Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 24-08-2011
Celebrity protestors from India’s television industry took to the streets of Mumbai last night (23 August) in support of the growing anti-corruption movement stirred by hunger striker Anna Hazare.
Actors, directors, producers, technicians and choreographers from the Indian Television Academy joined the most widespread social protests India has seen for decades, by chanting and marching for two hours from the city’s Juhu Circle to Juhu Beach.
“It is heartening to see the great passion that friends and colleagues have brought to this rally,” Shashi Ranian, TV producer and convenor of the Indian Television Academy told the Daily News & Analysis.
“Corruption and the battle against it has for long been the drawing room conversation of celebrities who have a false sense of satisfaction after they have indulged in tokenism by participating in a conversation or a protest march,” he added.
“This movement has to continue through constant participation of every Indian ‘til the end results are finally seen.”
The demonstrations centre on the Jan Lokpal parliamentary bill, which protesters hope will address the issue of widespread corruption in India - if it is suitably worded and enforced.
Well-known actors Anu Kapoor, Kushal Punjabi, Monica Bedi, Rohit Roy, Sambhava Sheth, Ronit Roy, Mansi Joshi, Mona Singh, Rajan Sahi and Prem Sagar were among those who joined just one of the 20 reported rallies in Mumbai yesterday.
The anti-corruption movement has gained impetus since the declaration to “fast unto death” by prominent social activist Anna Hazare in Delhi on 5 April.
"We are extending our support to Anna Hazare. We appeal to our government to act [on the issues raised by Hazare] before it's too late. They are not respecting the emotions of the common man,” film maker Ashok Pandit told the Press Trust of India.
"Today, people have lost faith in the government as a lot of scams have been unearthed", he added.
Shashi Ranjan concluded: “we want to make it clear that we want an end to corruption. History has been created as people have been coming out in large numbers. The good part is that Anna is doing it in a peaceful and democratic way.”