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Saturday, 20 August 2011

Anna stir gains strength as Ramdev’s men join in

PATNA: On its fifth day, Anna Hazare's movement against graft continued to draw popular support from all quarters in Bihar. The stir gained strength on Saturday as hundreds of Patanjali Yogpeeth (PY) and Bharat Swabhiman (BS) activists joined the fray. 

Slogans like "Yog karenge/desh ko bachayenge/bhrastachar mitayenge/desh ko bachayenge" rent the air on Saturday, as a daylong fast and sankalp diwas were organized by PY and BS activists at all 38 districts in the state. 

About 40 activists were on fast at the Kargil Chowk venue on Saturday. The condition of two persons on fast for the last five days deteriorated. "They may need to be hospitalized if their protest continues for a prolonged period," Dr Diwakar Tejaswi, who is voluntarily attending to them, told TOI. 

Joined by hundreds of locals, Kumar Arunesh, a PY singer, tried to inculcate revolutionary thoughts among people through his songs. 

"The country will not tolerate humiliation of people who are leading movements against graft. Baba Ramdev has asked us to jump into the movement. We will continue it till the demands of crusaders against corruption are accepted by the government," said PY organizing secretary Pankaj K Pandey.

PY and BS units in all districts of the state have been asked to lend their support to the movement. A total of nine PY members observed fast at Kargil Chowk here. 

Support for Anna has also started coming from Bihar's backwaters. Under the banner of School of Enlightenment, Talent Academy, NGO Pahal, Kanhaiya Welfare Society and others, over 2000 children at Bairiya Karanpur village, 25km from here, took out a rally on Saturday morning. 

The students also organized street corner plays. Carrying placards, banners and tricolours, they shouted, "Anna tum mat ghabrana, tere sath sara jamana" and pledged their support for the anti-corruption movement. The rally also included parents, teachers, doctors and local people. The rally covered a distance of five kilometres till Sampatchak village. 

In the morning, children from five city schools arrived in groups at Kargil Chowk to express their solidarity with the anti-corruption crusaders there. Civil court lawyers, students from NIT-Patna and budding doctors from a private dental college also arrived there. 

"Anna's movement is a great unifying factor. It holds the promise of change. In turn, this holds promise of change in our daily lives. Everyone has got to support it," Nandini Narayan, a budding dentist, said when asked why was she supporting the movement. 

A group of betel shop-owners on Saturday found a unique way to express their support for the movement. Over 30 panwallahs donated over 100 discarded pan-boxes, so that the activists could organize torchlight rallies with them. 

A youth, Pankaj Singh, came out with a composition to voice his support: "Gali mein Anna/Bazar mein Anna/Bebas ka biswas hai Anna/Yuva shakti ki aas hai Anna/ main hun Anna, main hun Anna." 

Dhiraj Kumar, an aspiring civil servant, said: "We were beset with corruption, but we did not have faith in our ability to fight it. Anna has awakened that very ability in us. We will leave no stone unturned in making sure this faith does not die down."


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