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Pix: India erupts in celebration of Anna's victory

Last updated on: August 28, 2011 18:20 IST

India erupts in celebration of Anna's victory

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Sharat Pradhan and K Anurag

From Ramlila Maidan to Ralegan Siddi -- Anna Hazare's village, celebrations at full blast replaced days of protests as the Gandhian broke his fast on Sunday with his supporters marking "people's victory" with dancing, waving of tri-colour and handing out of sweets and flowers.

The festivities, which began on Saturday night after Parliament passed a resolution agreeing in-principle on Hazare's three demands on Lokpal issue, reached a crescendo when the Gandhian accepted a glass of coconut water from a Dalit and a Muslim girl -- Simran and Ikrah -- at 10:20 hours. breaking his 288 hours of fast that began on August 16.

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With inputs from PTI 


Image: People wave the tri-colour at Ramlila Maidan after Hazare breaks his fast
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
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As Hazare started his address at the Maidan in Delhi, people who had started descending on the historic ground since early this morning, jostled with each other to get a glimpse of the 74-year-old.

"This is a triumph of people. It is a triumph of our democracy. People have come out in large numbers as everybody is affected by corruption," said Riti Borah, a 28-year-old management professional.

Image: Supporters of Hazare applies pink powder on his portrait in Kolkata
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters
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Braving heavy rains, joyous people converged at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai, many sporting the now ubiquitous 'Mein bhi Anna (I am Anna)' Gandhi caps.

Rallies were held in various parts of Mumbai to celebrate the victory. To express solidarity with Hazare, 17 people had been fasting at Azad Maidan.

 "I have no words to express my happiness. It is a victory of common man," said 64-year-old cardiac surgeon Dr Ratna Magotia, who has been fasting for the last 12 days.

 India Against Corruption, which spearheaded the agitation, said they were elated over the victory. "It is time for celebrations...as we have won in our fight against corruption," Mannan Gandhi, a member of IAC said.


Image: Ravi Verma, a university student, who fasted alongside Hazare to show his support, takes a drink to end his fast in Chandigarh
Photographs: Reuters
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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said those who have taken to Naxalism and terrorism should learn from Hazare's anti-corruption campaign as it has reinforced confidence in the strength of non-violence, which is "in the DNA of Indians".

Lucknow came up with a rare spectacle of Hindu-Muslim unity, when two prominent Muslims came forward to offer juice to the five pro-Anna Hazare activists for breaking their 12-day old fast simultaneous with their torch-bearer.

Thousands of people cheered the fasting activists  -- Vinod Kumar Upadhaya, Umesh Shukla, Rahul Verma, Devi Dutt Pande and Bhuvan Chandra Pande -- as they accepted their glass of juice from none other than All India Muslim Personal Law Board chairperson Shaista Amber and Shia Degree College Teachers Association general secretary Maroof  Mirza.

"Those who have been systematically trying to scuttle this war against corruption by attaching all kinds of colours to the movement need to step out of their closed doors to see how the issue has cut across caste, creed, religion   as also age and status," Amber told the crowds amidst cheers.


Image: Hazare's supporters join celebrations in Mumbai
Photographs: Sahil Salvi/Rediff.com
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The crowds -- drawn from all walks of life -- readily joined the volunteers of India Against Corruption, who had on Saturday night given a call for daylong victory rallies in different parts of the state capital.While IAC coordinator RK Agrawal and convenor Akhilesh Saxena led a huge procession from the fasting venue -- Jhule Lal Park -- to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at downtown Hazratganj crossroad , numerous unidentified groups marched down different city streets to express their sense of pride and achievement over Hazare's success.

Asked if they could actually rely on the assurances given by the government, Saxena shot back, "Well, I do not think the Centre would dare to backtrack. I am sure those sitting at the helm of affairs must have gauged the mood of the masses, so they should understand that if they do not honour what they have assured before the Parliament then they would be in for much greater trouble."

Perched on two-wheelers and in four-wheelers, Saxena, Agrawal and their innumerable supporters and volunteers went round all major areas of the city hailing Hazare and his team for doing the impossible. With a flag in almost every hand and Hazare's portraits pasted on the vehicles, they went from one locality to another where more joined in the celebrations.


Image: Hazare supporters pour onto the street in Thane
Photographs: Sahil Salvi/Rediff.com
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In tune with the celebrations across the country, people under the banner of Assam Chapter of India Against Corruption took out a victory procession in Guwahati chanting slogans hailing the success of Anna Hazare and his team.Hazare's supporters distributed sweets and danced in joy along the procession route braving the sweltering heat.

The Assam chapter of India Against Corruption has been holding demonstrations and hunger strikes on the bank of Dighalipukhuri in the heart of the city since August 16 in solidarity with Hazare's fast at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi.

Demonstrations and processions were also held in other northeastern states including Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura.


Image: Guwahati joins the nation in celebrations

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In Assam, the influential All Assam Students Union on Saturday organised a massive public rally on the streets of Guwahati to lend a vociferous support to Hazare's movement against corruption.

Sensing the mood of the common people in the state, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has announced that he would bring the office of the chief minister under the ambit of  Lokayukta and the existing Lokayukta Act would be amended to add more teeth to it.


Photographs: Sahil Salvi/Rediff.com
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the ending of fast by Hazare was a victory for people's power and showed the resilience of parliamentary democracy.

In Jaipur and other parts of Rajathan, Hazare supporters applied 'gulal' on each other and took out a rally in cars and motorcycles.

In Orissa, Hazare supporters took out processions, burst crackers, danced to drums and took out motor cycle rallies in different places of the state including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balangir, Bargarh, Rourkela and Balasore.

In Sikkim, Yong Tshering Lepcha, a farmer who lost 14 kg during his week long fast in support of Hazare, too ended his hunger strike.

"Truth has prevailed and this is how people like Anna Hazare have inspired even a farmer like me. He has touched lakhs of people and I am just one of them. I could have died for the cause," he said.


Image: Hazare's followers fly the tri-coloured kite at Ramlila Maidan
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
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