whether the jan lokpal bill will create a super-body that will lead this country into chaos, or whether the bill will cure a thousand ills affecting this country — it doesn't seem to matter. what matters to these people is that anna is superman. and with deep respect or even reverence for the superman in their minds, the crowd also feels like super-men.
bjp leader arun jaitley has pointed out a flaw in the jan lokpal bill drafted by anna and his advisers. that point in the bill allows phone tapping of even a rickshawala's nokia 1100 (with flashlight) to the prime minister's cellphone. it is a sensitive issue, which needs to be handled carefully...
who cares, said the man above. he had been involved in quite a lot of brawls, he revealed. "what do you think i am doing in ramlila ground?"
national pride is a very profitable commodity. the tv people loves it, though there is little proof that they value it. “private news channels are so obsessed with hazare that they have stopped showing other important news, especially floods in different parts of the country, particularly in eastern India,” said janata dal (united) leader sharad yadav in parliament.
it is all about power. or ride the coattail of an old mentor until it is time to leave him.
or it is all about glamour.
anybody entering ramlila ground will see small groups of youngsters with paint in their hands, asking people whether they want an imprint of the tricolour on their cheeks — for free. many said yes.
this is the main tent where most people slept at night, and while it rained.
kewal mahilayen (only women).
where are the women?
a pretty girl sings in support of anna hazare. little girl, come here, have a chocolate. did mama tell you the difference among the jan lokpal bill, the lokpal bill and the ncpri draft lokpal mechanism? you look so happy. you seem to have figured it out in supporting hazare, the father figure. (a day after journey basket took this photo, she was seen in images filed by most news agency photographers)
the sadhu on the right looks like... hmm. hint: the sadhu was evicted from the same venue some months ago? jokes are doing the rounds that after he saw hazare's success in ramlila ground, he said, "Mein karu to sala character dhila hai."
no thumb impressions. only pens.
give me justice or suicide, says the poster.
gaurav sharma of indo-asian news service listens to the man, who said he was fired from his job unjustly. the company he used to work for is considered one of india's best state-owned oil firms. a human-interest story was developing over why he was fired. but the man said, patiently, eyeing gaurav, "my case had reached the supreme court and even the chief justice of india was involved." then gaurav immediately left the man. "why are there so many liars at ramlila ground, trying to come in the news?" said gaurav.
reporters are free to call this number for a sunday feature.
doing brisk business. a customer who has not yet donned any tricolour takes the plunge.
at the food stall. free food. strict discipline.
entering where the action is happening. no amount of waiting is painful when it's about seeing a glimpse of the second mahatma gandhi.
the lesser shown part of the protest site. this is where mobile toilets have been set up. they are overused.
new delhi railway station metro station. from this hole comes out hundreds of people heading in a beeline towards ramlila ground, which is a five-minute walk.
special thanks to gaurav sharma, correspondent, indo-asian news service. time to go.
(images cross-processed with lightroom cp-2 option)