Mumbai, Aug 29 (IANS) Bollywood veterans like Shabana Azmi, Mahesh Bhatt and Pritish Nandy and younger artistes like Farhan Akhtar and R. Madhavan are ecstatic about social activist Anna Hazare’s victory in his “first step” for eradicating corruption from the country.
Hazare, who was on a 12-day fast until Sunday morning, spearheaded what he called India’s “second freedom struggle” by demanding a Jan Lokpal bill. The parliament Saturday broadly agreed to three key demands of his civil society group to battle corruption, boosting people’s faith in him and his movement.
Here’s what some Bollywood celebrities have to say:
Shabana Azmi: Firstly, as a nation we have to thank Anna and his team for bringing the issue of corruption into focus. It’s an issue that needed to be dealt with. In a democracy, people must be active participants not passive recipients. They must set the agenda for a clean government. Jan Lokpal is not a magic wand that would eradicate corruption. But yes, it’s a big step towards dealing with the evil.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra: This looks like just the beginning. The middle class has woken up. Both the people and parliament have to tread very carefully from here onwards. We need to build a nation with a sound value system and a supreme vision.
Farhan Akhtar: It’s a great first step in the right direction and my heart is full of gratitude to Anna. It is a victory of the people and the democratic process.
Sudhir Mishra: It’s the first step in the rebirth of democracy in our country.
Mahesh Bhatt: The government did not have the moral courage to lock horns with Anna’s movement because their hands were stained with ‘blood’. Anna and his supporters have a right to feel triumphant. But the nation must not delude itself that heaven will descend in our backyard at the crack of dawn tomorrow. Get ready to run a marathon! The winning post is not yet in sight. The fight will now have to be fought and won in the real world and not in TV studios.
Smriti Irani: As a member of parliament, it was a historic day when the voice of the people found resounding support of my party. The Bharatiya Janata Party had effectively upheld not only the supremacy of parliament but also supported the people’s right to protest.
Amole Gupte: R.K. Laxman’s common man spoke and the nation had to take heed. It is more than any game to be won. And as history shall record, nobody lost.
R. Madhavan: What Anna Hazare has achieved is fantastic and as an individual he has reached spectacular heights. I adore him. Lokpal will deter corruption, but only to an extent. The basic Indian psyche is so steeped in bribery and corruption that unless the young make a conscious decision, the transition into a corruption-free society will take a very long time. But the first step has been taken. Hail Anna!
Manoj Bajpayee: Twenty years down the line we’ll remember this day as the triumph of Anna and the people’s power.
Pritish Nandy: The people will always win however tough the battle may appear. Rulers have to bow to the wishes of the electorate or face rejection. There are no choices left in today’s world. Anna used the only means he had, to risk his own life for the cause that meant so much to him. How effective the Lokpal Bill would be, depends on how strongly we are all committed to changing India and slaying corruption in public life.