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Anna Hazare

Introduction

1. Kisan Baburao Hazare(born 15 June 1937), popularly known as Anna Hazare is an Indian social activist who led movements to promote rural development, increase government transparency, and investigate and punish official corruption.

2. In addition to organizing and encouraging grassroots movements, Hazare frequently conducted hunger strikes to further his causes—a tactic reminiscent, to many, of the work of Mohandas K. Gandhi.

3. Hazare also contributed to the development and structuring of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

Lokpal Bill movement : Jantar Mantar

1. 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).

2. 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.

3. The draft incorporated more stringent provisions and gave wider power to the Lokpal (Ombudsman) than the government's 2010 draft. These included placing "the Prime Minister within the ambit of the proposed lokpal’s powers".

4. Hazare began his Indefinite Fast 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. He stated, "I will fast until Jan Lokpal Bill is passed".

5. The movement attracted attention in the media, and thousands of supporters. Almost 150 people reportedly joined Hazare in his fast.

6. Social activists, including Medha Patkar, Arvind Kejriwal, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, and Jayaprakash Narayan lent their support. People showed support in social media.

7. In addition to spiritual leaders Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Ramdev, Swami Agnivesh and former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, many celebrities supported him.

8. 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.

9. On 6 April 2011 Sharad Pawar resigned from the group of ministers formed for reviewing the 2010 draft.

10. Protests spread to Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Shillong, Aizawl and other cities.

11. 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.

12. 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.

Lokpal Bill movement : Ramlila Maidan

1. 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

2. On 16 August, Hazare was arrested, four hours before the planned indefinite hunger strike.

3. 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.

4. After announcements by Prashant Bhushan, local television, and social media sites (including Facebook), thousands marched in support from the India Gate to Jantar Mantar.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. After four hours in detention he was released unconditionally on a request by the police, but refused to leave Tihar Jail.

8. He demanded unconditional permission to fast at Ramlila Maidan (Ground) and refused to leave. Hazare continued his fast inside the jail.

9. 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".

10. Due to the millions of protesters nationwide, the government allowed him to begin a public hunger strike of fifteen days.

11. After talks with public authorities, Hazare decided to hold his protest at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi.

12. On 20 August Hazare "left the Tihar Jail for the Ramlila Grounds". 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

13. On 20 August thousands came to show their support for Hazare, 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."

14. 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."

15. 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".

16. On 21 August "tens of thousands" watched Hazare as he sat on an elevated platform. 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."

17. Hazare ended his fast on 28 August, after the Lokpal Bill passed unanimously.

18. He was admitted to Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon for post-fast care. He had lost 7.5 kilograms (17 lb) and was very dehydrated after the 288-hour fast.

19. Within a few days of Anna Hazare's first fast demanding a strong Lokpal (on 5 April 2011), supporters started a campaign known as "I Am Anna Hazare", which was similar to the "We Are All Khaled Said" campaign from the Egyptian uprising.

20. During Anna Hazare's second fast, his topi, the cap which became synonymous with Anna Hazare, became almost a fashion statement. Sales of the topis hit an all-time high. Kiran Bedi recommended that the "I am Anna" topi be displayed whenever someone asked for a bribe

Honours and Awards

2011 NDTV Indian of the Year with Arvind Kejriwal by NDTV

2008 Jit Gill Memorial Award by World Bank

2005 Honorary Doctorate by Gandhigram Rural University

2003 Integrity Award by Transparency International

1998 CARE International Award by CARE (relief agency)

1997 Mahaveer Award

1996 Shiromani Award

1992 Padma Bhushan by President of India

1990 Padma Shri by President of India

1989 Krishi Bhushana Award by Government of Maharashtra

1986 Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Awards by Government of India

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