Carnival At Ramlila Maidan, Delhi

Posted on September 2, 2011 in Society

By Jyoti Rathore

We can actually see the excitement, smile and enthusiasm on the face of people who came to visit Anna Hazare from different corners of the country and stayed at Ramlila Grounds with Anna for the twelve days to support him in his fast. The crowd broke into tears and cheers when they got the news that the Parliament has agreed to Anna’s proposition and now Anna can break his fast. They celebrated, chanted ‘Anna Chalisa’, sung and rejoiced to show their full fledged support. The famous slogan of Ramlila ground was   “Anna tum sangharsh  karo hum tumhaare sath hain” (Anna continue the struggle, we are with you).

But we could hardly see people who were fasting with Anna. No doubt that the chanting slogan and their 24 hour presence by his side, had given a boost to Anna’s energy. Every day the ground was packed by more than 15000 visitors but many were there to do some brisk business. Some were selling T-shirts for Rs 120, Famous Anna Cap of Rs 10, National flags, tattoos, masks and water pouch etc. People were dressed as Mahatma Gandhi, Chatrapati Shivaji, Bhagat Singh and were seen sporting tricolor wrist band, waist bands, and waving flags all over the place. Volunteers in large number were distributing water, biscuits, tea and even food to the general public including the large groups of media and police personnels who were standing there throughout the day.

Poor people were selling items of “national importance”, at the road side. They had no idea about the cause but they knew that they can actually make some money at this time. In order to make some quick money, they started face-painting – small flags on hand, chin, and forehead of supporters. At least for twelve days they had a good time at their job.

No doubt this protest is a great example of a peaceful movement. We can actually see the instance of fraternity and solidarity on one platform. Muslims supporters had offered Iftaar at Maghreb (sunset) on Anna’s stage. Everyone was enjoying the visit to the Maidan because of the presence of different celebrities who were visiting Anna. They cheered Anna when they saw Kiran Bedi, social activist Medha Patkar, actors Amir Khan, Om Puri and Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Vilas Rao Deshmukh.

Students in large number left their colleges and coaching to see Anna and to show their support against corruption. Surya, student in Government School, had not been attending his school for a week to support of Anna at Ramlila Grounds. He added that, “I feel like I am a revolutionist and fighting to get our next Independence, that is, Independence from corruption”.

Most of them are unaware of the pros and cons of Lokpal Bill and how will it help us and yet they were a part of the carnival at Ramlila Maidan.

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I agree with you when you say that Anna’s fast involved a lot of show and many people used the crowds to market their goods. But fasting is very serious business and are those people, who probably discovered political ground at the Ramlila Maidan capable of such Satyagraha? Even Anna was the only faster on his ‘Team’.

I believe Times Now did feature a snippet on the other fasters at Ramlila Maidan.

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