Importance of Fair Play

Kisan Baburao Hazare (born 15 June 1937), popularly known as Anna Hazare is an Indian social activist and a prominent leader in the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Hazare also contributed to the development and structuring of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan—the third-highest civilian award—by the Government of India in 1992 for his efforts in establishing this village as a model for others.

Anna Hazare started an indefinite hunger strike on 5 April 2011 to exert pressure on the Indian government to enact a stringent anti-corruption law, The Lokpal Bill, 2011 as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal Bill, for the institution of an ombudsman with the power to deal with corruption in public places. The fast led to nation-wide protests in support. The fast ended on 9 April 2011, a day after the government accepted Hazare’s demands. The government issued a gazette notification on the formation of a joint committee, consisting of government and civil society representatives, to draft the legislation.

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For the year 2011 Foreign Policy magazine named him among top 100 global thinkers. Also in 2011 Anna was ranked as the most influential person in Mumbai by a national daily newspaper. He has faced criticism for his authoritarian views on justice, including death as punishment for corrupt public officials and his alleged support for forced vasectomies as a method of family planning. On August 2, 2012 Anna Hazare has indicated that he may think of forming a political alternative.

Kisan Hazare was born on 15 June 1937[citation needed] (some sources say 1940)[11] in Bhingar, near to Ahmednagar. The eldest son, with two sisters and four brothers, the later adoption of the name Anna in Marathi it uses for elder person which is equal to “father”. His father worked in a pharmacy and struggled to support the family financially. In time, the family moved to their ancestral village of Ralegan Siddhi, where they owned a small amount of agricultural land.

A relative took on the burden of providing Kisan with an education, taking him to Mumbai because the village had no primary school. The relative became unable financially to continue the support and Kisan’s schooling ended in the Standard Seventh grade; his siblings never attended school. [12] He started selling flowers at the Dadar railway station in Mumbai and eventually managed to own two flower shops in the city. [13] He also became involved in vigilantism, joining groups who acted to prevent landlords’ thugs from intimidating the poor out of their shelter. 14] Military service The Indo-China War of 1962 caused the Indian Army to commence emergency recruitment measures. Hazare was drafted in April 1963, despite not meeting the physical requirements, and was attested as a soldier on 16 November of that year after undertaking training at Aurangabad. [12][15]

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Hazare was posted at the border in the Khem Karan sector. 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. 12][13][16] The experiences of wartime, coupled with the poverty from which he had come, affected him. He considered suicide at one point but turned instead to pondering the meaning of life and death. [12] He said of the truck attack, “[It] sent me thinking. I felt that God wanted me to stay alive for some reason. I was reborn in the battlefield of Khem Karan. And I decided to dedicate my new life to serving people. “[13] He spent his spare time reading the works of Swami Vivekananda, Gandhi, and Vinoba Bhave. 17] In a blog post, Hazare expressed his views on Kashmir by saying that it was his “active conviction that Kashmir is an integral part of India” and that if required once again for service, he would remain “ready to take part in war against Pakistan. “[18]

During the mid-1970s, Hazare survived a road crash while driving for the army. He interpreted his survival as a further sign that his life was intended to be dedicated to service. [14] Despite subsequent allegations that he had deserted from the army, official records show that he was honourably discharged in 1975 after completing 12 years of service. 15] Transformation of Ralegan Siddhi Hazare returned to Ralegan Siddhi, a village then described by Satpathy and Mehta as “one of the many villages of India plagued by acute poverty, deprivation, a fragile ecosystem, neglect and hopelessness. “[19]

Although most of the villagers owned some land, cultivation was extremely difficult due to the rocky ground preventing retention of the monsoon rains, this situation was worsened by gradual environmental deterioration as trees were cut down, erosion spread and droughts were also experienced. The shortage of ater also led to disease from unsanitary conditions and water reuse for multiple purposes. The economy of the village had become reliant on the illegal manufacture and sale of alcohol, a product on which many of the villagers had become dependent. Many inhabitants borrowed from moneylenders to survive, paying monthly interest rates of as much as 10%. Crime and violence (including domestic violence) had become commonplace, while education and employment opportunities were poor. [14][20] Hazare was relatively wealthy because of the gratuity from his army service.

