His minuscule stature conceals his tough resolve. Like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, he utilizes an ahimsak methodology i.e. a hunger strike as a bludgeon to hit out rightly to the strong. At the moment, Anna Hazare, a campaigner versus corruption, is conceptualizing waves in the country which has been stung at its roots by corruption and disloyality.
Rightly called the contemporary Mahatma by the supporters, Anna is on an abstain in the core of the Delhi City, drawing hundreds and thousands of individuals who are nauseous and exhausted of our nation’s cancerous vice.
Calling it a remarkable achievement would be an understatement for someone 72-year-old, who was abandoned out of educate at Class 7 owing to poverty issues, vended flowers and then took-up a driver’s job in the army in order to feed his relations in a rustic part of his Village.
A good deal like the father of the nation, Anna Hazare began his life as an activist, rather a struggle.
As they say, charity begins at home, Anna began the reformation from his home Village itself, Ralegan-Siddhi in Ahmednagar district. It was a despondent and unproductive place with scarce rainfall and deficient economy. It also underwent frequent droughts time to time.
In 1975, he launched watershed development programmes, he persuaded people to change their ways and managed to transform the barely breathing village to one Mahatma Gandhi would have been proud of.
India recognised his work by awarding him a Padma Vibhushan and a Padma Bhushan. But, unlike many, he would not rest on his laurels. He unleashed a war on corruption, launching the Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Aandolan.
His first victims in politics were three ministers in the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Maharashtra: Shashikant Sutar, Mahadeo Shivankar and Baban Gholap. This was in 1995.
In 2003, when Maharashtra had a Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government, he went on fast against four ministers, Sureshdada Jain, Nawab Malik, Vijay Kumar Gavit and Padamsinh Patiln, who he said were corrupt.
Anna Hazare’s reputation as a man of integrity gave him clout that the corrupt found difficult to battle.
He is a self-made man with no air whose father was an unskilled labourer. Out of school, Anna Hazare sold flowers and set up a floral shop in Mumbai before the Chinese attack of 1962 led him into the army.
It was while in the army that he was exposed to the works of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Acharya Vinoba Bhave, leaders who captured his imagination.
As an activist, Anna Hazare battled many corrupt officials. He also fought for the rights of tribals, the lowliest of the lowliest.
But he realised that nothing could be achieved until people were empowered. And so he campaigned extensively for right to information, travelling for more than 12,000 km in Maharashtra, creating awareness about the legislation.
Now, Anna Hazare has again embraced the weapon of hunger strike to create a mass movement that he hopes will force politicians to enact a stringent anti-corruption law.
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