Open for talks, says fasting Hazare (Lead)August 21st, 2011 - 2:31 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for “give and take” on the Lokpal bill, activist Anna Hazare Sunday said he was open for a dialogue but refused to give up his fast till parliament passes an anti-corruption bill framed by civil society activists.
“The path of negotiations is not closed for us. It is still open. Only through dialogue can issues be resolved,” the 74-year-old told crowds that packed the spacious Ramlila ground here on the sixth days of his hunger strike in support of an effective anti-corruption legislation.
“Politicians are our own people. But after getting elected they forget that they are servants of the people, who are the real masters. We chose them to represent us, and not do what they wanted. But they have turned traitors. So this movement has become necessary,” he said.
“Hold talks how much ever you want to. But we will not budge from the Jan Lokpal,” he asserted, drawing huge applause from the thousands gathered at the Ramlila ground in the heart of the city.
Hazare’s reference is to the civil society version of Lokpal Bill that they say is a far better version than the government-sponsored Lokpal Bill which keeps the prime minister, the judiciary and the mass of government employees out of its ambit.
His comments came a day after the prime minister Saturday sought a “give and take” on the Lokpal bill, indicating his willingness to end the stand-off with Hazare and his aides.
Looking as energetic as ever despite six days of fasting, the Gandhian declared the time had come for people to demonstrate before the residences of MPs across the country to press them to pass the civil society-drafted Jan Lokpal bill.
Hazare drew a parallel to Dusshera festival that takes place annually at Ramlila Ground and said corruption was the present day Ravan, which had to be destroyed.
He said the anti-corruption protest had the backing of all religious groups.
“This revolution we are witnessing in India today is different from many a revolution witnessed worldwide.
“Here it is happening without bloodbath or causing inconvenience to the general public. This is non-violent and there is a lesson in this movement for the world at large.”
Meanwhile, activists of India Against Corruption group told IANS Sunday that Hazare’s health was stable.
The volunteer added that a meeting of Hazare and his close aides was held in the morning but the subject discussed was not known.
An estimated 10,000 people assembled at the Ramlila Ground Sunday morning, raising slogans in support of Hazare. The crowds had swelled by noon.
Hazare began his indefinite fast Aug 16 soon after his detention while he was proceeding to the J.P. Park.
The same day he was taken to Tihar Jail, where he remained until Friday when he shifted to the Ramlila Ground.
- Fasting Anna ready for talks, but on his Lokpal (Evening Lead) - Aug 21, 2011
- Anna ready to talk but with riders (Roundup) - Aug 21, 2011
- We will not move till Lokpal bill is passed: Hazare - Aug 19, 2011
- Fasting Anna calls for 'revolution' as thousands rally (Third Lead) - Aug 19, 2011
- PM ready for 'give and take' as Hazare continues fast (Roundup) - Aug 20, 2011
- Thousands throng Ramlila Ground to support Anna (Lead) - Aug 19, 2011
- Decision on Hazare's fast venue in two days: Delhi Police - Aug 08, 2011
- Hazare to end fast Sunday, says only half battle won (Lead) - Aug 27, 2011
- Will agitate again if bill not passed: Anna Hazare - Dec 13, 2011
- All must work together to end Lokpal impasse: Khurshid - Aug 22, 2011
- Lokpal Bill in next session: Khurshid - Oct 04, 2011
- Hazare to reach Ramlila via Rajghat, India Gate (Lead) - Aug 19, 2011
- Give us our bill or leave: Anna to government - Aug 21, 2011
- Cheers, slogans as Anna leaves Tihar for Ramlila ground (Second Lead) - Aug 19, 2011
- Not launching political party: Anna Hazare (Interview) - Jul 27, 2012
Tags: aides, anna hazare, applause, civil society activists, corruption, gandhian, government employees, heart of the city, hunger strike, judiciary, manmohan, manmohan singh, mps, present day, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, ravan, religious groups, six days, traitors