Bangalore : Fervent celebrations, patriotic fervour, jubilant scenes and slogan-shouting gripped Karnataka Sunday, soon after Anna Hazare ended his 12-day fast at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi.
Hundreds of people, especially youth, stormed the main streets of cities and towns, dancing, cheering, bursting crackers and distributing sweets to as many who turned up to celebrate.
Former Supreme Court judge N. Santosh Hegde gave coconut milk and fruit juice to a dozen youth to break their fast at Freedom Park here which has been the nerve centre of the India Against Corruption campaign in the state since Aug 16.
About 1,000 people, including men, women, boys and girls, cheered Hazare and chanted ‘Bharat mata ki jai’, ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘Anna aage bhado, hum tumare saath hai’.
Frenzied youth took out victory rallies across the city in dozens of cars and bikes from the venue, waving the tricolour to people en route and flashing the victory (V) sign.
Hundreds of children joined men and women in taking out victory processions to Mysore circle, Hudson circle and M.G. Road in city centre.
Expressing relief and thanking Hazare for breaking his fast, Hegde told the gathering that the acceptance of Team Anna’a three conditions in the Lokpal bill by parliament Saturday was a people’s victory and a triumph of democracy.
“Thanks to Team Anna and millions of Indians. We have secured our second independence, which is more savouring than the freedom we got 64 years ago from the British empire.
“We should seize the moment and strengthen the hands of Hazare to sustain our fight against corruption and all forms of exploitation,” Hegde exhorted amid frenzy and beating of drums and trumpet-blowing.
The former Karnataka Lokayukta was a member of the joint panel set up in April to draft the Lokpal bill that was tabled in parliament Aug 4 and referred to the standing committee before the government agreed to adopt the three contentious conditions of the Jan Lokpal bill prepared by the civil society.
Absence of political leaders and cadres from ruling or opposition parties in victory processions or celebration gatherings was conspicuous.
Statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Netaji Chandra Bose were garlanded and anointed in Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli-Dharwad, Belgaum, Udupi, Karwar, Bellary and Gulbarga.
Sporting Gandhi caps and carrying Hazare’s posters, pictures and banners, people from all walks of life gathered at public grounds in several towns to celebrate.