Mumbaikars throng to pledge support for Hazare fast

Dabbawalas' association will strike work on Aug 16 in support

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | August 10, 2011



Thousands of supporters gathered at Azad Maidan on Tuesday pledging support to 74-year-old anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s fast scheduled to start August 16 protesting the government’s lokpal bill. Hazare and activist Arvind Kejriwal addressed a gathering at the packed venue which was preceded by press briefings at the nearby Marathi Patrakar Sangh and Press Club.

“The government’s intentions are not honest. Since last one week, it has dilly-dallied on giving us a venue for fasting. If it is denied to us we will go to jail and continue our peaceful fast there. We  are ready to face death”  Hazare said, and urged citizens to support his anti-corruption fast for one week by hitting the streets and taking leave from work from August 16.

To mark support and protest, Kejriwal requested citizens to switch off their lights between 8-9 pm on August 15. “The government can impose curfew on Jantar  Mantar, it cannot impose a curfew in the entire country” he said.

Condemning the bill drafted by the government, Kejriwal said the government lokpal bill is a mockery. It is a "black bill" and not acceptable to citizens. “Why have prime minster, judiciary and parliament been kept outside the purview of Lokpal? Why does the government expect us to compromise on corruption when like rape and murder corruption  it too is a crime? he asked.

The civil society advocated the inclusion of 71 points in lokpal bill in the joint drafting committee meetings of which the government refused to admit 9-10 points.

“Government should withdraw the bill or bring out  a fresh bill with our demands or bring out the amended bill so that a debate can be held in parliament on the bill. We will appeal to the standing committee on Wednesday to reject this bill and present a bill with our demands” he said.

“My  records in the army are being checked  and people are being sent to my village in Ralegan Siddhi to check on my organisation and find out something controversial. What will they find when I have no bank balance, have one plate to eat and live in a temple. They (government) filed 12 cases against me. I am ready to face another one dozen cases,” Hazare said.

“For the last twenty years, I have been fighting corruption and went to jail many times," he said, asserting that his team of activists were gearing up to court arrest if the fast was impeded.

“I fought for ten years for the right to information before it became an act. Now, jan lokpal bill will take the right to information further. But the government is not honest and does not want to implement it” Hazare  told the audience.

Commenting on the number of youth at the pledge meeting, Hazare said it was a welcome sign that the youth found the anti-corruption fight a dear cause.

Over 80 associations and unions including the Mumbai tiffin box suppliers (dabbawallas') association, and metalworkers and cine employees unions have pledged their support to Hazare's campaign.

"Every day, our two lakh 'dabbawalas' deliver two lakh tiffins to our customers. For the first time in 120 years, our association will strike work to join the protest. We will be requesting our customers to  support us by avoiding the tiffin service on the 16th (sic)" said Sopan Laxman More,president of the  Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association.

The crowd later marched in a torch rally with Hazare and Kejriwal to the historic August Kranti Maidan where Mahatma Gandhi had launched the Quit India Movement on August 9, 1942.     
 

Comments

 

Other News

People-to-people relations the real foundation of Indo-US friendship: Modi

On the second and last day of US president Donald Trump’s India visit, prime minister Narendra Modi said the real foundation of Indo-US friendship is people-to-people relations. Trump, meanwhile, sidestepped the contentious issues of the protests against the new citizenship law, telling a joint press

America loves India, America respects India: Trump

America loves India, America respects India, said US president Donald Trump as he and first lady Melania Trump began their short visit of India from Ahmedabad on Monday, welcomed by prime minister Narendra Modi. The US president was in Ahmedabad, in Modi`s home state of Gujarat, to attend th

2020 is crucial for CPSE: Arjun Ram Meghwal

"The year 2020 is going to be a significant year for India and especially for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), "said the Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for heavy industries and public enterprises on Wednesday at the 7th PSU Awards and Conference organised by Governance Now on 19th

Vice President springs surprise, speaks in 22 languages

Highlighting the importance of preserving, protecting and promoting Indian languages, the vice president of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu spoke in 22 languages at an event to mark International Mother Language Day in New Delhi. He urged all the citizens to take a pledge to promote mother tongue and also lea

Title Insurance: new product for old issues

Real estate is among the priciest investments around. More so for the common man who has to live with the burden of monthly EMIs. Yet, it is an art to discover the real owner of any property. Government and revenue records, which are easily accessible to the public, are not properly maintained. Individual

Aadhaar linkage with electoral roll on cards

The election commission of India (ECI) has been working on a series of electoral reforms, and the agenda includes linking Aadhaar with the electoral roll, considering paid news and false affidavit as electoral offence/corrupt practice, better monitoring the role of print media and social media intermediari



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter