'Is it a crime to raise your voice?'

Public Support

'Is it a crime to raise your voice?'

Everybody has diverse views on Anna Hazare and his Lokpal Bill.  The sensation that surrounded his hunger strike, subsequent arrest and then his refusal to leave jail despite being freed by the government seems to have touched people from all walks of life, most noticeably college students.

Metrolife spoke to a few of them to find out what they think of Hazare’s movement and his arrest. Mayank, a student of Global Academy of Technology, says that he has been closely following Hazare’s movement since its very inception.

“I’ve been watching his speeches on the television, and reading about his life on the Internet. He’s an extremely inspiring personality; but despite being a fighter against corruption, he’s not being accused of being corrupt himself,” he says.

He’s quick to add that he still fully supports the Lokpal Bill, “The Government is refusing to include prominent people like the Prime Minister in the bill, so what’s the point of having it? Corruption exists mainly at the higher levels.” When it comes to Hazare’s recent arrest, Mayank is indignant.

“It’s like we’re fighting a second war of independence. It’s unfair that he’s been arrested. What kind of democracy is this if people are arrested simply for raising their voice?” he asks.

Jitesh, who studies at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, agrees that Hazare has been the centre of much attention of late.  However, he is cautious when it comes to extending full support to Hazare’s proposed bill.

“It is obviously important when viewed against the enormity of corruption in our country. However, his bill might be a little too extreme. I think it’s important to find a middle path,” he says.

Hazare’s arrest, adds Jitesh, is not entirely unexpected. “He has become the face of the movement, and is practically synonymous with the Lokpal Bill. It’s sad that he’s been arrested despite the fact that he never provoked violence or encouraged his supporters to break the law,” he says.

Gauri Malhotra, a student of Srishti School of Design, says that although she supports the cause that Hazare is propagating, she isn’t entirely sure of his methods. “In the long run, I don’t think the Lokpal Bill will make much of a difference. After all, this body is vulnerable to corruption as well,” she says. She adds that Hazare’s recent hunger strike is akin to holding the government hostage.

“Anna Hazare has a lot of public support, but by going on a fast every time he wants something done doesn’t make sense. It would be better if he attempted to negotiate the particulars of the bill with the Government,” she says.

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