Expelled Arya Samaj leader and Former Haryana MLA, Swami Agnivesh, breathed his last on Friday at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in New Delhi. The 80 years old activist was ailing from liver cirrhosis and was critically ill.
He was hospitalised and kept on ventilator since Tuesday due to multi-organ failure.
A statement issued by the hospital authorities said that Swami Agnivesh died of cardiac arrest at around 6 PM in the evening. “On September 11, his condition deteriorated and he went into cardiac arrest at 6 pm. Resuscitation was attempted but then he passed away at 6:30 pm. ILBS joins the country in mourning the loss of this beloved leader,” the hospital said in a statement.
The 80-year-old political activist was a former MLA from Haryana and had founded a political party, Arya Sabha in 1970. He was also associated with various social campaigns. He rallied against female foeticide and fought for the emancipation of women. He had also been associated with Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption campaign in 2011 which centred around the demand for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill.
However, he was once seen calling for a disruption of the Anna Hazare movement in a video where he was discussing a plan to end the movement with Kapil Sibal, who was the UPA minister back in 2011.
The former Arya Samaj leader had also once referred to Hindu pilgrimage sites as “blind faith” and “useless” while maintaining a sarcastic tone when referring to their Gods.
Swami Agnivesh was also quite legitimately termed a vocal campaigner for Naxal peace-talks and Kashmiri secessionism. He had not only demanded “peace talks” as the way forward with Maoists when addressing Manmohan Singh, but he was also seen leading a march in protest, with Yasin Malik in Jammu & Kashmir.
In addition to this, Swami Agnivesh also supported a 30-hour hunger strike, battling against the resettlement of the Kashmiri Pandits who were forcefully sent out of their own homes by radical Jihadists in Kashmir.