Anna Hazare A man behind democratic revolution in India“The dream of India as a strong nation will not be realised withoutself-reliant, self-sufficient villages, this can be achieved onlythrough social commitment & involvement of the common man." - Anna Hazare
Kisan Bapat Baburao Hazare, born 15January 1940, popularly known as Anna Hazareis an Indian social activist who is especiallyrecognized for his contribution to thedevelopment of Ralegan Siddhi, a village inParner taluka of Ahmednagar district,Maharashtra, India and his efforts for establishingit as a model village, for which he was awardedthe Padma Bhushan by the Government ofIndia in 1992.
The Watershed Development programme Removal of untouchability Uprooting alcoholism In Ralegan SiddhiCollective marriages Milk production Gram Sabha Education
A Decade of Struggle...Anna Hazare had to struggle for 11 years continuously against government for giving rights tocitizens by making legislations for Right to Information, More Rights for the Gram Sabha,Regulating Transfers of the Government Officers, Prohibition and against Red Tapism.After the ShivSena – BJP government came in power on March 11, 1995; Anna Hazare startedcommunicating with the government for taking steps to curb corruption. He wrote to thegovernment 15 times and had meetings with it.He sent a letter to the government on January 12, 1998 asking it to make an act for Right toInformation for checking corruption.As government was not paying any heed to his demand even after writing many letters anddiscussions, he started dharna on April 6, 1995 at the Azad Maidan, Mumbai.He again wrote to the government 10 times between April 6, 1998 and August 2, 1999 askingit to make the Act for Right to Information. In the mean time, Congress – NCP governmentcame in power.He communicated with the newly formed government 5 times pressing it to make the Act. As itfailed to do this, he wrote to the govt. on April 6, 2000 warning it that a statewide dharnaagitation in front of Collector Offices would be started from 1st may and he would go on fastfrom 20th May, 2000.As per schedule, the dharna agitation started in front of all Collector Offices all over the stateon 2nd May. The fast was postponed as the Central Government passed a bill in Lok Sabhaon Information Technology.
Continued communication with the govt. Wrote 14 times and had meetings with the govt. Oneyear lapsed.On 1st March 2001, wrote to the govt. that he would start statewide maun andolan from 1st Mayif the govt. did not make the legislation. The Chief Minister held a meeting with other concernedministers and Secretaries and made a promise that the govt. will pass the bill in the comingsession.After the promise from the Chief Minister, 81 days lapsed. Anna’s correspondence with thegovt. was continued. He wrote again on 1st March 2001 telling that he would undertake maunon 9th August 2001 at his native village Ralegan Siddhi.As per his warning, he started maun agitation on 9th August. On the same day, people startedagitation all over Maharashtra.After 4 days of maun, the Minister of Law and Justice Mr. Vilas Kaka Undalkar visited RaleganSiddhi to discuss with Anna Hazare. He facilitated a telephonic discussion with the ChiefMinister and the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra. After promise from them, Anna stopped hismaun.After the lapse of 1 year and a month and writing more than 15 letters, the govt. was not takingany action. So Anna started maun again on 21st Sept. 2002. After 5 days, four Ministers of themaharashtra Govt., viz. Mr. Dilip Valse Patil, Shivajirao Kardile, Shivajirao Moghe and R. R.Patil came to Ralegan Siddhi for discussions with Anna Hazare. After getting a writtenassurance from the Chief Minister and Chief secretary, Anna stopped his agitation.
A meeting between Anna Hazare and the govt. was held on 30th October 2002 at Mumbaiwhere the Chief Minister, the Chief secretary, other ministers and senior officers participatedin the meeting on behalf of the govt. Again a promise was made.But as the govt. was not keeping its promise, Anna again warned on 21st January that hewould undertake agitation on 20th February at Mumbai.In the mean time, the Chief minister of Maharashtra got changed. The new CM Mr.Sushilkumar Shinde informed Anna Hazare that a solution would be found within a timeframeafter a meeting with Ministers and Senior Officers. So Anna postponed his agitation.A high level meeting was held at the Secretariat in Mumbai on 17th February and the CMpromised that appropriate action would be taken.After the failure of the govt. to keep its words, Anna again warned the govt. of agitation fromAugust 9, 2003 at Mumbai.Anna finally went on fast on 9th August 2003 at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai. Thousands ofpeople from all over Maharashtra gathered at the site of fast in support of his agitation. At thesame time, people also protested at Collector Offices at all district headquarters. All thismounted tremendous pressure on the govt. There was a threat of govt. collapse if the Actwas not passed. Finaly, the President of India signed the Bill on 12th day of Anna’s fast anddeclared that the Act would be effective from 2002. Anna ended his fast at the hands of anoted Social Worker Mr. Tukaramdada Gitacharya.The Right to Information Act came into effect in Maharashtra from 2002. With Anna’spersuasion, the same Act came into effect for the whole nation.Likewise, the Acts for more rights to the Gram Sabha and against Red Tapism were passed bythe government.
