Sun, 29 Jul 2012 11:38:33 GMT | By India Syndicate

The Return to Jantar Mantar: Anna's Fast for Jan Lokpal

15 months ago, a diminutive, 73-year-old, former Indian Army truck driver took India by storm, uniting the 'aam aadmi' like no one has in the past 50 years. Millions took up his simple agenda -- root our corruption from the country, and bring in accountability -- as their clarion call and India seemed on the brink of its own Arab Spring. However, a politically acute government has remained staunch in its stand against what the people want. And now, Anna Hazare returns to the venue of his most successful movement to date -- Jantar Mantar -- to force the government into action. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Stay tuned to find out.

The Return to Jantar Mantar: Anna's Fast for Jan Lokpal, LIVE

How well do you know Anna Hazare? Take this quiz and find out!

Dipankar says
It's been more than an hour that Anna has started his fast, and strangely, television media has not gone agog over the protest. Apart from a little sprinkling of comments, the Twitterverse, too, hasn't awakened to Jantar Mantar. The lazy Sunday effect? We'll know more in the coming days. Stay tuned for more updates as we follow what's happening at Jantar Mantar. For now, it's goodbye.

12.01 pm: Protest outside PM's house was due to people's anger, says Anna

12.00 pm: Anna Hazare addressed the 4000-strong crowd already gathered at Jantar Mantar.

Kiran Bedi tweets this photo from Jantar Mantar
‏@thekiranbedi: A view of jantar mantar from the stage? This morning at 11 Am. Thanku for being here.

The Return to Jantar Mantar: Anna's Fast for Jan Lokpal, LIVE

Dipankar says
Anna's begun his fast, but he's not trending on Twitter yet. The man of the moment seems to be ND Tiwari!

Dipankar says
Crowds are crucial today. Team Anna, which has been sitting on a fast since July 25, has not had the kind of support they enjoyed last year. However, the crowds swelled to five or six thousand when Baba Ramdev arrived. Will Anna be able to draw the same numbers? Team Anna will hope he does.

11.03 am: Crowds slowly trickling in at Jantar Mantar as Anna Hazare begins his fast.

What Team Anna wants
Set up SIT against 15 tainted Union Cabinet Ministers

The argument
A strong, effective Lokpal Bill will never be passed with the corrupt ministers still in office

A little background:

"I will fast until we get Jan Lokpal," Anna said yesterday, after his four-day ultimatum to government on a decision on his demands ended.

He took on the Congress as well as the BJP saying the country's future does not lie safe in their hands but said he himself will not fight the elections though he would campaign for those with clean background selected by people.

He also accused the government of cheating them repeatedly on the issue of Lokpal and that he is forced to fast again and again, which is "not a happy thing".

Talking about a political alternative for next Lok Sabha elections, the 74-year-old activist said if "good people" do not enter Parliament, there will be no change in system and country will not get a strong Lokpal.

Dipankar says

Anna Hazare seems adamant. After more than a year of virtually achieving nothing concrete from the government, the Gandhian has refused to listen to his doctors' concerns and has decided that he will sit on a fast until death or a strong Jan Lokpal Bill.

10.40 am: Anna Hazare begins an indefinite fast for a strong Jan Lokpal bill.


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