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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Anna, Arvind Kejriwal conferred Indian of the Year 2011 award

Anna Hazare and his associate Arvind Kejriwal were honoured with the NDTV Indian of the Year award here Tuesday. Kejriwal dedicated the honour to the common man of the country.

"I feel I don't deserve this award. Indian of the year this time is the ordinary man of India. This campaign is the country's campaign... this award should be for Anna Hazare and the people of the country," Kejriwal said after receiving the award.

Kejriwal, who is one of the frontrunners in the Hazare-led movement which demands a Jan Lokpal bill to curb corruption, said he is proud that the campaign has spread positivity.

"People had lost hope in the country. If people were asked: 'Iss desh ka kuch ho sakta hai (Will something happen of this nation)', people used to say: 'Kuchh nahi (Nothing)'. The biggest achievement of this campaign is that it has given people the hope that something can happen....

"This campaign has generated a lot of positive energy. When we were campaigning at the Ramlila Maidan, one policeman came to me and said: 'Sir, I have been taking bribe for the past 16 years. But since the past 10 days, I haven't accepted a single bribe.' I went to Pune in a bakery shop, and the shop owner said: 'Sir, in every first week of every month, at least 15 inspectors used to come to take bribe. It's the 10th day of the month today, not even one of them has come.'

"I feel that this is a big agenda we have today. Whether the Lokpal bill comes or not, is a million dollar question, but the challenge is how to strengthen this positive energy - and how we should make everyone vow to neither take nor give any bribe," added Kejriwal.

Hazare, who has taken a vow of silence, was in his home village Ralegan-Siddhi, but acknowledged the award through a videocall. He conveyed his message, and answered a few questions by writing the answers in a notebook.

"Thank you for the award," wrote Hazare, before anchor Barkha Dutt turned to him for a few queries.

Before walking off the stage, Kejriwal asked the entire audience to join in shouting out the slogans: Bharat mata ki jai! and Inquilab Zindabad.

Politicians like Pranab Mukherjee, Arun Jaitley, Jairam Ramesh and Lalu Prasad were also present at the event.


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