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1676 Guwahati, India

The road from Shillong to Guwahati; shortly after entering Guwahati, we came upon a protest in support of Anna Hazare. Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia, but I encourage you to read the entire article; it shows you what the power of one determined person can accomplish.


Kisan Baburao Hazare (Marathi: किसन बापट बाबुराव हजारे, Kisan Bāpat Bāburāv Hajārē), popularly known as Anna Hazare (Marathi: अण्णा हजारे, Aṇṇā Hajārē) is an Indian social activist and a prominent leader in the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.


On 16 August 2011, Hazare was arrested four hours before the planned indefinite hunger strike. Later in the afternoon, Anna was produced before a magistrate who offered him bail but Anna Hazare refused to provide the bail bond. The magistrate sent him judicial custody for seven days and he was taken to Tihar jail. After announcements by Prashant Bhushan, local television, and social media sites (including Facebook), a march of thousands in support of Hazare began from the India Gate to Jantar Mantar.


Eventually, after being kept in judicial detention for just four hours, he was released unconditionally without any bail bond by the magistrate on a request by the police, but Hazare refused to leave Tihar Jail. He demanded an unconditional permission from the police to observe a fast at Ramlila Maidan (Ground) in support of the Jan Lokpal bill and refused to leave the jail. Hazare continued his fast inside the jail and refused to leave the jail though the jail authorities had technically released him.


After his arrest, Anna Hazare received support from people across the country. There were reports of "nearly 570 demonstrations and protests by Anna supporters across the country" against the government's imprisonment of Hazare and others. Due to the nationwide protests of millions, the government agreed to allow him to begin a public hunger strike of fifteen days. After talks with public authorities, Hazare decided to hold his protest at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi. On 20 August 2011 Hazare "left the Tihar Jail for the Ramlila Grounds". Hazare promised reporters "he would fight to the 'last breath' until the government gets his team's Jan Lokpal Bill passed in this session of Parliament, which ends on 8 September." On 21 August 2011 "tens of thousands" came to Ramlila Maidan to support Hazare as he sat on an elevated platform. It was reported that Hazare at that point had "lost more than seven pounds since beginning his fast", despite this he stated "'I will not withdraw my hunger strike until the Jan Lokpal bill is passed in the Parliament. I can die but I will not bend.'" Hazare ended his fast on 28 August 2011, after the Indian Government had passed the resolution for the Lokpal Bill unanimously. He was admitted to Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon for post-fast care. He had lost 7.5 kg and was very dehydrated after the 288 hour long fast.

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Taken on August 24, 2011