It really calls for his biography/profile as Swami Agnivesh is the new contestant on Big Boss, one much in news these days. Firstly because of SC’s rebuke for hurting religious sentiments with his infamous Amarnath Yatra remark where he wondered why people undertook such yatras and termed ‘Shivlingam’ as a geographical phenomenon and also because of his bytes to media before entering Big Boss where he said Big Boss participants are better than Member of Parliament.
Swami Agnivesh has been seen in public on quite a few occasions before this too. He was once supporting the cause of Anna- Jan Lokpal Bill when after differences he parted ways and called Anna movement as ‘brahminical’. Inspite of seeing him on many occasions in media, Swami Agnivesh remains somebody people know is important but don’t know who is he.
Swami Agnivesh is a man with many causes. Causes of bonded labour, alcoholism, female feticide, ‘crass’ consumerism et al are some of the causes, Swami Agnivesh has given his attention and efforts too. He has been member of legislative assembly of Haryana in 1977-82 and even served, as Education Minister of the state in 1979.Cause of bonded labor is one cause for which he has really worked hard-he is founder-chairperson of Bonded Labour Liberation Front, an organization working for liberation of bonded labour.
He is a proponent of Arya Samaj and that shows in his fight against casteism and religious fundamentalism. Swami Agnivesh is a known name in international circles due to his stint as chairperson of United Nations Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery from January 1994 to December 2004 and his membership of International Peace Council since January 2003,a world organization of religious leaders aiming to work for peace, which also has Dalai Lama in attendance.
Surprisingly while members or ex-members of Team Anna are often doubted for their right wing connections, Swami Agnivesh has on many occasions asserted with his actions that his ideology may be anything but rightist. He led a ‘multi-religious pilgrimage’ to the site where Graham Stewart Staines and his two little kids were burnt alive in Orissa in 1999.Also he spearheaded a march against a massacre of 42 muslim youth from Delhi to Meerut. Recipient of many international awards, back home he received Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award in 2004.
Swami Agnivesh is now on Big Boss despite being advised by his well-wishers to quit the idea. Now would Big Boss contestants see a change of heart due to his entry or he too would indulge in some theatrics typical of Big Boss participants that remains to be seen.