Ramlila Maidan was a picture of chaos, with crowds
swelling over the past few days, and even more people turning
up to join the protest on Sunday. However, for VIPs, as
everywhere, there is not much to bother.

The huge ground has a separate entry and exit gate
exclusively for VIPs, and the common people are not allowed to
use it, even when the other gates stand blocked with the
bulging crowd.

As the mass swelled by around 1 pm, people found it
increasingly hard to make an entry or worse an exit. In fact,
five children went missing in the melee.

"I tried to make entry through the gate near the mosque
but I was told it was for VIPs. I could not make my way in
through the other gates as the crowd would not allow," a woman
protester said.

It was the hardest for women to negotiate their way
around the ground.

By afternoon, thousands of people had gathered at the
grounds, but not many women were to be seen.

"Today was a holiday, so I came with my husband. I have
not seen many girls around and the crowd is not very good,"
said a woman.

A woman singer from Uttar Pradesh who rendered her voice
to patriotic songs was received with nasty whistles and
comments from the crowd.

While Hazare was seated at a podium raised 20 feet high,
the seating space for people was around 60 feet away from the
dais. In between was a fenced area reserved for VIPs, followed
by a media enclosure.

As crowds swelled, five children went missing and parents
and relatives were finding it hard to get an announcement made
from the podium.

The volunteers, who were distributing water among the
crowd, too took special care of the VIP enclosure, cleaning
the area from time to time.

Among the VIPs who made their way through the special
gate were Justice Santosh Hegde and MCD Mayor Rajni Abbi among


First Published: Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 22:00
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