Ahmedabad: Firebrand Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday broke his hunger strike after 19 long days, with three community leaders offering him lime water, coconut water, and water. The 25-year-old leader had been on an indefinite fast since August 25, the third anniversary of his massive Patidar rally in Ahmedabad on 2015 with demands of debt waiver for farmers, reservations for his Patel community in government jobs and educational institutions as well as release of his associate Alpesh Kathiriya, now in jail on sedition charges.
Putting responsibility of the Patel cause on the community’s religious organizations, he said after breaking his fast: “This is only out of respect for your elders. “To show everyone that you are our elders and that we respect you, that we are all united. Now that my community elders are with me, I have nothing to worry or fear,” he declared to applause among his supporters present at his residence where he broke his fast. Patel expanded his chest to announce: “The belief is that if we live, we shall fight and if we fight we shall live.” Indicating that he was not going to lie low, he continued: “If one speaks, one is dubbed anti-national and if one doesn’t one is dismissed off as dumb. I think it is better to be called an anti-national and fight for our rights rather than be mute. (IANS)