Monday, September 19, 2011

Anna Hazare: soldier to social reformer

Anna Hazare was born and brought up in an ordinary Maharastrian family in India and started his career as a soldier in Indian army. He joined Indian army when many Indian soldiers became martyrs in the Indo-China War (1962) and the Government of India appealed young Indians to join the Indian army. Being patriotic, he promptly responded to the appeal and joined the Army in 1963. He was posted to several states in India e.g. Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, Mizoram, Sikkim, Bhutan, Leh and Ladakh and braved challenging weathers during his fifteen year tenure as a soldier.

Anna Hazare was posted at Khemkaran border (Rajasthan) as a soldier in Indian Army when Pakistan attacked India in 1965. He was brave enough and fought teeth and nail with the enemies. A bullet had passed by his head and Anna Hazare had a close save. All of his colleagues died in that attack. Hazare believes that this was the turning point of his life as it meant he had a purpose to life. It was at that particular moment that Hazare took an oath to dedicate his life in the service of humanity. He was only twenty six at that time yet pledged to be a bachelor!! It shows his sacrifice and will power. He has the same kind of will power even today.

He admitted that he had passion for marriage at the young age and had several proposals for marriage. However, dedication to service of humankind inspired him to be a bachelor.
In order to be self-sufficient and to be eligible for the pension scheme of the army he continued in the army for 12 more years. He, then, opted for voluntary retirement and returned to his native place in Ralegan Siddhi.
Four decades long journey of Anna Hazare from a soldier in Indian army to a social reformer is unprecedented. He is a non-violent yet effective campaigner. He followed Gandhian path. Now the whole world know that he is a true Gandhian.

He became instrumental to resurrect a barren village, Ralegan Siddhi into an ideal village that became model for many others. He is also a Right to Information crusader. He has empowered faceless citizen of India through his pioneering work on Right to Information (RTI). Everybody knows that RTI act has become a very effective tool against corruption in government machinery in India.

His efforts to empower village Panchayats and his fight against red taping in government offices have also been appreciated widely.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The society needs such volunteers who are ready to get buried in selfless service for the better future of the society.’’

Anna is such a selfless volunteer and a true Gandhian. Anna has become renowned globally these days for his "Anashana" in support of Janlokpal bill. Three cheers to him.

Anna Hazare and his ideal village Ralegan Siddhi

Team Anna


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