Asking supporters to stay away from violence, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and members of his team Tuesday apologised to the media for the scuffle the night before. Hazare even threatened to stop the protest if people continued to misbehave.
A fight broke out between Team Anna supporters and mediapersons around 10 p.m. Monday at Jantar Mantar with protestors alleging that the media was not projecting their movement in the right light. The Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) condemned the incident and demanded an apology from Team Anna.
“I am pained by what happened Monday night. Our protest rests on non-violence and we don’t have to indulge in violence or abuse. There is lot of power in non-violence and if you get involved in violence, it will give the government a chance to divide us,” Hazare told the gathering at the venue.
Appreciating the media’s role in taking their protest to masses, Hazare said: “They have been stationed here for over 18 hours and our fight wouldn’t have reached masses had they been not writing or showing it. We need to do our work and let them do whatever they want to.”
“I apologise to the media on behalf of people who have misbehaved with them. I appeal to people not to get involved in such acts, else I would have to stop this protest,” said the 75-year-old activist.
Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia also tendered apologies, saying that the media had been a big supporter of their fight against corruption since it started 2011.Kejriwal appealed to the crowd to behave with media with respect.
“The media has become a part of this movement… talk to them with folded hands. If you don’t agree with them, go and have a discussion with them but don’t indulge in unruly behaviour. It is not their fault (media) but their editors have to decide if they want to support people’s movement or corrupt politicians,” said Kejriwal.