The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

August 25, 2011

Against Anna: Hundreds of Dalits, OBCs demonstrate against Hazare's movement at India Gate

Hundreds of Dalits and members of Other Backward Castes (OBCs) staged a demonstration at the India Gate on Wednesday to express their opposition to the Anna Hazare's movement for Lok Pal bill.

The protesters who marched towards Jantar Mantar expressed outrage at the manner in which Team Anna was trying to subvert the authority of the constitution and place a body above the Chief Justice of Supreme Court as well as Prime Minister.

Holding placards and banners, the protesters raised slogans that expressed their resolve to save Indian constitution. Indian Justice Party chief Udit Raj is leading the movement and organised the 'Save Constitution' rally.

Raising slogans like 'Halla Bol', 'Inquilab Zindabad' and 'Samvidhan se chhed chhaad nahi chalegi', the protesters marched. "Anna Hazare's team doesn't have the mandate and it is against SC/STs and minorities", said a woman who yelled, 'Fight corruption but within the constitutional framework'.

Various Dalit, OBC and SC/ST groups supported the rally. Several Muslims were also seen in today's protest march. "We won't let anyone downplay the authority of the constitution, which is supreme", said another person in the demonstration.

Large chunks of Dalits, OBCs, Tribal and Muslims oppose the movement which they call an effort of upper caste forces propelled by right-wing forces to undermine the parliament. Those in rally alleged that Anna's movement was appropriated and hijacked by communal forces (read RSS).

Udit Raj, who is also Chairman of All India Confederation of SC/ST organisations, has said that a Bahujan Lokpal Bill would be put forward now. Many of his supporters suspect that Anna's team has members who have been against caste based reservations in the past.

Raj has said that 85% Indians that include Dalits, Muslims, OBCs, Tribals and other weaker sections were not in support of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption fast at Ram Lila Ground, which has attracted attention in urban India.

It is alleged that the pro-BJP/RSS urban elite is driving the Anna movement with the help of newspapers and channels, which also protect the interests of the particular classes. Muslim leaders including Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari have already expressed reservations about the integrity of Team Anna and sought to clarify Hazare's stand on Gujarat riots.

TIH Bureau

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