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Mumbai rallies behind Hazare in anti-corruption drive

Support came in from all sections of society here on Tuesday for Anna Hazare who is on an indefinite hunger strike in New Delhi for the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Social activists, organisations, business groups, students, housewives and people from all walks of society expressed solidarity by participating in various events organised for the day. ‘India Against Corruption' facilitated a day-long protest at Azad Maidan, which saw a huge response.

“The response has been phenomenal. Corruption has reached its peak in the country. This is the way people want to show their support to do away with corruption. After the Right to Information Act (RTI), this will be an equally important breakthrough,” Piyush Bhatia, registration co-ordinator, ‘India Against Corruption,' told The Hindu at Azad Maidan.

“Corruption has crossed the level of tolerance of people. It is time we stand up against it. After the World Cup, this is another cause for which the whole of the country has united. I have joined Anna for the indefinite strike,” Sudhir Rao, a 65-year-old volunteer of India Against Corruption, said.

“The poorest suffer the most due to corruption. This is a wave of protest where the whole of India and Bharat has risen to do away with corruption. It is not just a matter of a bill, it is about moral discourse. The nexus of builders, politicians, bureaucrats, corporates should break. This corruption should end. We support Anna for the cause of the Jan Lokpal Bill,” social activist Medha Patkar told the journalists while joining the protest at Azad Maidan.

The youths' participation was overwhelming. College students, young professionals took to the streets and raised their voices against corruption. “The youths have to take up the matter. We are the future of the country. We have to say no to corruption,” Asavari Samant, jewellery designer, said.

“When people hit the streets, the government has to bow down. The Jan Lokpal Bill will have to be passed by the government now. They have no choice,” she said.

When asked how the Bill will help society, Ms. Patkar said it would bring transparency in the system. “Whatever information we get through the RTI, we will be able to work on it when this Bill is passed,” she said.

“The system is too slow for youth like us. Today's youth do multitasking. They need a faster system, quick policy changes. The Jan Lokpal Bill will help curb corruption and make the system faster,” said Naga Srinivas, an MBA who has been involved with India Against Corruption since a decade.

“In all, 22,000 people have registered on our website to join the hunger strike. Two thousand five hundred people have joined our page on Facebook to tell us that they will be fasting too. We have also received 1,80,000 missed calls from Mumbaikars showing solidarity for the cause of the Jan Lokpal Bill,” Mayank Gandhi, co-ordinator, India Against Corruption, said.

More observe fast

Forty four persons have joined Mr. Hazare from Mumbai in the fast. The number of people who joined for a day-long strike runs into thousands.

A vehicle rally was organised from Shivaji Park to Azad Maidan to spread awareness of the importance of the Jan Lokpal Bill and to appeal to people to join the protest. At Azad Maidan, people sang songs, performed street plays and distributed pamphlets.


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:45:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Mumbai-rallies-behind-Hazare-in-anti-corruption-drive/article13745753.ece

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