New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Renowned social activist and the face of Bonded Labour Liberation Front, Swami Agnivesh, died on Friday due to cardiac arrest. Known as 'Secular Swami' among his wellwishers, the 84-year-old Arya Samaj leader was admitted to the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in New Delhi after suffering multiple organ failure. He had been fighting for his life for the last five days and was kept on a ventilator in a critical condition.

"Social activist Swami Agnivesh (in file pic) passes away at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, Delhi. He was suffering from liver cirrhosis and was critically ill," news agency ANI said.

As soon as the news of his demise came, condolences poured in from all quarters. Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan took to Twitter and termed his demise a "huge tragedy".

"The demise of Swami Agnivesh is a huge tragedy. A true warrior for humanity&tolerance. Among the bravest that I knew, willing to take huge risks for public good," Prashant Bhushan said.

Actress Shabana Azmi said that she was saddened by his demise and termed him a force to reckon with in the eighties.

"Very saddened by the passing away of Swami Agnivesh due to multi-organ failure. Influenced by Liberation Theology he worked to rescue and rehabilitate bonded labourers and was a force to reckon with in the eighties. RIP," she wrote on Twitter.

Born to a Brahmin family in Andhra Pradesh, Swami Agnivesh had renounced his name, caste, religion, family, and all his belongings to lead the life of a sannyasi (monk). However, he was politically active and fought for the rights of downtrodden. In 1981, he founded the Bonded Labour Liberation Front and worked against bonded labour.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma