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The Great social worker Anna Hazare

All about the life of The Great social worker Anna Hazare
 
BY:Rohit Bhardwaj


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Kisan Baburao "Anna" Hazare born 15 June 1937) is an Indian social activist who led movements to promote rural development, increase government transparency, and investigate and punish official corruption. In addition to organising and encouraging grassroots movements, Hazare frequently conducted hunger strikes to further his causes—a tactic reminiscent, to many, of the work of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Hazare also contributed to the development and structuring of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan—the third-highest civilian award—by the Government of India in 1992 for his efforts in establishing this village as a model for others.

Anna Hazare started an indefinite hunger strike on 5 April 2011 to exert pressure on the Indian government to enact a stringent anti-corruption law, The Lokpal Bill, 2011 as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal Bill, for the institution of an ombudsman with the power to deal with corruption in public places. The fast led to nation-wide protests in support. The fast ended on 9 April 2011, a day after the government accepted Hazare's demands. The government issued a gazette notification on the formation of a joint committee, consisting of government and civil society representatives, to draft the legislation.

Foreign Policy magazine named him among top 100 global thinkers in 2011. Also in 2011 Anna was ranked as the most influential person in Mumbai by a national daily newspaper. He has faced criticism for his authoritarian views on justice, including death as punishment for corrupt public officials and his alleged support for forced vasectomies as a method of family planning.

Hazare was drafted in the Indian Army in April 1960, where he initially worked as an army truck driver and was later attested as a soldier.[16] He undertook army training at Aurangabad.[13][17] During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Hazare was posted at the border in the Khem Karan sector. He was the sole survivor of an enemy attack—variously claimed to have been a bomb, an aerial assault and an exchange of fire at the border—while he was driving a truck.

Hazare and the youth group decided to take up the issue of alcoholism to drive a process of reform. At a meeting conducted in the temple, the villagers resolved to close down liquor dens and ban alcohol in the village. Since these resolutions were made in the temple, they became, in a sense, religious commitments. Over thirty liquor brewing units voluntarily closed their establishments. Those who did not succumb to social pressure were forced to close their businesses when the youth group smashed their premises.

Ralegan Siddhi is located in the foothills, so Hazare persuaded villagers to construct a watershed embankment and associated works to stop water and allow it to percolate and increase the ground water level and improve irrigation in the area. These efforts solved the problem of water scarcity in the village and made irrigation possible.

In 1991 Hazare launched the Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Aandolan (BVJA, People's Movement against Corruption), a popular movement to fight against corruption[38] in Ralegaon Siddhi. In the same year he protested against the collusion between 40 forest officials and timber merchants. This protest resulted in the transfer and suspension of these officials.

Hazare was accused of working for RSS and BJP's behest, and against Muslims by cleric Bukhari of the Jama Masjid. Bhukhari was subsequently criticised for being a Royal Imam and for claiming that his personal views represented the view of ordinary Muslims.
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