About Anna Hazare

Who is Anna Hazare?

Anna Hazare is an Indian social activist.

Kisan Baburao "Anna" Hazare is an Indian social activist who led rallies to promote rural development, government transparency, for investigation and punishment of corrupt officials. He is a prominent activist, who has frequently been on hunger strikes to further his causes. In 1992, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan award by the government, for contributing to the development and structuring a native village of Maharashtra. 

Kisan Hazare was born on 15 June 1937 in Bhingar, near Ahmednagar. He was the eldest son, with two sisters and four brothers. He later adopted the name Anna, which in Marathi means "elder person" or "father". Being financially unstable, Hazare and his family moved to their native village of Ralegan Siddhi. This also put a stop to his education after seventh grade. He then began selling flowers at Dadar station in Mumbai, which later on managed to get his own two flower shops in the city. 

At the time of The Indo-China War of 1962, Hazare joined the Indian Army due to an emergency recruitment measure by the army. He was in training for a year. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Hazare was posted at the border. He was the sole survivor of a much claimed attack of bomb, aerial assault and firing, while he was driving a truck. The war affected him, which lead him to ponder the meaning of life and death. In his spare time, he would read the works of Swami Vivekananda, Gandhi, and Vinoba Bhave.

He left the army after 12 years of service, and returned to his home village. Wherein, begin the making of the man “Anna Hazare”. Inspired by the readings of Swami Vivekananda, Hazare organized a youth group in his village. Hazare and his group began a revolution to reform; they battled against the village issues of alcoholism, grain bank, water problem, education, untouchability, etc.

In the early 2000s Hazare led a movement in Maharashtra state which forced the state government to enact a revised Maharashtra Right to Information Act. In 2003, corruption charges were raised by Hazare against four NCP ministers of the Congress-NCP government. He started his fast unto death on 9 August 2003. He ended his fast on 17 August 2003, after which the said ministers resigned from the cabinet. Again, in 2011 Hazare initiated a Satyagraha movement for passing a stronger anti-corruption Lokpal bill in the Indian Parliament, the Jan Lokpal Bill. The government rejected his motion, which led him to another hunger strike. This movement attracted attention in the media, and thousands of supporters. People from all over the country joined him for support. He ended his hunger strike due to a medical condition.

Hazare has been involved in controversies and accusations. He has been criticized for his forced hunger strikes by the people. He was also called an agent of a secret group. Anna has denied such accusations. 

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