Hazare energised Bangalore’s anti-corruption ‘movement’

A pic-essay on the developments at Freedom Park, Bengaluru on April 9th. Several Bangaloreans had joined the hunger strike led by Anna Hazare at New Delhi.

Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption hunger strike of last week resulted in sparking off involvement from around the country. But for Bengaluru, this was not the first major opportunity to hit out  The Saaku campaign of December 2010 was an attempt to send a message to the state government. Santosh Hegde’s resignation of June 2010 also sparked an outcry of demonstrations and marches against the government. So much so that Justice Hegde decided to remain is office till the end of his term.

Freedom Park on April 9th. The crowd rose up and broke into cheers on news of Anna Hazare breaking fast. Pic: Meera K.

That was the backdrop for a small but growing group of reform-supporters in Bengaluru when Anna Hazare launched his crusade for the Lok Pal bill last week.

Shankar Prasad ringing the bell, just after the Bangalorean volunteers broke the fast. Prasad ran on a Lok Satta party ticket for city council last year. He was more recently in the news for leading Sachidanandanagar residents to get their khatas without bribes, in a dramatic series of events. Pic: Meera K.

The gathering on April 9th morning at Freedom Park may have been smaller than at the candlelight vigil the previous night. However, it no less intense. Citizens at Freedom Park waited in anticipation, since by 9am it was clear that central government had notified the joint committee for the Lok Pal bill. Freedom Park erupted in celebrations when Anna Hazare ended his fast around 1030am, and the Bangaloreans who were also fasting followed suit and ended theirs.

Swarathma belting out the Topiwale song. Pic: Meera K.

Through the proceedings that followed, there were songs, speeches, chants and shouts in all three major languages – Kannada, Hindi and English. "Patriotism has no language", said Mahendra Kumar Gandhi, a Rajasthan-origin Bangalorean who spoke both in Hindi and Kannada.

Many parents in the late thirties-early forties brought their children the event. Some children spoke too, and one 11-year-old led an anti-corruption pledge.

Justice Venkatachalaiah (Retd), H S Doreswamy and Pandit Chaturvedi (freedom fighters) at the venue. Pic: Meera K.


Members of the employees union at Ashok Leyland’s Hosur operations attended the April 9th gathering at Freedom Park. Union president Michael Fernandes had fasted for 2 days at the venue. 30 people came from the union. Pic: Meera K.

The Bengaluru volunteers who fasted. Pic: Meera K.


  1. Venkat says:

    Anna Hazare influencing Bangalore is a small news.the big chunk of corruption of scientific natues is in TN.With DMK family having assets worth 5 lac crs including benami in foreign countires as businessess and estates.Even Sonia and Rahul have estate in Malaysia(whether benami?) Anna hazare has no know lege of this HimaLYAN CORRUPTION IN THE SOUTH.Banglore Gowda yeddy corruption is iota when compared to the criminality of corruption of DMK family,ministers and particularly the ladies of DMK family and their assets.

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