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Friday, August 19, 2011

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare addresses supporters at Ramlila Ground

After three days in jail, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare reached Ramlila Maidan and addressed thousands of supporters urging them to continue the fight for a strong Lokpal Bill.

Anna was received by cheering crowds, many of who had been waiting for days.

Earlier in Anna Hazare at Ramlila Groundthe day, just past the Tihar Jail gates he addressed the crowd outside , raising his hand to the air and shouting "Victory to Mother India" and declaring the fight against corruption would continue whether he was "alive or not" before slowly winding his way in a truck decorated with flags through massive crowds.

Looking fit, the 73-year old Gandhian who is on day four of his hunger strike, urged his supporters outside jail to make sure that the torch of the movement against corruption is not extinguished. He said that India gained freedom in 1947, but the freedom movement had actually begun long time back meaning that the march to end corruption will be a long drawn one.

"We got freedom in 1947. Now the second freedom struggle has begun on August 16. A revolution has started. The fight against corruption will continue whether I am alive or not," he said as the hundreds of supporters waiting for him since early morning cheered and clapped.

Anna said, "After 64 years of independence, we still haven't achieved complete freedom."

"The fight is far from over, it has just begun," he added.

Many supporters had been there overnight and some had offered prayers to the god. Others chanted "the whole country is Anna".

Greeted by rains, the procession made slow progress as Anna waved to his supporters on his way towards Rajghat where he paid obeisance to Mahatma Gandhi before proceeding to Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate and from there to the Ramlila ground, the protest venue.

Hazare supporters accompanied the procession waving the tricolour while he accepted greetings from people gathered on either side of the road in West Delhi.

The improvised vehicle had a huge umbrella to protect Hazare and his close aides from the pounding rain. Apart from walking along with Hazare's vehicle, the supporters followed him on bikes, jeeps and cars.

The procession affected vehicular traffic in and around the Tihar Jail premises including in Janakpuri, Mayapuri and Hari Nagar in West Delhi.

The tireless Hazare was greeted by the supporters with garlands and bouquets at various intersections en-route his procession which was marked by chants of 'Anna' and "Vande Mataram".

Children, housewives and others were seen standing on their balconies and rooftops to have a glimpse of Hazare and the procession.

Thousands of people, many of them school children, waited at Ramlila Ground despite rains to support Anna Hazare.

With the many tricolours, patriotic songs playing in the background and loud slogans and the sun playing hide and seek, it was like a carnival at the sprawling ground in central Delhi where Hazare will continue his fast that began Tuesday.

There were hundreds of school children in the crowd, some who had bunked their classes to come out in support of the 74-year-old Hazare.

"I have come here to support Annaji and we will get the civil society version of Lokpal bill passed come what may," said Prateek Babar, a student of Rajkiya Sarvodya Vidhyalaya School in west Delhi.

As it started pouring heavily, some people started dancing.

"When the government could not stop us, this downpour is nothing. I am here to witness history in the making," said Rehan Singh, a Class 9 student who had a tricolour painted on his face.

Authorities looked worried though.

"The marquee put up at the Ramlila ground is not waterproof. The ground is already wet. If it rains more, it will be difficult to handle," said Deputy Mayor Anil Sharma.

Anna's exit from jail today, took place after two days of hard negotiations with the government and the two sides agreeing that Hazare will undertake a fast for 15 days at the Ramlila Ground subject to certain conditions.

Hazare got from Delhi Police the spacious Ramlila Ground for his fast instead of the smaller J P Park.

Significantly, Team Hazare made it clear that his fast would not be a fast-unto-death and he will be on hunger strike only till his health permits.

73-year-old Hazare, in a video shot inside Tihar Jail, said the protests by "all my brothers and sisters, the elderly and the children" is giving him a "new energy" for his fast.

He said people were fed up of corruption and the government should not take long to bring a strong Lokpal Bill.

Hazare, who is on the third day of his fast inside Tihar jail, also said he is not "tired" at all.

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suri said...

ANNA ji,Aap Great Ho Hum aape saath Hai, Jan Lok Pal Bill Pass Ho Kar Hi Dum Lenge!!! chalo ram lila maidan

suri said...

It is well said that , Mejority is Athourity , and also when majority ellect the govt then the govt should also listen to majority do the needfull so that no more problems , Majority want the LokPal bill should be passed then do it sir. Jai Hind!!

suri said...

Well done varun to visit ramlila wiith good intention as a common citizen

suri said...

Anna Ji,Hum Aapke Saath Hai Aap Delhi me Awaaz Uthaaye hum Gujarat Me awaaz Uthaayenge..Vande Maatram..

suri said...

Dusri Azadi ki Jung hum jitege hi ..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

suri said...

yadi hame ek sachchaa HINDUSTANI hone ka gurv hai to DIL se ANNA ke sath jud jao.