Short and fast

Published: Dec 29, 2011, 07:14 IST | Varun Singh |

Deteriorating health forces the social crusader to call off the three-day fast on day two itself

Deteriorating health forces the social crusader to call off the three-day fast on day two itself 
If Team Anna and the anti-corruption crusader are to be believed, then Anna Hazare's deteriorating health was the prime reason why he abruptly ended his three-day long fast yesterday evening. "It's certainly not because of the poor public support," asserted an India Against Corruption (IAC) member, pointing at the MMRDA ground that appeared to be more crowded in comparison to day one of the fast. Other than calling off the fast, the organisers even announced the end of the Jail Bharo Andolan

All's not well? Anna Hazare ended his three-day long fast yesterday
evening. Pic /Rane Ashish

MiD DAY in its report on December 27 had published that chances of Anna abruptly ending his fast due to his falling health were quite high, and the same was stated by Team Anna member, Manish Sisodiya. He had even informed that the members had requested Hazare to end his fast. Meanwhile, MiD DAY spoke to Shazia Ilmi, one of the core members of Team Anna and questioned her about the reasons behind Anna ending his fast and the lukewarm response on day one. This is what she said.
Why did Anna end his fast abruptly?
He had been unwell even before he left Ralegan Siddhi and hence we had been requesting Annaji to call off the fast. His health deteriorated to such an extent that he had no option but to follow doctors' advice of ending his fast.
Was it his falling health or the lukewarm response that he received that led to the cancellation of the fast?
In the past few days, the media has been writing a lot a lot about the low turnout. Look there (pointing towards the ground). The ground is full of people. Still you feel we haven't received enough support?
But what about day one?
Yes, I do agree that on day one, things weren't that good and the turnout was less than expected. But there could be myriad reasons for it. The ground is a little inside, less volunteers were placed at the gates and so on. Even I got confused when I first came here from Delhi and tried finding my way to the ground. But that's history. Today is day two and the ground is almost full.
What is the next step?
We'll be meeting soon to discuss the future course of action.
Is it true that Anna and his team has BJP and RSS' backing?
It's nothing but rumour mills overworking. We are not associated with any party. The team comprises secular individuals, and is fighting for the betterment of the country.

Prop sellers rue losses
Low turnout and Anna abruptly ending his fast yesterday, has left some 500 prop sellers, who especially came in from Delhi to encash upon the fast, cursing their luck.

Narayan Singh, one of the dealers, lamented, "Hoping that a large crowd would come for the protest, I had brought along 10,000 Anna topis, 5,000 flags and thousands of badges. However, thanks to the lukewarm reception, all the dealers managed to sell only 25 caps a day against 500 when Anna had fasted in Delhi.

Moreover, with Anna ending his fast a day earlier, we are in a quandary over how to clear out our stocks and recover the money we invested in buying the props."

Echoing Singh's sentiments, Raja Singh said, "During Anna's fast in Delhi, I sold around 25,000 caps. Keeping this in mind, I invested heavily in Anna topis and other props like flags and badges. However, the low turnout and an abrupt end to his fast has left me dumbstruck. I don't know whether I'll even be able to make what I had initially invested."

� Satyajit Desai and Nivedita Dargalkar

Anna is fighting for the citizens and it's our duty to support him. Today, I took an off so that I could register my presence at the venue and support Anna.
� Ramesh Bhovar, teacher from IES School, Dadar

Taking an off in a city like Mumbai that never sleeps is next to impossible. Despite this, Mumbaikars are doing their bit to support Anna and his cause. So am I by being here.
� Vipasha Zaveri, student from St Xavier's College
Since I had to submit an important assignment, I couldn't make it yesterday. But today, I bunked my lectures to be here and be a part of the andolan.
� Rushikha Pandya, student from St Xavier's College

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