Students bunk classes, throng Freedom Park

Students bunk classes, throng Freedom Park

Fighting graft: Support pours in from all quarters for campaign against corruption

Students bunk classes, throng Freedom Park

Young girls express their solidarity with Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption struggle. DH PhotosAs a mark of their support to the cause students boycotted classes on Wednesday and participated in the movement.

Students either by coaxing or through pressure tactics made the college authorities to let them join what is being termed as the ‘Second Freedom Struggle.’

Referred to as the Modern Day Gandhi, Anna Hazare is now an icon among the youths in the City. This was evident by their presence at the Freedom Park.

According to India Against Corruption (IAC), the organisation spearheading the fight for passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill, nearly 6,000 people registered themselves at the Freedom Park. Students from various educational institutions formed the bulk of those present at the venue.

Students in the age group of 16 to 22 years staged a march from their respective colleges to the Freedom Park and raised slogans “...Aage bado Anna, hum tumhare saath hai,” “Corruption saaku saaku, Jan Lokpal beku, beku.”

Prepared to struggle

“We have fought our way out of college to be a part of the movement. We shall fight as long as we can,” said Pavithra, a third -year engineering student from BIT. Her statement echoed sentiments of youths present at the Park.

On students’ participation and the movement, Bhavika, an engineering student said: “Anna Hazare has lit a fire in us, which is now raging like a wildfire. We shall support him until India is declared corruption-free.”

However, for some, it was an occasion for picnic. Several of those gathered at the Freedom Park were seen having fun, sharing ice-cream and clicking pictures of themselves.

Colleges, classes deserted

The protest against the arrest of Anna Hazare spilled into college campuses, with students either deserting classrooms or colleges themselves declaring holidays.

At BES College, Jayanagar, students attended the first hour of classes before they were called out to participate in the event. Activists from the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) turned up at the college and began raising slogans to boycott classes and join the protest. Principal Prof T Narayanappa said nearly 1,500 students boycotted classes and marched to Freedom Park.

“Hopefully, this is only a one-day event, and classes will resume as usual”, he said.
Several other colleges such as Bangalore Institute of Technology (BIT), Seshadripuram College and Vijaya College ended up not holding any classes as students had deserted them.

“Anna is fighting for us and we want to support him, ” a student said. A lecturer, on condition of anonymity, said “Since the BJP has been opposing the arrest in Parliament, we do not expect the State government to take a harsh stance on the cancellation of classes.”

For students, Twitter and Facebook have turned out to be crucial for co-ordinating efforts to take part in the protests.

“We used our facebook group to urge all our classmates to take part in the protests,” said Sohail S, a student from P M College of Commerce.

A unique support

Bangaloreans caught a glimpse of Anna, thanks to a professional ventriloquist on Wednesday at the Freedom Park.

Indushree, a native of Bangalore, performed a small play to entertain and inspire the students who had gathered at Freedom Park.

She has travelled far and wide to perform for people in the US, the UK and Singapore, but this was her first tryst with Anna Hazare.

“I believe the Jan Lokpal Bill presented by Team Anna will prevail as it is a much required one. This my way of lending support to the cause,” she said.