Calling for a struggle to fight corruption and change the
"anti-poor" system, social activist Anna Hazare Monday said he
will court arrest Tuesday if the police does not allow him to
reach the venue of his fast. He also appealed to people to go to
jail in support of the anti-corruption struggle.
"We will go to JP Park tomorrow (Tuesday) for our fast. I have
learnt that Section 144 (prohibiting gathering of five or more
people) has been imposed. If they (police) refuse to allow us to
proceed, we will sit there only. We are ready to go to jail. I
appeal to people all over the country that when we go to jail,
people in villages should also go to jail," Hazare told
He said when the government releases them from jail they will
again go on a fast. Going to jail was not a slur and should not be
considered bad, he said.
"There should be a jail bharo (fill the jail) movement in
villages," he said.
He urged people to stay non-violent, saying that if they resort to
violence the government has the power to crush the agitation.
Hazare, who came to the venue of the press conference from Rajghat
where he sat for almost 90 minutes, said that change in the system
in absolutely necessary.
"The government is drunk with power. Humanity and the mother
nature is being exploited. People all over the world are
worried... the government is only concerned about power. We have
to fight a battle on all these issues," he said.
Hazare also appealed to people to switch off lights at 8 p.m.
He said there was darkness in the country even after 64 years of
Independence and admissions in educational institutions were
offered for money.
Referring to Prime Minister's Independence Day speech, where he
spoke about supremacy of parliament in legislation making, Hazare
said they had faith in parliament.
"We have faith in parliament. When did we deny that. But the (Lokpal)
bill that has been brought before parliament, why is it not
proper... The government gave us assurance. It suddenly made an
"We have to fight against corruption. Lokpal will be formed," he
said, adding that if an effective Lokpal was formed, corruption
will come down by 60-65 percent.
Hazare also took a dig at the United Progressive Alliance
government saying its MP were in jail.
"Four MPs of this government are in jail," he said, adding many
others are facing accusations.
However, he added that their intention was not to unseat the
government as those who will replace it were no better.
"Only removal of government will mean nothing. The system has to
be changed. But if the government does not understand and goes, we
will not be worried," he said, adding that if the government does
not understand the language of Mahatma Gandhi, then Shivaji will
have to be sent.
Accusing the government of having policies friendly to
industrialists, he said people all over the country are agitated
over the question of land acquisition.
Calling for grassroots participation in the process of
development, he said while 80 percent of the population was living
on Rs.20 per day, there were those who earned in crores.
"Farmers were fired upon in Pune... We haven't got proper
freedom," he said.