Nation celebrates Anna’s victory
Celebration rallies were held in Mumbai to express victory of Anna`s anti-corruption movements.
New Delhi: From Ramlila Maidan to Ralegan Siddi, Anna Hazare`s village, celebrations at full blast replaced days of protests as the Gandhian broke his fast on Sunday with his supporters marking "people`s victory" with dancing, waving of tri-colour and handing out of sweets and flowers.
The festivities, which began last night after Parliament passed a resolution agreeing in-principle on Hazare`s three demands on Lokpal issue, reached a crescendo, when the Gandhian accepted a glass of coconut water from a Dalit and a Muslim girl Simran and Ikrah at 10:20 am, breaking his 288 hours of fast that began on August 16 .
As Hazare started his address at the Maidan in Delhi, people, who had started descending on the historic ground since early this morning, jostled with each other to get a glimpse of the 74-year-old.
"This is a triumph of people. It is a triumph of our democracy. People have come out in large numbers as everybody is affected by corruption," said Riti Borah, a 28-year-old management professional.
And in the evening, hundreds of thousands of supporters gathered at India gate to celebrate the end of 12-day long fast of Gandhian Anna Hazare, after Parliament agreed to three key demands on Lokpal, in principle.
The celebrations were held at full blast as thousands of Anna’s supporters marked the "people`s victory"
with chants of `Vande Mataram` and `Bharat Mata ki Jai`.
Victory flags or `Gudhi` were put up in almost every house in Hazare`s village in Maharashtra as people, who assembled outside the Yadav baba temple, where he lives, said they were eagerly waiting for their "hero" to return.
"We are also eagerly awaiting his return. He is our hero and we want to give him a hero`s welcome," said Hazare`s close aide Datta Awari.
Braving heavy rains, joyous people converged at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai, many sporting the now ubiquitous `Mein bhi Anna (I am Anna)` Gandhi caps.
Rallies were held in various parts of Mumbai to celebrate the victory. To express solidarity with Hazare, 17 people had been fasting at Azad Maidan .
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said, those who have taken to Naxalism and terrorism should learn from Hazare`s anti-corruption campaign as it has reinforced confidence in the strength of non-violence, which is "in the DNA of Indians".
"I have no words to express my happiness. It is a victory of common man," 64-year-old cardiac surgeon Dr Ratna Magotia, who has been fasting for the last 12 days, told a news agency.
India Against Corruption (IAC), which spearheaded the agitation said, they were elated over the victory.
"It is time for celebrations...as, we have won in our fight against corruption," Mannan Gandhi, a member of IAC said, Hazare supporters poured onto the streets in Kolkata distributing sweets and singing the national song.
"Ending of fast by Anna Hazare is a good decision. We are happy with his demand for an effective Lokpal Bill, which in fact was also our long-standing demand," West Bengal CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose said.
In Orissa, Hazare supporters took out processions, burst crackers, danced to drums and took out motor cycle rallies in different places of the state including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balangir, Bargarh, Rourkela and Balasore.
In Sikkim, Yong Tshering Lepcha, a farmer, who lost 14 kg during his week-long fast in support of Hazare, too ended his hunger strike.
"Truth has prevailed and this is how people like Anna Hazare have inspired even a farmer like me. He has touched lakhs of people and I am just one of them. I could have died for the cause," he said.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said, the ending of fast by Hazare was a victory for people`s power and showed the resilience of parliamentary democracy.
In Jammu, Anna supporters distributed sweets, burst
fire crackers and danced to the beats of `dhols`.
BJP activists in Jammu also celebrated the occasion
and demanded strict action against ministers and politicians
involved in various scams.
In Jaipur and other parts of Rajathan, Hazare supporters applied `gulal` on each other and took out a rally in cars and motorcycles.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly,
Vasundhara Raje, said she "salutes" Hazare for his success.
"Not only me but people of the entire country are
happy with breaking of Anna`s fast following his victory. The
truth is that aam aadmi of the country has showed mirror to
the `government of Aam Aadmi`," she said in a statement.
Celebrations erupted in Punjab, Haryana and
Chandigarh as soon as Hazare broke his 12-day fast. A body
representing NRIs thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
his team for resolving the logjam.
"With 11 million NRIs spread across the globe, 3.5
million from Punjab alone, a positive message has gone out
that the country is serious to take corruption head-on," said
Indian Overseas Congress chief Vikramjit Singh Bajwa.
People burst crackers and applied `gulal` on each other
across the region to celebrate "people`s victory".
"Today, it`s real victory of people`s power... Anna`s
campaign against corruption has also helped unite the youth of
this country for a just cause and there is a strong patriotic
feeling among them which is a great sign," Yosman, a Mohali-
based student, said.
Celebrations marked the end of the
13-day-long fast of Anna Hazare with
people distributing sweets and bursting crackers across Uttar
In Lucknow, people distributed sweets at Jhulelal park
where Hazare`s supporters were staging a dharna since August
16. They took out a rally and burst crackers at Hazratganj
crossing hailing the campaign as `victory` of the people.
In Amethi, the Gandhian`s supporters and BJP workers
distributed sweets and burst crackers immediately after he
broke his fast.
"It is the victory of the common people and passage of
Jan Lokpal bill will help in reining corruption of the
country," a jubilant supporter said.
Celebrations continued in Ballia district where people
have been taking out rallies since last night Anna Hazare
announced that he would end his fast.
The supporters not only distributed sweets but also named
a lane in the name of Anna Hazare.
Similar reports were received from other districts
including Allahabad, Varanasi, Bareilly, Lakhimpur and Kanpur.
In Himachal Pradesh, hundreds of people took out candlelight marches on Sunday in support of Anna Hazare.
"Annaji is a true Gandhian. He has won 50 percent of the battle by deploying Gandhi`s weapon of fasting. We will not rest till he wins the full battle," a youth said as a group took a pledge to fight graft in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the Ridge in Shimla. .
Elsewhere in Himachal, people in large numbers expressed solidarity with Hazare. Candlelight processions were taken out in Solan, Una, Kangra, Dharamsala, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Chamba towns.