Too many noisy cooks spoil protest broth at Azad Maidan
As the India Against Corruption (IAC) agitation at Azad Maidan entered its fifth day yesterday, supporters were seen growing restless with the simultaneous progress of other demonstrations at the venue. Apart from the IAC, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) held a loud protest yesterday at the same ground.
As supporters for the IAC came and spoke on the microphone, it became difficult for listeners to concentrate as the speakers from the BSP were much louder. A volunteer at the event said something suspicious has been going around this time as this is the second such event taking place since the IAC kicked off its campaign on July 25.
On the second day of the agitation, the Maharashtra Machhimar Kruti Samiti had gathered a huge audience which overshadowed the IAC protest. Even as the IAC was struggling to get citizens to join the protest, the MMKS demonstration saw around 500 people attending it.
Yesterday’s protest by the BSP attracted more attention as its speakers and supporters made a lot of noise. Supporters at the IAC event were seen visibly distracted by the BSP activity.
Casting doubts about the way political parties were trying to drown out the IAC events, a volunteer said, “I think there is something fishy about the way other organizations are being given permission to hold demonstrations at the Azad Maidan.”
Naresh Thakur from IAC, who has been fasting for the fifth day now said, “We had invited the MMKS to come and speak on our dais. Later when we tried to go and gather support from their audience they refused to let us speak. We later learnt that there were some Congress workers participating in that demonstration.
Today, the BSP has been making a lot of noise and it is disturbing us.”
With the crowd restricted to just about a hundred during the late afternoon, the IAC, which saw a greater participation on Sunday has come up with a new strategy to pull in the crowds. On Monday and Tuesday, volunteers were directed to muster support from colleges and railway stations to pull the crowd to the venue on Wednesday. The same exercise will be repeated on Thursday and Friday to garner support for the weekend.