Swami Agnivesh: The Fearless Arya Samaji

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Agnivesh was elected to the Haryana Assembly in 1977 and was made the State’s Education Minister after two years.



Social activist, scholar, politician and Arya Samaj leader Swami Agnivesh passed away at the Institute of Liver and Billary Sciences (ILBS) in New Delhi, on Friday, after he was hospitalised due to liver cirrhosis earlier this week. He remained critical after suffering multi-organ failure during the treatment, the hospital authorities said.

He stayed on the ventilator and was monitored by a multi-disciplinary team.

The 80-year-old leader went into cardiac arrest at 6 p.m. and resuscitation was attempted but he passed away at 6.30 p.m., the hospital authorities said in a statement on Friday evening.

Swami Agnivesh during his visit to Rohtak in 2004. Photo Courtesy: Jagmati Sangwan.

Agnivesh, a former MLA from Haryana, is known for his work against bonded labour through the Bonded Labour Liberation Front, which he founded in 1981. The organisation worked on issues surrounding bonded labour in India, especially in the quarries in and around Delhi.

Agnivesh became president (2004–2014) of the World Council of Arya Samaj, which is the highest international body of the Arya Samaj. He was also an advocate for dialogue between religions and remained involved in various areas of social activism including campaigns against female foeticide and the emancipation of women.

He was a prominent associate of Anna Hazare during India Against Corruption’s campaign in 2011 to implement the Jan Lokpal Bill and also served as the chairperson of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery from 1994 to 2004.

Born in Andhra Pradesh, Agnivesh founded Arya Sabha in 1970, a political party based on Arya Samaj principles. Agnivesh was elected to the Haryana Assembly in 1977 and was made the State’s Education Minister after two years. He, however, resigned from the post in protest against the Haryana government’s inaction against police who had opened fire at workers protesting bonded labour.


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One thought on “Swami Agnivesh: The Fearless Arya Samaji

  1. धर्म के नाम पर कट्टरता फैलाने वाली ताकतों के खिलाफ एक सशक्त आवाज का खामोश होना पीड़ादायक हैं। वह एक बहुआयामी प्रतिभा वाली शख्सियत थी जो अपने आपमें एक संस्था की हैसियत रखते थे । राजनीति में जनपक्षीय विकल्प के प्रति लगनशील रहते थे। मेरी उनसे चार दशकों से मित्रता थी । राजनीतिक विचारों में फर्क होने के बावजूद हमारे परस्पर संबंधों में गर्मजोशी हमेशा बरकरार रही। मेरी हार्दिक श्रद्धांजलि ।

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