ANNA SPEECH Don’t imitate me, save India instead, says Hazare
“I have tried through my life to serve the nation. Some people have sacrificed their whole life. Through the last 73 years, I had nothing in my mind except the nation and the society. I have not gone to my home for the last 35 years. I would like to tell these children, please don’t imitate Anna. I have only one request. Please remember that young people like you were martyred in their struggle for the nation. Please keep the memory of Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev alive in your minds.
In just four days, Anna Hazare’s hunger strike against corruption has become a huge hit with the masses thronging into New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar every day. Even though the campaign is making issues simple in order to keep the focus strictly on the Lokpal Bill, there’s a curious political undertone.
AS MAHENDRA Singh Dhoni’s face knotted in intense concentration, 1.2 billion Indian eyes were on him. At Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, it was the most critical match of all. The World Cup final. Do or die. DO or DIE. And yet, not far away from the stadium, another Team India was in a twist over an even more crucial match. The final push in a war against corruption. As Dhoni fought for glory, the other Team India was busy circulating SMSes. This was the text:
ANNA HAZARE A fasting Gandhian at the heart of India
Anna Hazare, one of the most respected social activists in the country, has taken the centre stage in what is undoubtedly the biggest people’s movement against corruption in the country. This 73-year-old Indian Army veteran and Gandhian is amongst the few public figures who still attach a keen sense of morality to the matters of governance.
India Against Corruption, a group formed by Anna Hazare and other social activists and former judges, has given 17 reasons why the Jan Lokpal Bill drafted by former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde, now the Karnataka Lokayukta, is far better than the Bill prepared by the union government.
Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and many civil rights activists began a campaign for a strong law against corruption at high places on 5 April. Hazare started the campaign with an indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, after paying homage to Mahatama Gandhi at his memorial at Rajghat.
While Anna Hazare’s fast has forced the government to accept the demands of the civil society while drafting the Lokpal Bill, the tougher part of the battle is yet to start. Five union ministers and five representatives of the civil society have been entrusted with the task of sitting together and readying the Lokpal Bill by 30 June.
ANNA HAZARE: He was a driver in the Indian Army who was once the only survivor in an India-Pakistan battle involving his unit. He then retired from the Army and focused on alcoholism and smoking near his Maharashtra village. He punished alcoholics who wouldn’t change and burnt cigarettes and bidis on Holi. Currently, he is leading an anti-corruption crusade during which he forced the Indian government to give lawmaking powers on an anti-graft law to activists.
Gandhian Anna Hazare ended his fast on 9 April in front of his supporters at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, 97 hours after he began it seeking a tough law to punish corruption in public life. Hazare first ensured that some of his loyal followers ended their fast and then he followed. Soon after this, he made a speech of note, his second in two days.
Social activist Anna Hazare ended his fast at around 10.40 am on Saturday, five days after he started it to push for the Jan Lokpal Bill. He went without food and water for more than 98 hours.
ACTIVISM Election reform next on Anna’s agenda Gandhian Anna Hazare ended his fast on 9 April in front of his su
pporters at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, 97 hours after he began it seeking a tough law to punish corruption in public life.
Here are a few voices from the Anna Hazare fast-to-death at Jantar Mantar discussing the Lokpal Bill in detail.
An adivasi boy talks about how much more needs to be done. A housewife talks about the relevance of protesting and Aravind Kejriwal talks about implications of the Lokpal bill on ordinary lives.