These Acts arerevolutionary steps towardsstrengthening of democracy in Maharashtra and in India.
Indian anti-corruption movement 2011 Jan Lokpal Bill movementProtest`s timeline :April 4, 2011 Anna Hazare, the anti-corruption activist leader announced his fast unto death till JanLokpal Bill is enacted.April 5, 2011 Anna Hazare, initiated his fast unto death at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.Around 6,000 Mumbairesidents joined Anna Hazare for a one-day fast to support the demand for implementation ofthe Jan Lokpal Bill.In Pune,over 6,000 residents joined the campaign.The Freedom Park inBanglore was the cynosure of all eyes on Thursday as Bangaloreans from all walks of lifethronged the place to support Anna Hazare.Anna Hazare also said that if the bill was notpassed, then he will call a mass nation-wide agitation.He called his movement as "secondstruggle for independence" and he will continue the fight.April 7, 2011 Two rounds of talks with the government failed.Anna Hazare continued on with his fast.Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Indian National Congress party and the head of the NationalAdvisory Council appealed to Anna Hazare to end his indefinite fast.
April 8, 2011 Protests spreaded to Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Patna, Bhopal,Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Pune, Nashik and Kochi.Protests were organised at Jammu University inJammu, Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati and Jaipur too.The government continued to squabblewith the activists stating that the bill drafting committee will be headed by a government appointedminister and not a civil society member as the protesters demanded to avoid allowing thegovernment to make the bill less powerful.The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met with thePresident of India to outline to her how the government was going ahead with the demands of thepopulation.15 supporters of Anna Hazare on fast were hospitalized. Bollywood came out completely in support of the protests - with famed actors, musicians anddirectors speaking in support of the movement and Anna Hazare. Director Farah Khan, actorAnupam Kher, music director Vishal Dadlani, poet-filmmaker Pritish Nandy and actor Tom Alter allvisited Jantar Mantar. Meanwhile famed Indian actors Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan and AmitabhBachchan all stated their support for the movement via social networking websites or the media.Oscar winning Indian composer A. R.Rahman also declared his support for the anti-graftmovement. Kareena Kapoor, Shabana Azmi,Shekhar Kapur, Sushmita Sen, Bipasha Basu,Shahid Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi, Neha Dhupia,Jackky Bhagnani, Shirish Kunder,Kailash Kher, Punit Malhotra all tweeted their support for Anna Hazare further feulling the massesto join the movement.Famed Qatari artist M. F. Hussain showed his support by drawing a cartoonof Anna Hazare.Indian students at Cambridge University, the former alma-mater of the Indianprime minister also addressed their support for the movement.
Many prominent people from the government agencies as well as from various corporatehouses came out in support of the movement. Some of them were - Delhi Metro chief E.Sreedharan (also called the Metro Man of India), Punj Lloyd chairman Atul Punj, Maruti Suzukichairman RC Bhargava, Hero groups Sunil Munjal, Tata Steel vice-chairman B Muthuraman,Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj, Godrej Group head Adi Godrej, Biocon Chairman andManaging Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Kotak Mahindra Bank vice-chairman & managingdirector Uday Kotak. They all declared their support for Anna Hazare and the movement.ASSOCHAM President Dilip Modi and FICCI Director General Rajiv Kumar, both came out insupport of the movement too. The Government of India accepted the compromise formula that there be a politician chairmanand an activist, non-politician Co-Chairman. It was reported that Pranab Mukherjee will be theChairman of the draft committee while Shanti Bhushan will be the co-chairman. Shanti Bhushanwas one of the original drafters of the Lokpal Bill along with Anna Hazare, Justice N. SantoshHegde, advocate Prashant Bhushan, and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal.April 9, 2011 After accepting all the demands of Anna Hazare, the Government of India issued a OfficialGazette saying that the draft of lokpal would be made and presented in the coming monsoonsession of Lok Sabha.Victory celebrations were held all over India from Jantar Mantar - thecenter of the protests to Jammu, Mumbai, Nagpur, Chennai, Kolkatta, Allahabad and evenAnna Hazares village.Bollywood lauded the victory of Anna Hazare, once again echoing theirsupport for the movement and the support of the Indian citizenry.Protesters and leaders of themovement alike stated that the path to attaining complete passing of the bill is still a difficlut one,and the movement has to see more harsher days ahead.The movement has become a symbol ofcivil societys power in India.
