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Anna Hazare

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See also India against Corruption Jan Lokpal Bill News Website on Anna Hazare

Kisan Bapat Baburao Hazare, (Marathi: किसान बापट बाबुराव हजारे), popularly known as Anna Hazare (born 15 January 1940), is an Indian social activist who is especially recognized for his contribution to the development of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India and his efforts for establishing it as a model village, for which he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by Government of India, in 1992. On April 5, 2011, he has started a fast unto death to exert pressure on the union government to enact Lokpal Bill a law on Lokpal (ombudsman) that deals with corruption in public offices.

Early life

Anna Hazare was born in Bhingari, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India[1] to Baburao Hazare and Laxmi Bai, a unskilled labourer family who owned five acres of land. He has two sisters. Due to adverse conditions in 1952 they had to move to their family home in Ralegan Siddhi. He was raised by his childless aunt in Mumbai but could not continue beyond VII standard and had to quit midway due to financial problems.[2]

[edit] Life

Anna Hazare started his career as a driver in the Indian Army. But he spent his days reading books on philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Acharya Vinoba Bhave. Those books inspired him to become a social worker and activist. During the mid-1970s he was involved in a road accident while driving but he survived.[3]

[edit] In Ralegan Siddhi

After voluntary retirement from army, he came to Ralegan Siddhi village in 1975. Initially, he led a movement to eradicate alcoholism from the village. Next, he motivated the residents of the village into shramdan (voluntary labour) to build canals, check-dams and percolation tanks in the nearby hill for the watershed development. It solved the problem of scarcity of water in the village and also improved the irrigation possibility.[3][2]

[edit] Arrest by Maharashtra state government

Anna Hazare was arrested in 1998 during Shiv Sena-BJP rule in Maharashtra when a defamation suit was filed against him by then Maharashtra Social Welfare minister Babanrao Golap of Shiv Sena. He was released following public uproar.[4]

[edit] Lokpal Bill movement

In 2011, Anna Hazare led 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 India Against Corruption movement drafted an alternate bill, named as the Jan Lokpal Bill (People's Ombudsman Bill) with more stringent provisions and wider power to the Lokpal (Ombudsman).[5] Hazare has started a fast up to death from 5 April 2011 at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, to press for the demand to form a joint committee of the representatives of the Government and the civil society to draft a new bill with more stronger penal actions and more independence to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Ombudsmen in the states), after his demand was rejected by the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh [6]

The movement attracted attention very quickly through various media. It has been reported that thousands of people joined to support Mr. Hazare's effort. Almost 150 people are reported to join Mr. Hazare in his fast.[7] He said that he would not allow any politician to sit with him in this movement. Many social activists including Medha Patkar,Arvind Kejriwal and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi have lent their support to Hazare's hunger strike and anti-corruption campaign. This movement has also been joined by many people providing their support in Internet social media such as twitter and facebook. In addition to spiritual leaders Swami Ramdev, Swami Agnivesh and former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev [8], many bollywood celebrities like Shekhar Kapur, Siddharth Narayan, Anupam Kher, Madhur Bhandarkar, Pritish Nandy, Priyanka Chopra, Prakash Raj, Aamir Khan showed their public support through twitter.[9]

Anna Hazare started his "Fast until Death" at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, stating "I will fast until Jan Lokpal Bill is passed"
Day 2 Response:

  • Sharad Pawar quit GoM on corruption reviewing the Janlokpal bill.[10]

  • The movement gathered quite a significant amount of support from India's youth visible through the local support and on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

[edit] Difference between Govt. Proposal and Anna Hazare Version

[edit] Govt. Proposal

1. Lokpal will have no power to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. It can only probe complaints forwarded by LS Speaker or RS Chairman.
2. Lokpal will only be an Advisory Body. Its part is only limited to forwarding its report to the "Competent Authority"
3. Lokpal will not have any police powers. It can not register FIRs or proceed with criminal investigations.
4. CBI and Lokpal will have no connection with each other.
5. Punishment for corruption will be minimum 6 months and maximum up-to 7 years.

[edit] Hazare Version

1. Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public.
2. Lokpal will be much more than an Advisory Body. It should be granted powers to initiate Prosecution against anyone found guilty.
3. Lokpal will have police powers. To say that it will be able to register FIRs.
4. Lokpal and anti corruption wing of CBI will be one Independent body.
5. The punishment should be minimum 5 years and maximum up-to life imprisonment. 6. Lokpal will not be a monopoly for particular area

[edit] Awards and honors

Anna Hazare received the Padmashri award by the Government of India in 1990 and the Padmabhushan award in 1992. He received the Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra award by government of India on November 19, 1986 from the hands of Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi. In 1989, he recived the Krishi Bhushana award by the Government of Maharashtra. On April 15, 2008, Kisan Baburao Hazare received the World Bank's 2008 Jit Gill Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service: "Hazare created a thriving model village in Ralegan Siddhi, in the impoverished Ahmednagar region of Maharashtra state, and championed the right to information and the fight against corruption."[11] He was felicitated by the Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation on 15 January 1987 and by the Pune Municipal Corporation also. See also India against Corruption Jan Lokpal Bill News Website on Anna Hazare



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