Indian anti-graft activist ends fast after 13 days

Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare ended his 13-day hunger strike on Sunday, a day after parliament agreed to consider his demands over proposed legislation.

Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare breaks his fast with Indian children on the 13th day of his hunger strike at the Ram Lila grounds in New Delhi on August 28, 2011.

Hazare took sips of coconut water mixed with honey on a stage in New Delhi in front of tens of thousands of cheering supporters, before delivering a speech broadcast live on national television.

"This protest has been a lesson for the world," Hazare told the crowds after his peaceful campaign tapped into massive support among India's urban middle classes and rural poor.

"Today corruption is increasing because power is centralised in the government ministries."

Arvind Kejriwal, a senior organiser of Hazare's protest, told the rally that the fast had been an expression of the nation's public feelings against corruption.

"We are thankful to the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh), he showed remarkable leadership yesterday in the parliament. We are also thankful to all the parliamentarians for listening to the voice of the common man," he said.

"The entire country had poured out on the streets, their anger over a corrupt system was boiling over."

AFP

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