After being widely televised by the Indian media, and widely supported by almost everyIndian citizen (as the issue of corruption has been an issue every Indian holds very negativeviews about), the movement has attained a certain level of credibility in the eyes of the Indianmasses. Its uniqueness in the fact that it was completely apolitical; was a movement solely ofthe people; did not wish to put in disarray the country as in the case of total shutdownsorganised by politcal parties (Commonly called a Bandh) ; and was able to bend the government- is something new for India. Many commentators have called the movement the wake-up callfor India. Meanwhile social networking chatter has been filled with fears that Indians will onceagain go back to sleep with time.
Protest’s Description : On 5 April 2011, Anna Hazare initiated a movement for passing a stronger anti-corruption Lokpal (ombudsman) bill in the Indian Parliament. As a part of this movement, N.Santosh Hegde, a former justice of the Supreme Court of India and Lokayukta of Karnataka,Prashant Bhushan, a senior lawyer in the Supreme Court along with the members of the IndiaAgainst Corruption movement drafted an alternate bill, named as the Jan Lokpal Bill (PeoplesOmbudsman Bill) with more stringent provisions and wider power to the Lokpal (Ombudsman).Hazare began a fast unto death from 5 April 2011 at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, to press for thedemand to form a joint committee of the representatives of the Government and the civil societyto draft a new bill with stronger penal actions and more independence to the Lokpal andLokayuktas (Ombudsmen in the states), after his demand was rejected by the Prime Minister ofIndia Manmohan Singh .Before commencing his fast unto death he stated, "I will fast until JanLokpal Bill is passed". The movement attracted attention very quickly through various media. It has beenreported that thousands of people joined to support Hazares effort. Almost 150 peoplereportedly joined Hazare in his fast.He said that he would not allow any politician to sit with himin this movement. Politicians like Uma Bharti and Om Prakash Chautala were shooed away byprotesters when they came to visit the site where the protest was taking place.A number of socialactivists including Medha Patkar, Arvind Kejriwal and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, JayaprakashNarayan of the Lok Satta have lent their support to Hazares hunger strike and anti-corruptioncampaign. This movement has also been joined by many people providing their support inInternet social media such as twitter and facebook. In addition to spiritual leaders Sri Sri RaviShankar, Swami Ramdev, Swami Agnivesh and former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev,manycelebrities showed their public support through micro-blogging site Twitter.As a result of thismovement, on 6 April 2011 Sharad Pawar resigned from the group of ministers formed forreviewing the draft Lokpal bill 2010.The movement gathered significant support from Indiasyouth visible through the local support and on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
There have also been protests in Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad,Guwahati, Shillong, Aizawl among other cities of India.On 8 April 2011, the Government of Indiaaccepted all demands of the movement. On 9 April 2011 it issued a notification in the Gazette ofIndia on formation of a joint committee. It accepted the formula that there be a politicianchairman and an activist, non-politician Co-Chairman. According to the notification, PranabMukherjee will be the Chairman of the draft committee while Shanti Bhushan will be the co-chairman. “The Joint Drafting Committee shall consist of five nominee ministers of theGovernment of India and five nominees of the civil society. The five nominee Ministers of theGovernment of India are Pranab Mukherjee, Union Minister of Finance, P. Chidambaram, UnionMinister of Home Affairs, M. Veerappa Moily, Union Minister of Law and Justice, Kapil Sibal,Union Minister of Human Resource and Development and Minister of Communication andInformation Technology and Salman Khursheed, Union Minister of Water Resources andMinister of Minority Affairs. The five nominees of the civil society are Anna Hazare, N. SantoshHegde, Shanti Bhushan Senior Advocate, Prashant Bhushan, Advocate and Arvind Kejriwal.Onthe morning of 9 April 2011 Anna Hazare ended his 97-hour hunger strike by first offering waterto some of his supporters who had gone on a hunger strike in his support. The social activistthen broke his fast by consuming some water. He addressed the people and set a deadline of15 August 2011 to pass the Lokpal Bill in the Indian Parliament."Real fight begins now. We have a lot of struggle ahead of us in draftingthe new legislation, We have shown the world in just five days that weare united for the cause of the nation. The youth power in thismovement is a sign of hope.”- Anna Hazare.
Awards...Man of the year Award (1988) Diwaliben Mehta Award (1999)Padmabhusan Award (1990) National Intergration Award (1999)Padmashri Award (1992) Paul Mittal National Award (2000)Vivekananda Seva Puraskar (1994) Basavshri Prashasti Award (2000)Shiromani Award (1996) Transparency International (IT) Integrity Award (2003)Godavari Gaurav Puraskar (1996) World Banks Jit Gill Memorial Award (2008)Giants International Award (1996) Vishwa-Vatsalya & Santbal AwardMahaveer Puraskar (1997) Priy Darshini Vriksha Mitra AwardCare India Award (1998) Young India AwardJana Seva Puraskar (1998) Krushi BhusahanRotary International Manav Seva Puraskar (1998)