Their patriotism was hard and fast

Their patriotism was hard and fast

Fight against graft: Victory resounds in Bangalore

Their patriotism was hard and fast

On Sunday, following the news of Hazare breaking his 13-day fast, 11 people who had not eaten a morsel, for the same period, also took a sip of coconut water marking a remarkable end to their struggle.

The former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde offered tender coconuts minutes after Anna had broken his fast, to all the those who have been fasting since day one of the movement at Freedom Park. Doctors who attended on the 11 people on fast said the next step was crucial to their health.

Ten minutes after consuming tender coconuts, the group which broke its fast was given Idli to eat. While there were more than 30 doctors throughout the movement at Freedom Park, on Sunday there were only three - R Santosh, Aditi Kumar and K Mahesh, all whom have recently completed their MBBS.

“Anna called me earlier this morning and expressed his wish to visit Bangalore and travel across the State to thank those who strongly backed him through various methods,” said former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde without specifying a date.

The 11 members, who were on fast here for over two weeks, looked tired but were found elated at achieving what they have, even if it was just a semblance of a victory. “We started out to achieve something for the citizens with a good intention and what has now been achieved, thereby, cannot be under stated. At least now, people will have a firm footing to fight corruption at the micro level, if nothing else,” said Prathima Reddy, a 30-year-old architect from Hosur.

“There was complete support from my parents. The decision to fast was mine although my family set a pre-condition that I take care of my health,” she said. Having been diagnosed with fever during the days of her fast did not prevent her from continuing the same, despite pain.

Sitting beside her, Sudhakar Reddy, a businessman from HSR Layout said Anna’s inspiration got them through the final lap of the fast.

“We have won at least 60 per cent of the battle against corruption. There is still a long way to go but it is a start,” he opined.  Making the “not-so-elite” set of people on fast was Suresh, a 42-year-old farmer from Bommasandra. A coconut grove owner, Suresh took it upon himself to mark attendance at Bangalore’s Ramlila Maidan, sans Anna, despite concerns from his family.

Just minutes after he consumed a sip of a mango drink and glucose, Suresh, in an elated tone said: “My wife and children had expressed concerns over my health after their visit here on the ninth day, but I told them to go home without fear. My father had extended me his moral support.”  He said that the call from his father gave him the strength which was required.

Their story however does not end here. For, they have promised that they will, at will,  fight against corruption if need arises.

It was not inappropriate then, for Anna to have expressed his intent to visit Bangalore and thank the people who had extended their support to his cause. The nation’s.