April 9, 2011

INDIA: Anti-corruption crusade triumphs, Anna Hazare calls off fast

NEW DELHI / The Economic Times / Nation / April 9, 2011

Veteran reformer Anna Hazare, who spearheaded an unparalleled people's movement against corruption, ended his 97-hour fast here Saturday following assurances from the government that it would introduce a more stringent anti-graft law in the monsoon session of parliament.

As tumultuous crowds gathered at Jantar Mantar, ground zero of the pan-India crusade, and millions others watched on television, the 72-year-old took a few sips of juice offered to him by a little girl. Loud cheers erupted and the strains of Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn "Raghupati Raghava Raja" filled the air. (Click here to know more)

Hazare, who began his fast Tuesday morning, congratulated the people for the success of the movement that saw Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issue a statement promising that the Lokpal (ombudsman) bill, with more teeth to effectively counter corruption in public life, would be introduced this July.

Terming the movement a second freedom struggle, he said the system had to be changed. "We have got a lot of strength from the people," the former soldier said, adding that there would be further revolutions on other issues confronting India. (Read further...)

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