If you haven’t heard of him yet, Anna Hazare is a name you should know. The 74-year-old social reformer from India is being credited for helping to make a major impact on the Indian government, much like the way Mahatma Ghandi did almost 70 years ago.
Faced with an increasingly corrupt political system, activists in India advocated for the creation of an independent agency with prosecution and police authority to curtailing government wrongdoing.
As talks broke down and the concerns of other citizens were seemingly being dismissed, Hazare and others began to mount a massive protest throughout the country. But, that’s not all.
Hazare went as far as to begin a hunger protest that he said he was willing to endure until death, if necessary. His story of conviction, along with the peaceful protests of thousands in India, received scores of international attention. News sources report that, during his fast, Hazare lost nearly 15 pounds; but, what he gained was much more fulfilling.
The Indian government finally relented and agreed to give in to Hazare’s demands. Celebrations erupted all throughout the country as this peaceful protest resulted in meaningful change. (I mean seriously people, how cool is that?) Hazare stood in direct opposition to the authorities — fighting not with money, speeches or political action committees. He fought with his inner spirit, his convictions and his moral compass.
I was impressed by his story, his sacrifice and, most notably, his humanity for others. As you look at the world today and seek to make a difference, ask yourself the question, what was the result of Hazare’s protest?