After the dampener in Mumbai last year, Team Anna left no stone unturned to ensure yesterday’s rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi is a success. And the group emerged triumphant, as hundreds of people gathered at the venue to support Anna Hazare during his daylong fast for a stronger Lokpal bill.
The agitation began with the screening of a short film on 25 whistleblowers who were killed during their fight against corruption.
Lending support: The uncle of IPS officer Narender Kumar, who was killed by the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh, came to support Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar yesterday. Pic/Rajeev Tyagi
What moved people the most was the presence of family members of the deceased on the dais, who shared their emotional narratives with the crowd.
“As we have lost our family member, we have decided to become the charioteer of Anna’s movement against corruption,” said a relative of Shola Rama Rao, who was killed in Andhra Pradesh recently.
Rao’s wife and his kids too attended the rally and were seated beside Hazare. Likewise, the uncle of IPS officer Narender Kumar, who was killed by the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh, came to support Hazare. “While we have complete faith and confidence in the CBI, we are also with Anna in his fight against corruption and his endeavour to protect whistleblowers,” he said.
Besides demanding a strong Lokpal bill at the earliest, Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan gave substantial amount of time to the importance of laws to protect whistleblowers. “It was a good strategy to connect with the masses. They are presenting the cases in a such way that it will remain in people’s memory for long,” commented a senior journalist at the venue.
Another commentator at the spot said, “There are several cases that happen everyday, but only a few come to the limelight. By getting all these people together, Team Anna has given them exposure at the national level and has been able to put considerable amount of pressure on the government.”
Later during the day, the family members of the deceased whistleblowers went to Ramlila Maidan, to be interviewed by the media.