Age: 80 Years
Hometown: Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh
Death Date: 11/09/2020
|Real Name||Vepa Shyam Rao|
|Known For||Campaign against bonded labour through his foundation ‘Bandhua Mukti Morcha’ (Bonded Labor Liberation Front)|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 170 cm
in meters– 1.70 m
in feet inches– 5’ 7”
|Hair Colour||Grey (Semi-Bald)|
|Political Party||Arya Sabha|
|Political Journey||• In 1970, Agnivesh founded a party named Arya Sabha, a party based on Arya Samaj principles.
• In 1977, he was elected to legislative assembly of Haryana.
• In 1979, he served as an education minister in Haryana government.
• In 1981, he founded the ‘Bonded Labour Liberation Front’, which continues to raise issues surrounding bonded labour in India.
|Date of Birth||21 September 1939 (Thursday)|
|Birthplace||Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, India|
|Date of Death||11 September 2020 (Friday)|
|Place of Death||The Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi|
|Age (at the time of death)||80 Years|
|Death Cause||Liver Cirrhosis The Indian Express|
|Hometown||Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh|
|College/University||St Xavier’s College, Kolkata|
|Educational Qualification||Degree in Law and Commerce|
|Hobbies||Public Speaking, Writing, Reading, Listening to Music|
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award – Delhi (2004)
Right Livelihood Award – Sweden (2004)
M.A. Thomas National Rights Award – Bangalore (2006)
|Controversies||• In 2005, Agnivesh said that the Jagannath Temple in Puri should be opened to non-Hindus; this led to the priests of the temple denouncing his remarks as “purely anti-Hindu in nature” and many people burned his effigy.
• His controversial remark over ‘Amarnath’ instigated Hindu Hardliners when he said that Ice Lingam in the Amarnath temple is a geographical phenomenon. According to the ‘Kashmir Observer’ (First English-language daily newspaper published in Srinagar, Kashmir), the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu nationalist political party, offered a ₹2 million bounty for killing Agnivesh.
• In 2008, he supported the demands of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind that banned the singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ by Muslim citizens of India.
• His entry in Bigg Boss 2011, fomented a huge controversy. Many people criticized and labeled him as a fraud in the saffron clothes.
|Girls, Affairs and More|
|Marital Status||Unmarried (Celibate)|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Swami Agnivesh
- Agnivesh was born in an orthodox Hindu family.
- At the age of 4, he lost his father and was raised by his maternal grandfather who was a Diwan of a princely state called ‘Shakti’ (Now in Chhattisgarh).
- Having completed his study, he became a lecturer at St Xavier’s College in Kolkata.
- For some time, he practiced law as a junior to ‘Sabyasachi Mukherji,’ who later became Chief Justice of India.
- In 1968, he joined the Arya Samaj in Haryana and two years later, on 25 March 1970, he vowed to take ‘Sanyas’ (renunciation).
- He was the Education Minister in Haryana government from 1979 to 1981. However, he resigned from the post in the protest against the Haryana government’s inaction against police who had opened fire at workers opposing bonded labour.
- In 1994, he was appointed the Chairperson of the United Nations Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.
- Agnivesh received the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize ‘the Right Livelihood Award‘ for his service against bonded labours.
- He was the president of the World Council of Arya Samaj from 2004 to 2014.
- In 2005, Agnivesh took part in a two-week campaign against female foeticide that travelled across India to raise awareness.
- In 2011, he took part in Anna Hazare‘s anti-corruption movement in Delhi, but a video was leaked in which he was allegedly talking to the then cabinet minister Kapil Sibal, the video exposed him that he was working for the government and not for the protestors.
- In 2018, he, along with his group, was lynched by the alleged Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha.
- Agnivesh had also authored many books: Vaidik Saamajvad (Vedic Socialism), Religion Revolution and Marxism, Harvest of Hate: Gujarat Under Siege, Hinduism in the New Age, etc.
- He had also been a chief editor of ‘Rajdharma’ magazine (fortnightly) from 1968 to 1978 and Kranti Dharmi (monthly) from 1989 to 1991.