Some bunked colleges and others took leave from work as people from across the country came in droves to central Delhi’s Jantar Mantar Wednesday to support Anna Hazare’s fast-unto-death for a more stringent anti-corruption law.
Jitender Jain, 40, who has a transport business in Uttar Pradesh, has been in Delhi since Tuesday to support Hazare while his brother is looking after his establishment back home.
“People do not have time these days but when we told them in detail about the menace of corruption, many from around my home came with us to join the protest,” said Jain.
Activist Baba Shelke, 59, came from Nagpur in Maharashtra to join the protest.
“I am Anna’s friend and have come here with him. About 25 motorcycles with 50 riders left from Nagpur April 1 and reached Delhi April 4 to educate Indians about the Lokpal Bill on the way. Leaflets were also distributed in Nagpur to inform people,” said Shelke.
Praveen Narang, 42, a banker from the national capital, took a day’s leave from office and brought along five of his colleagues to join the protest.
“This effort will surely bear fruit and I am 100 percent sure that we will be successful. People from all over country have gathered to defeat those who are corrupt and this is a Gandhian movement,” said Narang.
The crowd near the spot where Hazare is sitting for his fast is made up mostly of youngsters. Some of them came there after watching the news on TV while others were informed by chain messages on their mobiles.
Madhu Sudan, a 23-year-old B. Tech student from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, held the Indian national flag and posters were stuck on his chest and back. The posters read: ‘Indians together protest against corruption’ and ‘Poorna swaraj from corruption’.
“Enough is enough and our country needs a revolution. There is no transparency in how the system works here and the few rich and powerful are ruling us. Criminals like (former communications minister A.) Raja are draining away our wealth,” said a livid Sudan.
There should be transparency in the system and law should be equal for everyone. The common people are suffering because of people like Raja, he said.
Sneha Kotlawade, 23, an activist working with NGO Kabir, said: “We are so foolish that for the past more than 60 years we didn’t have a proper anti-corruption law and we were fine with it.”
“Lokpal Bill is the need of the hour because the problem with scamsters is that even if they are caught, their family can enjoy the looted wealth. However, the Lokpal Bill makes sure that all such looted money is confiscated,” she added.
Mass communication students Tanya Basu and Garima Jain, both 18 years old, attended their morning class in the college and came to Jantar Mantar in the afternoon to support Hazare.
“As youth of the country we have to clean up the system because if not today, corruption will definitely harm us tomorrow. People who are 60-70 years are looting this country and it will be youngsters like us who will ultimately bear the brunt of this,” said Basu.
“Till the time youths do not come forward, we cannot expect any change,” added her friend Jain.
Agreed 23-year-old Mayank Agrahari, He said that the scamsters were usually high-profile people and the common citizen cannot take them on alone. “The middle-class led by the youth of the country has to get together to defeat those who are hell-bent on looting this country.”
Naman Mehrotra, a chartered accountancy student, said that before the spectrum scam hit the country the share market was doing very good, but the market fell by 17 percent between January and February.
“These are shameless people who are robbing the tax payers’ hard earned money,” said Mehrotra