In Mumbai, it’s Anna all the way
Even as there is more than an hour to go for the fast to begin, Anna has captured the city's imagination -- and the country's.
Anna Hazare has captured the attention of the city – not always for the right reasons.
James Crabtree of Financial Times, for example, tweets that Anna is running late as he, with a crowd, waits for Anna Hazare at the ‘gandi’ (sic) statue at Juhu.
Earlier, Crabtree had managed to misspell Gandhi differently. “Anna-in-Mumbai Factoid (1): He begins his day at 9.30am in Juhu, for a photo-op in front of a statue of Ghandi,” Crabtree had tweeted. @calamur tweets to say “on WE highway. Stuck at malad for the past 20 min.”
“Mumbai: #Anna Hazare leaves for Juhu Chowpatty, shown black flags on the way", tweeted Star News. “Give me Test Cricket Down Under between Australia and India any day over the tamasha at MMRDA ground in Mumbai and Ramlila maidan in Delhi,” says @nitingokhale, who would clearly have wished Anna stayed in Delhi.
@chachiChaudhary talks about another kind of cold reception. “Uhhh why is it 15 degrees outside? Mumbai is supposed to be hot, remember?,” she tweets.
@akashbanerjee has an open mind. “Large crowds still to assemble at MMRDA. Would be interesting to see if Mumbai responds with as much gusto as Delhi, he tweets.” “Some idiots out there think it's a rock concert.
RT @ndtv Anna leaves guest house: Hazare shown black flags en route to Juhu in Mumbai,” says @ArvindVJMohan, who is clearly not an Anna fan.
The war between the Congress and Anna’s supporters is out in the open.
“'Pig'Vijay Singh poster at #AnnaHazare's protest venue in Mumbai :),” says @ShivAroor, as he uploads this image.
@manicmande rues, “and journalists RT @RooneyKhosla: So #annahazare has successfully spoilt the new year plans of members of parliament.”
The cynic in @ShivAroor comes to the fore when he tweets, “#AnnaHazare will arrive at the fast venue tomorrow in a cavalcade led by 150 Enfield motorcycles. (So yes, this isn't made for TV.)”
And to think the fast hasn’t begun yet…
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Not a day goes without Anna issuing a statement or posting to his blog — and this despite a recent vow of silence. And his words reveal a leader out of step with the demands of modern-day leadership – at the national level, and perhaps even in his own village.
It was déjà vu, as a nation with hope, as we all had hoped when it looked, one long December 2011 evening, that the Lokpal Bill would be passed into law, was foiled by the machinations of a stunningly united political class.