ANIL GHANWAT – PRESIDENT, SWATANTRA BHARAT PARTY
(Copyright of the above artwork vests with Times of India/ relevant artist )
Anil Ghanwat (B.Sc. Agriculture), 63 years old, is a farmer from SriGonda in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra.
Since 1985 he has been involved with the Shetkari Sanghatana farmers movement started by the great farmers leader (and later, member of Rajya Sabha) Sharad Joshi in the early 1980s. He was also closely associated with the development of Swatantra Bharat Paksha, founded in 1994 by Sharad Joshi with the blessings of Minoo Masani of the former Swatantra Party. Following in the footsteps of Sharad Joshi, Anil Ghanwat is a keen supporter of the (classical) liberal ideology – the ideology that underpins the Ambedkar Fundamental Rights of India’s Constitution – rights that have been eradicated by Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Janata Party and now the BJP. Ambedkar was upset at this and Rajaji even started a party (Swatantra Party) to oppose this slide into state dictatorship.
After the passing away of Sharad Joshi in December 2015, Anil Ghanwat was made President of Shetkari Sanghatana, a role which he discharged from 12 December 2016 to 5 September 2021. While in that role, Anil Ghanwat was appointed on 12 January 2021 by the Supreme Court of India to a Committee to report on the three 2020 farm laws enacted by the Modi government. He continues in that role in the absence of any further notification in that regard – even though the farm laws have since been repealed.
In early September 2021, Anil Ghanwat took over as President of Swatantra Bharat Paksha. He continues a senior role in the Sanghatana, which is now led by Lalit Bahale. On 28 March 2022, Anil Ghanwat took over as President of the merged Swatantra Bharat Party (details below)
Some of Anil Ghanwat’s thoughts.