Millions of Indians pour out into the streets as arrest of 74-year old anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and 2,600 supporters backfires.
Attempts by the Indian government to crack down on a budding anti-corruption movement in the country have backfired. After Tuesday’s arrest of some 2,600 protesters, including the high-profile anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, millions of Indians poured out into the streets to fight for a strong anti-corruption law.
The 74-year old Hazare, whose struggle is deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, had wanted to stage an indefinite hunger strike in a park in New Delhi, vowing to “fast until death” unless the government accepted the movement’s demand to create an independent anti-corruption agency with sweeping powers, a so-called Lokpal, or ombudsman.
Hazare (bio), a decorated former army officer who after a near-death experience at the age of 26 decided to dedicate his life to humanity, has been fighting against the endemic corruption in India’s political establishment for years. Earlier this year, he fasted and managed to force the government into including his movement in the drafting of a new anti-corruption bill. Eventually, the proposed bill ended up being charade, covering less than 0.5% of India’s officials.