From driver to driving force
But 72-year-old Kisan Baburao Hazare, famously known as Anna Hazare has become the most visible face of the movement that is garnering growing support.
Hazare was born into an agrarian family in Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Ahmednagar district of western Maharashtra. After the Sino-Indian war in 1962, the Indian government had made an appeal to the youth to join the defence services. Hazare was one of those who responded and joined the Army in 1963.
During the India-Pakistan war, he was posted in the Khemkaran sector, where Pakistani fighter jets bombarded Indian positions. Even though Hazare had a lucky escape, he saw his colleagues die before him leading to his decision of remaining a bachelor.
During his days in the Army in the 1960s as a truck driver, he spent a lot of time reading about Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Acharya Vinoba Bhave.
Hazare returned to Ralegan Siddhi village in 1975, after seeking voluntary retirement from the Army after 15 years of service. He was faced with a village in the grip of drought, poverty, crimes and alcoholism.
Poll of the day
Is there a subliminal current against Rahul Gandhi within the Congress party?
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- Yes. The party is witnessing internecine battles in many states
- No. Rahul Gandhi is capable of reinvigorating the party
- It is now or never for Congress. The leadership must act or give way for others