Aug 22, 2011

112-year-old former Army man wishes to join Hazare's fast

Banaskantha, Gujarat:  A 112-year-old ex-Army man has come out in support for Anna Hazare in the fight against corruption. He also wishes to fast with the 74-year-old Gandhian.

Ranchhod Desai, a veteran foot tracker from Limbala village in Gujarat's Vav district, had served in the Indian Army in the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.

"Anna is doing a great job to set the country free from the clutches of corrupt people, who are at the helm of affairs. I wish I could join him," Desai told PTI.

However, considering his age, Mr Desai, who is also known as the Old War Camel, has been advised not to fast.

Nonetheless, the veteran not only observed a fast for one day, but has been offering prayers for Mr Hazare's success every day since the agitation began at the Ramlila Ground in Delhi.

"Anna is an ex-Army man, who fought the 1965 Indo-Pak War. I pray to God to shower blessings on this noble son (Anna) of the country fighting for the second freedom fight," Desai said.

Expressing his solidarity with Mr Hazare and his team, Mr Desai has also appealed to the people of his village to join Mr Hazare.

"Despite his physical inability, he wanted to join Mr Hazare. But we have persuaded him not to do so, as his health will not permit that. He agreed and observed fast for one day," Mr Desai's nephew Babba Desai, former Sarpanch of the Limbala village said.