Students and working professionals took time off to express their solidarity with the ongoing campaign and fast-unto-death by social activist Anna Hazare in New Delhi, here on Thursday.

The protest, which commenced pre-noon at Freedom Park, went on through the day and saw further support towards evening when a candlelight rally was organised.

It was a medley of the young and old, students and professionals, seasoned activists and well-heeled urbanites that formed this rally. Most of them testified that they were inspired by the massive New Delhi rally.

Jan Lokpal Bill

Led by non-governmental organisations here, protesters expressed their opposition to the Lokpal Bill and sought participation of civil society in the drafting of the more progressive Jan Lokpal Bill that will give extra powers to the office of the Lokpal to tackle corruption. Prithvi Reddy, a volunteer with the NGO Smart Vote, said that politicians' attempts to trash the campaign calling it a “cosmopolitan and middleclass campaign” won't take the debate very far.

Rama Lakshmi, a volunteer supporting India Against Corruption, said it was high time the country woke up.

Ordinary people

The protests also inspired several non-activists to turn up. An IT professional, Krisna Bhat, who left work early to make it for the candlelight vigil, said the campaign was heating up as many organisations were seen mobilising support outside IT offices, the ITPB and even malls. “It is very important for the youth to speak up,” said Mr. Bhat, who claimed many youth groups were ready to take up this cause and see it to its logical end.