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‘Corruption frustrated freedom goals'

Staff Reporter
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Braving rain, Quit India Movement veterans visit Azad Maidan to support Anna

Fighting still: Eighty-five-year-old freedom fighter M.T. Gangwani participates in a rally in Mumbai's Azad Maidan on Tuesday in support of social activist Anna Hazare. — Photo: Vivek Bendre
Fighting still: Eighty-five-year-old freedom fighter M.T. Gangwani participates in a rally in Mumbai's Azad Maidan on Tuesday in support of social activist Anna Hazare. — Photo: Vivek Bendre

The “second freedom struggle” received a shot in the arm on Tuesday, when freedom fighters proclaimed support for Anna Hazare's andolan.

Sporting the Gandhi cap, seven veterans, mostly from the Quit India Movement, came to the Azad Maidan here, despite rain, to address a gathering. “We are with Mr. Hazare. The andolan is being fought the Gandhian way; it's non-violent. Anna is a sincere man. The whole country is awakened. The mood is right and it should not die down,” Vijay Shroff (85), who had participated in the 1942 August Kranti, told The Hindu .

In his address, Shanti Patel (90), also a former Mayor of Mumbai, said the pursuit of corrupt ways led to a failure of achieving the goals of the freedom struggle.

“For a free India, we had a vision before us. We wanted the fundamental ills like poverty and hunger eradicated. But there are many people even today who do not get two square meals. Our leaders have taken to corrupt ways and this is very saddening to see for a freedom fighter. Corruption starts from the birth certificate and continues till the death certificate.”

The Mumbai Taximen's Union and the Boot Polish Association also joined the anti-corruption campaign.

Supporters of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the CPI, the Janata Dal (Secular), the Peasants and Workers Party of India (Socialist People's Council) staged a protest on the Azad Maidan calling for an effective Lokpal.


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