Loading...
See More

Thousands stage anti-graft rally in Delhi

Aug 17 2011 17:53 AFP

Related Articles

India warns on nationalisation debate

India eyeing sovereign wealth fund

India's richest man faces luxury home probe

Indian shares down on Mumbai blasts

Foreign investment in India jumps 300%

Indian firm mulls SA turbine plant

 

New Delhi - Tens of thousands of protesters staged a spontaneous mass rally in New Delhi on Wednesday in support of a hunger strike by anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare.

Organisers estimated the size of the crowd marching from the India Gate monument in central Delhi at between 60 000 and 70 000. Police officials declined to give an exact figure but said tens of thousands had converged on the area.

The hastily organised march was called Wednesday morning by Hazare who has been fasting in Delhi's Tihar jail since being arrested by police the day before.

Hazare was detained as he prepared to begin an indefinite hunger strike in a Delhi public park to protest against what he sees as a watered-down anti-corruption law recently introduced in parliament.

The size of the rally caught police by surprise and significantly raised the stakes in Hazare's stand-off with the government.

Only hours before, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had condemned the activist's hunger-strike as "totally misconceived" and a dangerous challenge to India's parliamentary democracy.

The marchers who poured in from all over the city included everyone from school students still in uniform, to office workers who left their desks and retired people.

"For once we have brought the issue of corruption to every street of India," said K.C. Malhotra, 68, a former history professor from Delhi University.

"I am happy that Indians are united for a cause that will change our lives forever," he said.

"We have to defeat corruption to stop it from eating up the system," said Govind Kumar, who joined the rally after spending the previous night demonstrating outside Tihar jail.

"This is the battleground for us to fight," Kumar said.

Smaller protests were held in cities across India on Wednesday, including the financial capital Mumbai and the southern port of Chennai.

Hazare's campaign has tapped into a deep reservoir of national discontent in India over the corruption that permeates every level of society, from petty functionaries to top officials.

It has also piled the pressure on Singh's government which has been hit by a series of high-profile graft scandals involving some senior ministers.

manmohan singh  |  india  |  anti-corruption
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

New forms of digital technology are changing the very ways in which entrepreneurs run their businesses.
 

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...