Sea of humanity engulfs Jantar Mantar

Sea of humanity engulfs Jantar Mantar

Rallying point: Crowds continue to gather even after Anna Hazare ends 98-hour fast

 People’s voice: Supporters of social activist Anna Hazare celebrate after the Gandhian ended his fast-unto-death for the Jan Lokpal Bill, at India Gate in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI The 18th century observatory became Delhi’s Tahrir Sq­uare of Cairo, where thousands of young and old, men and women, poor and rich, educated and not so educated gathered and turned it into a carnival site as strangers hugged one another, waved the Tricolour, danced to the drumbeats and smeared colours.

As Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn “Raghupati Raghava Rajaram” played in the background, septuagenari­an Hazare appeared on the dais at 10:25 am and the crowd jostled for space to have a glimpse of the anti-graft crusader.

Amid people trying to rush towards the stage to touch his feet, a small girl was called to the dias and Hazare sipped juice offered by her to end his old fast. Earlier, Hazare offered juice to around 300 people who have been fasting with him. Carrying a Tricolour, 73-year-old Srinath from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh said “this is a decisive victory for people. We have to get rid of corruption. This is a good beginning.”

A group of tribals from Maharashtra erupted into a folk dance while some priests performed a havan at the site and distributed sweets by eulogising the Gandhian.

Hardeep Singh, a physically challenged 70-year-old, moving in a tricycle, camped at the protest site for three days “to express my solidarity.” Though the police had thrown a tight security blanket, a senior police officer told Deccan Herald that despite tens of thousands of people gathering for the past five days, not even a single untoward incident was reported.

G Mar and Raveney, travellers from Latvia, were busy shooting the protest visuals. “I have been visiting throughout the world to cover people’s protest for my documentary. Now I have covered this too and my next stop will be Syria”, said Raveney. Bhagat Singh Neeraj, a property documentator in Delhi, is busy distributing sweets. “I brought 60 kg of sweet to distribute to express my happiness,” he said.

Web world gets busy

A large number of students and young professionals were busy clicking photos, shooting videos and uploading them instantly to their blogs and social networking sites. Several teachers had brought their students as they wanted to teach them how mass movement was taking place in the country.

Ventso, 48, from Paris said: “I just came from Indonesia today morning. My wife called from back home and informed me about the huge protest in Delhi and I rushed here.”
Though the protest ended around 11:20 am, the venue became a picnic spot as a large number of people continued to arrive, climb the dais and get their pictures clicked.

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