Echoes of ‘Rang de basanti’ at Azad Maidan

Mumbai:  A huge crowd, including singer-composer Vishal Dadlani, sang Yeh desh hai veer jawaano ka and Rang de Basanti, while others shouted slogans like “Vande Mataram” and Inquilab zindabad at the Azad Maidan on Tuesday afternoon in protest against Anna Hazare’s arrest.

The massive ground was full of people voicing their anger against Hazare’s detention in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail. The gathering also saw participation from the Hindi film industry, as Vishal, actor Purab Kohli and producer-actor Raghu Ram turned up to show their support to the native of Maharashtra.

“Back 4m Azad Maidan.This is the most peaceful METHOD
of protest Ive ever seen.Will be back tom in peace and support.Free Anna
Hazare Please,” said Purab, who sported a black t-shirt with Hazare’s picture on it. The t-shirt read: “I Am Hazare” – a feeling that almost all people present at the venue shared.

Vishal, who wore a black ribbon, like many protesters, said: “Till Hazare is not let free, and till he doesn’t win the movement, I will keep this band on my wrist.”

Condemning Hazare’s arrest, Vishal said: “Why would the government stop this protest? If they are stopping this movement against corruption, it just shows who they are. It is a non-violent way of protest and everyone can do it. “I am not here as a representative of Bollywood. It is my individual expression in support of Hazare’s movement.”

Vishal set the mood going at the grounds by singing songs. Many people went for voluntary arrest to support Hazare’s ‘jail bharo’ (fill the jail) campaign and walked around holding aloft the Indian flag.

“Just back from Azad Maidan. Didn’t get arrested today. Will try again tomorrow, and everyday, until Anna is released. Where were you guys?” he further tweeted.

Many wore tricolour t-shirts that read: “We are fighting for our second freedom”. Some ever wore blazers with a paper posted on their back. A hand-written note on the paper read: “I want to be arrested”.

Anna Hazare’s supporters made sure the protest was peaceful as they kept stressing that there should be complete cooperation with the police.

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