[PICS] Scenes from India’s Historic Anti-Corruption Campaign

On August 16th 2011, Anna Hazare, a 74 year old Indian veteran, whom many had not heard of before, challenged the Indian Government to uphold his right to protest publicly, against the rampant corruption existing within the Government and bureaucracy.

When the Government initially denied him the right to protest peacefully, millions of Indians poured onto the streets and on social media to support him. In the span of days, one man, and a team of ex-Government anti-corruption crusaders inspired millions into action. And also inspired the creation of “Angry Anna” a game based on the popular Angry Birds! (where you bust corrupt politicians using Anna instead of the birds)

We’d said earlier this was going to be India’s Second Freedom revolution. Here’s a couple reasons why:
1. The movement had the full support of India’s masses – Urban and rural – Super rich, middle class and under-privileged alike. The only other time people came together for a cause since India’s independence in 1947, was when India won the Cricket World Cup in 2011!

2. The movement (with millions of people participating) was based on Gandhi-an principles and was completely peaceful and non-violent. There was no damage to private or Government property and no one got hurt. A peaceful movement with the power to force a very reluctant Government into introducing strong anti-corruption laws.

While the movement has won its first major victory against massive political opposition, this is only really just a start. We put together some pictures donated by Sameer Ghare a reader, and other photographers, that showcase scenes from India’s anti-corruption rallies.

A school teacher who never once removed his attire (4 hours that I was there), demonstrates his support to the cause

All along the boundary wall, there was a sea of graffiti that everyone from kids to adults added to. This was sent to the Prime Minister of India.

A 2 minute silence where 50,000 people went completely quiet – To gather and focus positive thoughts in support of strong anti-corruption laws

The emotions sum up the mood across India – anger against rampant corruption within local, state and central Government bodies

Kids dont like corruption either! She was singing along to protest corruption

Sea of sanity – orange and green calling for a cleanup of corruption.

The movement included massive youth support – and music!

Techies protest against corruption in a relentless do-while loop

“I am Anna” Come join my fight against Corruption – says this poster in New Delhi

Candle light marches were very common. On a rainy night, 2 women in Mumbai light candles to support the movement

On the 12th day of his hunger fast, the Government had to finally yield to public opinion. An announcement was made that the Government would take into consideration the public’s demand and look at implementing a “stronger” Lokpal (Civil Ombudsman)

Almost no one is confident the Government really wants to do this, the general mood is that this is a tactic to buy time and hope that the movement loses steam, but for now, its round 1 to the people of India!

Anna Hazare, a Gandhian, pumps the air acknowledging the huge crowd that supported him during the protest as he breaks his fast