Shaved, wearing his trademark spotless white kurta-pyjama and the 'Anna' cap, Anna Hazare broke his fast a little after 10 am at Delhi Ramlila Maidan. Two little girls, Ikra and Simran, wearing Anna caps, offered him coconut water and honey.
He has not eaten in more than 12 days. He has lost 7.5 kgs; his doctors say they are seriously worried about his health. But since last evening, there has been universal relief that the suspense on when he will eat next is over.
After breaking his fast, Mr Hazare will first head to a hospital to get examined. A Team Anna member said the 74-year-old Gandhian will go to Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon.
Anna will break his fast today because Parliament, sitting in debate on a Saturday, unanimously accepted his three must-have conditions for inclusion in the Lokpal Bill. On stage today, Mr Hazare's key associate Arvind Kejriwal thanked many people, first among them the Prime Minister, MPs and the Parliament for the historic moment yesterday when - at the end of two weeks of bitterness and stated mistrust - they accepted Anna's demands.
The anti-corruption crusader's supporters rejoiced through the night and across the country - celebrating the 74-year-old and his role in helping India take a huge step forward towards a historic new anti-corruption law. People poured out on the streets in spontaneous elation - the Anna cap, the tricolour were everywhere and slogans of victory rent the air. Last night, thousands gathered at Ramlila Grounds as Anna, surrounded by a sea of flags, received the news that his three conditions had been unanimously accepted by Parliament. (Watch: Anna to end fast today, celebrations across the country
Anna did not break his fast last night as he does not eat after sundown. So he said he would wait for another over 12 hours before he would feed again. But there was little sign of frailty when the 74-year-old thanked his supporters, "We have won half the battle," Anna said to the thousands of workers and supporters who helped elevate his movement to the top of the country's agenda. "It is your victory," he said. "I will end my fast with you at 10 am... celebrate what we have won, but please be peaceful," he urged.
The nation is also celebrating a moment of historic unity in Parliament over a people's issue. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "Parliament has spoken. The will of Parliament is will of the people." Anna's associate Medha Patkar said, "We have reached a win-win situation...We have also emerged with an empowered Parliament."
A letter signed by the Prime Minister was delivered in a moment of drama and political opportunism to Anna on stage at Ramlila Maidan. The letter-bearers included Vilasrao Deshmkuh, who is from Anna's home state of Maharashtra and shares a good rapport with the Gandhian. (Read PM's letter to Anna Hazare
Mr Deshmukh played a key role as the 12-day saga of deal, no deal and one man's resoluteness played out. Law Minister Salman Khurshid, who was one of the chief government negotiators talking to Team Anna, told NDTV, "It was difficult to get a fix on what was going on in Anna's mind. And it's here that Vilasrao helped."
In Parliament, the government held its ground and did not conduct a vote, as Anna's associates had demanded earlier yesterday. Instead, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha unanimously adopted a resolution that conveyed "the sense of the House." The MPs approved the resolution by thumping their desks. The resolution was shared by Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee in his speech that concluded the parliamentary debate on the Lokpal Bill.
Different government leaders said that because the resolution was unanimously accepted, there was no need for a vote.
The Lokpal is an ombudsman committee that will be set up by a new law to investigate charges of corruption against public servants. Anna wanted it to be born with three must-have powers. These have been cleared today in principle. (Read what Parliament has agreed to
In Parliament, both Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee referred to the fact that nine times, the Lokpal Bill has been introduced in Parliament but was not pushed through. "I accept the lapse of our governments," said Mr Mukherjee, while concluding the debate. However, he reinforced his party line: "One piece of legislation, however strong and empowered it may be, cannot completely eradicate corruption." Mr Mukherjee also warned, "There is a difference between mobocracy and democracy." Mr Hazare's methods have been criticized by many, including Rahul Gandhi, who delivered a rare speech on the Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
So political parties have signed off on Anna's trio of essentials: The Lokpal model will be introduced in states; junior bureaucrats will be accountable to it; and citizen's charters will be displayed in all government offices to publically display that department's duties. These features have been accepted in principle; they will now be reviewed by a parliamentary standing committee which will also check their compatibility with the constitution. The committee will then send the bill back with detailed feedback to Parliament for its consideration.
On Saturday, while the debate was being conducted in both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, Ramlila Maidan was filling up. In the afternoon, actor Aamir Khan addressed the audience and urged Anna to end his fast. He also performed a song from his hit movie, Lagaan. "We have to thank Anna for putting this bill and the issue of corruption in the spotlight." He stressed, "We need to decide as to how we are going to live our lives... will we give or accept bribes? Will we say no to corruption in our lives?"
Sunday dawned to a distinct mood of celebration.