Thousands flock to Hazare fastDecember 11th, 2011 - 6:35 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) Donning the now popular ‘I am Anna’ T-shirts and waving national flag, thousands turned up at Jantar Mantar here Sunday as Anna Hazare sat on a day-long fast in support of a stringent Lokpal bill.
And most did not mind sacrificing a holiday for the cause.
“Although it’s a Sunday, we owe this to our country. We are working today to have a better tomorrow,” said Sanjay Lamba, a 26-year-old trader from Jind, Haryana.
People trooped in to the protest site from bus stands and Metro stations, a sense of purpose evident on their faces.
A huge screen was set up on one side of the road. TV cameras mounted on cranes and camerapersons perched atop temporary platforms captured the scene.
As the crowd swelled by the hour, India Against Corruption (IAC) activists tried to control the deluge by erecting temporary barriers using banners and bamboo sticks but to no avail.
Some local shopkeepers, who have witnessed countless rallies and protests at the site, such they had never seen an individual uniting so many people for a single cause.
“Organisations and unions do successfully attract large crowds, but not an individual. Not only are his demands genuine but his aura is charismatic,” said Sunil, who operates a fast food joint nearby.
Around 1,000 police and paramilitary personnel were deployed at the venue.
In August, the 74-year-old Hazare sat on a 12-day fast at Ramlila ground in central Delhi and terminated it only after parliament agreed to frame a powerful anti-graft law.
Before that, in April, he went on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar which was called off after the government formed a joint committee to draft the Lokpal bill.
–Indo-Asian news Service
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Tags: anna hazare, anti graft law, asian news, avail, bamboo sticks, better tomorrow, central delhi, cranes, deluge, hunger strike, joint committee, mantar, metro stations, national flag, protest site, sanjay, sense of purpose, sunil, temporary platforms, tv cameras