He set about using that money to restore a run-down, vandalised village temple as a focal point for the community. Some were able to respond with small financial donations but many other villagers, particularly among the elderly, donated their labour in a process that became known as shramdaan. Some youths also became involved in the work and these he organised into a Tarun Mandal (Youth Association). One of the works of Vivekananda which he had read was Call to the youth for nation building. 21] In 2011, Hazare initiated a Satyagraha movement for passing a stronger anti-corruption Lokpal (ombudsman) bill in the Indian Parliament, the Jan Lokpal Bill (People’s Ombudsman Bill). The Jan Lokpal Bill was drafted earlier by N. Santosh Hegde, former justice of the Supreme Court of India and Lokayukta of Karnataka, Prashant Bhushan, a senior lawyer in the Supreme Court and Arvind Kejriwal, a social activist along with members of the India Against Corruption movement. The draft incorporated more stringent provisions and gave wider power to the Lokpal (Ombudsman) than the government’s 2010 draft. 63]

These included placing “the Prime Minister within the ambit of the proposed lokpal’s powers”. [64] Hazare began his Indefinite Fast[65] on 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 stronger anti-corruption bill with stronger penal actions and more independence to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Ombudsmen in the states), after his demand was rejected by Prime Minister Singh. [66] He stated, “I will fast until Jan Lokpal Bill is passed”. 67] The movement attracted attention in the media, and thousands of supporters. Almost 150 people reportedly joined Hazare in his fast. [68] Social activists, including Medha Patkar, Arvind Kejriwal, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, and Jayaprakash Narayan lent their support. People showed support in social media. In addition to spiritual leaders Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Ramdev, Swami Agnivesh and former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, many celebrities supported him. [69][70] Hazare decided that he would not allow any politician to sit with him.

The protesters rejected Uma Bharti, Om Prakash Chautala and others when they visited the protest. [71] On 6 April 2011 Sharad Pawar resigned from the group of ministers formed for reviewing the 2010 draft. [72] Protests spread to Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Shillong, Aizawl and other cities. [73] On 8 April the Government accepted the movement’s demands. On 9 April it issued a notification in the Gazette of India on formation of a joint committee. It accepted the formula that there be a politician chair and an activist, non-politician co-chair.

The notification stated, “The Joint Drafting Committee shall consist of five nominee ministers of the Government of India and five nominees of the civil society. The five nominee Ministers of the Government of India are Pranab Mukherjee, Union Minister of Finance, P. Chidambaram, Union Minister 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 and Information Technology and Salman Khursheed, Union Minister of Water Resources and Minister of Minority Affairs.

The five non-politician nominees were Anna Hazare, N. Santosh Hegde, Shanti Bhushan Senior Advocate, Prashant Bhushan, Advocate and Arvind Kejriwal. [74][75] On the morning of 9 April Hazare ended his 98-hour hunger strike. He addressed the people and set a deadline of 15 August to pass the bill. “Real fight begins now. We have a lot of struggle ahead of us in drafting the new legislation, We have shown the world in just five days that we are united for the cause of the nation. The youth power in this movement is a sign of hope. Anna Hazare said that if the bill did not pass he would call for a mass nation-wide agitation. [76][77][dead link] He called his movement as “second struggle for independence” and he will continue the fight. [78]

Anna Hazare threatened on 28 July 2012 to proceed with his fast-unto-death from tomorrow on the Lokpal issue. He also stated that country’s future is not safe in the hands of Congress and BJP and he would campaign in the coming elections for those with clean background. [79] On the third day of his indefinite fast, Anna stated that he will not talk even to the Prime Minister till his demands are met. 80] On 2 August 2012 Anna said that there was nothing wrong in forming a new political party but, he would neither join the party nor contest elections. [81] Team and Anna have decided to end their indefinite fast on 3 August 2012 at 5PM after which the team will announce their decision to enter politics. [82] Draft bill During the meeting of the joint drafting committee on 30 May, the Union government members opposed the inclusion of the prime minister, higher judiciary and the acts of the MPs under the purview of the Lokpal in the draft bill. 83]

On 31 May, Mukherjee sent a letter to the chief ministers of all states and party leaders seeking their opinion on six contentious issues, including whether to bring the prime minister and judges of India’s Supreme Court and High Courts under the law’s purview. [84] But the civil society members of the drafting committee considered that keeping them out would be a violation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. 85] Anna Hazare and other civil society members decided to boycott the 6 June drafting committee meeting to protest the forcible eviction of Swami Ramdev and his followers by the Delhi Police from Ramlila Maidan on 5 June, while they were on a hunger strike against black money and corruption and doubting the government’s seriousness. [86] On 6 June, the civil society members wrote to Mukherjee, explaining reasons for their absence and also asking government to go public on the major issues. They also decided to attend only future meetings that were telecast live. 87] On 8 June at Rajghat, describing his movement as the second freedom struggle, Anna criticised the Government for trying to discredit the drafting committee and threatened to go on indefinite fast again from 16 August if the Lokpal Bill had not passed. He also criticised the Government for putting hurdles in front of the Bill and for maligning the civil society members. [88][89][90] On 28 July the union cabinet approved a draft of the Lokpal Bill, which kept the Prime Minister, judiciary and lower bureaucracy out of the ombudsman’s ambit.

