Marches against corruption in Delhi, other cities (Lead)May 2nd, 2011 - 3:14 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) A day before the second meeting of the joint Lokpal Bill drafting committee, thousands of people marched in Delhi and in over 20 major cities in support of social activist Anna Hazare and and his struggle against corruption.
Supporters here gathered at the Jantar Mantar, where Hazare had sat on his hunger strike, and marched upto India Gate holding placards and shouting slogans in support of Hazare and Janlokpal bill. A candle light vigil was held at the India Gate
Marches and rallies were also taken out in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and other cities, according to activists of NGO India Against Corruption, which had organised the protests.
In New Delhi, supporters of from all age groups enthusiastically participated in, what they called, a “mass movement”.
Braving the day’s heat, 63-year-old Sunil Sheel stood smiling wearing a sticker against corruption on his sleeve.
“I am here to do what I can in my capacity. We want to contribute to the movement, if we don’t come out of our houses, how will it become a mass movement,” he asked.
“We want to rid our country of corruption and we want the Janlokpal bill to be passed,” Shalini, a student from Delhi University, said.
For 10-year-old Meghali, who was present at India Gate with her class-mates and teacher from Jai Bharti School, corruption was “something bad, which should not be done”.
“I have brought them here so that they can learn good values and not resort to wrong ways when they grow up,” said their class teacher Pava Malik.
Meanwhile, Shaid Mallik, a Ph.D. scholar, said: “They should not think that our agitation finished with the fast, so we all are here today, to support the fight against corruption.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by housewife Shalini Chopra.
“We are here to support the struggle against corruption and to show that our support has not ended with Anna ji’s hunger strike,” said Chopra, a resident of Dilshad Garden area of east Delhi.
According to the group, over 32 lakh people across India have so far pledged their support to the anti-corruption movement through SMSes alone.
Hazare sat on a huger strike from April 5 to April 9, demanding inclusion of civil society representatives in the panel to formulate the anti-graft Lokpal bill. The civil society’s demand was met and Hazare and four other civil society representatives were included in a panel to formulate the Lokpal bill. The other five members are cabinet ministers.
The joint panel held its first meeting April 16 and the second is slated for Monday.
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Tags: agitation, anna hazare, bharti, candle light vigil, class mates, class teacher, delhi university, drafting committee, fight against corruption, hunger strike, india gate, jai, jantar mantar, lucknow, mass movement, placards, pune, shalini chopra, social activist, sunil