NEW DELHI: It was nearly 40 hours since protestors had heard a single word from Mr Anna Hazare but when he took the microphone to roar ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ at the Ramlila Maidan Tuesday, excitement was back among his supporters.
The crowd was waiting impatiently since morning for Mr Hazare to emerge from his tent behind the dais amid concerns and speculation about his health condition. Minutes felt like hours for the supporters till that moment when the septuagenarian around noon appeared on the stage, took the microphone and shouted thrice ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai.’
Protestors roared back the slogan and the hymn ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ followed as Mr Hazare listened to it in rapt attention.
Still, no one was sure whether Mr Hazare might speak as he did not address the gathering on Monday. Nobody had expected till then that the 73-year-old Gandhian would come to the dais as doctors had advised him to avoid sun.
Mr Hazare addressed the gathering and announced his next course of action besides some advice to the protestors – “do not consume alcohol and come for protest.”
To a loud cheer, Mr Hazare told the gathering that they should gherao residences of MPs in thousands if the government does not pass a strong Lokpal Bill by August 30. “We have to think about the next course of action. We should not sit here. Now 25-30 people are sitting on dharnas outside MPs’ residences. “After August 30, thousands should be in front of the houses of MPs. Only then there will be an impact on them,” he said.
The Gandhian was also sad that some of his supporters were indulging in vices and had an advice to them. “Some people are coming to the protest site after consuming alcohol and getting into fights…If we do something wrong, our protest will be crushed,” he warned.