Hazare rejected the government version by describing it as “cruel joke’’ and wrote a letter to Singh announcing his decision to begin an indefinite fast from 16 August at Jantar Mantar, if the government introduced its own version of the bill without taking suggestions from civil society members. [91][92] Hazare wrote:- 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? [93][dead link] Within twenty four hours of cabinet’s endorsement of a weak Lokpal Bill, over ten thousand people from across the country sent faxes directly to the government demanding a stronger bill. 94] The Mumbai Taxi Men’s Union, comprising over 30,000 taxi drivers supported Hazare’s fast by keeping all taxis off the roads on 16 August. [95] Lawyers of Allahabad High Court described the government proposal as against the national interest and pledged their support to Hazare by hunger striking at Allahabad on 16 August. [dead link] On 30 July Vishwa Hindu Parishad supported his fast by saying movement for an effective anti-corruption ombudsman needed the people’s backing.

On 1 August, Public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court of India by Hemant Patil, a Maharashtra-based social worker and businessman, to restrain Hazare, alleging that Hazare’s demands were unconstitutional and amounted to interference in the legislative process. On 16 August, Hazare was arrested, four hours before the planned indefinite hunger strike. Rajan Bhagat, spokesman for Delhi Police, said police arrested Hazare for illegally gathering in a Delhi park to begin his hunger strike, claiming that Hazare refused to meet police conditions for allowing the protest.

The conditions included restricting the fast to three days and the number of protesters to 5,000. Later in the afternoon, Hazare refused bail. The magistrate dispatched him to Tihar jail for seven days. After announcements by Prashant Bhushan, local television, and social media sites (including Facebook), thousands marched in support from the India Gate to Jantar Mantar. Media reported that about 1,300 supporters were detained in Delhi, including key members of the India Against Corruption movement such as Arvind Kejriwal, Shanti Bhushan, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia. 103] Other reports other protests with people courting arrests in different parts of the country. Opposition parties came out against the arrest, likening the government action to the emergency imposed in the country in 1975. Both houses of Parliament adjourned over the issue. [104] After four hours in detention he was released unconditionally on a request by the police, but refused to leave Tihar Jail. [105] He demanded unconditional permission to fast at Ramlila Maidan (Ground) and refused to leave. [106] Hazare continued his fast inside the jail. [107] After his arrest, Hazare received support from people across the country.

There were reports of “nearly 570 demonstrations and protests by Anna supporters across the country”. [64][108] Due to the millions of protesters nationwide,[109] the government allowed him to begin a public hunger strike of fifteen days. [110] After talks with public authorities, Hazare decided to hold his protest at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi. [111] On 20 August Hazare “left the Tihar Jail for the Ramlila Grounds”. [112] Hazare promised reporters “he would fight to the ‘last breath’ until the government gets his team’s Jan Lokpal Bill passed in this session of Parliament, which ends on 8 September. [64] Anna Hazare on fast unto death protest. On 20 August thousands came to show their support for Hazare,[113] while “his advisers made television appearances to rally public support and defend themselves against criticism that their protest campaign and refusal to compromise is undermining India’s parliamentary process. “[114]

The National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) condemned Hazare’s deadline for passing the bill as undermining democracy, which operates by “holding wide-ranging consultations and discussions, allowing for dissent and evolving a consensus. .. He [Hazare] has the right to protest and dissent. But nobody can claim it as an absolute right and deny the right of dissent to others. “[115] The Congress party confirmed that Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Umesh Chandra Sarangi (who has a history of mediating between Hazare and officials) was meeting with him again “to find points of consensus and defuse the situation”. 116] On 21 August “tens of thousands” watched Hazare as he sat on an elevated platform. [117] It was reported that Hazare at that point had “lost more than seven pounds since beginning his fast”. Despite this he stated, “I will not withdraw my hunger strike until the Jan Lokpal bill is passed in the Parliament. I can die but I will not bend. “[117] Hazare ended his fast on 28 August, after the Lokpal Bill passed unanimously.

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