Anna Hazare starts new hunger strike on day after dancing controversy


Indian social activist Anna Hazare, a member of a government-appointed committee drafting legislation for a corruption watchdog, listens during a day-long protest hunger strike against corruption in New Delhi, June 8. (Kevin Frayer/AP)

A day after India was in uproar over a senior politician dancing at Gandhi’s memorial site, civil society activist Anna Hazare has begun a daylong fast there.

Hazare is fasting to denounce the police crackdown on an anti-corruption protest held over the weekend, the Economic Times reported. He called it “the second independence struggle,” and told thousands of supporters “we will be ready to die but we will not surrender.”

Hazare promised that if an anti-corruption bill was not passed, he would launch an indefinite hunger strike on Aug. 16, a day after India's independence day. Hazare launched a similar fast for the anti-corription bill in April, but ended it within days because he said the government had conceded to most of the demands.

ORIGINAL POST:

After an anti-corruption gathering of people led by a yoga guru in New Delhi was evicted from festival grounds Sunday, India’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sat in protest at the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial, and BJP senior politican Sushma Swaraj even danced.

Indian television stations soon began playing and replaying the video of Swaraj dancing at Gandhi’s memorial, much to the dismay of the ruling Congress Party, which said she had disturbed the “sanctity of the place” and called for her resignation . The party also accused her of dancing on Gandhi’s grave despite the fact that Gandhi was cremated and Swaraj was dancing next to the memorial, not on it.

Swaraj hit back at the Congress party, arguing that it was a tradition of the BJP to sing patriotic songs during all protests and senior party leaders joined in as “an expression of comraderie.” Swaraj also promised she will dance again.

Members of both parties soon pointed out that it was ludicrous to focus on the dancing instead of the larger issue of corruption, some tweeting their disgust over the media circus, and others posting videos of Congress President Sonia Gandhi dancing to make their point. Watch the videos below:

Sushma Swaraj dancing:

Sonia Gandhi dancing:

Swaraj tweets her defense:

We are patriotic people. We will sing and dance on patriotic songs till our last breath.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplySushma Swaraj
SushmaSwarajBJP

Journalist Barkha Dutt, and others tweet their disgust:

What a foolish, tangential argument to debate “dancing at Rajghat.” Gandhi must be lamenting how much energy wasted on non issues.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Replybarkha dutt
BDUTT

Wonder what is a bigger insult to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi: Sushma dancing @ #Rajghat or the rampant corruption and crackdown @ #ramlilaless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet ReplyPuneet Pawaia
pawaia

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