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Updated: August 25, 2011 12:30 IST

Hazare to begin fast on Ramlila grounds today

Gargi Parsai
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Supporters of social activist Anna Hazare gather and protest outside the Tihar Jail in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu Supporters of social activist Anna Hazare gather and protest outside the Tihar Jail in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Accepts police offer; protest can be extended

Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday reached an understanding with the government to stage a two-week-long fast on the spacious Ramlila grounds here on the Lokpal Bill issue.

Team Anna, comprising Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, had bargained hard with Police Commissioner B.K. Gupta till the early hours of the day, and succeeded in getting written permission for the two-week-long fast which, it was mutually agreed, could be extended.

Mr. Hazare could not, however, come out of the Tihar jail as the agitation venue needed to be prepared. He will begin his fast on the Ramlila grounds on Friday afternoon.

“We decided that instead of getting into a confrontation on the duration of the fast, it was better to accept the offer and then review the situation after 15 days,'' Mr. Bhushan told The Hindu.

Video message to supporters

Responding to demands from his supporters that he come out of the jail, Mr. Hazare, who began his fast in the prison three days ago, said although he had accepted the Delhi Police offer, he felt fit to continue the agitation for a much longer period, and join all marches that thousands of people had undertaken in the last few days. “My supporters are my strength. I am energised by them,” a cheerful-looking Mr. Hazare said in a video message.

He asked the government to immediately bring before Parliament a revised Lokpal Bill incorporating the provisions of civil society's Jan Lokpal Bill.

With this, the focus shifted back to the core issue of civil society's Bill versus the government's Lokpal Bill.

At the same time, Mr. Kejriwal said if the government were to bring in a strong Judicial Accountability Bill, Team Anna would not insist on the inclusion of the higher judiciary in the Lokpal Bill. “This has been our consistent stand,” he told journalists.

“No talks offer”

To a question, he said there was no offer of a dialogue yet from the government. “Our fight for the Jan Lokpal Bill to reach Parliament has just begun. We have just entered the battle zone.''

The government already introduced its Lokpal Bill in Parliament and it has been referred to the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Criticising the government for first detaining Mr. Hazare and his associates, and then releasing them “within two hours,” Mr. Kejriwal said the people should question the government whether it could put people in jail anytime and release them at will. “What kind of law is this, what kind of democracy?”

Team Anna said the government's excuse of an apprehension of breach of law and order was proved wrong as the public outpouring in every part of the country had been totally peaceful.

Dismissing rumours about Mr. Hazare's health, fuelled by the arrival of two ambulances at Tihar on Wednesday night, Mr. Kejriwal said the elderly activist was keeping “well.”

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anna hajare we are supporting jan lokpal bill with hearts

from:  dr.kulbhushsn
Posted on: Aug 24, 2011 at 19:41 IST

A word of caution to Team Anna. Till date the mass gathering is >peaceful without any provocation because it is non political. The people sitting at home are also supporting the same cause and the Delhi Police should be under strict orders to keep cool. But the single point agenda of media coverage ignoring events like attack on birthday partying youngsters by Bajrangdal in Karnataka, debate on the Impeachment motion etc. is slowly making the people to a sense of vexation. All political parties have disapproved the methodology of Team Anna which is a binding on their cadres. Open demonstration of disapproval of Annaji's methodology is bound to come shortly providing an invitation to provocation which will result in an ugly situation. Kindly remember how the peaceful protests of few advocates of Madras High Court continued for days, in spite of a restraint approach of the authorities of the High Court, took an ugly turn of events which became useful only to the visual media.

from:  Prof. N. Gunachandran
Posted on: Aug 19, 2011 at 20:06 IST

1.What is so great about Anna's fast? As an individual he has the right to refuse food, because he gets good food in the normal course. There are millions of children, men and women in this country who fast everyday because they cannot get food or afford food. What about their daily indefinite fast? 2. Is the media really honest in its reporting of the Anna campaign? A few hundred people filling up a frame does not represent the 1.2 billion Indians. The cameras never pan beyond the few hundreds in the frame to give an idea of the real extent of support. There are more media vehicles at these protest sites than supporters. 3. After all the brouhaha over his detention did Anna have a right to make himself the guest of the Government at Tihar jail at taxpayers cost even after he was released?
I am presently a perplexed Indian. I am not for and never was for corruption. Are we watching a drama by a megalomaniac enjoying the spectacle of a discomfited Government.

from:  Gita
Posted on: Aug 19, 2011 at 10:05 IST

The nation congratulates the Delhi Police for discipling the mobocracy and make it to come its terms and conditions by taking undertaking on oath through an affidavits for the observance of rules and regulations. It was not the victory of Anna or his team but the rule of law. When the truth is coming out slowly but steadily what a man of reasonable prudence observe that Anna has not done any home work except to incite the common frustrations of the people of India through absolutely free from any accountability the course of para- Gandhian way. He himself has mortal instinct to attain martyrdom before his own eyes. What is the relevance of fast unto death now. Mr. Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan want to settle the old scores with the organs of Government and the ulterior motives best known to them. Senior Bhushan proclaims to be the witness of freedom movement and compares the present one with past. Why he conveniently forgets that the sons and daughters and son-in-laws and brothers and sisters and other near and dear family members of ex-Prime Ministers and ex-Chief Justices are not made of holy water ? Mr. Kejriwal has urge to exhibit his past achievements and expect the people to take cognisance of it. Mrs. Kiran Bedi's appearance is no more than the cosmetic face of the Jan Andolan or else it would be more boring for the people to bear it. Do they have made any introspection of their own deed and actions except the show of strength on streets. The media correspondence particularly ladies were so much excited to see the mob that they were shouting without taking breath and sometimes their voice got choked. Play and replay for the days and nights as if the world has come to stand still. Corruption has attained the status of multinational industry grinding only if your helplessness pay. Or else, it will stop grinding at the cost of public exchequer and public inconvenience. We the people of India have to sit together and find out the long lasting and feasible solution except to get the law passed in the Parliament according to our whims. Anna Hazare's mission is to get the law pass and rest rests with the youngistan. They have failed to address the real issue regarding the implementation of the vigorous anti graft law. My dear children are you going to send your own or your friend's parents to jail ? If yes, you deserves to be the citizens of India. -But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It be hooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government. -- Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837. That will only come in your home, streets, village or city, state and last but not least the nation.

from:  A. Patrawala, Advocate
Posted on: Aug 19, 2011 at 06:47 IST

Crores of Indians from all sections of the Indian society are protesting for a strong Lokpal bill. The bill drafted and approved by the cabinet have no value and the voters discarded it. Only two days – very short period, Indians in crores coming out in the street for the last two days protesting for a strong Lokpal bill. World media - print as well as electronic, especially in the west, praising the Indians for their peaceful struggle and in every article they are comparing this with that of Gandhi. Even in local media they are narrating this Anna´s struggle with certain pride and tell their readers, the peaceful way of protest.
Mr. Manmohan Singh, these two days have clearly shown that your party have lost the people’s legitimacy – if there would be an election tomorrow your party may not get a single seat. As a gentle man and a politician you should immediately start talking with Anna´s Team – renowned lawyers and social workers, previous SC judge, law-minister, and IGP, (they are more experienced in law-making). In politics give and take is the game.

from:  somasundaram
Posted on: Aug 18, 2011 at 23:45 IST
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