I can convince Team Anna to compromise: Hegde

Speaking to media at Freedom Park on Thursday, Hegde suggested that he could persuade Team Anna to compromise on bringing the Prime Minister and judges under the Lokpal, only if the government agrees on other issues.

“I am not saying that we need to compromise in the sense that you give something, and we will give something. They have said that we are very adamant about judges and Prime Minister. If that is the only two objections they have, I will persuade my colleagues to agree. We have differences on eight issues, but if they are willing to agree on other six issues, let them say it,” he added.

Hegde, who took part in the protest for the third consecutive day, conceded that the Jan Lokpal was a step in the right direction, but added that it was not enough. “If you think that gathering at Freedom Park and fasting would end corruption, you are wrong. This would not change society. For that, a change in the mindset is required,” he added.

Hegde also said that democracy means that politicians are servants of the people, not their masters. “Let us show what democracy really means. It means ‘praja prabhutva’, where the politicians are servants of the public. They are mere representatives of the people who voted for them,” he said.

Later on, Captain G R Gopinath, pioneer of low-cost air travel, addressed the crowd and expressed regret that his generation could not effect the change that he was witness to. “We are responsible for this situation. If we had done this 40 years ago, things would not have come to this,” he said.

He urged youngsters and corporates with a clean image to take part in the agitations across the country. “People ask me why more people from businesses are not encouraging the young. It is not possible to curb corruption without involving businessmen,” he said.

Responding to criticism that Hazare was behaving like a dictator by forcing the idea of Lokpal, Gopinath said: “None of them decided to fight against corruption like he did. We should all be grateful to Anna that he spearheaded this movement. He gave the voice to people which is now heard across the nation.”

By evening, the crowds swelled as Art of Living founder Sri Ravishankar, landed at the Freedom Park. He assured the gathering that there was nothing to worry about Anna’s health. “I just spoke to Kiran Bedi, who said Anna was not starting his protest at Ramlila Maidan because preparations aren’t complete. He will resume his protest from tomorrow and we all must be united in supporting him,” he said.

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