NEW DELHI: Lyricist Javed Akhtar says it is “undemocratic”, while for actor Anupam Kher, it’s the “saddest day in Indian democracy” — several Bollywood celebrities are disappointed with the government’s decision to detain civil society activist Anna Hazare Tuesday before he could begin a protest fast in support of a strong Lokpal Bill.
Hazare, 74, was arrested early Tuesday from where he was staying here, and the police later also arrested his associates Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi, who were going to start their protest at Rajghat for a strong anti-corruption bill.
Members of the Hindi film fraternity took to micro-blogging site Twitter to share their sentiments on the issue. Actor Purab Kohli said he would be part of the movement against corruption by joining several others at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan Tuesday to protest “Gandhian style”, and composer Vishal Dadlani would join him too.
Here’s what others have to say:
* Anupam Kher:
Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal arrested even before they could reach JP park (in Delhi). Saddest day for Indian democracy. The MOST important thing for all of us to remember is to keep this protest absolutely PEACEFUL. That is what ANNA wishes.
* Javed Akhtar:
I have had certain reservations about Anna’s method but his arrest can not be condoned. It is undemocratic, unacceptable.
* Shekhar Kapur:
Anna Hazare has been detained by Delhi Police. I am reminded of the days of the Raj. Indian ‘sarkar’ turns it back on democracy. There was no threat of violence. There was none last time. People thronging to Delhi to support agitation against corruption. The state is reacting out of fear of a mass upsurge against a political system people no longer trust. Millions support Anna because they lost faith in system. If government represents people, they must allow them to demonstrate peacefully.
* Anurag Kashyap:
Congress is really behaving like how they did during the emergency, they play it like they really have a lot to hide… Congress, by use of force is just reaffirming the negative view people have of their governance and gives more credibility to the accusations.
* Shabana Azmi:
We condemn the arrest of Anna Hazare and his team and the ban on the proposed fast. Right to protest peacefully is a democratic right.
* Purab Kohli:
I’m going to go to peacefully protest the arrest of Anna Sahib Hazare. Someone who is fighting peacefully day and night for ME. I’m going to be at Azad Maidan in Mumbai post-lunch. Join me and let’s spread some love. Gandhian style! I feel a fear of being arrested but I’m not going to be an arrested state of being anymore. I’ll be at the Azad Maidan at 3 p.m.