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Hazare gets hero's welcome in home village

Monday April 11, 2011 09:43:54 PM, IANS

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Ahmednagar (Maharashtra): Fireworks, a procession with horses, camels, and elephants and a big feast for all - a grand welcome was accorded to social activist Anna Hazare in his home village on his return from New Delhi after the whole nation rallied beind him in the crusade against corruption.

Ralegan Siddhi in Parner sub-district saw people hoisting 'gudis' - a mast topped with a swastika-marked pot and silk cloth that heralds the Maharashtrian New Year, celebrated last week - to celebrate his "victory" at the end of 97-hour fast. The villagers drew colourful rangolis (floral patterns) at most of the houses where the "gudis" were raised.

A huge procession with elephants, horses and camels was brought out to welcome Hazare, followed by fireworks.

Hazare's trust Bhrastachar Virodhi Jan Andolan, along with several other civil groups, also organised a lezim (small cymbals) show to accord a warm welcome to the activist. Huge amount of sweets were prepared for distribution on the occasion where around 7,000 people had gathered.

Dinner was arranged for all who came to the activist's village to welcome him. The smiling Hazare accepted the peoples' greeting with folded hands before making an emotional address to the gathering.

"This is just the begging of a long battle. The Lokpal Bill will see the light of the day soon," he told the gathering.

"I am just the means for this great task, God is the real creator," he added.

Earlier, over 2,000 people accorded a rousing reception to Hazare who landed at Pune Airport on his way back from New Delhi Monday evening.

The huge gathering raised slogans cheering Hazare, whose 97-hour hunger strike in New Delhi forced the government to name a panel that would frame a stringent Lokpal Bill.

Hundreds of social activists from Pune, Nashik and other parts of western Maharashtra had gathered at the airport since afternoon to receive the 73-year-old Gandhian.

Several hundreds of people in Pune, including students, had taken part in campaign rallies, candelight processions and hunger strikes to express solidarity when Hazare fasted in New Delhi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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