Here to stay

Here to stay

If Main Anna Hun caps look like a farce, you could do with a second thought on the matter.

The Anna Hazare ‘Movement’ which peaked last year and has restarted again on a lukewarm note this time, has forced Anna and his supporters to state that regardless of crowds, he is going ahe­ad with his fast-unto-de­ath.

Metrolife took a real reality che­ck and found that what is happening at ground zero is actually fuelling the movement. People are adding up gradually. Some are genuinely supportive, others are there for curiosity while still more are there with children and families to express their solid­a­rity. Far from fizzling out, the fight for Lokpal Bill is gath­er­i­ng momentum and there are enough supporting it.
For one, the help being extended to people who had come to protest is as quick as ever. There is free water and food. Stalls for registration, donations and buying flags to protest are in place.

Face painters’, flag and Main Anna Hun cap sellers’ business is thriving in spite of less crowds.

While they make their qui­ck buck, the crowd is busy che­ering for Anna. Continuous announcements, patriotic songs and slogans fill the air. For those who are notable to crowd around the stage, there are big projector screens.

In spite of sporadic rain and high humidity, people continue to sit and protest peacefully. Surinder Kaur, a housewife, comes to Jantar Mantar daily. “Today, I have brought my child with me to show him how the protest for ‘freedom-from-corruption’ is happening,” she says.

Anuj Bhardwaj, a software engineer, is at the venue with his wife. “In the last protest, I used to come daily but this time I am late. But I have every intention of coming everyday now,” he says.

As a visitor, you might pass off a couple of young men as idlers. But like they say, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.

Vi­k­as Kumar, a graphic desi­g­ner and Sanjeev Kumar, an engineer, have taken leave from work. “Although we are here for the first time, we support Anna completely and have been very active online. Why do you think we will come here? To pass time in this scorching sun?” they quip.

Nitish Mehra, a businessman, has made many trips to the venue. “I’ve come with my family today so that they could also get a feel of this.”

However, out of a crowd of several 1000, a few are here to simply play witness. Shruti Pandey, a software developer, gleefully admits, “I have just come here to pass my time and look around because I was free for the day.”

Monica Semwal, a professional, says, “Our office is nearby and so we came here, only to see what’s happening around here. We have not come earlier nor do we really do anything about the movement, frankly.”

But irrespective of why they are here, they are adding up to the numbers and giving that much needed support to Anna. While his speeches may be provocative, his stance extremely strong, his supporters are ensuring that Anna’s movement is here to stay.

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