Mumbai roots for Anna Hazare

Rahul Wadke Nivedita Ganguly Priya Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 16, 2011

mumbai-anna   -  Business Line

saltlake-anna   -  Business Line

More than 1,500 supporters of Anna Hazare were arrested by the Mumbai police on Tuesday. The arrest largely took place around Azad Maidan in south Mumbai, where his supporters staged a huge rally in his support.

Among the arrested were prominent social activist Medha Patkar and Mayank Gandhi. The police had a tough time controlling supporters and at one point entry and exit to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station had to be partially shut down as an overwhelming number of people had converged at the station, wanting to participate in the rally.

Supporters of Mr Hazare came from a cross section of society; college students shared the dais with seasoned social activists, senior citizens and even the dabbawalas of Mumbai

Final year engineering student Neville Menezes, sporting a Gandhi cap and placard saying ‘Arrest Me' told Business Line that Mr Hazare has managed to get the whole country up and running behind him.

“The Lokpal Bill will definitely help fight corruption in the country. Anna has single-handedly managed to take on the entire government. It is having a tremendous effect on the people,” he said.

Dabbawalas' gesture

Extending support to Mr Hazare, nearly 5,000 of Mumbai's famous dabbawalas donned white Gandhi caps with the slogan ‘Mee Anna Hazare' (I am Anna Hazare).

The large congregation of ‘dabbawalas' protesting at Azad Maidan and CST station were also among those arrested by the police in the morning and later released. However, the ‘dabbawalas' are not calling their daylong support programme a ‘strike' and insisted that it was a voluntary participation by all.

In the past 120 years of their existence in Mumbai, the ‘dabbawalas' had never gone on strike and had worked in all seasons, even during vacations and natural or man-made calamities to faithfully deliver more than two lakh lunch boxes to offices.

“All the dabbawalas of our association are wearing badges which show support towards Anna Hazare and have also stuck posters on the tiffins. We will continue to be in the protest mode and join the agitation after work,” said Mr Anantha Telekar, a member of Mumbai Dabbawala Association.

“The number printed on the cap is the number of the group supporting Anna Hazare. In fact, we had anticipated this sort of outcome and had prepared these posters and badges eight days ago,” he added.

Even during Hazare's previous agitation in April at the national capital's Jantar Mantar, Mumbai ‘dabbawalas' went on a token fast of solidarity.

Published on August 16, 2011
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