Social activist Anna Hazare, himself a bachelor, today had some advice to offer those who wished to join politics -- get married.
Social activist Anna Hazare, himself a bachelor, today had some advice to offer those who wished to join politics — get married.
The Gandhian activist urged the youth not to follow in his footsteps and remain unmarried, for it was difficult to lead an unblemished life.
“This (staying unmarried) is not so easy. It is more difficult than walking on a sharp-edged sword,” said the octogenarian leader, who earned followers cutting across age groups after he staged a nationwide anti-corruption protest in 2011.
The young should have a family and maintain purity of thoughts and actions, Hazare said at a book launch here.
“Youngsters should enter politics or any other professions they wish, but should not ape Anna Hazare. I have remained a bachelor. My message to those who are unmarried has never been to not marry,” Hazare said.
Delving into mythology, he recalled sage Vishwamitra, who, legend has it, “practised” penance for a thousand years, but was charmed by apsara Menaka.
“The mind is very fickle. It is not (only) fickle, but very sharp and not (only) sharp, but very cunning. This mind even deceived Vishwamitra, who practised penance for a thousand years,” he said.
A soldier during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, Hazare later dedicated his life to social development.
“At the age of 25, I decided not to marry and devote my life towards the development of society,” he said.
Before the 2011 agitation, which made Hazare a household name, he undertook several protests and fasts against Maharashtra ministers over their alleged involvement in corrupt deals.
“How lucky I am that there is not a single blot on me. I fight with the mighty, but there is no blot. If there would have been even one, they would have cut me into pieces,” he said.
Critical of the Narendra Modi government for not “fulfilling the promises” made in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Hazare asserted that it was important to learn from other countries on how they got back black money stashed abroad.
“Many people are saying that in our country black money will be brought back and Rs 15 lakh will be deposited into every person’s bank account. India should study how other countries retrieved black money and if they imitate their ways, then the black money of our country can be brought back,” he said, without naming Modi.
He also described corruption in the judiciary as “very dangerous”.
“This country runs on judicial processes and if corruption rises in the judicial system, how will people get justice,” Hazare asked.