The Fast Show Now In Mumbai!
Anna Hazare, the crusader against corruption in India, had recently shifted the venue for yet another fast of his from Delhi to Mumbai. Under the grip of acute cold wave conditions Delhi was considered to be too cold for not eating. Entertaining a negative thought maybe the response could have been too cold too!
Shifting of venue was not without the usual share of drama that Team Anna now commands. The ground on which Anna was to sit for fast belongs to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the Authority takes a fee for such activities.
So, Team Anna was presented with a bill for a handsome 800,000 Indian rupees for booking the ground for the period December 26-27, 2011. Fighting corruption cannot be a commercial activity, thundered Anna supporters. So they filed a petition in the Mumbai High Court for concessions.
The High Court cited interesting observations while rejecting the petition. First, the judge could not decide if the proposed fast was in public interest or politically motivated and even if it was public interest for some it would be nuisance for others. Second, the judge questioned how Team Anna could hold a public protest while the anti-corruption Bill was being debated in the Indian Parliament. Third and most important, how could Team Anna know what shape the Bill was going to take after the debate?
Significantly, this time the fast was not unto death, but for only three days. Exactly the same period i.e. from December 27 to 29 when the Parliament is going to debate on it and hopefully pass it with changes as desired by parliament members. Many more questions come to mind.Continued on the next page