Anna Hazar, 74, was arrested after saying that fasting to death for the cause.
At least 1,200 followers were arrested in acts in favor of activism.
Police arrested an anti-corruption activist from India on Tuesday (16) hours before the start what he called a fast “unto death”. The government tries to suppress a Gandhi-style activist who stirs up the people to a new struggle for “freedom.”
At least 1,200 followers of Anna Hazar, 74, were also arrested, marking a hard-line stance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against antigovernment protests, a gamble that could end badly for his party in Congress.
Dressed in his trademark – a white shirt, white cap and sunglasses similar to the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi – Hazar was taken in a car by plainclothes police, as he waved to hundreds of supporters gathered in front of his home in New Delhi.
His followers later said Hazari, a former army soldier, began his fast in prison. He was detained for a week and taken to Tihar prison, which houses various government officials, including former Minister of Telecommunications, who was arrested because of a corruption scandal billionaire.
“The second freedom struggle began … this is a fight for change,” said Hazar in a pre-recorded message broadcast on YouTube. “The protests should not stop. Now is the time when the country will have a chain places.”
In a country where the memory of Gandhi’s struggles for independence against the colonial regime, using fasting and non-violent protests, is embedded in the national consciousness, repression shocked many Indians of all social classes.
The situation occurs when the leader of the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, is in the United States being treated for an illness.
The question now is whether Hazari and his movement will grow in the country of 1.2 billion people, which is urbanizing at a rapid pace and whose middle class is already full of constant corruption, poor services and irresponsible leaders.
In a worrying sign for a state government that faces elections next year vital, spontaneous protests broke out against repression in the main cities of the financial center of India , Calcutta mumbo. Police said several hundred people were arrested, mostly in New Delhi.
Interior Minister Chidambaram said Palaniappa Hazari and other leaders had been placed under ‘arrest’. ‘The protest is welcome, but must be performed under reasonable conditions, “said the minister at a press conference.
Opposition parties demanded the immediate release of Hazar.