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.
Pooja Bedi: Right to protest peacefully is a democratic right! How dare a democratic govt deny to its citizens their constitutional right! I hope the govt’s authoritarian attitude does not turn a peaceful protest into a violent agitation! If so, only the govt will be to blame.
Madhur Bhandarkar: We totally condemn d arrest of Anna Hazare… Voices of ppl lke Anna can’t be muffled by detaining them… He stands today as d voice of 120 cr Indians.
Vishal Dadlani: They’ve arrested Anna Hazare. Bad move, government. BIG mistake! You’ve made yourselves look dictatorial, and Anna, even more of a martyr! Presenting Anna’s draft to parliament is the right course forward, and his arrest is very wrong. Joining the protest at Azad Maidan today.
Farhan Akhtar: The Indian citizen has the right to protest peacefully. Anna’s arrest is unconstitutional and shows symptoms of an authoritarian mindset.
Bipasha Basu: Anna Hazare needs to be supported to kill the ‘Demon’ called ‘Corruption’ that is eating up our country!
R. Madhavan: This move and method of preventing Anna Hazare is in my opinion most foolish and silly high handed act by the authorities. Big Mistake. Why is the Supreme court quiet on this blatant breach of Anna Hazare’s right to peaceful protest.
Sophie Choudry: Ironic that the day after Independence Day, govt decides that peaceful protests/fasts r unlawful? Isn’t that how the Independence movement began yrs ago?! Am in London so cant b part of the protests 4 Anna’s arrest today. Request u all 2 only be part of peaceful protests! Be heard but stay safe.
Dia Mirza: It’s clear the government today has made Anna Hazare a bigger hero than he already was.
Gaurav Kapur: Bound to happen. Doesn’t Anna know that the only way to protest safely in our country is to break shops & burn buses!