Leaders from India’s influential corporate industry on Friday expressed solidarity with Anna Hazare in his campaign for a tough anti-corruption ‘Lokpal’ bill, joining ranks with thousands across the country galvanised by the activist and his Gandhian method of non-violent agitation.
Word about Hazare, who is on a fast until death, has spread through television, SMSes and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, drawing thousands of protesters on to the streets across various cities at a time when stories of mass corruption are dominating the media.
The government is under increasing pressure to resolve the impasse with protesters, who are now demanding that their nominee head a team to draft the Lokpal bill, before the agitation takes on new dimensions and the health of Hazare deteriorates.
“We are supporting what he (Hazare) stands for. If something happens to him, it will be a shame to 1.2 billion Indians and for the government, which means the government has to find a way out,” said billionaire Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Auto.
Support for the anti-corruption agitation by industry leaders is understandable even in business terms, with a raft of recent graft scandals spooking investors and putting in doubt much needed economic reforms.