TNI Bureau: When Anna Hazare, the anti-graft crusader joined his team in the indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar, the crowd swelled and around 50,000 people gathered at the fast venue to express solidarity with him. Some reports put the number at 60,000 – 80,000.
Earlier, about a hundred ‘India Against Corruption’ activists arrested in Chennai for protesting outside Home Minister P Chidambaram’s residence. IAC supporters have also protested outside Uttar Pradesh Assembly. Many Anna supporters were detained while protesting outside the PM’s residence on Friday.
In Mumbai, IAC Maha Vehicle Rally spanning 3 kms was organized to support the cause. It began from Andheri and Anupam Kher flagged off the rally who said ‘if we don’t stand up and fight today, tomorrow our children will ask us why we did not save the nation’.
Slogans like ‘Inqalab Zindabaad’and ‘Vande Matram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ at Jantar Mantar reminded one of the scene at Ramlila Maidan that rocked the monsoon session of parliament last year. After joining the fast Anna said “I am ready to sacrifice my life for the cause,”
In the evening, a rally of about 25,000 people marched from India Gate to Jantar Mantar. Yesterday was actually the fifth day of the fast, but the first day of joining of Anna to the cause this time.
While the fast had begun with a gathering of around 7000-8000 people on the previous four days, with the arrival of Anna the gathering swelled to 25,000 and then 50,000, proving the critics wrong. Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai have been fasting since July 25.
Interestingly, the crowd not only included a specific group, but it had included people from all walks of life. The fast witnessed not only urban, but both rural and urban people alike at the venue.
Team Anna appealed to people across the country, especially students to ‘give one week for the nation’ and join the agitation.