In the time when the history of 20thcentury was about to be written, when the voice of Leninists was echoing around, when the world was waiting for a new villain of the mankind, the decade when sun was started to set in the all time shiny empire under the sheets of union jack.
There was one corner in the world of spices where the non violence was raging the storm of freedom bringing the nation together while encouraging the wombs to produce the sons of soil. There was a family in Bhingar village of Hinganghat in Maharashtra who was expecting the star to be born and the moment came on 15 June 1937 when Hazare couple Laxmibai Hazare and Baburao Hazare gets their future in the shape of son who would reshape 21st century India.
Kisan Baburao Hazare or Anna Hazare (pic) is a self made man born in the Gandhian era and is the only national figure of importance who knows the value of the Indian freedom and the sacrifice which it had demanded. In 1952 when his father resigned from the job and shifted to his native village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmadnagar district of Maharashtra, his poor economic condition forced him to take up an employment while he was in seventh standard. Despite not being meeting the physical requirements he was recruited at the age of 25 emergency recruitments which were being made during Indo-China war in 1962 when the large scale of army requirements were the norms of the national importance.
He started his full fledged army career in 1963 as a driver. During 1965 Indo-Pak war he was the only survival in the convoy which was attacked in the Khem Karan sector near the border where he was posted. The incident changed his life and his mindset completely but he got his new direction from a titled of the book written by Swami Vivekananda “Call to the youth for nation building.” After 12 years of his service in Indian Army he took voluntary retirement in 1978.
He was apprised by Sainya Seva Medal, Nine Years Long Service Medal, Sangram Medal, 25th Independent Anniversary Medal, and Pashimi Star award. But who knew that this leader who had returned to his native village of Ralegan Siddhi will start a new definition of irrigation in the drought prone region where hardly a drop of water falls in rain shadow area. Where the population was living under acute poverty, but the lion had already took the charge of the battle which was about to be fought against the bureaucracy, social discrimination, and other anti social odds.
Within few years of his campaign the results were started to yield fruits in the village, from mere 75 acres of land under cultivation his campaign and innovative drip irrigation system converted 2500 acres of land under sustainable agriculture. He gives a new definition of the rain water harvesting and its irrigation usages. He encouraged youth to help in building the region into a role model for the whole nation. Millions of saplings were planted on the eroded slopes of the naked hills hence improving the environment and soil holding process to its prime.
His native village, a land where only hunger and poverty had lived since the time unknown was transformed into a prosperous fertile land of happiness where ban on alcohol, ban on tree felling, ban on grazing and volunteer labor gave the new life to the dry lands of his rural heartland into a flourishing agricultural fields. He brought the different communities together to work as one unit hence abolishing the caste system from the lives of his people.
His campaign in 1998 and 2006 forced the government to amend Gram Sabha Act and include the participation of villagers into the development and other matters concerned to their locality. This gave much needed teeth to the rural population in the country. Nevertheless, the major boon to his Gandhian philosophy came when he started the campaign for RTI ACT or Right to Information Act to fight against the growing corruption menace in the country.
Various organizations and activists came forward to support him against the government finally forcing the state to bring the RTI in 2009. This gave the power to the Indians of accessing the public information and its accounts. The benchmarking act transformed him from a mere soldier to a national leader, whom the people admire him as a modern Gandhi, who has once again showed the nation a true picture of the father of nation.
Due to this act numerous scams were exposed and many public servants and ministers were brought to trial. But the this was not enough, the hurricane was about to reach the coast of National Parliament when the doors were to be shattered with the foot falls of the general public who will show the power of a true vibrant democracy and whose sound will make the ears of corrupt cabinet deaf.
And the democracy was turned into an arena where the battle of corruption will be fought which will decide the fate of the nation
Since, the public extensively uses the weapon of RTI the curtains of corruption fallen of the records covered under the dust of scams done in the past and in the present day scenarios. This has raged the storm of this student of Gandhi who is being driving the nation against the democratic donkeys who don’t know how to rule the country and function for its people.
He first went on fast on 5th April 2011 forcing the government to present the Lokpal Bill or Anti Corruption Bill in the Parliament and within no time the effect of his fasting was showing its signs, the cabinet formed a standing committee for the review of the respective bill and call team Anna for discussing their point of view and requirements to be added into the bill but as Anna quit fasting and his storm slows down the bill matter comes into the bureaucratic jittery and the draft which was presented into the house did not include the points raised by Anna and the general public in it.
It was found later that many departments including the PMO were kept out of the jurisdiction and monitoring of Lok Pal Bill. Then the series of warnings and letter conversation took off in the air which attracted the attention of the general public and all the public figures but the ruling coalition seems to be insensitive to the matter and showed no signs of coming to the agreeable terms of Anna. As the rains sets in and the parliament of the world’s biggest democracy begins its monsoon session, the date came 28th July 2011 when Anna spokes out to PM and other government officials in public:
“Why are you (government) sending the wrong draft? We have faith in Parliament. But first send the right draft; our agitation is against government, not Parliament. The government has overlooked many points. How will it fight corruption by excluding government employees, CBI and prime minister from the Lokpal’s purview? We were told that both the drafts would be sent to the Cabinet. But only the government’s draft was sent. This is a deceitful government. They are lying. How will they run the country? Now I have no trust in this government. If it is really serious about fighting corruption, why is it not bringing government employees and CBI under Lokpal?” – Anna Hazare
But as it is very well said that there was silence before the arrival of the storm and the silence broke in the rainy afternoon of 15th August 2011 when Anna just went inside the Rajghat the Mausoleum of Mahatma Gandhi when he without warning or any official declaration or permission started fasting, seeing the great spirit alongside the another the huge crowd of visitors and supporters gathered and offered him the support, by the evening he was arrested and taken to jail where he spent 24 hours under custody but he didn’t break his fast and continued with it.
Feeling the heat of agitation and the anger of public the orders were passed for his release, from that day to till this day when this article was being written he was still fasting and the country of more than a billion heads is running on the road, protesting in front of every minister and bureaucrat to either support them or if not then resign from the service.
The path of non-violence and peace which the great philosopher and a legend Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has been risen like phoenix risen from its sleep of 100 years. This has proven once again the non violence has always been a lethal weapon against those who thinks they are powerful if they carry bullets in the ballot.
Though the student of Gandhi has been fighting with the nation of Gandhi which has been transformed from a land of cultures and values to the land of greed and corruption where though the leaders wear the white but the black is still hidden in the hearts of their selfish souls.
Though the power of ballot has changed this country a lot but the choice of ballot has always controlled the flow of prosperity for which the country has dreamt of. Once the Late PM Rajiv Gandhi had said that I am aware that the government sends 100 rupees to the public but only 15 rupees reaches the needy.
After the gap of two decades his son and a respected member of parliament Rahul Gandhi says though the government send 100 rupees but now only 10 rupees reaches the common public, but these are the hollow statements whereas the truth is even more worse general public hardly receives a single penny now these days the corruption has spread so deep into the daily working public system that even the private sectors has also fallen into the same line of practicing.
So the slow isolated campaign which was started long ago has now taken the shape of a revolution into a world’s biggest fight against corruption. It has now been proven that it is just like a second freedom struggle which is being fought on the grounds against the disease called corruption.
In his welfare career history Anna Hazare was awarded by many honors and the prominent among them are Padma Sri in 1990 and Padma Bhushan in 1992, the two being among the highest civilian awards. And most recently he was honored by World Bank in 2008 with Jit Gill Memorial Award.
The nation salutes this hero who has never asked for any monetary or social comfort but has always remained committed towards his country and his people.