Kisan Baburao Anna Hazare is an Indian social worker best known for his hunger strike against various governments to tackle rampant corruption and inadequate measures taken for the development of rural cities in India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1992 for his efforts to develop and establish Ralegan Siddhi as an ideal village. Marathi film “Mala Anna Vaisai” was based on Hazare’s life.
Biography of Anna Hazare
|Name||Kisan Baburao Hazare|
|Date of Birth||15 June 1937|
|Place of Birth||Bhingar, Bombay Province, British India|
|Parents||Baburao Hazare (Father) Lakshmibai Hazare (Mother)|
|Award||Padma Shri (1990) Padma Bhushan (1992)|
Early Life of Anna Hazare
Anna Hazare’s real name is Kisan Baburao Hazare. He was born on June 15, 1937. His birthplace is Bhingar in Bombay province of British India. He is an Indian social worker. He was the eldest son of Laxmi Bai and Baburao Hazare. He has two sisters and four brothers. He later adopted the name Anna, whose Marathi means “elder person” or “father”. His father Baburao Hazare was an inefficient labourer of Ayurveda Ashram Pharmacy. Mala Anna Bahaisai (I want to be Anna) is a Marathi film based on his life and Arun Nalawad plays the role of Anna Hazare.
His father worked as an unskilled labourer at Ayurveda Ashram Pharmacy and struggled to support the family financially. Over time, the family moved to their ancestral village, Ralegan Siddhi, where they had a small amount of agricultural land. A relative took the burden of educating Kisan(Anna Hazare), taking him to Mumbai as there was no primary school in the village. The relative was financially unable to continue support and Kisan’s schooling ended in standard VII; His siblings never attended school. He started selling flowers at Dadar railway station in Mumbai and eventually managed to set up two flower shops in the city. He also became involved in vigilantism, joining groups who worked to prevent landlords’ thugs from intimidating the poor out from their shelter.
Also Read: Biography of Lala Lajpat Rai
Anna Hazare’s Service in the Indian Army
Inspired by patriotism and love for his country, Anna Hazare joined the Indian Army in 1960. His career as an Indian Army soldier started as a truck driver after successful training in Aurangabad in Maharashtra. When Pakistan invaded India in 1965, he was posted at the Khem Karan border, where all his colleagues were martyred. 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. This incident made him think about the existence of human beings and the meaning of life and death. The experienced of wartime, coupled with the poverty from which he had come, affected him. He considered suicide at one point but instead turned to pondering the meaning of life and death. Swami Vivekananda proved to be a great inspiration for him, reading the small booklet “Youth Call for Nation Building” found at a book store at New Delhi railway station. At this point he decided to dedicate his entire life to the service of humanity. He was only 26 years old at the time. However, after completing just three years in the Army, he would not have been eligible for a pension scheme for which he had served in the Army for 13 long years, after which he retired voluntarily from the Army in 1975 and returned to his native Ralegan Siddhi. During his tenure as a soldier, he served in various states such as Sikkim, Bhutan, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Mizoram, Leh and Ladakh.
Anna Hazare’s Transformation of Ralegan Siddhi
During his tenure in the Indian Army, Anna Hazare visited Ralegan Siddhi for two months every year and was quite overwhelmed by the miserable condition of the farmers living there. After his retirement, he returned to this drought prone and rain-shadowed area in Ahmednagar district and promised for the development of the village. He got the new water management project through watershed development undertaken by Vilasrao Salanke, a resident of Saswad near Pune. Inspired by the project, he decided to implement it in his village to overcome water scarcity. The project succeeded in increasing groundwater level and earlier providing water on 1500 acres of land instead of 70 acres. As a result, farmers produced good food grains and the village became self-sufficient. Finally, Anna Hazare brought about several economic changes that led to the establishment of a school, a temple, hostel and other buildings. Mass marriages, crop banks, dairy products, cooperative societies, self-help groups for women, and yuva mandals were followed to give the village a new and better face. The village became a model village for many other oppressed villages, and till date has been considered as a tourist destination for people across the country.
Major Work of Anna Hazare
He was the main force behind the shift of Ralegan Siddhi village from poverty, hopeless places to “Model Village” based on sustainable development.
Hazare played a key role in insinuating the Government of India to pass the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013. He had been campaigning for years, often on indefinite hunger strike to take the government to take steps towards building a strong anti-corruption law.
The Anti-Corruption People’s Movement, Bharashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan (BVJA), or mass movement against corruption, was launched in 1991 by Anna Hazare as an attempt to fight corruption that hinders rural development in India. Hunger strike became his protest tool with high level politicians being his targets. 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. Though Anna Hazare handed over the evidence to the government, the government was reluctant to take action against the culprits as some officials of the ruling party themselves were involved in the scam. Sad and heartbroken, Anna Hazare protested and was jailed, which was supported by all social workers and political leaders of all parties except BJP and Shiv Sena. To force the government to level allegations against another political leader, he started his hunger strike on August 9, 2003, which ended on August 17 2003 and then chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde set up a one-man commission seeking evidence against the culprits.
Right to Information Movement
Anna Hazare campaigned for the Right to Information Act in 1997 which was rejected by the state government, imagining that taking action against fraudulent ministers and officials was not enough to fight corruption. He got agitated at Azad Maidan in Mumbai to protest against the results and then travelled across the state to create public awareness. Realizing that the government was blind, he went on indefinite hunger strike in July 2003. His protest forced the President of India to sign the draft Right to Information Act after a 12-day hunger strike. The Act was implemented from 2002 and the basis of the National Right to Information Act, 2005 was constituted.
The lokpal bill movement which was launched in April 2011 is the most protested by Anna Hazare against the Government of India. In support of the bill being approved, Anna Hazare started his hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on April 5, 2011, after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejected his demand for a more independent Jana Lokpal Bill. The bill was passed after many hurdles and hard work.
Anna Hazare has served his country a lot. It was Anna Hazare who helped people to get their rights. He won many awards for his works.
Awards and recognition
- Indira Priyadarshini Vaikshmitra Award, 1986
- Krishi Bhushan Award, 1989
- Padma Shri, 1990
- Padma Bhushan, 1992
- Shiromani Award, 1996
- Mahaveer Award, 1997
- Care International Award by Care Relife Agency, 1998
- Integrity Award by Transparency International, 2003
- Honorary Doctorate by Gandhigram Rural University, 2005
- Jit Gill Memorial Award by World Bank, 2008
Anna Hazare has served for his country a lot. It was he who helped people to get their rights. He won many awards for his work. Anna Hazare, a man who encourages indifferent youth in India to express their views against rampant corruption, is one of the most respected social workers in the country. Anna Hazare who opposes corruption in the country is a role model for the people of India.
1. When and where was Anna Hazare born?
Ans: Kisan Baburao “Anna Hazare” was born on 15 June 1937 at Bhingar, Bombay Province, British India
2. What is the real name of Anna Hazare?
Ans: Kisan Baburao Hazare.
3. When Anna Hazare was awarded with Padma Bhushan Award?
Ans: Anna Hazare is awarded with Padma Bhushan in1992.
4. What has the village Relegan Siddhi been declared as?
Ans: The village Relegan Siddhi been declared as Model village.
5. Who transformed Relegan Siddhi into a Model village?
Ans: Kisan Baburao Hazare.
6. Why Anna Hazare is on hunger strike?
Ans: Hazare started a hunger strike on 5 April 2011 to exert pressure on the Indian government to enact a stringent anti-corruption law, after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejected his demand for a more independent Jana Lokpal Bill. The bill was passed after many hurdles and hard work.
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