B'loreans vow to fight graft

Youth rally around Anna Hazare

B'loreans vow to fight graft

Hazare became larger than life and the cynosure of all eyes for the young and the old alike when he made a clarion call for a corruption-free country.

Braving the scorching summer heat, college students, women and senior citizens trickled into the National College Grounds at Basavangudi to hear their anti-graft crusaders Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi. The atmosphere in the grounds was so charged that every word that Hazare uttered was cheered by the enthusiastic crowd.

His “jail bharo” call became an instant catch phrase, while his call for a second revolution was cheered loudly. He came down heavily on corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

 The magic of Hazare’s persona captivated the crowd when he listed the provisions of the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill.

A witty and intelligent speaker, Hazare wowed the crowd in chaste Hindi. There were peals of laughter when he described Sonia Gandhi, in an oblique reference to her, as a “remote control” creating problems for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The biggest support to Hazare, however, came from students—who bunked tuitions and classes, and gave their various watering holes a miss—all in the name of “standing united” against corruption.

As 17-year-old Raksha puts it, “Anna has shown us the way, he has inspired us, and now we are all here to extend our unconditional support to him.”

IT professionals Ashish Ranjan (30) and Raghu Vanshi (30) said they had finally found their cause.

“We read about Anna's visit on Facebook yesterday, and we couldn’t think of doing anything better than coming here this Saturday,” said Ashish.

Ravi Kiran, 18, has become “more popular” among his peer group for having forced them all to attend the meeting. However, the despair expressed by 18-year-old Tulsi is a truth that cannot be negated. “It’s a terrible irony that right outside these grounds, policemen are eating chaats and fruits but are not paying for them. I wish that the scenario wasn’t so bad. Hopefully Anna’s movement will bring about the change that youngsters like me are looking for,” she added.

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