Anti-corruption crusade: 15,000 Puneites congregate at Shaniwar Wada in support of Anna. What a moment!

Last evening in Pune was historic! It was probably only the third time that the city has witnessed such euphoria after the Samyukta Maharashtra movement and the JP movement all those years ago

The imposing ramparts of Shaniwar Wada were witness to an electrifying moment in history, as more than 15,000 Puneites turned out on Friday evening in support of the campaign led by Anna Hazare against corruption in the country. The candle-light march, which was more than two kilometers long, began from Bal Gandharva and culminated at Shaniwar Wada. Candles in hand, the protestors marched in triumph-the young and the old, the feeble and the physically challenged, all joined in with a missionary zeal. The shouts were predictable: 'Anna Hazare aage bado, hum tumhare saath hain' and 'Hum honge kaamayab ek din'. But the passion was unexpected and quite unbelievable.

The mobilisation from the morning was by word of mouth, and through emails and SMSs. It spread like wild fire. By 6pm there were already more than 5,000 Puneites lined up on Jangli Maharaj Road, opposite Bal Gandharva. With every minute the crowd began to swell, all with the singular determination to eradicate corruption.

It's a long time since Pune witnessed any such euphoria. Mangesh Tendulkar rightly said, "The first time was during the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. The second was during the JP movement. This is the third in support of Anna Hazare's fast.''

Through the day, streams of people visited the pandal outside the Pune Municipal Corporation, where we undertook a day-long fast. Teenagers and youngsters joined in a 'skip a meal' campaign that required citizens not to eat any one meal of the day, whether it is breakfast, tea, lunch or dinner.

Youngsters made passionate speeches about how they were fed up with the corruption in everyday life that was even affecting their education. They talked about joining the fight because they wanted to have a better life in the country and not run away because of the daily inconveniences.

Representatives from IT companies told us that at least 500 techies had joined in the candle march. Around 85 NGOs pledged their support to the cause. And passersby stopped to inquire and lend their support too.

All described the common agony: Corruption that has reached mind-boggling levels and how high-profile politicians and bureaucrats who were guilty of this were getting away easily. They were angry and did not know how to express their anger-till now, that is. The untainted figure of Anna Hazare on a hunger protest at Jantar Mantar helped draw them together, like iron filings to a magnet.

It's the biggest victory of a people's movement since Independence. The nation has indeed arrived! Corrupt politicians are realising that they will not be able to take people for granted! It has been a triumph of the people's collective resolution and sacrifice. It's the beginning of the end of the corrupt scoundrels who rolled in wealth and luxury with the people's money!

Thank you for your support.

Comments
nagesh kini
1 decade ago
Mumbaikars thank you Punekars for their massive support for the Lok Pal Bill Rally. We do appreciate the efforts of Anna and Arun Bhatia for all their efforts.
Valerian Texeira
1 decade ago
All the anti corruption legislations put forward by Anna Hazare and his team including the Jan Lokpal Bill cannot control most of the corruptions in India in any significant way mainly because majority of corruptions leave no concrete evidence or its foot print records to prosecute them under the court of law however stringent may be the punishment “IF convicted”! Therefore it becomes almost impossible to convict and punish the majority 90% (if not 99%) of its perpetrators even when charged they are mostly set free by the courts for lack of concrete corruption evidences. Also they have lots of corruption money to buy expensive lawyers or appeal to the higher courts. If you fight against corruption without the concrete evidence you will loose if you accept corruption you will hugely gain and make more money. The common man knows this too well therefore forced to choose the second option by submitting or accepting the corruption as the way of life!

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO DETER THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE FORM ENGAGING IN CORRUPTION, FIRST OF ALL YOU SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT THE CONCRETE EVIDENCE OF EVERY CORRUPTION CRIME (BASICALLY ILLICIT MONEY TRANSACTION) GETS RECORDED EVERY TIME AND EVERYWHERE WHEN IT HAPPENS. If anyone wants to know more about this search for my blog in the <.blogspot.com>
Pradeep
1 decade ago
Thanks anna, you have come as ray of hope for all. I also stay in pune but feel sad to miss the rally. I am trying to do what I can to be part of Anna's struggle so should every indian be. Thanks Anna you are another bagat singh for us
Jyoti
1 decade ago
Pune is the cultural capital of the country and it is no wonder that large number of people participated.Except Kapil Dev no other cricketer expressed their views.Perhaps most of them are CORRUPT.
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